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Friday, November 27, 2015

Review : Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KL)

4 weeks ago, I received a ZE500 KL Zenfone 2 Laser, a smartphone from  Asus, a leading technology company from Taiwan. Here's my experience with the phone, written from a perspective of an ordinary user who doesn't really give a fuss on all the technical details. :P
Unboxing the sleek Asus ZenFone 2 Laser
When looking for a new phone, I'm mainly after its durability, sound quality (I'm an active Spotify user), design, camera features and of course, its price. I don't even call or text much and unless I got really bored and could not find anything else to do, I won't even pay attention to the apps installed in my phone. :P I am heavily reliant on my tech savvy friends (ehem, Ian!) to help me out. 

Design
ZenFone 2 Laser looks sophisticated. Its screen features a 5.0-inch HD  (720px1280p) display and Corning Gorilla Glass 4, a brand of glass known for its durability.  I appreciate how vibrant the colors appear on screen. Its slim size is a plus. It's 3.5 mm thin on its edges, yet it does not feel like it's going to slide off my hands easily, with its curved back and metallic finish. Having an excellent grip  is important to me because I have jelly fingers and I often drop things, especially when I'm distracted over something. 

Here's an entertaining and powerful video showcasing Zenfone's salient features. The location for some of the scenes is beautiful too :).

Sound Quality
I listen to music a lot on my phone and the earphones that came with it allows me to enjoy music more.  I don't hear background noises and my  colleagues find it a challenge to grab my attention when I have my Asus earphones on. They usually have to tap me, then I have to remove the earphones for me to hear them out and I don't even have the volume on full blast. :p. As for its speakers, the sound quality is just okay. I rarely use it anyway. Worth mentioning is that sound output can be customized with its  Audio Wizard 2.0, an app on the phone where you can adjust the volume, treble and bass according to your preference. 
Here's what the back looks like. The volume controls are on top of the Asus logo.
Camera Features 
Since most of my travels involve a lot of walking around, I pack very lightly without leaving out the important stuff. As part of saving luggage space, I use a smartphone in taking souvenir shots instead of bringing a camera which is the major reason why picture quality is vital to me. 

ZenFone 2 ZE500KL has an 8MP back camera  guided with a laser auto-focus, f/2.0 aperture Toshiba lens  and a 5MP front camera.  Simply put, it focuses on the subject so quickly and delivers photos with excellent detail. I love that it saves me time from having to take multiple shots. If you're into food porn and taking pictures of flowers and insects, you will be able to appreciate its camera. 


It also comes with a Photo Collage app and a MiniMovie maker for creating videos. 

Here are some of the unedited shots :
This one's my favorite. Like something out of an Amorsolo painting, this bucolic scenery of farmers working in the field is always a refreshing sight. This was taken while traveling inside a van along SCTEX. :)  

I love how it takes good photos under low light environments :
Photo below is from The Plaza Hotel in Balanga, Bataan. 

Dancing fountain and light show at Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga
Close-up shot

Food Porn, because food is love! 


Built-in Apps 
It's got several installed apps which initially, I found a little too many. I've uninstalled some and kept the ones that I find useful such as :
-  AsusWeather  which provides  UV Level, sunrise and sunset time, an hourly and extended weather forecast in collaboration with weather forecast provider, Accuweather.  - Flashlight
- Amazon Kindle for reading ebooks
- TripAdvisor 

Bonus : For those who need storage space for their files that can be accessed at any time, the ZenFone  2 Laser comes with  a100GB of FREE Google Drive Storage free for 2 years which you need to redeem in the Google Drive app by April 1, 2018. "After two years of activation, your files restored on storage will not be removed. Only, you can not put new files on your 100 GB storage."  Other Asus devices comes with this useful freebie are 

ZenFone 2, ZenFone Selfie or ZenPad. 
More info here.

If I'm going to nitpick, the only thing that irks me about it is that the back case is so challenging to open.  I feel pain on my fingers when I tried to put a sim in it. On the other hand, it's not much of a big deal because you won't even have to open it frequently. I also find that an advantage in case I drop the phone - oops, I've actually dropped it thrice already on hard surfaces (I was in a hazy state on all three occassions :P) and the phone has not shown any noticeable damages. 

OTHER DETAILS 
Model :  ZE500KL Zenfone 2 Laser (Dual SIM)
Android Version : 5.0.2
Memory : 2GB
Processor : Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (quad-core) 1.2 GHX
Price : Retails at PHP 7,295 

For more details on its technical specifications, go to this link ZE500KL | Asus website
If you're looking for a smartphone with a  bigger screen and  a camera with higher mega pixels, consider  Asus Zenfone 2 Laser ZE550KL

With its affordable price and  remarkable features, Asus Zenfone 2 Laser ZE500KL makes an excellent budget smartphone. I'm very happy I got the chance to try this out. :)  

Related Post :
Here's another review of ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL from Ferdz Decena


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