Mobile Technology

Asus' new flagship Android phablet is available unlocked for just $199

Asus' new flagship Android pha...
The Asus Zenfone 2 is on sale now starting at $199
The Asus Zenfone 2 is on sale now starting at $199
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The Asus Zenfone 2 is on sale now starting at $199
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The Asus Zenfone 2 is on sale now starting at $199
This phablet has a 5.5-inch full HD display
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This phablet has a 5.5-inch full HD display
A unique feature is the rear button for selfies
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A unique feature is the rear button for selfies
Asus worked to reduce the bezel in this phone
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Asus worked to reduce the bezel in this phone
This flagship sports 13 MP and 5 MP cameras
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This flagship sports 13 MP and 5 MP cameras
Hands-on at CES 2015
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Hands-on at CES 2015

One of the surprising sleeper Android phones that generated lots of interest at CES 2015 was the Asus ZenFone 2, a flagship phablet that could be a winner in a few boring but certainly important areas – including specs that could, at least on paper, compete with many laptops and a starting price of just $199 unlocked.

The ZenFone 2 is on sale now on Amazon (although the site currently says it will take two to four weeks to ship), with a model packing 2 GB of RAM and a 64-bit 1.8 GHz quad core Intel processor selling for $199 in black, silver, gold or red. For $299, you get a more future proof device with a whopping 4 GB of RAM, something few phones out now can claim, 64 GB of storage and a 2.3 GHz processor.

Rounding out this impressive specs package is a 5.5-inch 1080p display (which is starting to become mid-ranged next to today's Quad HD flagships) under Gorilla Glass 3, back and front cameras capable of capture 13 megapixel and 5 MP images, respectively, Android Lollipop and a fast-charging battery.

The ZenFone 2 feels both light and sturdy in the hand, reminding us of an HTC One M8 or M9 with its metal-like body. And it does have one nifty unique feature - a rear button for taking selfies.

A unique feature is the rear button for selfies
A unique feature is the rear button for selfies

There is a catch, though, with what is otherwise a great specs to price ratio: it's currently GSM only, which means it won't work with CDMA networks like Verizon or Sprint in the U.S.

Get more details from our original hands-on and watch a highly detailed promotional tour of the ZenFone 2 in the video below:

Sources: Asus, Amazon

3 comments
Axel
Missed opportunity. A phablet might as well be as big as possible while still being pocketable, i.e. 7 inch screen and weighing max 240g. Come on Asus, you can do it, and please add a stylus and handwriting recognition.
KrodThealmighty
not in the uk you can't, as ever we are having to subsidise our american cousins, you'd think it was in the third world
Ash Coburn
I am assuming that the Asus Zenfone 2 can actually make Phone Calls yet no mention at all of its call quality or service reception capabilities. Don't assume that every mobile produced now is perfect in these areas so I want to know which ones excell, seeing as I need to make calls. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was a big disappointment in sound transmisson quality UNLESS you use it in loudspeaker mode which was brilliant! Not one review I read mentioned it! Infuriating!!!