Asus has launched several Zenfone 2 models, here is the review of Asus Zenfone 2 Model No. ZE551ML that comes powered by 1.8GHz Intel Atom quad core processor and it is running Lollipop out of the box. This model is similar to the ZE550ML the cheapest Zenfone 2 – the difference, ZE550 ML comes with a 720p display.

Zenfone 2 unboxing
Inside you will find the smartphone, user guide, warranty card, data cable and travel charger. There are no earphone included. SAR value : 0.351 W/Kg (head) and 0.332 W/Kg (body).

Design and Display
The Zenfone 2 is big sporting a 5.5 inch screen. Just like the older Zenfone models the Zenfone 2 has also got a curvy body. Handset is slimmer towards the edges but gets bulkier in the middle. This design gives a comfortable grip in spite of the big size. Weight with battery is 175 grams and dimensions are 77.25 x 152.53 x 10.30 mm.

The handset is available in different colour options. I bought the silver colour version. Body is made of plastic, the back panel has got a silver metallic finish – though made of plastic the panel looks and feels like metal.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML box pack

Power button is on the top side along with 3.5mm audio jack and micro USB port is placed at the bottom. There are no buttons on the left and the right side in fact the volume rocker is placed on the rear just below the camera module.

The power button is at a very uncomfortable location (on top center side), however you can use off screen gestures – double tap to switch on the screen and double tap to switch off the screen.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML review and unboxing

This is a dual SIM handset with 2 micro SIM slots. SIM slot 1 supports 4G/3G/2G and SIM 2 supports 2G (no data). Only SIM slot 1 supports data network.

The Zenfone 2 sports a 5.5 inch IPS screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Colour reproduction, touch response and viewing angle are very good. The screen also comes with corning gorilla glass 3 protection.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML volume rocker on the back

There is LED notification and following sensors – accelerometer, light, proximity, gyro, hall and magnetic.

Memory, Storage and OS
The ZE551ML that I bought comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage along with micro SD card support. Of the 16GB storage you will get around 11GB free space and of the 2GB RAM available free RAM is around 0.98GB.

Apps by default are getting installed on the internal storage but there is an option to move to external storage. You can also set the preferred install location to SD card from settings -> Asus customized settings -> app installation settings.

Zenfone 2 is running Android Lollipop 5.0 (32 bit) with Zen UI. This handset comes pre-loaded with a lot of apps, some useful, you can uninstall the apps if needed.

Performance
This handset is powered by Intel ATOM 1.8GHz Z3560 64 bit quad core processor (with hyper threading technology) coupled with PowerVR Rouge G6430 GPU. Performance is smooth, lag free though the handset does tend to heat-up when using heavy applications. The max temperature I encountered was 45 degrees when playing games and 50 degree outdoor under sunlight when shooting sample images / video.

The hardware is quite powerful – it can play 4K videos in H/W mode.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML review

Benchmark

App Result
Quadrant 17831
Antutu (64 bit) 40455
Vellamo Metal (1151) Multi core (1300) Browser (3100)
Nenamark 2 59.7 fps
Multi Touch 10 point

Gaming
I tried asphalt 8 it got installed on the internal storage. Game was playable in high quality mode. The handset did get heated up to 45 degrees after 16 minutes but when I started playing the game the temperature was already at 40 degrees.

Camera
There is a 13MP AF camera on the rear and a 5MP camera on the front. It’s pixel master camera that does a pretty good job. There are a lot of options in the camera app. You can also shoot FHD videos. Camera quality is above average. There is low light shooting option that looks good on handset but when you check the image on PC the results are not that great. Check the sample images and videos at the end.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML 13MP camera with dual LED tone flash

The handset also comes loaded with a MiniMovie app that is pretty exciting, you can select series of images and create amazing videos automatically (check video review).

Others
No other issues found, sound – speaker / incall is loud and clear. There is 4G (not available in my area). 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC and Bluetooth worked well.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML 3000 mAh battery

Battery
The ZE551ML comes loaded with a 3000 mAh non-removable battery. Battery backup is decent you can expect about 3 to 5 hours of continuous moderate to heavy usage on a full charge.

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Running Benchmark apps 17 minutes 5% (40)
4K video playback with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 14 minutes 5% (37)
Asphalt 8 Game Play 16 minutes 9% (45)
Wall Charge 1 hour 15 minutes 24% to 73%

Verdict
This Intel ATOM 64 bit quad core powered handset is pretty powerful. The handset does get heated up but that’s normal within the limit. The ZE550ML with same specs but with a 5.5 inch screen – 1280 x 720 pixels resolution will give better performance. A good handset to buy for Rs. 14,999 though it is a bit heavy and may not be comfortable for some. Also note the handset as for now is running 32 Bit Lollipop.

Asus Zenfone ZE551ML is priced at Rs. 14,999 with FHD display, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage.

Image Gallery


Rear camera sample


Front camera sample

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML video review

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