ASUS Zenphone 2 Laser comes in two variations and with the look of the models almost identical these two are hard to distinguish. However, the RAM is what sets the two of them apart, besides the pricing of the two and the processor. On one hand, there is the 2 GB RAM model (ZE550KL) that comes with 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM 8916 Quad Core Processor, which is the basic model in the series. The other one (ZE601KL) is with 3GB RAM and is powered by 1 GHz Hexa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Processor.
The internal memory in both the cases is 16 GB and both can be imcreased up to 128 GB. While the 2 GB RAM model is widely available all across the world, the 3 GB model is yet to make its entry into every market. The basic specs do not differ much and you get Android 5.0 Lollipop version on both of them. Both comes with 3000 mAh battery, but ZE550KL (2 GB RAM) model has removable battery. Both the models provide HD resolution, but the 3 GB model has 6 inches screen (1080p) as compared to the 2GB model having 5.50 inches screen (720p). Besides these minor differences, there is no major variation in the two models and it will be essentially your choice about which one to go for.
A walk through the ASUS Zenphone Laser specifications
As I told you, the two models of ASUS Zenphone Laser do not differ much in terms of features, and thus while considering the specs we will give the common review about both of them, unless there is any specific difference, which will be mentioned.
Two factors contributed to the hype about the ASUS Zenphone Laser models. One is the battery life and the other is the camera. You can trust me blindly when I say that you will not come across an Android mobile with a better battery life in this range. Light users can actually go on for 2 days without charging the mobile. As for heavy users like myself, who love some high end gaming and stays online almost 24X7 the battery is going to hold fairly well for at least 6 to 7 hours (depending upon your usage and the screen brightness). You can conveniently forget about carrying a power bank with you whenever you are out on work. Since the mobile charging unit consists of an adaptor and the USB data cable, you can simply carry your data cable and get the mobile charged by connecting it to any computer (do not unlock the device and allow data transfer if you are sensitive about your data or fear transfer of virus from the computer into your mobile).
Camera has been the talk of the tech town ever since ASUS declared the use of laser technology for auto focus purpose. Basically the mobile projects an invisible laser pattern on the target and focuses using this pattern to get sharper and faster image capture. While this sounds great on paper, my actual experience has not been too great with the photo quality. I am quite sensitive about picture quality and take a lot of pictures. Also, the laser tech actually got my hopes pretty high. However, you might be satisfied with the camera performance. On the back you get 13 MP camera with dual-tone flash and on the front there is 5 MP camera. ASUS has actually deviated from its usual design while placing the flash. In the laser models the flash has been placed on one side of the camera and the laser focus mechanism on the other side, instead of placing the flash below the camera lens.
First time ASUS users might take some time getting used to the button placements. Power button is at the top of the device (which you won’t be using much) and the volume rocker is on the back just below the camera lens. The placement of the volume rocker will take some time getting used to since almost every mobile from every manufacturer have it at the side.
ASUS UI is one of the finest as usual. Even though it takes up a bit more internal space as compared to the stock android, there are numerous settings to personalise the mobile and set it according to preferences. ASUS gesture control is actually pretty cool. You draw a “C” on the lock screen and the camera opens. There are some more and you will love using these shortcuts. Double tap on the screen locks it and again a double tap wakes up the screen. Thus, the lock/power button is going to get some rest.
If you are a heavy mobile gamer like me, you might be interested about the gaming performance of the mobile. Just from specs it might be pretty clear that ZE601KL is a better gaming mobile as compared to ZE550KL. However, in reality, the difference is so small that you will hardly notice. Pretty much every game will run smoothly, apart from a minor few which will require very high processing speed, memory, and data transfer rate. There can be slight lag in those games, especially at high action sequences. However, my experience with gaming has been great.
There are all 10 working touch points, though I doubt if you will ever be using all your fingers to control the device. When we move higher from ZE550KL to ZE601KL, we will actually find that the latter does not come with magnetometer or compass sensor. With Google map becoming better by the day, this might even become an absolutely obsolete feature, unless you are going on a trek with your mobile working as compass (pretty stupid idea). Both the models support dual SIM and both will allow 4G. The slots are for micro-SIM, so get a smart SIM if you wish to use your SIM on different devices.
Screen resolution is great and colour is fantastic. Even though it is hard to differentiate, but ASUS Zenphone provides perfect white, which is not the yellowing tinged white that can be seen on many other devices. Screen brightness can be controlled and there is the blue light technology that actually gives the screen that yellow tinge which allows the user to use it as reading device even in complete darkness without hurting the eye.
Zenphone Laser specifications
- 2 GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) Processor in ZE550KL / 1 GHz Hexa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Processor in ZE601KL
- 3000 mAh battery (removable in ZE550KL / non-removable in ZE601KL)
- 50 inch, 720p HD (1280 X 720) display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 in ZE550KL / 6 inch, 1080p HD (1280 X 1080) display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 in ZE601KL
- Android v5.0 OS (Lollipop)
- 13 MP Primary Camera with Dual Tone Flash & Laser Auto Focus
- 5 MP Secondary (Front) Camera
- Dual micro SIM (LTE + LTE)
- Internal Memory 16GB with 2GB RAM (ZE550KL) / 3GB RAM (ZE601KL)
- Expandable Storage Capacity up to 128 GB
- Very high battery life, the best in the range for any Android device
- Great screen resolution and colour
- Smooth usage and high speed
- Wonderful user interface with almost full user customization allowed
- 5mm jack with high quality audio output
- External speaker sound is not too high, which degrades the call quality in case of speaker mode
- Camera quality not too high as compared to other devices in the range
- Size is a bit on the higher side and might not be preferable by those who love using one hand for control and typing
- Box does not come with headphone
Tips & Tricks
- Screen brightness can be a bit problem for some who love to have the screen very bright. Simply turn off light sensor to get a great bright display.
- Apps are grouped in folders. If you do not like it that way, get them out of the folder manually.
- Bloatwares are present. Get rid of the ones which you do not need (provided it can be uninstalled) for a faster user experience.
If you have battery backup and basic features in mind while selecting a Smartphone and wish to enjoy some great gaming as well, ASUS Zenphone is the product for you without any doubt. If high quality photography or video recording is your preference, you might like to check out some more options. However, it is unlikely that you will get any other device with such specs within this price range.