So the Android phone that a lot of you have been waiting for is finally here.
Starting today, the ASUS ZenFone 2 is available unlocked from multiple online vendors in Canada and the USA, in two configurations: a quad-core 1.8 GHz processor with 16 GB of storage & 2 GB of RAM, and a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor with 64 GB of storage & 4 GB of RAM. Prices start at $249 CAD / $199 USD.
In addition to the impressive price/performance ratio, the ZenFone 2 has some other standout features. Both models are powered by Intel Atom processors, and both models support 2 SIMs. This should pique the interest of travellers or, for that matter, anyone who wants to split voice and data between two providers. In other words, don’t expect your carrier to sell this thing on a subsidy. Ever.
Here are the notable specs, direct from ASUS:
Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
5.5 inches, Full HD 1920 x 1080, IPS
Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Intel® Atom™ Quad Core Z3560 (1.8 GHz), PowerVR G6430, OpenGL 3.0
Intel® Atom™ Quad Core Z3580 (2.3 GHz), PowerVR G6430, OpenGL 3.0
2 GB / 4 GB
16 GB / 64 GB eMMC Flash
5 GB free lifetime ASUS WebStorage
MicroSD card (up to 64 GB)
Front: 5 Mega-Pixel, Fix Focus, Wide View, PixelMaster
Rear: 13 Mega-Pixel, Auto Focus, PixelMaster
3000 mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable)
Dual Micro SIM cards
SIM1 Supports 2G / 3G / 4G
SIM2 Supports 2G
LTE Bands (NA version):
2100 MHz (Band 1) / 1900 MHz (Band 2) / 1800 MHz (Band 3) / 1700 MHz AWS (Band 4) / 850 MHz (Band 5) / 2600 MHz (Band 7) / 900 MHz (Band 8) / 700 MHz (Band 17) / 800 MHz (Band 20)
LTE Cat4: UL 50 / DL 150 Mbps
HSPA+: UL 5.76 / DL 42 Mbps
DC-HSPA+: UL 5.76 / DL 42 Mbps
And now the bad news… The Android development forum for the ZenFone 2 on XDA is currently a ghost town, and the only procedure I can find for unlocking its bootloader is an exploit. That’s a shame. If ASUS would only recognize the modding community like OnePlus has then I’d be just as excited about this phone as the rest of you.
Some further reading: