We don’t see many Asus phones in this part of the world. It seems that the Taiwanese manufacturer prefers other markets and as a result US customers have very limited choice when it comes Asus-made handsets. To be more exact, the company sold only two smartphones in the US in the past – the Padfone X and Padfone X Mini. Starting today, however, a third device is joining the team. Called Asus Zenfone 2, the unlocked phone is now on sale in the US via third-party retailers.
Asus Zenfone 2 Unlocked Smartphone
The unlocked Asus Zenfone 2 can be your for $299 or, if you can settle for more modest specs, you can grab a variant that is priced at $199. Asus is offering the phone in unlocked flavor so you will be able to choose your favorite carrier as long as it’s not Verizon or Sprint. The device is available through a variety of online retailers, including Amazon, Groupon, Newegg, and B&H.
When designing the Zenfone 2, Asus apparently drew inspiration from the leading brands in the market. The back panel with its brushed finish resembles the HTC One series, although it’s plastic not metal, and back-mounted volume rocker brings to mind the latest phones made by LG. Asus, however, didn’t follow LG all the way through and left power button on the top edge which, given the phone’s size, may be a bit of a challenge to push with one hand.
Under the hood resides a 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core processor – a rarity in the market dominated by Qualcomm chips, massive 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The cheaper variant comes with a 1.8GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. Other key features identical in both models include 5.5-inch Full HD display, 3,000 mAh battery with a fast charging system that can bring a battery from 0 to 60 percent charge in 39 minutes, 13-megapixel rear camera with a “super resolution” mode and a generous 5-megapixel front-facing shooter.
Compared to the phones Asus previously offered in the US, the Zenfone 2 is a real powerhouse. Does bringing a flagship offering to our shore mean that the company is changing its strategy? Hard to say for sure but one thing is certain – if the Zenfone 2 receives warm reception, it could be a game changer for Asus and its competition. After all, not every day you see a phone with high-end specification priced at under $300 unlocked and contract free.