Meet The Affordable Performance Monster As ASUS Officially Launches The ZenFone 2 In Southeast Asia

Tech writers and distributors from all across Southeast Asia descended onto Indonesia earlier this week for the official launch of the Asus ZenFone 2 in the region. We joined the sizable delegation from the Philippines and fought our way through the infamous Jakarta traffic to tell you all about this much anticipated device.  

Asus-Zenfone-2-SEA-launch-jakarta (5)ASUS CEO Jerry Shen introduces the ASUS Zenfone 2 during the SEA launch event in Jakarta

ASUS has sold over ten million ZenFones so far, with many of them going to buyers in the Philippines where the brand has enjoyed considerable popularity in recent times, so the pressure was certainly on when the company invited the media for the unveiling of the ZenFone 2 in Jakarta earlier this week. There, in the grand ballroom of the Pullman hotel, ASUS CEO Jerry Shen stepped onto the stage and officially unveiled the company’s latest phablet to the waiting audience.

Asus-Zenfone-2-SEA-launch-jakarta (6)The new ASUS ZenFone 2 : a beautiful phablet with impressive specs

Let’s start with the screen: Fitted with a 5.5 inch, high resolution 1920×1080 Full HD IPS display that offers a 178 degree viewing angle and 403ppi pixel density, the ZenFone 2 produces stunning visuals on its Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protected viewing panel. One neat feature is ASUS Splendid, a small piece of software that allows you to quickly adjust the color temperature, hue and brightness of the display to suit your preferences. According to ASUS, this addresses the point that everyone’s eyes are unique and that every person sees things differently.

Asus-Zenfone-2-SEA-launch-jakarta (1)Some of the accessories for the ZenFone 2 and their prices in Indonesian Rupiah

On the performance front, things do get monstrous indeed, as the ZenFone 2 is powered by a 64-bit up to 2.3GHz Super Quad Core Intel Atom Z3580 processor and the flagship version also sports 4GB Dual-Channel DDR3 RAM, making it the first smartphone in the world to offer that much Random-Access Memory. It’s also Dual SIM Dual Active, meaning it has dual transceivers that keep both SIMs active all the time. Talk to someone on one SIM while receiving a text on the other SIM, or put a call on hold on SIM1 and quickly take a call on SIM2, all not a problem with this device. 

Asus-Zenfone-2-SEA-launch-jakarta (2)A demo unit on display during the ZenFone 2 SEA launch in Jakarta

Other noteworthy points include super accurate navigation with support for five satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, BDS, QZSS and SBAS), the SnapView privacy feature that lets you enter different privacy modes by entering different screen unlock patterns (one unlock pattern may show all content for when you use the phone yourself, but if your friend wants to use it, simply enter a different unlock pattern before handing it over to keep all those embarrassing pictures hidden), as well as the ability to launch apps with ZenMotion: if the phone is asleep, simply draw a C on the screen to wake the device up and straight away launch the camera, for example.  

Asus-Zenfone-2-SEA-launch-jakarta (3)Trying out the camera in the demo area:13MP main and 5MP front cameras ensure decent results

On the subject of camera, there’s a whole host of features waiting to be used: The main camera boasts a 13MP sensor and a five element lens with an impressive f/2.0 aperture and a dual tone flash for more natural colors, while the front facing camera features a 5MP sensor and a 85 degree wide-angle lens for those all important selfies. Just in case that still isn’t enough to fit all your friends in the frame, then the phone also features a Selfie Panorama function that lets you take a 140 degree panoramic selfie. Smartphone photography connoisseurs will also appreciate the inclusion of a Full Manual Mode that lets you manually control a total of 13 settings, including shutter speed, white balance and ISO. Add to that features like Super HDR (aimed at creating better shots of backlight objects), a special low light mode, real time beautification tools and a 52 MegaPixel Super Resolution mode and you have a serious photographic powerhouse in the palm of your hand. It also comes with pre-installed software to edit images and movies to make sure you can adjust and share the results quickly and without fuzz.  

Asus-Zenfone-2-SEA-launch-jakarta (4)Huge media interest: the demo area during the ZenFone 2 Southeast Asia launch

Add to all this improvements like the new ZenUI with the ability to customize your phone with countless themes and colors, a special Kids Zone, and a 3000mAh battery that can charge to 60% in a mere 39 minutes, and the ZenFone 2 does indeed look like a serious proposition. The device is due to officially hit stores in the Philippines in May, and while official prices in PHP have not yet been released, if the published pricing for the Indonesia market is anything to go by, then it should range roughly between PHP 10.000 and 16.000 depending on model. We will post a separate review and the exact price of the ZenFone2 in the Philippines once we can get our hands on a local demo unit, so keep an eye on the Gadgets section on WhenInManila.com for further updates!

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