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Review: Asus ZenFone 2 Laser Misses the Point

Is the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser with a 13MP camera and laser focus a wise choice in the hot sub-10K bracket?

Updated
Tech News
4 min read
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)

In a world of ever-confusing budget smartphones, Asus has upped the game.

The Asus ZenFone 2 Laser builds on the Asus ZenFone 2 smartphone with a similar look and feel, but adds, as the name suggests, a laser-assisted camera at the back.

Priced at Rs 9,999, is it good enough to choose over the competition? Read on.

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Snapshot

Key Specifications: Asus ZenFone 2 Laser

  • Display: 5.5-inch HD-display with Gorilla Glass 4
  • Front Camera: 5-Megapixel, f/2.0
  • Rear Camera: 13-Megapixel PixelMaster, f/2.0 aperture
  • Operating System: ZenUI with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
  • Processor: 64-bit 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G, Dual-SIM
  • Price: Rs 9,999

What’s Good?

The Asus ZenFone 2 Laser packs in a lot of interesting specifications to excite the average user segment.

Let’s start with its biggest USP – the phone has a laser-guided autofocus for the 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera. In our tests, the phone was able to focus very quickly and produced decent results in ample lighting. The front camera is a 5-megapixel snapper.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: The Quint)

The build quality and design of the smartphone looks and feels premium. It has a 5.5-inch screen with Gorilla Glass 4 and a wide viewing angle. Asus has followed its trademark minimal design philosophy with a neat touch of metallic concentric circles at the bottom. It weighs 170 grams and feels light to hold. The curved edges at the back add to the grip.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: The Quint)

The thin design has been maintained by shifting the volume rocker to the matte finish back of the smartphone, which also doubles up as a camera shutter. The dual-SIM phone supports 4G in both the slots. 16GB memory is built-in which can be upgraded to 128GB with a microSD card.



Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: The Quint)

Under the hood, the ZenFone 2 Laser has a 64-bit 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor with Adreno 306 graphics and 2GB RAM. The phone managed most daily tasks without any major heating issues.



Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: The Quint)

ZenFone 2 Laser operates on Android Lollipop with a custom Asus ROM, ZenUI, overlaid. ZenUI is packed with multiple customisation options and adds a few other nifty accessibility features, such as gesture control.



Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: The Quint)

The phone has an awkward power button perched at the top, which gets slightly difficult to operate. Solution: Just double-tap the screen and open sesame!

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What’s Bad?

Coming at a time when other Chinese and Indian brands like Dazen, Meizu, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Yu are increasingly closing the spec-price gap, the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser almost loses out against the competition in the sub-10K segment.

The Asus ZenFone 2 Laser has a 1280x720 HD display when 1920x1080 Full-HD displays are becoming near standard. The phone’s camera struggled in low-light conditions and the photographs turned out really grainy.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: The Quint)

Another disappointment was in the sound department. The lower-back speakers felt average in loudness and music reproduction. There was also slight crackling when the volume was pushed to the max.

Why Buy It?

If you love taking photos with your smartphone, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser is the perfect phone for you. Plus, with a battery of 3,000mAh, you needn’t worry about running out of juice. In our tests, the phone easily lasted a day and a half on moderate usage involving messages, calls and web-surfing. With heavy usage involving games and web-streamed videos, it lasted a decent 16 hours.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser. (Photo: The Quint)

But with a price-tag of Rs 9,999 you can get all these features with a better screen, 3GB RAM and even a fingerprint sensor – just take your pick from the Meizu M2 Note, Lenovo K3 Note and the Coolpad Note 3.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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