Asus today went all out in introducing its newest models for the ZenFone series of handsets in an exclusive media event held at The Eye in Green Sun, Makati City. Present at the event was ASUS CEO Jerry Shen himself to announce not one, not two, and not even just three new Android-powered smartphones. Instead, the Taiwan-based company’s head honcho unloaded nearly half a dozen new ZenFones to an audience of eager celebrities, lifestyle bloggers, and tech enthusiasts.
Mr. Shen was happy to hop on stage to bring the good news of new ZenFones — dubbed “The Incredibles” — that as of today have finally, officially arrived here in the Philippines. And we mean that quite literally.
The Asus CEO actually did quite an interesting number as part of the day’s official presentation, and he was accompanied by Zenny, the familiar and adorable Zen mascot. We’re sure there’s a video of this somewhere, and we’ll be posting it or sharing it here as soon as we find it. In the meantime, let’s talk about the new stuff outed at ZenFestival Manila.
What would you do if you had a popular phone with an already fairly stunning design and lots of room for improvement? Asus took that question and answered it by adding a multifaceted polygonal design aesthetic to a seemingly common smartphone part: the back cover. The result is called the ZenFone Deluxe, and it’s a better-looking version of the ZenFone 2.
The ZenFone Deluxe is “inspired by the natural beauty of crystals” as seen on its custom-printed back cover that works to really catch your attention. So not only does it have the now iconic concentric circle design used by Asus in all their Zen-branded devices, the ZenFone Deluxe also comes with a back cover that actually looks damn interesting.
And it’s not just about looks either. The ZenFone Deluxe is fitted with a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS touchscreen display, boasting a pixel density of 403 PPI and a wide viewing angle of 178-degrees. It also uses TruVivid display tech from Asus for “even more bright, brilliant colors” on the screen. And it gets some scratch and shatter protection from Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4.
The rest of the ZenFone Deluxe’s specs shouldn’t be neglected, by the way. It runs on a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor clocked at 2.3GHz and it has 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. All of that gives it quite an improvement over its predecessor, the ZenFone 2.
Meanwhile, self professed “selfie lords” will find solace in one of the new ZenFones called the ZenFone Selfie. It comes with the usual round up of things you might expect from any capable mid-range Android smartphone today. It has a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, screen gestures, 13MP rear camera, and the latest version of Android (plus ZenUI). But the reason why it’s called the Selfie is because it also packs a 13MP autofocus camera on the front. Sound familiar?
Asus’s version of the Android-powered Selfie phone is equipped with an f/2.2 aperture front lens and 88-degree field of view for those sweet panoramic selfies of up to 140 degrees with a simple turn of the wrist. The phone actually has a dedicated “Selfie panorama” feature, and the moment you try it, you’re certain to get hooked.
Otherwise, the ZenFone Selfie comes with pretty respectable specs as we have already mentioned earlier.
Finally, Asus revealed the ZenFone Laser, a variation on the ZenFone 2 with more streamlined specs and an important addition to the camera feature: laser-guided autofocus.
Laser autofocus is indeed the number one thing about the ZenFone Laser. Its rear 13MP PuxelMaster camera benefits from a built-in laser sensor at the back for faster focus times while taking photos, among other things. It even has a built-in Manual mode for the camera app, which is included in a list of over one dozen different camera options for those who are really into mobile photography.
The ZenFone Laser looks a lot like the Selfie, and even has some of its main specs like a 5-5-inch screen albeit only with an HD resolution panel. But it should be noted here that the Laser doesn’t quite match up to the two other phones mentioned here in terms of sheer features. It’s a less powerful version of the ZenFone 2 update, and so it has a lower price tag.
Pricing and availability
And so, we’ve come to this! How much will Asus charge for every ZenFone Deluxe, ZenFone Selfie, and ZenFone Laser?
Here’s what we learned from the Zenfestival event:
- ZenFone 2 Deluxe: Php 17,995
- ZenFone 2 Selfie: Php 11,995
- ZenFone 2 Laser: Php 8,695 (5.5-inch version); Php 7,695 (5-inch version)
So there you have it! What do you think about the newest ZenFones? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!