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Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe: A no-nonsense high-ender

Rahul R
Sr. Technology Reporter
Editors Rating

Taiwan-based Asus, whose USP is affordability, is now out with the Zenfone 2 Deluxe which is a successor to the Zenfone range of smartphones that fall into the significantly high-end range. Having checked out the previous-gen Asus Zenfone 2 earlier, we decided to do a hands-on review if the latest Asus Zenfone 2 handset as well by conducting multiple performance tests on the device.

Here’s how the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe performed in our tests:

Design and Display

When we unboxed the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe, the one factor that caught the eye (and mind) is the smartphone’s rear matte finish that is made of a crystalline structure design at the top. This aspect adds a unique color element to the smartphone.

When we gripped the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe in the hand, the smartphone sat perfectly via its slight curvature at the rear. We checked out the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe when on the move, and found that the smartphone could easily be gripped without the fear of the device slipping away.

Below the display, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe features the conventional navigation keys. As far as dimensions are concerned, the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe measures 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm, with 10.9 mm representing the thickness of the smartphone. The handset weighs-in at a tad bulky 170 grams.

Overall, the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe is made up of hardened plastic on the outside, but its attractive rear is the design USP of the smartphone.  As far as the actual display is concerned, the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe features a 5.5-inch capacitive touchscreen that has resolutions of 1080 x 1920 and pixel density of 401 ppi. This display is protected by an external Gorilla Glass 3 protector. The touchscreen supports both Multitouch as well as 16 Million colors.

During our testing, the display of the Asus Zenfone 2 rendered comparatively sharp images along with richly highlighting all the essential colors. The Blacks are properly highlighted, whereas the white balance is near perfect.

The display of the smartphone also offered wide viewing angles, during our testing; when we tested out the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe outdoors, the brightness offered was not up to the mark but is still bright in comparison with similar range smartphones from other brands. We also found the Ambient light mode functionality worked as expected. This functionality is custom-made when the phone is placed at a flat location like a desk.

Totally, we were impressed with the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe’s display and the way images/videos were rendered on the screen.

Processor and Memory

The Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe incorporates an Intel Atom Z3580 SoC comprising of a 2.5 GHz quad-core CPU and a PowerVR G6430.

Under-the-hood, there is also a 4 GB RAM to work in tandem with the Intel Atom SoC. When we used the handset, in a multitasking and multi app scenario, we could not experience any major glitches in performance and the instruction processing capabilities, save for minor lags which are purely dependent on the apps (and their credibility) that are launched at a particular point in time.

However, there was a multitude of lags during video streaming from Netflix. Nonetheless, stored video files rendering was up to the mark and free from lags.  We could also run high-end games, such as Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 8: Airborne, and other graphic-rich games in a glitch-free manner. As far as its internal storage is concerned, the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe comes in 64/128 GB editions that can be expanded up till 256 GB by using an external microSD card slot.

Camera

A 13 MP adorns the rear of the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe, along with an LED flash unit. We could capture fairly good shots of nature and wildlife in daylight. Even the 5MP front camera (for the selfie generation) captures good snaps but these are restricted to daylight conditions (where there is plenty of light).

The important Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) camera functionality is conspicuous by its absence. During our testing, the low-light photography offered was also fairly good; however, we could observe grains and external noise dominantly. The rear camera offers recording of 10280p videos at 30 fps.

Software

The Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe runs Google’s Android 5.0 (Lollipop) operating platform out of the box with Asus’ ZenUI on top; but the smartphone is eligible to receive the more recent Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) firmware.

During our testing, the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe responded effectively to the double-tap which activates the display or puts it to sleep. We could view all the menu contents, within Settings, in a tabbed view format reducing on-screen clutter.

Battery

The Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe is powered by a fixed 3,000 mAh Lithium-Ion battery.

During our testing, we could view videos (stored within the handset’s external memory) continuously for nearly 14 hours. High-end gaming naturally depleted the battery life substantially; upon restricting the usage to calls and basic internet, we obtained battery life that lasted for more than a day which is impressive considering the fact that the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe is positioned as a budget device to the general everyday users, rather than for those looking at buying smartphones for using as a complementary office device.

Pricing

In Dubai, the Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe is priced at a relatively affordable AED 823.We feel that the smartphone, with its pure mid-range tech-specs is worthy of the price tag.

Positives

Battery Life, Pricing, Impressive design

Negatives

Slight lags during video streaming, secondary camera can take enhancements.