A new handset aims to claim the throne as king of affordable smartphones, possibly jumping over one of its predecessors. As we have seen in the tech world, heirs to the crown are chosen by what they bring to the table, not by which came first.
It’s time to see which device will take your cash, and today’s contenders are the ASUS Zenfone 2 and the Zenfone 5. Both phones are great, but only one can come out on top. Let’s dig right into the specs to get things started.
Here is a complete look at the device specifications:
|Screen size (inches)||5.5 inch||5.0 inch|
|Resolution||1080×1920 pixels||720×1280 pixels|
|Processor||2.3GHz quad-core||1.6GHz dual-core|
|Processor make||Intel Atom Z3580||Intel Atom Z2560|
|Expandable storage type||microSD||microSD|
|Dimensions (mm)||152.50 x 77.20 x 10.90||148.20 x 72.80 x 10.34|
|Battery capacity (mAh)||3000||2110|
|Operating System||Android 5.0||Android 4.3|
|Colours||Glacier Grey, Osmium Black, Glamour Red, Ceramic White, Sheer Gold||Black, White, Red, Purple, Gold|
Design – Slender & Stunning
The difference in display size is the reason for the difference in width, but the 5 inch Senzfone 5 is slender enough to use with just one hand. It’s a little long for people with smaller mittens but it’s narrow frame makes it manageable for most.
The larger 5.5 inch Zenfone 5 has a unique volume button placement on the back of the handset which is similar to the LG series of handsets. The biggest difference is the power button which appears at the top of the handset. This is the biggest design fail on the Zenfone 2, it’s longer than the Zenfone 5 which makes it even less convenient to place the power button at the top.
Both handsets come with a sleek finish, the Zenfone 5 has a ceramic style finish that is soft to the touch and with a great selection of colors. The Zenfone 2 is also made of plastic, but has a faux brushed metal finish. Both feel premium in hand, though from personal experience the Zenfone 5 finish doesn’t ware as well with the corners of my red Zenfone 6 loosing it’s top layer of protection. Still ASUS assures me they’ve boned up on the production and this was early sample issues. To be safe, I’d still get a case.
<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong>Hardware – The Zenfone 2 is Clearly ASUS’ new Highend</strong></p>
Looking at the two devices spec for spec, there is nothing about the Zenfone 5 that is more premium, the Zenfone 2 has a better display, processor, camera and battery. But as is going to be the over arching statement for this entire article…you’re going to have to pay for it.
This one is a bit unfair, because you are comparing devices that fall under different categories. The Zenfone 2 is a higher-end device, so it obviously gets the upper hand in processing power. Not to mention it’s newer!
The ZenFone 2 also has more potential RAM, allowing the user to get up to 4 GB. Multi-tasking prowess should be similar if you stick with 2 GB of RAM, though, so there’s that.
Ultimately, both phones are relatively snappy. They are no gaming beasts, for sure, but they handle casual tasks very well, with the ZenFone 2 showing a superior performance.
The Zenfone 2 has a higher resolution display, it’s larger at 5.5 inches with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 up against a 5.0 inch regular HD display on the Zenfone 5 of 1280 x 720. Both are IPS but the Zenfone 5’s display is brighter, I’d say about 15-20% brighter. During my review period with the Zenfone 2, I never thought it wasn’t bright enough, but in a side by side comparison with the Zenfone 5, it is noticeable, and it’s enough of a difference that if outdoor usage is very important to you or you live in a country that is very sunny, you’d going to miss this added brightness.
The Zenfone 5 simply can’t compete here. The screen on the Zenfone 2 is bigger, better and has a higher definition. There’s just no way around it. 720p resolutions are inexcusable right now, unless you are getting a $100 phone.
These cameras both have the same Picture Master technology, but the ZenFone 2 definitely shows an obvious improvement. Images are less washed out and show much more detail. It also does a better job at picking up highs and lows. The Zenfone 5 camera simply isn’t great. In fact, it’s just bad, period.
In terms of the front-facing camera, we don’t like how close the Zenfone 5 gets to the subject. Never have, never will. With the Zenfone 2 you get much more space to work with. Not to mention, the Zenfone 5 lacks some of the features added in the Zenfone 2. The difference is really night and day for selfies, guys.
With more power comes a bigger battery, and ASUS did well by installing a 3000 mAh battery in the ZenFone 2. This will likely run laps around the ZenFone 5’s 2110 mAh battery.
I feel like we really murdered the Zenfone 5 here. Of course, the Zenfone 2 is definitely the better phone, mostly because it’s newer and falls under a more premium category. Regardless, the ZenFone 2 is only about $50 USD more expensive than the Zenfone 5.
We say $50 are worth a better screen, performance, camera, design and battery life. You really do get much more from the Zenfone 2. What’s $50, guys?! Especially for a phone you will use on the daily.
If you’re looking to pick one up, here are links to Amazon: