This is one CES showing that may go down in the mobile history books as the start of a world domination coup from Asus.
It’s not unusual for Asus to catch the eye of the geekiest tech enthusiasts at events like the International Consumer Electronics Show. But typically, it’s through hardware doomed right off the bat that the Taiwanese stand out.
The devices Jerry Shen & co. proudly flaunt on glitzy stages such as the one in Las Vegas are most of the times too quirky or unconventional to ever appeal to the masses. Or they’re simply impractical for carrier subsidizing purposes (we’re looking at you, PadFones).
Not the just-revealed ZenFone 2 and ZenFone Zoom, though. The former is incredibly cheap for what it has to offer, and also reaches a milestone Samsung’s been struggling to achieve for years, while the latter takes the neat but poorly executed concept behind Sammy’s Galaxy Zooms, and refines it close to perfection.
Not to play favorites, let’s mention the ZenFone 2 starts at $199, and packs 4 GB RAM in a pricier, top-shelf configuration, whereas the ZenFone Zoom manages to squeeze a highly skillful 3X optical zoom-boasting camera in a slender smartphone chassis measuring under 12 mm in depth.
Hard to pick only one show-stopper, eh? Gun to our heads, we’d probably go for the ZenFone 2, since the Zoom feels a little overpriced, at $399. The imaging master is slated for the more distant launch too, sometime in the year’s second quarter, with the second-gen standard ZenFone en route to store shelves in March.
Both ready to usher in the age of 64-bit Android-powered processing, with 5.0 Lollipop pre-installed and Intel Atoms inside, the fresh ZenFones sport strikingly similar designs, save for the prominently contrasting cams, and an identical footprint – 5.5 inches, with full HD screen resolution.
The two’s kinship is noticeable in battery capacity as well (3,000 mAh across the board), and the megapixel count of their four cameras is Xeroxed – 13 and 5 respectively. Internal storage maxes out at 128 GB (!!!) on the ZenFone Zoom, and 64 on the ZenFone 2, and for now, only the latter is confirmed to come in 2 and 4 GB RAM versions. But there’s still time…