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Unbiased Mobile Phone Review: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser 5.0

I like ASUS when it comes to personal computing gadgets and hardware, in fact the ASUS EeePC which I have almost 5 years ago was still functioning well.  When it comes to mobile phones however, I have my doubts on whether they can pull off a decent and good unit worthy of praise.  Thus, here I am to give you a review of ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0.

This is my first ASUS mobile phone and well I have seen a few of their phones at the office since some of my co-workers are using the ASUS Selfie.  I heard that it was around Php13,000 which is for someone like me a bit pricey but they say it was all worth it.

When I get my hands on the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 (ZE500KL) my attention was immediately captured by the cool looking screen of the phone.  It is smooth and well saves my worry of being ugly by having Corning Gorilla Glass 4.0.  Scratch it all you can but you will never make a mark.  I also like the overall design with the gold back cover.

First of all I would make a disclaimer that the phone that I am reviewing says ZE500KL in the box but it only has an 8MP rear camera and 5MP front camera which is the same specs for the ZE500KG model, however this one is LTE.  I am just saying this because it is a bit confusing for me which is which.

Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5 Camera

Superb in every way, that is what I can say about the camera.  Take note that this is only 8MP but so far it is the best smartphone camera that I have seen even better than some higher resolution spec smartphones.  What can the camera do which seems to be impossible:
  • Take a photo in a dark room with very minimal lighting even without flash.
  • Take a photo in a totally dark area and illuminate it with flash.
  • Take a photo on a totally bright area and make it look just fine.
  • Zoom it to the max and resolution still looks good.
I can tell you about it's specs but that will not mean anything unless it is actually tested right?  I took some shots during the One Day of Zen event at Fort Santiago Manila and the results were really amazing.  It is a smartphone ideal for photography.  I would say I had never been contented like this.

Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5 Photography enhancements

I discussed the camera but I would like to discuss the settings separately.  The Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 allows you to take photos like a pro although of course that depends on you still.  This phone will allow you to set the camera and use various modes:

A sample GIF photo
  • Manual - lets you fully control the aperture, ISO, lighting and other specs of your camera.  If you are well versed or wanted to learn then go ahead.
  • HDR - take a video at 1080p resolution with your camera.  If you are using SD card make sure that the speed of the card syncs with the resolution.
  • Super Resolution - this allows you to extend quality of your shots almost up to 50+MP.  Super fine photography at the click of a button.
  • Low Light and Nigh settings - this 2 options will now allow you to take photos even in the darkest possible condition without the need for a flash.
  • Depth of Field - create a photo which  allows you to create a depth of field effect for close shots.
  • Selfie - want to take a selfie on the rear camera and you have problems in clicking the shot button or setting timer?  Then this solves the problem for it analyzes the number of faces set and then sets a timer countdown once it detects that number of faces on the screen.
  • Effects - create instant effects as you shoot the subject in real time.
  • GIF Animation - this allows you to create a GIF animation as you hold the caera button, I just wonder why it is not functioning when I upload it to Facebook.
  • Panorama - take a panorama shot with the rear camera or even a selfie panorama.  Wow!
  • Miniature - do you have small subjects which you want to capture.  This one acts as if the micro lenses of pro cameras.
  • Time Rewind - let's you create a photo which rewinds itself.
  • Slow motion - take a video in normal mode and the phone will automatically slows it down for you.
  • Time Lapse - an amazing feature which nows allows you to take continuous shot of a spot making a time lapse effect.  Truly amazing.
Here are some shots that I made using the special enhancements found in the phone:

Low Light:  This room is so dark but this photo came out bright even without using the flash
Taken with the Asus Zenfone 2 Laser front cam using Low Light inside a totally dark cinema

I love the Lomo effect so here are some photos in which I used that.  It illuminates photos and gives some emphasis.

For the Depth of Field setting I experimented with 2 photos:

I have only talked of the camera and this article is already very long.  Now let me have a say on some of the other things to consider:

  • Storage - the 16Gb internal storage with 10Gb usable space is already a good one.  You can expand it up to 128Gb microSD.
  • Speed - I would say this smartphone loads fast compared to the other phones I have before.  It has a 2Gb of RAM running on Android v5.0 Lollipop.  It's CPU is 1.2Ghz Quad-core on Qualcomm Snapdragon.chipset.
  • ASUS Apps - power your usage of the Asus Zenfone 2 Laser with innovative apps which makes your phone productive to its limits.
  • User Interface - I really like the ZenUI plus the tap to open and tap to sleep command on your phone is really cool.  Plus try to make a "C" on the screen of your phone and see the camera opens in an instant even when the phone is locked.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) Capability - I as hoping I can use Google Cardboard for this device but it falls short of the specs since it does not have Gyroscope sensor in it.  If you want to experience VR you can try Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL).
As of now I have no negative comments of the phone and I am all praises for it, highly recommended.  Here are two of my best photos which I am so amazed.  These photos are unfiltered and used no effect.

Here are the full specifications and price of ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0:
  • Platform:  Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
  • Color:  Black/Ceramic White/Silver/Sheer Gold/Glamour Red
  • Dimensions:  Phone:143.7 x 71.5 x 3.5 ~ 10.5 mm (WxDxH)
  • Weight:  Phone: 140 g (with battery)
  • CPU:  Qualcomm MSM8916 QuadCore 1.2GHz
  • Memory:  2GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Storage:  8GB/16GB eMMC Flash  |  5GB free lifetime ASUS WebStorage
  • Memory Slot:  MicroSD card (up to 128 GB)
  • Connectivity Technology:  WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, Bluetooth V4.0+EDR +A2DP, Dual Micro SIM card, SIM1 Support2G/3G, SIM2 Support2G/3G, Dual SIM Dual Stand By
  • Network Standard:  WCDMA/TD-SCDMA/TDD-LTE/FDD-LTE
  • Navigation:  GPS, GLONASS & AGPS
  • Display:  5inches, HD 1280x720,TFT, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4
  • Battery:  2070 mAh Prismatic
  • Camera:   Front 5 Mega-Pixel, Auto Focus, PixelMaster,  Rear 8 Mega-Pixel, Auto Focus, Wide View, PixelMaster
  • Audio:  Slot, 3.5mm
  • Sensor:  Accelerator/E-Compass/Ambient Light Sensor/Hall Sensor
  • Note:  Both micro SIM card slots support 3G WCDMA network band. But only one micro SIM card can connect to 3G WCDMA service at a time.
  • Pricing in the Philippines - P7,000+ 
Do you have any comments or feedback about the Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 that we have missed?  Add your comment below because we value your opinion as well.

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