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Posts tagged ‘Asus’

27
May

New Asus ZenPad renders leak out ahead of Computex unveiling


asus zenpad

Asus will reportedly unveil its new tablet line at Computex next week, and it looks like we’re getting an early look thanks to some press renders obtained by Ausdroid. Called the ZenPad, these new tablets will supposedly come in both 7 and 8-inch variants, with the former toting a resolution of 1,024 x 600 and the latter with a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. The 8-inch model will also have a 4:3 aspect ratio, similar to what we see on the iPad.

The larger of the two tablets will feature front-facing speakers, a soft touch material on the back, along with a strip of leather-like material on the edge of the back side. Also on the back, we can see a rear-facing camera and an ‘Intel Inside’ logo, backing up previous rumors that the tablets would be powered by Intel processors. We can also see the power button mounted below the volume rocker on the right side of the tablet, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack sitting up top. According to the render, the tablet looks to feature some sort of slot on the left-hand side, though whether it’s a microSD card slot or a SIM card slot for cellular connectivity is still up in the air.

Computex takes place from June 2nd to June 6th, so we’ll definitely know more about these tablets by the end of next week. Judging by the press renders and the few rumored specs we have so far, are you excited for Asus’ next tablet offerings?

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26
May

ASUS to unveil stylish ZenPad at Computex next week


It’s Computex next week, which means we’ll be busy fiddling with a whole bunch of new ASUS devices. According to Ausdroid, some of these will be contributed by a new Android tablet line dubbed ZenPad, which will allegedly come in 7-inch 1,024 x 600 and 8-inch 2,048 x 1,536 flavors — with the latter having a 4:3 screen ratio, as featured on the iPads, the Nexus 9 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A. Given the sweet romance between ASUS and Intel, it’s no surprise to see the latter’s chips powering the ZenPad line. Judging by the leaked press render obtained by Ausdroid, the larger model packs front-facing stereo speakers, and the backside somewhat resembles the sleeve design applied onto the latest MeMO Pad 7. Little else is known about these new tablets, but we’ll find out more in a week’s time.

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Via: Engadget Chinese

Source: Ausdroid

26
May

Best budget smartphones under $200 (summer 2015)


Just a few years ago it was near impossible to find a capable smartphone for a decent price. Most of the high-end offerings used to cost anywhere from $600 to $900, and most low-end devices were somewhataffordable, though they couldn’t keep up with simple day-to-day tasks. Luckily a few manufacturers have made great strides in the budget-friendly market, and now it’s easier than ever to find a perfectly capable device for under $200.

In a budget-friendly market that’s increasing rapidly in size, you might find it challenging to find a device that best suits your needs. With that said, let’s take a look at the best budget smartphones for under $200!

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#1 – Asus ZenFone 2

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 The recently-announced Asus ZenFone 2 offers flagship-level specifications, a premium build and a smooth software experience, which is why we name this device the best all-around smartphone you can buy right now for under $200. The device caught headlines when it launched at CES 2015, mainly for it being the first smartphone that came with 4GB of RAM. While that’s certainly an impressive feature, there’s a lot more to the story. In our full review, we took a look at the higher-end model, which features 4GB of RAM, a quad-core 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor and 64GB of on-board storage. However, since that model is available for $299, today we’re taking a look at the lower-end option. The base model features a quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z3560 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage.

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It also comes with a vivid 5.5-inch 1080p LCD display, which we understand might be a bit too large for some users. Even so, the phone’s curved design makes one-handed use easier and the rear-mounted volume keys are an excellent departure from the norm. Placed on the very top, the power button can be difficult to reach much of the time, but thankfully the phone supports double tap to wake. And despite the phone’s chassis being made entirely of plastic, it still feels plenty premium. Even though the device only comes with 16GB of internal storage, Asus has provided a microSD card slot for expandable memory – a feature many users have come to appreciate over the past year or so, despite Samsung ditching the port with its latest Galaxy S6 flagship. The ZenFone 2 also has a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera that will take sufficient pictures for most users out there.

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On the software front, the phone ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop running underneath Asus’ ZenUI software overlay, which some users may not like. That said, this most recent build of ZenUI is much-improved over past versions, and many of the UI elements are very similar to “vanilla” Android. Asus has been diligent about updating its devices’ software in a timely fashion over the past few years, so folks who buy this device will probably have a positive software experience for (hopefully) two full years.

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The ZenFone 2 is available for use on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S., among many other carriers and markets throughout the world. It also has dual SIM card support, which is a feature we’re always happy to see on low-cost smartphones.

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#2 – Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen.)

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 The followup to the original Moto G holds a lot in common with its predecessor, though in this case, that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. For just $180, Motorola’s Moto G (2nd Gen.) offers its users very impressive specifications, a high-end build and an incredible software experience. For those who think the ZenFone 2 is too big, the Moto G (2nd Gen.) is the next best device. It has a 5.0-inch LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution, making the device very easy to hold in the hand. Although it doesn’t feel as premium as the ZenFone 2 in terms of build quality, a few features stand out that make this a very well-rounded device.

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Since the overall size of the chassis is much smaller, the power button on the Moto G is much easier to reach than the one on our first pick. Additionally, the front-facing speakers on this device are much louder and clearer than the ZenFone 2’s single rear-facing speaker. Unfortunately, the Moto G isn’t nearly as fast as the Zenfone 2, but it’s still more than capable of handling everyday tasks. The power-efficient quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz is enough for basic tasks, but the 1GB of RAM makes the Moto G feel sluggish at times. Luckily, the near-vanilla build of Android helps manage RAM usage pretty well, but it still can be a problem when opening more than a few apps at once. The jump from 1 to 2 GB of RAM is a major one, at least right now, and that’s where I think the Zenfone 2 really has an edge over the Moto G.

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The Moto G also comes with just 8GB of internal storage, though you have the option to add an extra 64GB via the microSD card slot. Also present on this device is an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front camera, which is nothing to get excited about. The phone also has a non-removable 2070mAh battery, which should be able to get most light users through the day on a single charge.

When purchasing a Motorola device, one thing is for certain – you’ll likely receive timely updates for two full years. Motorola has been very good about updating its devices as of late, and the Moto G (2nd Gen.) is no exception. The phone comes with a near-vanilla build of Android with a few of Motorola’s software enhancements on top. Most Motorola phones feature a great software experience, so we think you’ll be pretty happy with this offering if you’re looking for a simple, functional software experience.

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There is a Moto G variant that supports 4G LTE connectivity, though it will run you more than $200. The model we’re looking at today only supports speeds up to HSPA+, so keep that in mind before you choose this device over the 4G-capable ZenFone 2.

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#3 – Xiaomi Redmi 2

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Announced January 2015, one of the latest products from Xiaomi continues to surprise us when it comes to specs, build quality and software experience. The Redmi 2 is a great option for folks who want to experience Xiaomi’s MIUI while still maintaining a tight budget. There are two models available, the first of which featuring 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. While the attractive $150 price point may entice you, we’d wager to say that the higher-end Redmi 2 Pro is more worth your time. Featuring 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, the Redmi 2 Pro costs around $20 more than the Redmi 2 proper, which may be a good option for those who don’t mind spending a little closer to $200.

Today, though, we’re looking at the $150 Redmi 2, which is surprisingly solid and very comfortable in the hand. It has a 4.7-inch 720p LCD display, with quality coming really close to that of the Moto G and viewing angles being just as good or slightly better than those on the Zenfone 2. The rear-facing speaker on the Redmi 2 seems to be louder than the speakers on both the ZenFone 2 and Moto G, although the Moto G still has the least amount of audio distortion overall.

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On the performance front, the Redmi 2 is just about as fast as (if not faster than) the Moto G, though both devices are still a tad slower than the ZenFone 2. Both the base and pro models of the Redmi 2 have quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processors, which are still perfectly capable CPUs. The Pro model should be faster and much better with multitasking, however, since it has 2GB of RAM compared to the 1GB found on the base model.

You’ll get 8GB of internal storage with the Redmi 2 (16GB with the Pro model) with expandable memory up to 64GB, though MIUI doesn’t allow applications to be moved or installed on the microSD card. This is both a positive and a negative for the end user. On one hand, installing apps externally can free up a ton of space on your device. But much of the time, apps installed on the microSD card can act up, which is obviously something that should be avoided. The Redmi 2’s 8MP rear camera is overall pretty good. Featuring a higher dynamic range than on the ZenFone 2, the Xiaomi offering produces much more noise in low-light environments. It also has a removable 2200mAh battery that should get most users through a full day on a single charge with roughly three hours of screen-on time.The

The Redmi 2’s 8MP rear camera is overall pretty good. Featuring a higher dynamic range than on the ZenFone 2, the Xiaomi offering produces much more noise in low-light environments. It also has a removable 2200mAh battery that should get most users through a full day on a single charge with roughly three hours of screen-on time.

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The Redmi 2 runs Xiaomi’s MIUI V6 atop Android 4.4 KitKat, which will likely turn some users off from this device. MIUI is a pretty heavy Android skin, and it has been criticized for taking some inspiration from a certain fruity tech company, but the experience is truly unique and different compared to vanilla Android. Xiaomi releases occasional updates for the Redmi 2, and if you flash the developer ROM, you can even receive an update every Friday. The company is pretty optimistic with its release timelines, so hopefully we’ll get to see Android 5.0 Lollipop make its way to the device in the coming months. The ZenFone 2 and Moto G are likely to receive Android updates much faster than the Redmi 2, so keep that in mind if quick updates are important to you.

While the Redmi 2 is slightly better than the Moto G overall, availability is a major challenge with this device. You can’t officially buy the phone in the U.S., which means you’ll have to import it. Importing the device won’t get you the standard one-year warranty that many people expect, and the models available for import are not intended for the U.S. market either, meaning that carrier support isn’t always what you may expect.

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The Redmi 2 has dual SIM card support. But unlike the Moto G, which fully supports both AT&T and T-Mobile HSPA+, the Redmi 2 has limited support for U.S. carriers, depending on the specific variant. There is a variant that supports WCDMA 850 / 1900 / 2100MHz, which is fully compatible with AT&T and partially compatible with T-Mobile, depending on your specific coverage area. I wouldn’t recommend buying the Redmi 2 unless you’re on AT&T, and even then, please make sure to confirm that you’re getting the right variant.

I like to think of the Redmi 2 as being the option for users wanting something different – it’s a great phone, but it is difficult to get and carrier support can be complicated.

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So, there you have it – our top three picks for the best budget smartphones under $200! We understand that there are dozens of other viable options that fit into this category, but we kept our list exclusive to the phones we thought gave the user the best bang for their buck. What are your thoughts? Do you feel another smartphone should take the top spot? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!



25
May

Asus shows off 4:3 aspect ratio in leaked ZenPad press renders


zenpad

Asus is expected to unveil its new ZenPad series tablets at Computex next week, which will feature 4:3 aspect ratio screens and Intel chips.

While the bezels are a bit big, the tablet above does have front-facing speakers, which should do some good as far as sound quality goes.

Also expect a power button below the right-side volume rocker, a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the top, and perhaps a microSD slot on the right side as well.

7-inch and 8-inch models are expected to be released, both with Intel processors and two different storage sizes. The 8-incher will have a 2048 x 1536 screen, and the 7-incher will have a 1024 x 600 screen. Expect more information on the devices next week at Computex.

Source: Ausdroid

 

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21
May

ASUS VivoWatch review: a fitness watch with style and shortcomings


My wife often says I’m fat, but that’s hardly a motivation for me to resume my exercise routine. Then the ASUS VivoWatch landed on my desk, so I had no choice but to get back on the treadmill for your amusement. To keep things short, it turns out that this fitness-centric smartwatch does have a couple of compelling features that made me interested in getting fit again — more so than the other basic (as in no heart rate monitoring) fitness trackers that I’ve long left in the drawer. Also, the VivoWatch can pair with both iOS plus Android, and costs just under $150 in Taiwan, meaning it’ll be going head to head with the similarly priced Fitbit Charge HR around the world. So is ASUS’ first fitness device worth trying? Or should you stick to some more mature offerings? Let’s take a look.

Hardware

Compared to its $200 sibling device, the ZenWatch, ASUS’ newer and cheaper VivoWatch is all about wellness: steps, calories, heart rate, sleep quality and even UV level. With the exception of caller ID (with vibration alert), you won’t be getting any notifications from your phone. In other words, the VivoWatch is less of a smartphone companion and more of a fitness wearable. The company admits that both the ZenWatch and the VivoWatch “target distinct user groups with highly crafted, but varying features,” thus implying that there isn’t much overlap between the two groups.

It’s not every day that you come across a sports watch with such understated elegance.

In terms of design, what you get here is a curved Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen encased within a slightly rounded stainless steel frame. It looks similar to the bigger ZenWatch from afar, except it comes with a glossy metal finish instead of a brushed one. Over time, I became a fan of the VivoWatch’s decent looks: It’s not every day that you come across a sports watch with such understated elegance. But that’s obviously subjective, and a couple of my friends did say they’d prefer something that looks a bit sportier to reflect its purpose. At the risk of sounding picky, maybe the glossy frame could use a brushed finish instead to keep fingerprints off it.

The VivoWatch has decent protection against liquids plus dust — IP67 versus IP55 on the ZenWatch, meaning it’s both dust-tight and has been certified to remain intact under one meter of water for 30 minutes. For obvious reasons, the bundled strap is made out of plastic instead of leather, but you can swap it with any standard 22mm strap.

For the sake of extending the battery life to up to 10 days, the VivoWatch uses a combination of ASUS’ self-developed, real-time OS called KoodOS; a low-power processor; and a 1.28-inch, 128 x 128-pixel, low-power, black-and-white memory LCD. The screen works very well under sunlight, and it’s also backlit for indoor usage. To juice up the watch, just snap the small charging cradle onto the back of the body and leave it there for between one to two hours.

To use the watch, you need to click on the home button on the right to unlock it. From the watch face, you can swipe horizontally to cycle through the pulse reader, the alarm, the daily activity log (for steps and calories) and the UV level detector (a feature also found on the Microsoft Band and the Samsung Gear S). You can also swipe vertically to go through the daily exercise log (total exercise time and period of aerobic activity; more on that later), daily sleep log (total sleep time and period of comfort sleep) and a happiness index based on a combination of exercise quality and sleep quality, plus all-day heart rate monitoring.

To fully appreciate the VivoWatch, you’ll want to turn on its Exercise Mode, which uses a front-facing LED to indicate whether your heart rate is within the optimal range (green) or is too intense (red, with vibration alert), according to your profile. To toggle Exercise Mode, simply hold down the home button for about four seconds; when finished, you can do the same to quit this session, and then you can sync the exercise data to your phone over Bluetooth.

Even though Mio is the true pioneer of the heart rate-zone LED indicator, ASUS improved upon it by using a much larger LED strip for easier viewing, and that, in turn, became a motivation for me. In this mode, you can also swipe horizontally to see a live chart of your heart rate, burned calories and steps, though I tended to just stick with the default stopwatch screen.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that despite its name, Exercise Mode can only track one type of workout for now: running. If you want to monitor specific types of exercises, then this isn’t for you — as is the case with many other fitness wearables made for casual runners with basic needs. On a similar note, the VivoWatch doesn’t track your distance, so serious runners may want to look elsewhere (we’ll explore some alternatives farther down in this review).

While I didn’t have other heart rate monitors on hand to do a direct comparison, I did notice that the VivoWatch’s reading occasionally fell short while I was running, and then went back up when I stood still, instead of slowly decreasing as it was supposed to. My watch was definitely secure on my wrist, although not too tight as per instruction. Maybe it was the sweat? No idea. As it happens, our friends over at DC Rainmaker and CNET found the same problem with the Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge, so this is likely a common flaw on devices with the same type of optical sensor. The only thing we can do is to make sure that the sensor is clean, and that the watch is worn securely.

When you’re not exercising, the VivoWatch will poke you with a vibration alert if you’ve been idle for too long, and it’ll also congratulate you when you meet your daily goal for either steps or calories, which can be set in the smartphone app. Toward the end of the day, the VivoWatch will automatically track your sleep. So far I’ve found it to be pretty accurate.

Companion app

Before you can use the VivoWatch, you have to first install the HiVivo app on either your Android or iOS device, set up your profile (including age, gender, height and weight) and then pair up with the watch. Every time the watch is paired, the app checks for firmware updates. When it’s available, be prepared: The update process not only takes at least 10 minutes, but also requires you to keep the app active, otherwise you’d end up with an error (at least it did on our Android handset). It was very surprising to encounter such amateur hour coming from ASUS, but even throughout my testing period, the VivoWatch’s firmware version went through several revisions — from a buggy 2.05 to a more stable 2.11 — so at least it’s apparent that the company is actively fine-tuning the product.

As you’d expect, the app gives you a good overview of your fitness parameters in the form of charts, so you can easily track your progress throughout the day or week. But of course, you can already see your basic daily data on the watch’s reasonably sized screen. It goes without saying that your fitness data is synced to the cloud, so even if you switch to another phone, you’ll be able to restore your charts.

The extra bit of info that you do get in the app is a chart of your heart rate throughout the day, and an indication of how much of your exercise was aerobic and anaerobic. For those who aren’t familiar: Unless you’re an athlete or have specific fitness goals, chances are you only want to do aerobic training just for the sake of staying healthy, so you’ll find the app’s Exercise Mode chart useful for analyzing your performance. Unfortunately, ASUS says you can’t export the data to third-party apps like RunKeeper and Strava, so you’re stuck with HiVivo and its website counterpart that ASUS is still working on.

Another interesting feature in this app is the Network section where you can view your friends’ happiness index, as well as their workout time and sleep time. You can view this as a competitive element, but there’s also a “Like” button next to each name for a bit of encouragement. Sadly, I didn’t have any other VivoWatch users to add, which makes us wonder: Maybe ASUS should consider selling discounted bundles to couples and families? We’ll let their business folks do the maths.

The competition

Fitbit Surge

You get the Fitbit Surge’s form factor for the price of the Fitbit Charge HR.

With its $150 price point and pseudo-smartwatch touchscreen, it’s easy to place the VivoWatch somewhere between the Fitbit Charge HR and the $250 Fitbit Surge. In many ways, ASUS’ device is a better buy: You get the Surge’s form factor for the price of the Charge HR, and it’s also prettier — in such a way that you can actually wear it as your everyday watch. The large heart rate zone LED is a nice bonus as well. Having said that, hardcore runners may want to pay more for the Surge’s GPS tracking to estimate distance, and some may want to take advantage of Fitbit’s robust food database.

Other similarly specced rivals include the $200 Basis Peak, the $150 Garmin Vivosmart and the $200 Microsoft Band. In terms of comfort, it’s safe to assume that the VivoWatch beats the Vivosmart and the Microsoft Band, even though they offer more features like distance tracking, cycling mode and smartphone notifications. This leaves us with the Basis Peak, which, again, doesn’t look as good, but the extra cost is somewhat justified by its support for smartphone notifications and automatic workout tracking.

Wrap-up

While this may be ASUS’ first attempt at making a fitness watch, it’s a surprisingly good one. At $150, the VivoWatch manages to beat the crowd by bringing in a handy set of features — especially continuous heart rate monitoring and automatic sleep tracking — all wrapped in a good-looking package that you could easily wear in the office. With the exception of the aforementioned app bugs and the occasional heart rate reading errors, the VivoWatch has all the right ingredients to get casual runners motivated. But if you consider yourself a serious runner, then you’re probably better off looking at GPS-enabled alternatives, as well as those with super-accurate heart rate monitors — namely the ones from Mio.

Given that the VivoWatch is still actively being updated, we have a couple of suggestions for ASUS. How about a sleep cycle-based smart alarm as featured on all Jawbone Up bands? And smartphone notifications would be nice as well.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, apparently it’s “time to move” again.

Filed under: Wearables, Mobile, ASUS

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20
May

The top 12 tablets you can buy right now


The top 12 tablets you can buy right now

It’s true, we don’t review quite as many tablets around here as we used to, but that doesn’t mean slates have gone the way of the dodo. Microsoft’s new Surface 3 is as much a budget PC as it is an iPad competitor, while Dell’s sleek Venue 8 7000 reminds us that there’s still a place for high-end tablets. Whether you’re looking to update your own slate or pass one on to someone behind the curve, you’ll find a summary of our top picks in the gallery below or you can head to our complete buyers guide for a full rundown.

Filed under: Tablets, Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, ASUS, Amazon, Acer, NVIDIA

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19
May

Here’s where you can buy the ZenFone 2 in the US


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Following its announcement yesterday, ASUS’ flagship smartphone of 2015, the ZenFone 2, is now available to order in the United States through a selection of online retailers.

B&H, Amazon and Newegg are currently listing the handset for $299, whilst Groupon has stock of the handset for the same price too, but only for limited time.

For those in need of a refresher on its specifications, the ZenFone 2 packs a 5.5-inch Full HD display, an Intel Aton Z3580 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal memory and a 3,000 mAh battery.

Straight out of its box, the handset runs the latest build of Android 5.0.1 Lollipop skinned with ASUS’ very own custom user interface.

Come comment on this article: Here’s where you can buy the ZenFone 2 in the US

18
May

Asus Zenfone 2 goes on sale May 19


Asus on Monday announced the pricing and availability of the US version of its ZenFone 2. First introduced at CES 2015, the 5.5-inch device will go on sale on May 19 with a $299 price tag.

The ZenFone is somewhat of a flagship handset and features some rather high-end specifications. Powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop, the smartphone packs a 2.3GHz quad-core 64-bit Intel processor with 4GB (yep, four) RAM, and a 13-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture.

zenfone_2

Additionally, the phone is equipped with support for Cat 4 LTE-Advanced networks; a 3000mAh battery offers up a more than all-day battery.

For those looking to save, and cut a few corners, an alternate version of the device will be available, too. The $200 model includes a 1.8GHz processor with 2GB RAM.

The ZenFone 2 is compatible with AT&T’s network. Asus plans to sell the handset via Amazon.com, Newegg, Groupon, and B&H photo.

The post Asus Zenfone 2 goes on sale May 19 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

18
May

Asus Zenfone 2 will be available in the US tomorrow through online retailers only


asus-zenfone-2-press-event-nyc

At Asus’ press event in New York today, the company announced that its Zenfone 2 would be available in the US, starting tomorrow.

The Zenfone 2 features a gorgeous 5.5-inch 1080p display, and it’s running Android 5.0 Lollipop with Asus’ new Zen UI overtop. Beginning tomorrow, you can pick yourself one up for $299. There will be a lower spec’d version for $199 available, as well.

What’s interesting is that Asus will not be selling the device through carriers, opting to sell it unlocked through online retailers, such as Amazon, instead. The benefit to doing this is that users of the smartphone will get updates a lot faster than waiting for a carrier to push it out.

The Asus Zenfone 2 features a 5.5-inch 1080p display, an Intel 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 3,000mAh battery. Quick Charge is a coveted feature, and Asus has thrown their own version into the smartphone, touting a charge from dead to 60 percent in just 39 minutes.

Do you plan on picking up an Asus Zenfone 2 from Amazon tomorrow? Let us know in the comments.

 

Come comment on this article: Asus Zenfone 2 will be available in the US tomorrow through online retailers only

18
May

ASUS’ lovely, low-cost ZenFone 2 hits North America tomorrow


ASUS’s ZenFone 2 isn’t exactly an unknown quantity — we first saw it at CES earlier this year, and since then the thing’s been trickling onto store shelves around the world. Still, after a surreal, slightly-awkward-slightly-cool dance number, chairman Jonney Shih made an appearance in New York to talk about bringing the company’s newest flagship(s) to the US. Long story short, we’re getting two models around these parts, one that’ll cost $199 off-contract and another that’ll run you $299. Read on for a better sense of that your hard-earned scratch will get you.

The nicer of the two ZenFones comes with Intel’s 2.3GHz quad-core Z3580 chipset, 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of dual-channel RAM, a first that Shih and his crew are happy to crow about. We don’t often see Intel chips in high-end smartphones, but this one should be a real barn-burner if the 3DMark and GFXBench benchmarks trotted out on-stage are any indication. The cheaper model runs with a slightly pokier 1.8GHz chipset and 2GB of RAM, along with a scant 16GB of storage. Behind those 5.5-inch 1080p screens,though, you’ll also find a cellular radio that supports LTE Cat4 with carrier aggregation (long story short: you could theoretically get data speeds of up to 250Mbps in the right markets) and a 13-megapixel camera tricked out with a slew of ASUS’ photography tricks. Throw all that into arched bodies festooned by meticulously etched concentric circles and you’ve the ZenFone 2 in an impressively cheap nutshell. Interest piqued? So’s ours. Thankfully, the wait at this point is basically nil: You’ll be able to pick one up starting tomorrow (also known as May 19th) in the US from Amazon, B&H, Newegg and Groupon… for some reason.

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