Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML Review: Best in Class

Asus has launched the a series of Zenfone smartphones at the Zen festival event that took place on 6th August 2015. One among the many devices that Asus launched is the Premium high-end smartphone called the Zenfone 2 Deluxe not Just Zenfone 2, but its Zenfone 2 Deluxe. The smartphone is pretty much the same as the original Zenfone 2 with some slight design changes and its now comes in 64GB, 128GB, and a massive 256GB internal storage, probably the world’s first smartphone to feature 256GB of storage. Now Asus has marked its place in the history of smartphones with industries first 4GB Ram smartphone and the first smartphone to have 256GB storage on board, but these factors can save the company? Will the smartphone live up the expectations? Let’s find out in our Review.

Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Review:

Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Design: Let’s Start our review with the Design of the smartphone, On top we have the 3.5MM audio jack accompanied with power on/off button which is not an ideal placement for a smartphone. On the rear side, we have the beautifully designed 500 tessellated triangles which give the smartphone attractive and premium look, but it isn’t that easy to hold in hands as it is very slippery at times, but the best thing is that the back doesn’t attract fingerprints and smudges keeping the smartphone clean all the time. Though the back panel is removable, all we can do is insert Dual SIM cards and a MicroSD card while the battery isn’t user replaceable. We have nothing on either side of the smartphone. On the front we have the massive 5.5-inches FHD display which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass and the three capacitive buttons below the display are not back-lit as they are just painted in white making it harder to use in the dark, the 5-megapixel selfie camera accompanied with a usual set of sensors. While the back, we have the 13-megapixel primary camera with Dual LED flash, volume rockers, and Speaker Grills, Design wise there isn’t much to talk about as the phone resembles Original Zenfone 2 except for the stylish back-panel. 

Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Display: As said above the device sports 5.5-inches 1080P full HD IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. Asus has done a good job with the display of the Zenfone 2 deluxe, colors look accurate and is sharp with no pixelation saw at any point in time. But things get complicated under broad daylight as the display is reflective which makes it hard to use under direct sunlight, cranking up the brightness to maximum might help at times. There is an option under the system settings where you can tweak the saturation levels on the display, Balancing, Vivid, and Custom adjustment these are the settings that are available to choose from while adjusting the display’s saturation and temperature. 



Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Performance: Powered by Intel Atom Z3580 Soc clocked at 2.3GHz Quad-Core processor with 4GB of Ram. Frankly speaking, we didn’t notice any lag which is quite clear considering the best in class specifications on board. 4GB Ram is more than enough for a smartphone to run anything that is available in play store in today’s world and Zenfone 2 deluxe does it with ease. But we do feel that the smartphone is filled with log of bloatware which might slow it down at times, but as soon as we booted up the device we did disable and uninstall most of the apps that we didn’t feel they would be of use and we suggest the same to our readers if they are planning on getting the smartphone. We played series of games like Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5, Real Racing 3, Need For Speed and we are more than happy to say these games ran beyond our expectations, there is no slowing down once we have started playing we never feel like stopping that great the performance is. Keeping aside the gaming experience, Multitasking was a never a pain, switching between apps is so comfortable, and there is absolutely no lag while switching. 

Every smartphone does Heat up a little bit be it a flagship device or mid-ranger, the smartphones these days do heat up quite a bit, the Asus zenfone 2 Deluxe is no exception. As said above we played lot games on the device that results in warming but nothing like it is unbearable, but its is worth mentioning being a full review. 

Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Android Version: The Device Runs on Android version 5.0 lollipop with Zen U.I on top. Now Asus has made a few changes in the U.I as the Android version is upgraded to Lollipop. The U.I is almost stock that helps in eliminating the lag while switching between apps although a lot of apps that come pre-installed. Which we can’t call them as bloatware as they are useful at times, apps like what’s Next, Audio Wizard, Web Storage, and few others are helpful as we said above we did disable few apps that we didn’t feel the need. The all new improved Zen U.I gives us most of the lollipop sweetness as all the animations are present, L lock screen is present revealing the notification even before unlocking the device. Asus has included themes support for the first time in their interface, and the support for the Themes is growing gradually. There are three themes installed by default while the rest can be manually downloaded and installed via PlayStore.

Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Camera: The 13-megapixel Rear Camera on the Asus Zenfone 2 is yet another positive feature of the smartphone. The company seems to do an excellent job with mid-range smartphones camera modules; we have seen this earlier with Zenfone 5 which is one of the best cameras smartphones under 10,000 when it was launched. There are multiple modes to play around with the rear camera that only make the things even better. The pixel master technology has improved a lot over the previous iterations. There are various modes like 

  • Manual: That allows the users to tweak the camera settings manually
  • HDR: high dynamic range mode that enhances in taking bright images at any given condition
  • Beautification: This mode automatically applies the settings that will help to take the better picture with a lot of details. This feature comes in handy during selfies.
  • Super Resolution: This mode is used to better quality images during ideal light conditions.
  • Smart Remove: Can be used to remove objects in the background if required.
  • There is Gif support by default using that we can create Gif animations. 
  • Panorama is also present to take panorama shots or a wide angle shot.

Keeping aside the Modes, the camera performance has impressed us the Owl mode or Low light mode is one of the fantastic features that will be of great help to take images even in Zero light conditions. Images below shows how well the Low-Light Mode can do. The daylight shots turn out to be exact with no over saturation or pixelation as such.

Asus Zen Flash: The Asus Zen flash is a camera module that was also introduced during the Asus Zen festival. The Asus Zenflash is xenon flash that will sit on the rear side of your Asus smartphone it will work along with your default rear camera’s flash and lights up the environment even more. Design wise, the flash module comes in a rubberized body that is compact and adds no extra weight to the smartphone. So, to use the Zenflash just plug the MicroUSB cable to the charging port on your Asus smartphone and download the Zenflash app from playstore and start clicking images with extra flash.

The performance of the Zenflash is pretty great, the images didn’t seem to be  over exposed nor they look washed out. Although the close-up shots look a bit bright than they are supposed to be. Overall a great addition to the default smartphone’s flash and camera enthusiasts will find it interesting. Priced at Rs.1,699 and you can get it on Flipkart.

Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Battery: The Only thing that we weren’t happy about the Zenfone 2 smartphone was the battery life, but this time, around Asus, seems to have fixed up few things with battery algorithms, and now we are very glad to say that Zenfone 2 deluxe has a decent battery with around 5-hours of screen on time. Do note we are not saying its the best among the competition but at the same time, it is one among the best. The battery can last for an entire day with minimal usage and can give 5-5:30 of the screen on time on continuous usage. Gaming and data can drain the battery, but the power saving modes available by default might save some juice. The device supports fast charging which will be of great use during the emergency.  

Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Connectivity: The device supports 4G LTE on the primary SIM card while the second slot supports 2G but not 3G. The device supports OTG. The in-call speaker is terrific, the voice is clear, never faced any issue, and the device connects to network very quick and is stable once it is connected. 
 Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe Storage: Storage is not a problem for Zenfone 2 Deluxe as the device comes with 64GB variants that can further expand up to 128GB via an SD card slot. Few Apps can be moved to SD card, and massive games can also be installed directly. Of the 32GB internal storage around 25.5GB is available for the users. As said storage is not an issue. 
What do I think about the Zenfone 2 Deluxe: Competing with some big names like OnePlus One, OnePlus Two, Mi4 the Zenfone 2 Deluxe is a tough fight for the competition. For a price of 19,999 that won’t drill a hole to your pocket, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe is surely a package of a flagship. The device is a future rich smartphone that has 4G of Ram,4G LTE, NFC and many other worth mentioning feature. Now if you can comprise on terrible battery life and average front camera, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe is surely worth looking at if you are planning to buy a mid-ranger smartphone with flagship features.
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