Since 2014 we have a lot of devices which are affordable, yet capable enough to give the flagship phones a run for their money. ASUS is one of the player you simply couldn’t ignore in the so-called flagship killers with the introduction of their ZenFone 2. While the low price is one of the attractions, being the first phone to carry 4GB of RAM allows the ZenFone to steal a fair share of spotlight from other devices launched earlier this year. It has been months since the ZenFone 2 was launched but is it still good enough? Well, we are here to answer that question.
There are a few phones which carry the “ZenFone 2” name to we would like to clarify that the unit we are reviewing is the ASUS ZenFone 2 ZE551ML, which packs 32GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. There are a lot of variants of ZenFone 2 out there with different processors, display and memory size. I really think that the weird naming scheme will bring a lot of confusions to average consumers and I still don’t get the reason behind it.
With faster processors and ever-growing display resolution, the battery life for smartphones remained the same even though all manufacturers have put in effort to improve the power efficiency of our devices. As more and more phones are using non-removable batteries, a power bank seems to become a necessity, whether you like it or not.
Luckily, there are some affordable options in the market from manufacturers like ASUS and Xiaomi. We have just reviewed ASUS’s 9600mAh ZenPower and the review of Xiaomi’s 10400mAh Mi Power Bank was done back in 2014. So why not compare the two most affordable power banks we have in the market?
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The ASUS 9600mAH ZenPower is the portable power bank sold by ASUS. It was announced earlier this year and it has just reached Malaysia recently. Like the smartphones and tablets offered by the Taiwanese company, the ZenPower is relatively cheap. But is there any catch using cheap power banks like this? Does the low price bring any compromises and will it be harmful to your expensive electronic gadgets? Well, this review will clear your doubts.
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Dubbed as the “Super Phone”, the ASUS PadFone S (PF500KL) is the best phone you can get from ASUS. Combined with the PadFone Station, you can convert the device between a 5″ phone and a 9″ tablet. With the PadFone Station available optionally, ASUS manages to keep the price low while offering powerful hardware. Being cheap and good, is it too good to be true? Or are there any shortcomings? Let’s find out!
We would like to thank ASUS Malaysia for providing the test unit to make this review possible!
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ASUS has released a new iteration of its FonePad 7, the FE171CG. This comes as an improvement over the entry level FE170CG and if you missed the previous reviews, here are some links to guide you:
ASUS PadFone S (PF500KL) is the most high-end smartphone offered by the Taiwanese company at this moment. While the specifications fall in the premium spectrum, the price is still very affordable like the rest of the offerings from ASUS. In fact, it is the cheapest among all phones that run on the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. You can also dock it into its PadFone station to convert it into a 9″ tablet, as the name suggests.
ASUS Malaysia has loaned us a unit of the PadFone S and we really appreciate that. Unfortunately, we do not have the PadFone Station with us. Today, we are going to unbox this phone and to share our first impression on it. The full review is on the way!
ASUS PadFone S is priced at RM899 and this time, the PadFone Station is not bundled together. The optional tablet dock is available at RM499. It is nice for consumers that we have the choice to buy only what we need. I bet that this will make the PadFone S more appealing. Here are the full specifications for the device:
If you feel that ASUS’s ZenFones are too plain and too ordinary for your taste, ASUS has something with more flair to meet your expectation. The ZenFone Zoom is a camera-centric phone where a lot of effort has been placed into it so that users can have a better shooting experience with a smartphone. The major attraction of this phone would be the 3X optical zoom, which is quite uncommon, despite the advancement of photography capability in these few years.
Like we have mentioned, optical zoom is not totally a new thing but it can only be found on camera-phone hybrid like the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom previously. What makes the ZenFone Zoom more appealing than other smart devices with optical zoom is that ASUS manages to place the hardware in a smaller chassis, which is much, much closer to a phone than a camera. Credits should be given to ASUS for making this possible, even though the optical zoom is only 3X. At first glance, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom looks a lot like the Nokia Lumia 1020 except the corners are rounded. It has the protruding “oreo” on the back.
ASUS had a good year in 2014 with the help of the ZenFone series. They had announced that more than 400,000 units of ZenFones have been sold alone in Malaysia and the success is actually not a surprise at all. The Zenfones come with different sizes but all of them showing a promising level of performance. So what can you do with the sequel of the lineup so that it will be equally successful? ASUS’s answer is pretty simple: Improve the phone and keep the price low.
Unlike last year, this time ASUS has just announced one model for the family, the ASUS ZenFone 2. The phone has a few options which vary in chipset, RAM and storage. The phone will be powered by either Intel Atom Z3560 Soc (64-bit Quad Core 1.8GHz processor) or Intel Atom Z3580 SoC (64-bit Quad Core 2.3GHz processor). The amount of RAM is either 2GB or a whopping 4GB. This is the first phone with 4GB of RAM. For storage, there will be options for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. All models will have Micro SD card support up to 64GB. At this moment we are not sure of how the exact configuration will be. There are chances where the options will vary across different region so we might need to wait for the proper announcement when it starts selling.
Today, ASUS Malaysia has officially started it exclusive online store, ASUS Store. Now we can start buying ASUS devices from anywhere as long as we have the Internet connection. At launch, only ZenFone 4, 5 and 6 are available with the price of RM299, RM519 and RM699 respectively. More models should be coming very soon.
This is logical step forward for ASUS as Xiaomi and Huawei’s Honor has been enjoying some successful sales over their respective sites for quite some time in Malaysia. Given that more and more people are shopping their devices through the net, ASUS will be losing some business if they opt against joining the trend. It is always a smart move to increase your online presence.
Making hybrids of phones and tablets seems to be in the DNA of ASUS. ASUS PadFone S (PF500KL) is a smartphone that comes with flagship specifications. Sounds ordinary? The special parts of this device do not stop here. It can be slotted into the optional PadFone Station which will convert it into a tablet. You can enjoy the benefits of both phone and tablet with one device. This means that you save the trouble of trying to sync data over 2 devices and share the same data plan. The best thing is that the ASUS PadFone S has a lovely price tag for what it offers.
Previously, the phone and the dock station are sold together. Although the complete experience is ensured, not everyone needs the tablet. This time, ASUS has made the PadFone Station optional. This will be great for people who think that the phone itself will suffice. It is always a good thing where customers have the choice to buy only what they need.
PadFone S has a very simple design and it comes in white and black. The sides are framed by brushed metal and the curved back has a soft-touch matte finish. The design is not bizarre but the phone is definitely elegant. The front of the phone houses the 5″ Full HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 and pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. The display is covered by Gorilla Glass 3 and with anti-finger coating.