Asus has launched a number of models following the success of its original Zenfone series. Although it’s difficult to keep track of the number of Zenfone 2 devices Asus sells in the market, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe certainly stands out.
From the front, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe looks like another Zenfone 2 phone but it’s a completely different beast when you check out the back. This Zenfone 2 earns its Deluxe moniker from the unique design at the back which is inspired from crystals and a textured back that gives the phone a very different look. While we’re on the fence when it comes to its looks, however, one thing’s for sure that the Zenfone 2 Deluxe certainly enjoys some attention from passersby.
Rest of the design is a standard Zenfone 2 affair. We’ve got the buttons placed at the back, the front is occupied with a large display and concentric circle design at the bottom. In terms of weight, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe weighs about 170g, which is on the heavier side but is compensated with a slim 10.9mm form factor that fits nicely in the hands.
The Zenfone 2 Deluxe features a 5.5-inch Full HD and features Corning Gorilla 3 to protect the IPS panel. Again, you’ll not find a drastic difference if you’ve used the original Zenfone 2 because the display is more or less similar. One good thing I like about the device is the ability to tweak the colour settings to suit your preference. The Asus Splendid app allows to configure the colour temperature, hue and saturation.
Moving onto the phone’s actual performance, we’re happy to report the Zenfone 2 Deluxe is no slouch. It is powered by Intel’s quad-core 2.3GHz Z3580 processor and 4GB RAM that performs as good as a high-end flagship phone. We did not find any issues with lag with multiple apps and games running in the background, making the device a joy to use. In terms of battery life, the Zenfone 2 Deluxe is equipped with a 3000mAh battery that lasts a day with moderate use on a 4G LTE network and mix of Wi-Fi, gaming and music.
When it comes to the camera, the device has a 13 megapixel sensor at the back supported by Asus’ PixelMaster technology. PixelMaster, for the uninitiated, improves pictures when taken in low-light scenarios and it does work, although you’ll see some amount of noise. The front-facing 5 megapixel is a fixed-focus camera and though it comes with Beautification mode to improve the quality of selfies, we feel Asus could have done a better job on the front side as the low-light performance is below par. However, to Asus’ credit, their app is equipped with lots of camera modes that can be used to produce a good picture. On the video front, the camera is capable of recording Full HD 1080p video.
The Zenfone 2 Deluxe runs Android 5.1 Lollipop OS with the ZenUI, which is again, similar to what we have on other Zenfone iterations. There’s nothing new to see but the good thing is that the UI is responsive and does not feel very bloated. Another thing I like is that Asus has separated the UI elements into separate apps that can be updated through the Play Store, making it easy for Asus to push time critical updates to the apps without having to push a complete firmware update.
To wrap things up, I would say the Zenfone 2 Deluxe is a good device if you’re looking for a value for money phone with good performance. However, if you’re looking to upgrade from an existing Zenfone 2, do note the improvements are few and the obvious change is the design. Another thing to consider is the competition. Spending a couple thousand more or less (depending on the variant you choose) will get you OnePlus 2, which is also a great device in this price range.