Asus announced its newest flagship smartphone, the Zenfone 2. On the outside, the device is rather unremarkable: it's yet another 5.5-inch, 1920x1080 phone made of plastic, and like an LG phone, the volume buttons are on the back.
Instead it's the spec sheet where the Zenfone 2 tries to make a name for itself. Asus has stuffed a 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor and 4GB of RAM into the device, which should make it a multitasking monster. It also has a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, and quick charging technology.
For all the RAM Asus packed into this device, the software doesn't do much to enable multitasking. There's no split screen or multi-window mode to speak of from our brief hands-on.
The design isn't the most exciting thing on earth—it feels like a cookie cutter smartphone with almost no attention paid toward the outside design. It's a standard cheap feeling, plastic Android phone. Asus has at least tried to spruce things up with a bunch of color options.
If you're looking for something a little different, Asus also announced the ZenFone Zoom, a smartphone with a 3x optical zoom. Its not much bigger than a normal smartphone, and Asus calls it the "the world’s thinnest smartphone to feature a 13MP camera with a 3X optical zoom."
The Zenfone Zoom camera has laser autofocus and optical image stabilization, and the device seems to make use a of Android 5.0's new camera API with manual controls of ISO, white balance, exposure, and others. The Zoom is definitely the more interesting of the two devices, but it was locked behind a glass box this session.
The Zenfone 2 will be available in March for $199 (though it's unclear if that's the price for the 4GB version), and the Zenfone Zoom will be out sometime during Q2 2015 for $399.