Asus Zenfone Go launched in India, priced at Rs 7,999

Asus, Taiwan-based PC and smartphone maker has introduced its Zenfone Go (ZC500TG) at a price of Rs. 7,999. The handset is now available in ASUS exclusive outlets, leading retail stores and on Flipkart.

Key Specs

  • 5-inch HD display
  • 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT6580 Quad-Core processor
  • 2GB RAM, 8GB or 16GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 64GB with microSD
  • Android 5.1 (Lollipop) with Zen UI 2.0
  • Dual SIM
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • 2070 mAh battery

Surprisingly it doesn’t support 4G connectivity. Zenfone Go comes with 100 GB of Google Storage Drive. The device is available in 3 Color options – White, Black And Red. At this price point, the biggest rivals of Zenfone Go will be Lenovo A6000plus,  Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime And Yu Yuphoria. 2015-09-24 13-55-31
Announcing the availability for ZenFone Go, Mr. Peter Chang, Regional Head – South Asia & Country Manager – System Business Group – ASUS India, said,

“We are excited to announce the availability of ZenFone Go for our Indian users. Being the third largest home to smartphone users, India is a critical market for us and we intend to bring cutting edge products to consumers here, who seek power packed design sensibilities of a high-end smartphone at competitive prices.”

My Dream ZenFone

In the recently concluded Asus #ZenFestival, Asus launched an army of ZenFones. While these devices are interesting individually, I felt that there must have been a dream model which has the best of all the ZenFones. The primary USP of the ZenFone 2 has been its 4 GB RAM, but the primary confusion has been its choice of model name. If there is one ZenFone to rule them all, what would it be like? Let me call this hypothetical ZenFone as the ZenFone Emperor.

The ZenFone Emperor must be available only in two variants. The 64 GB and the 128 GB internal storage must be the only difference between these two variants. The ZenFone 2 is a master of multi tasking with its 4 GB RAM, so let us retain the 4 GB RAM. Also the processor must be the same Intel Atom Z3580 that has proven to be a great performer in the ZenFone 2. The ZenFone Emperor should have 13 MP camera on the rear and on the front. Both the front and the rear camera must have Laser autofocus and dual tone LED flash. The 5 element lens must have an aperture of f/2.0 on both the sides. Along with the removable back and expandable storage, the ZenFone Emperor must have 5000 mAh battery to power its 5.5 inch 1080p Full HD display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The dual SIM standby ZenFone must support LTE on both its SIMs. The ZenFone Emperor must not miss out on the NFC and wireless charger. I don’t mind not having a finger print scanner, but combined with the 18W Boostmaster technology charger, the ZenFone Emperor would be a charm to own and use. With all these features, if the device is priced between Rs 35k and Rs 40k, it would be the true flagship killer and ill turn into a true #ZenFan.

I am sure that Asus can do it. It has the technology, but fragmented across multiple mobile devices. If all these features converge to create one true flagship mobile, the mobile industry will be ruled by Asus annihilating every single competitor out there.

Asus ZenFone 2 – Review

Asus ZenFone 2 is the successor to the much successful Asus ZenFone first generation line up of smartphones from Asus. It has a stylish design and a generous choice of hardware under the hood. It has one the best cameras in this segment of mobiles. The shots that came out of the mobile surprised me most of the times. It has a 4 GB of RAM which is a good thing for multi tasking and snappy UI, but at the same time, Android does not kill the apps running in the background and that drains the battery a lot. The Intel Atom processor has such a graceful performance. I think that’s the best choice for this 4 GB multi-tasking beast. Also I loved the 18 W quick charging adapter. So here is what I think about the ZenFone 2 in a nutshell.

What I liked

  • Brush metal finish and quality plastic used in the construction
  • 4 GB of RAM is a multi-tasking beast
  • Intel Atom Moorefield processor, easily the fastest we have seen in the segment
  • 13 MP Camera at the back
  • Fast and Snappy UI
  • Perfect pricing across all the variants of ZenFone 2
  • 18 W quick charging adapter

What I didnt like

  • Average to poor performance of the 3000 mAh battery
  • Lack of OIS for those perfect video footages
  • Over sampling algorithm by Pixel master technology, even when there is no need to.
  • Unnecessary baggage of preinstalled bloatware
  • Confusing naming convention for all the variants of ZenFone 2

Watch the detailed review

Read my full review at GadgetDetail.


Demystifying the 6 variants of Asus Zenfone 2

The Asus Zenfone 2 managed to create a lot of interest among buyers for 2 reasons; the first ever 4 GB RAM smarphone, one model name and multiple variants. If you are puzzled by the multiple variants available for Asus Zenfone, read on.

Asus Zenfone 2

Broadly the Zenfone is available in 2 categories with 3 models under each category. The 1.8 GHz had 3 variants and the 2.3 GHz has 3 variants. So we have 6 variants of the same model name. Adding to the confusion, other than the 6 differences listed below, there is not an iota of difference in the rest of the specifications or the design or the dimensions or even the weight. They are like identical siblings. Though all the models come with booster master fast charging technology, you get the 18W boost master adapter only on the 2.3 GHz variants. The chart below will help you demystify the 6 different variants of Zenfone 2 and I have given direct links to flipkart product page if you are interested in buying them.

The 6 variants of ZenFone 2

Model Number ZE550ML-1B077WW ZE551ML-6J329WW ZE551ML-6J226WW ZE551ML-6J333WW ZE551ML-6J337WW ZE551ML-6JWW
Processor 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3560, Quad Core 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3560, Quad Core 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3560, Quad Core 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580, Quad Core 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580, Quad Core 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580, Quad Core
RAM 2 GB 2 GB 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB
Storage 16 GB 16 GB 32 GB 32 GB 64 GB 128 GB
Charger 7W Adapter 7W Adapter 7W Adapter 18W Boost Master Adapter 18W Boost Master Adapter 18W Boost Master Adapter
Price Rs 12999 Rs 14999 Rs 18999 Rs 19999 Rs 22999 Rs 29999
Link to Buy Link to Buy Link to Buy Link to Buy Link to Buy Link to Buy

Asus Zenfone 2

The rest of the key specifications are common for all the variants

  • Dimensions 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
  • Weight 170 grams
  • Screen size 5.5 inches
  • Display resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~403 ppi)
  • LTE Band (4g) in India 1(2100), 3(1800), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500)
  • Operating System Android OS, v5.0
  • Integrated GPU PowerVR G6430
  • Primary camera 13 MP
  • Front facing camera 5 MP
  • Battery 3000 mAh

Asus Zenfone 2

Asus Zenfone 5 – Designed with a purpose

Asus zenfone 5 design

Without a doubt the Android smart phones rule the market in terms of volume. This has led to an influx of Android based mobiles phones in the Indian market. Mobile phones in the same price band usually have a similar hardware and the manufactures try really hard to differentiate their devices from the rest, usually, by skinning the Android UI and customizing it. Over the period of this, the skinning and customization has lead to loads of useless bloatware being bundled with the device. But among all such devices, standing tall in the crowd is the Asus Zenfone series. The Asus Zen UI which is loaded in the Zenfone series, has struck the balance between customization and utility value. Any design which is desinged for a purpose will definitely be of a good utility value. Let us talk about the Zenfone 5 which offers good value for money and has a UI which add a good utility value.

Asus zenfone 5 design Asus zenfone 5 design

Here are the key specifications of the Asus Zenfone 5

SIM Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Display IPS capacitive touchscreen, 720 x 1280 pixels, 5.0 inches (~294 ppi pixel density). Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Chipset Intel Atom Z2580/ Z2560
CPU Dual-core 2 GHz (Z2580)/ 1.6 GHz (Z2560)
Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal 8/16 GB, 1/2 GB RAM
Primary Camera 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Secondary 2 MP
Radio FM radio
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 2110 mAh battery

It is available for a price of Rs 8999 for the 8 GB version and the Rs 10999 for the 16 GB version in flipkart and that is a very good price for a device with such specifications. The design of the physical form factor is an indicator for the quality that Asus has put into this device. Ergonomically this suits in your hands and pockets under most conditions. The sleek minimalist design and svelte looks will definitely appeal to a large audience. The mobile has been around in the market for a while and am sure you must have seen the device in any of your friends hands or out of curiosity you must have check some tech blog for reviews. So ill skip the hardware tour part and directly jump into my favorite features in the zen UI.

The Reading Mode

The Zenphone 5 is a large device. I wouldn’t call it a phablet but still it has a screen large enough for entertainment, specially it is just right for reading. It is fits in one hand easily and it can be a convenient reader to hold. But the Zen UI adds a feature called the reading mode to enhance the reading experience. When turned on, the screen turns warm and yellow. It reduces the contrast ratio between the text and the background and goes easy on the eyes. I don’t read novels, but I read my daily news and RSS feeds and for my usage, a device like the ZenFone 5 with its reading mode is an fantastic option.

Asus zenfone 5 design

Pixel Master Camera

The Zenfone 5 has a 8 MP sensor in the primary camera. It is armed with an algorithm which Asus calls as Pixel master. It is a combination of software and hardware to give better image results. The camera UI is really interesting. It has loads of interesting modes and inbuilt filters. Apart from the usual HDR, panaroma and low light modes, there are a few fun to try modes. The miniature mode adds a miniature effect to the shot. The time mode takes a couple of shots before and after the moment and you can choose the best. For selfie shots the rear 8 Mp camera can be used in selfie mode. In the selfie mode once it detects the face it clicks 3 shots and you can choose the best. The night mode takes high resolution shots at low light, but the owl or the low light mode detects the ambient light conditions and brightens up the image, and takes the shot at 3 MP. The colors are natural and not over saturated. The edge sharpening algorithm, color reproduction and the image stabilization algorithm render amazing shots.  The front camera is a 2 MP camera and it is  good for video calls. Also the image quality from the front camera is quite good. A neat little app called the mirror, opens up the front camera instantly and you can quickly check and adjust your looks to be at your best.

Asus zenfone 5 design

The Super Note

The Super Note is an app that comes pre-loaded in the mobile. But it is also available in Asus tablet and some models of notebooks. Though the Zenfone 5 does not have a stylus, taking notes with fingers as the tool works equally good.  With a combination of keypad and handwriting, taking notes with Super note is really fast. Images and annotations can be inserted appropriately. This is a nifty app that will help increase productivity on the go.

Asus Zenfone is definitely a pleasant surprise this year. The device is designed with a purpose and the purpose is “excellent user experience”.

Check out our detailed review and camera samples.