Ladies and gents (especially those looking for a new smartphone), take a look at this beaut:
That, fellas, is the new ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser. If it looks familiar, it's because this device is patterned after ASUS' popular ZenFone 2 flagship phone.
This one, however, won't put the hurt on your finances as much. Compared to the ZenFone 2 which goes for as much as P14,000 (which is still quite affordable given its impressive performance based on our review), the ZenFone 2 Laser costs only P8,700—a better fit for phone hunters with starving wallets.
Now before you say it sucks because it's cheaper, know that that's actually not the case here. Far from it, actually.
Surprise! The ZenFone 2 Laser is actually a darn good gizmo which upgrades our smartphone game in several ways, like...
ITS SLEEK LOOK MAKES US FEEL A LOT OF BUCKS RICHER
The ZenFone 2 Laser borrows the ZenFone 2's design—the two are, in street lingo, pinagbiyak na bunga. This means that our hot item right here has the appearance that deserves the big bucks. The front side is matured and sophisticated, like a well-groomed 30-something business bro wearing a suit that he obviously didn't buy from the ukay.
The back side is basically the same story, with the addition of a matte metallic finish that adds more brownie points in the looks department. The phone's curved profile gives it more uniqueness, giving off the impression that you're not holding a run-of-the-mill smartphone—very good news for those with a penchant to show off.
Another bonus: the back side is no smudge magnet which means less cleaning is needed.
ITS CUSTOMIZATION FEATURES ALLOW US TO 'FUNCTIONALLY PERSONALIZE'
The ZenFone 2 Laser runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop under ASUS' own ZenUI interface. This combo allows the phone to do all Android-y things while letting the user to personalize it beyond merely changing the wallpaper. For example, it allows you to group apps for easier navigation as well as customize how the phone lets you use apps, widgets and pages.
This goes beyond making the phone look good though; it also makes for a more personalized and streamlined user experience.
BETTER EYE-CANDY THAN WHAT WE EXPECTED
The ZenFone 2 Laser comes with a 5.5-inch HD display—not exactly groundbreaking. But while a gazillion other phones sport screens with the same resolution, the one on this bad boy delivers better than most. The ZenFone 2 Laser's display manages to keep things bright and viewable, even under direct sunlight, and gives users more viewing angles (i.e. there's minimal loss of visual quality even if you watch videos at an angle), thanks to IPS (in-plane switching) tech. It's also helluva durable with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which delivers condom-like protection against scratches.
YOU REALLY HAVE (ALMOST) NO EXCUSE NOT TO BE CONNECTED
3G? Yes. Wi-Fi? Of course. Bluetooth? Duh. LTE? Hell freakin' yeah! The ZenFone 2 Laser is certainly packing in the wireless connectivity department. We've tried all of the aforementioned features and, yes, they work like a charm—even 4G, as long as you have network coverage, that is (which is really beyond the phone's control).
IT MAKES SHORT WORK OF YOUR STANDARD MOBILE CHORES
With a quad-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM, the ZenFone 2 Laser has ample power to take on your standard mobile chores. We decided to ramp things up a notch (and by that we mean run a shitload of browser tabs, games, and other services all at the same time) and, lo and behold, this bad boy still performed nicely, with minimal lag and slow-downs.
Another thing we like: the microSD card slot. While casual users will be cool with the device's 16GB of internal capacity, that won't fly with us (read: we have loads of porn apps, games, and HD videos to store). The microSD card slot is obviously a godsend in this regard, so much so that we think every phone must have one. We actually don't get why Apple is stubbornly refusing to add this super useful feature to the iPhone. We mean, why the hell not?
There's got to be a reason behind the ZenFone 2 Laser's name other than adding techie swag, right? Contrary to popular belief that it can pew pew things with a built-in laser gun, the reason behind the label is this: yes, it has laser tech...in its camera. You see, this particular phone has what is called "laser autofocus" which allows its camera to focus on the subject instantaneously, faster than most handsets out there.
The result: Less missed opportunities and more in-focus mobile snaps with no blur.
Note: We reviewed the 5.5-inch version of the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser. There's a smaller 5-inch model which goes for P7,695