• Display: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS
  • CPU: Intel Atom Z3590
  • GPU: PowerVR G6430
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, WiFi, NFC
  • Storage: 128GB eMMC Flash expandable with microSD
  • Operating System: Android 5.0
  • Camera: 13MP (rear), 5MP (front)
  • Dimensions: 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
  • Weight: 170g
  • Pros:
  • Great display
  • Cons:
  • Camera
  • Non-removable battery
  • Benchmark Results
  • 3DMark Icestorm Unlimited: 21,845 points
  • PC Mark Work: 5,813 points
  • Antutu: 63,135 points

A Deluxe Of Small Proportions

Many of you have noticed by now that ASUS’s ZenFones tend to all look similar. How then will the ZenFone 2 Deluxe stand out from its other ASUS sibling?

As expected, the ZenFone 2 Deluxe’s design hasn’t change much from the ZenFone 2’s. The model we received for review had a lovely shade of crimson red on its frame, with a back cover that has a slightly textured and checkered design that feels smooth yet has good grip. Positions of the cameras, speakers, and buttons are all identical to the ZenFone 2, so no surprises there.

We were slightly disappointed that the ZenFone 2 Deluxe doesn’t have a 2K screen to justify the ‘Deluxe’ moniker, though it’s not a bad display by any stretch. Colours are vivid and the contrast level is great, which makes it great for watching videos. Brightness is only above average, though its maximum will allow you to read text under it with no issues.

Under the hood, the ZenFone 2 Deluxe has a more powerful Intel Atom Z3590. It also has more storage, plus pre-included microSD card. However, the RAM and GPU are still the same – 4GB and the PowerVR G6430. While its performance is respectable, it’s ranked way below some of the latest heavyweights. Still, the Deluxe is capable of handling most of the apps, videos and games we threw at it.

The camera is its weakest points. The shutter speed isn’t fast and images are often dark, warranting the use of manual mode for better adjustments. ASUS Low Light mode is fantastic as always, but HDR images weren’t impressive. Also, many of the images ended up looking grainy.

Another issue that mars this device is the high number of pre-loaded apps that can’t be deleted. Some of them are useful, though none that are particularly superior when compared to other options that are available on the Google Play Store.

Despite its issues, the ZenFone 2 Deluxe is not all that bad. Besides being one of the most affordable options you can find at this level, it’s got great performance, a good display, and plenty of storage to spare. If the camera isn’t that critical a factor for you as a user, then this smartphone is one worth considering.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Not a very exciting smartphone, but it’s a decent upgrade over its other counterparts and an able device on its own.

(previously published in issue March 2016)

ASUS ZenFone 2 Deluxe