ASUS ZenFone 2 Review: Excellent Android Value

Camera and Battery Life

The ZenFone 2 is equipped with a 13MP "PixelMaster" rear-facing camera sourced from Toshiba, which includes a f/2.0-aperture and an 85-degree wide-angle lens. PixelMaster technology automatically adjusts the ratio of maximum contrast (the brightest point to the darkest point of the image) to enhance the ability of framing features and shapes of the subject, improving the detail of darker areas.

ZenFone 2 Camera App

As has become the norm, this one also promises zero shutter lag, enabling users to fire off a number of shots in continual fashion without missing the moment. The company also touts its Low Light mode, which employs "pixel-merging technology to capture up to 400%-brighter photos at night or in low-light scenes, without the need for a flash."

ZenFone 2 Camera Low Light Settings

Particularly timely is the panoramic selfie mode, which should be able to capture groups as large as 10 deep. A feature dear to our hearts, however, is the Full Manual mode. In total, there are 13 different settings you can tweak if you have the time to set up the perfect capture. Unfortunately, the mid-range price point begins to make sense when looking at the resulting images from the ZenFone 2's camera. It had a really tough time with sunset photos, oftentimes blowing out the background and creating unsightly fringes in the foreground. Finally, it introduced a fair amount of blur in situations where we felt that there was still ample light. Have a look for yourself in the gallery below.

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Unedited photos from Asus ZenFone 2; click any to enlarge

With a 3,000 mAh Li-Polymer battery, we had high expectations for longevity. Intel's Atom CPU runs quite cool, and we never did feel the phone's casing get overly toasty, even under duress. That said, the ZenFone 2 wasn't a top contender in terms of phones with extraordinary battery life. It'll last a full day with heavy use, but you'll want to top it off with a charge each night.

zenfone2 antutu battery chart
Speaking of charging, one major bonus is the Fast Charging feature. If you use the bundled AC charger, you can reach a 60% charge in just 40 minutes, and you can regain quite a bit of steam with even 15 minutes.

hh browser battery test zenfone2 chart
We found that the phone petered out after around 6.75 hours of on-screen time using our Browser Test, which seems to jibe with the general consensus around the Web. Asus reportedly knows that battery life isn't the phone's strong suit and is working on software tweaks that could improve things down the line. (Our browser test keeps the display on with a brightness of 50% and a webpage refreshing every few minutes.)

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