Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KL) Unboxing and First Impressions


So I unboxed the new Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KL) smartphone! And here's what I found out.

Before I start, let me share first that before I was able to get my hands on this device, I was under the impression that the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser was just sporting two different screen sizes which are 5.0" and 5.5" and then the rest of the specs like camera resolution, battery size, etc are all the same. Well, I was wrong. Read on to see my official uboxing of this ZE500KL model and what its differences are compared to the bigger brother ZE550KL.

What's in the box.

First off, the packaging remains very similar to the previous and current ZenFone smartphones' very simple yet beautiful and attractive looking. The front face will immediately and easily tell you which ZenFone variant you are seeing. Though it does not say which model is which right in front, you may look at the back section of the box to get more specific information about the unit.





Upon successfully opening the box I was greeted with the usual documents and accessories together with the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser handset itself, obviously. There's the user's manual, wall charger, the USB cable connector for charging the device and for wired file transfer purposes, and of course the new Asus ZenEar headphone as well as its interchangeable earpiece covers. I think some other variants of ZenFone do not come with headset like the ZenFone Selfie.

As you can see in this image, there is no USB OTG connector that comes with it but I am happy to inform you that the device does support USB OTG functionality








This in-ear headphones look pretty nice and I can't really wait to see how they perform in terms of producing sound quality for music listening and movie watching. You will find out once I release my full review article for this Asus ZenFone 2 Laser.

Why "Laser" ? What's with the Name?

Now that we have seen what comes in the box, let's talk about the smartphone itself. Probably the next question you may have on mind is "Why was it called Laser? What's the meaning of the name?". Asus said it's all about the camera capability of this device, most of all being equipped with the blazingly fast Laser Autofocus technology which "empowers users to capture perfect clarity in just 0.2 seconds,". With the still-included Asus' very own PixelMaster technology, captured photos are assured to be just stunning and bright. PixelMaster is an industry-leading Low Light mode that employs pixel-merging technology to capture up to 400%-brighter photos at night, or in low-light scenes, without the need for a flash. I have taken some shots at night using this phone I can really personally say that Asus was able to deliver that PixelMaster promise.

As mentioned above, I was wrong about this particular unit's specs apart from the display size. See the list of ZenFone 2 Laser's key specs below.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KL) specs:

  • 5" HD IPS Display with 178-degree wide-view angle

  • 1280 x 720 resolution, 294ppi

  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4

  • 1.2GHz quad-core 64-bit Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) processor

  • 2GB RAM

  • 16GB Internal storage

  • Supports microSD card up to 128GB

  • 8MP PixelMaster Rear Camera with f/2.0, five-element autofocus lens and dual-tone flash

  • 5MP PixelMaster Front Camera with f/2.0 aperture and wide-angle 85-degree Pano Selfie, dual-tone flash

  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with ZenUI on top

  • WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS

  • 3G

  • LTE

  • Dual-SIM

  • Sensors: Accelerator, E-Compass, Proximity, Hall Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor

  • 140 grams

  • Black, White, Red, Purple, Aqua Blue

  • 2,070mAh battery (removable)

  • Php7,695

The main differences between this Asus ZenFone 2 Laser model (ZE500KL) and its bigger counter part (ZE550KL) are the rear camera, 8MP vs 13MP, and the battery size which is 2,070mAh vs 3,000mAh and the weight 140g vs 170g. Then pricing, Php7,695 vs Php8,695, just a Php1,000 gap. The rest is just the same.

Design

The overall look of this new Asus smartphone, back and front, is undoubtedly a ZenFone handset. It sports very similar design language found on all ZenFone smartphones that we know. On front at the lower part of the touch-enabled screen sits the three unlit Android buttons for Back, Home and Widgets. Then above it are the speaker for calling, the 5MP camera and beside it the dual-tone LED flash.



Taking a look at the back, still a very familiar scenery. At the upper center there's the 8MP camera, on the left next to it is the dual-color flash while on the other side is the laser autofocus situated, and then of course right below the shooter is the volume rocker designed with Asus' "concentric circles'.



Right at the bottom section of this rear panel is the speaker. Now when it comes to phone speakers for music and movie consuming, I really don't like the idea of placing it on the back because the audio gets blocked, reduced and distorted when a handset is laying on its back. However, with how Asus designed the back side calling it Ergonomic Arc Design, even though the speakers are on this side the listening experience is uncompromised. Plus this curved rear panel makes the phone more comfortable to hold even in one hand, the back is simply designed to arc with the palm and fingers thus reducing the feel of holding a big phone. That's definitely a smart design coming from Asus.

The only thing don't like about this phone's back cover is the rubberized matte finish it sports, it is fingerprint, smudges and oil-hungry surface. If you have a sweaty finger, it will just reflect that.



At the top sits the power/lock key together with the 3.5mm jack port.  This key's location is kind of awkward, thankfully there is a double-tap-to-wake-and-sleep feature that I can set up on this device which makes my experience with this handset a lot easier and smoother.

On the other side of the edge is the microUSB port for file transfer and charging purposes.







If you wonder how much space is left for actual storage out of the marketed 16GB, I grabbed a screen shot for you to see. As you can notice, users will have about 10.5GB of free memory. For an average consumer, that just enough for most of the time, but if you think you will definitely need more you don't have to worry as this machine support external storage via microSD card up to 128GB.

Antutu score? See it below for yourself.


This Asus ZenFone 2 Laser smartphone is definitely a solid steal for its price tag of just Php7,695. Design, display, features and camera functionality and the battery life are all worth it. For its price tag I think it is one of the best sub-P10k devices you can buy around especially for its camera power. If you love taking selfies or simply capturing every moment you think worth immortalizing, and the best viewing experience at a budget-level pricing, this device should be on top of yours choices. Plus it's an LTE-capable phone.

In a few days, I will be posting my full review for this Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KL), so watch out for that. What about the bigger ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) model? My friend over at DavaoGeekHub.com, is currently preparing his own unboxing and review articles. Check that tech blog out and see. : )

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