ASUS, the humongous Taiwan company that’s known for its PCs and laptops, has recently joined the Android business. Unlike its inevitable competitors, like Samsung and HTC, ASUS has opted to release far cheaper flagship phones and its latest, the ZenFone 2, is no exception. With price tags of $199 and $299, it’s hard to argue against the value, but are the phone’s specs any good? Well, with a stunning 5.5-inch HD display, quad-core Intel processor, 13MP camera, fast charging, LTE connectivity, and a 4GB RAM, the ZenFone 2 isn’t that far behind the competition.
Of course, it is quite difficult to topple a phone like the Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6 when it comes to both hardware design, and software features. But ASUS is starting a rather interesting, and exciting trend in the smartphone marketplace. For years and years the typical cheaper models have always felt, well, economical. Consumers get what they pay for after all, right? This hackneyed phrase is quickly becoming outdated when it comes to smartphones, though. ASUS is disrupting the market by releasing a well-built phone for less than two-thirds of the asking price for most other androids out there.
The ZenFone 2 does sport a full 1080p HD display, and quick performance – something that’s unexpected from a $200 phone. The build quality is also solid, and the design is highly reminiscent to that of HTC’s One line. However, ASUS did fail to include a great camera in the ZenFone 2, and the more expensive phones still have a better built, but these are arguably the only major flaws here, as it’s more than satisfactory. Despite the brand name plastered all over a phone, why wouldn’t a customer opt for a product that can easily save them $500-$600?
The mere fact that Apple released the iPhone 5C line just goes to show that companies are becoming aware that the incremental changes that come with the deluge of annual smartphone releases just isn’t enough of an incentive for most people to upgrade. Smartphones just haven’t been as exciting as they once were, especially back in 2008 and 2009, when they still felt singular and peculiar.
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge is a strange one, however. The demand for the phone is unexpectedly high, which is a slight surprise given the fact that the only differences between the Edge, and regular S6 model is the curved screen design, and the $100 price difference. Though Edge’s slight success can be viewed in a plethora of ways it’s mainly just proof that people are flocking towards the most instant, and visceral changes they can gasp at with a phone. Nothing else is really doing the trick anymore, and it kind of shouldn’t.
Yes, the regular S6 is a sleek phone that improves upon the plastic design philosophies of the entire Galaxy line, but other phones have been rocking guerilla glass, and metal designs for years: just ask HTC. With one quick look at the curved screen design, and a couple of questions asking if it has an HD display, and a great camera, the average consumer makes an upgrade, leaving the standard S6 behind – it’s just too similar.
These are the upcoming trends that will envelop the phone market soon enough. ASUS has provided a remarkable blueprint for companies in how to truly deliver a cheap smartphone, and all signs point to visceral hardware design, alongside cheap price tags as being the most prodigious reasons, and ways to convince people to ditch their, arguably, nearly identical old phones for something ‘shinier.’ So it’s pretty convenient that the ZenPhone 2 does look pleasant, as it definitely goes well with that reasonable fare.