Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL

Sunday, November 22, 2015

     Hi dearies! I'm very excited to share with you my first gadget review here on Dear Kitty Kittie Kath. I'm thankful that ASUS trusted this blog and gave me the opportunity to share with you my experience on one of their smartphones that was released months ago. ASUS has been producing quality gadgets in the past years and from what I've seen, they're at par with the big names in the mobile phone industry.

     I'm sure you've seen your favorite bloggers rave the recent models of ASUS smartphones. I've read their reviews and almost everyone gave a thumbs up recommendation for the brand. Since this is the first smartphone review in my blog, I will not make a comparison with other brand/s. I will focus on what I've honestly experienced while using the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser for a week. I will not keep you waiting, here's my honest to goodness review of ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser. Product specifications, sample photos, and my thoughts below :)
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
     ASUSTek Computer Inc. is the company behind ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML), the first smartphone in the world equipped with 4GB of RAM that was launched in the beginning of 2015. They became the leading smarthphone maker and now here they are taking the Philippines by storm because of the recent launched of another smartphone that's been satisfying a lot of photo-savvies here in our country.
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
     Weeks ago, I received a neat and simple box containing ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser. The box is handy, fits my palm, and has a sheer gold accent on the side. I've learned that this accent is the color indicator of the phone inside the box. It's neat and simple, all the basic things that you need is inside. It contains the following:

1. ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL Unit (Sheer Gold)
2. Charger
3. USB Cable
4. Ear Phones
5. Spare Ear Buds
6. User Manual
7. Warranty Card

Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
inside the box
     Upon opening the box, I immediately checked the phone. Unwrapped it and inspected the look and feel of the unit. There were things that I noticed right away. The weight, the texture, and the design. It's light weight, doesn't strain my palm when I try taking a selfie shot. The curved back sits perfectly to the curve of my palm. It has a smooth feel, both front and back.
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL on my hand. Facing front and back
Outside and Front

     Facing in front of the display, there's an ASUS logo on top below the earpiece beside the 5MP auto focus camera. This is the first smartphone that I really experienced the best grip. I have small palm so the itsergonomic arc design- curved back and thin edges makes it easy for me to hold the phone and it comfortable fits my palm. 
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
L: ASUS Logo, earpiece, camera, R: buttons for navigation
Inside and Back

     Here's the back of ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser- not the same with other smart phones that I've seen before because the volume sits at the back of the unit. This is what they call the physical rear key. I was not comfortable at first because it's my first time to scroll the volume up and down at the back of the phone but after two days, I get used to it. You can see also the dual-LED flash on the left side of the camera which is in the middle part while the laser is on the right.
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
     Here's what you'll see inside once you open the back cover. You can place a dual sim card and an expandable memory of up to 128 GB. It also has a removable battery with a capacity of 2,070 mAh. Maybe some of you will say that the electrical charging capacity of this battery is not that high compared to other smartphones but don't underestimate its numbers. It lasted 10 hours on standby mode. I only need to recharge once a day after doing a lot of tasks online. I'm very active in social media, prolly my wifi is turned on in an average of 12 hours every day.

1. Dual Sim Card Slot- can fit a micro sim + dual standby
2. Expandable Memory- via microSD up to 128 GB 
3. Removable Battery- 2,070 mAh Li-Polymer
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL Battery, sim and memory card plus the back cover
Phone Specifications

1. Display- 5.0 inch HD (72% screen-to-body ratio)
2. Weight- 140 g
3. Resolution- 720 x 1280p
4. Protection- Corning Gorilla Glass 4 with Zen UI
5. OS- Android Version 5.0.2
6. Memory- 2GB RAM
7. Processor- Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (quad-core) 1.2Ghz
8. GPU- Adreno306 GPU
9. Connectivity- GSM/HSPA/LTE
10. Camera- Front 5 Mega-Pixel, w/ flash, PixelMaster, Rear 8 Mega-Pixel, w/ flash, w/ LED Flash, Wide View, PixelMaster 
11. Colors- Black, Ceramic White, Silver, Purple, Aqua Blue, Sheer Gold, Glamour Red
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL's slim edges and curve back ( I also have an ASUS Laptop, say hi to Aki)
Phone Features

     For this part, I've only chosen to show you my real experience. I will not explain further the technicalities of ASUS ZenFone2 laser as I'm not a gadget expert. I think I don't have the right to compare the features of this phone to high-end phones as I don't own one. I also don't know the benchmark and technical terms to delve much deeper on the review. Let's make it light, like what a real user experiences. I will show you the features that I really like.

1. The ZenUI. I love that there are pre-installed themes and I can change from time to time or whenever I want. I'll just download it on ASUS UI app-personalization-themes and that's it. I can also change the font style and size which I rarely do on my previous phones. Since I'm the OC type when it comes to the apps and other widgets on my phone, I always make sure they are on the right places. The most used app on the first page and so on.
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
My ZenUI in 
2. Camera, camera, and camera- I'm not a selfie junkie. I'm not good at selfies but with the enhanced camera and the pixel master, the photos are very clear and most of the times I don't need a filter BUT the most fun part of having this phone is that you can tweak the photos using the features below and be a pro!
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
PixelMaster Camera photo modes
     Here are the sample shots on my favorite modes, as what I've said above I'll be showing you photos and be the judge. I wasn't able to test it in all modes as I still need to master and scrutinize how those unfamiliar modes work like Effect, GIF Animation, Panorama, Miniature, Time Rewind, Smart Move, All Smiles, Slow Motion, and Time Lapse (last two modes not on photo). I was able to have test shots in Auto, HDR, Beautification, Super Resolution, Low Light, Night and Depth of Field. Sample photos below :)

Auto
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
MOA Eye- photo taken around 5 p.m. in auto mode. I was very near and didn't zoom the lens
HDR
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Ponsettia Plant displayed inside one of the mall entrance here in Quezon City. Taken around 6 p.m.
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Bouquet of flowers on display inside a mall here in Quezon City. Photo taken around 7 p. m.
Beautification
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Photo shot outside La Fiesta Buffet in MOA. Using beautification filter- skin softening
Super Resolution
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Photo taken around 5:30 p.m. in Seaside BLVD, Mall of Asia
Low Light
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Photo taken around 7 p. m.
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Photo taken around 7 p. m. but there's a spotlight behind the plant that' why it's bright as it added more light even though it's in low light mode
Night
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Trying to see the Christmas lights in night mode
Depth of Field
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Some flowers in our mini garden, I don't know the name :(
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Depth of Field feature with flowers
3. Photo Collage is also one that I like because there are times that I don't want to flood my social media news feed with all the photos that I want to share so instead of uploading them one by one, I can upload one collage with all the photos in it.
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
built-in photo collage app on ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser
4. CM Applock for ASUS- two of my other smart phones have this feature but locks only on the home page itself. For ASUS, this lock can be customized where to activate it. In my case, aside from the homepage, I also activated the app lock for gmail and messenger because there were times that my son would borrow the phone and accidentally open my email.
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
CM App Lock for ASUS
     Those features that I mentioned above are what I think very useful for me as a blogger. Features that will be really helpful in taking product shots, going to events, and simply taking beautiful photos whenever we have family gathering and reunions. Since my family simply loves taking photos, I can capture precious moments with them using ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser! Oh by the way, I'm sharing an infographic if you're already an old ASUS phone user. You might want to check the difference of ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser from one of the previous model released last year. 
Unboxing and First Impressions: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Side by side comparison of ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 2 Laser
     After using the phone for more than a week, here are the things that I like and not so like or where I think I need to get used too. From here, I can say at P7,295 you get your money's worth or more than that. Based on my personal experience and previous smart phones (entry level), it's one of the best priced smart phones with great features if you're the type who simply likes a good build and stylish phone design, good battery life and usable camera modes.

What I like:

  • The packaging- neat and simple. 
  • The price- one of the most affordable smartphones in the market today because it has unique features that you cannot get with other phone brands. 
  • There are 7 colors to choose from. I know there are individuals who like mobile phones in their favorite colors. 
  • It has a good design and build. Since it has Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection, I will not worry if I accidentally scratched the phone's surface with a sharp object inside my bag. It's also light weight and thin. 
  • The camera is great and because it has fast laser focus, I don't have a hard time focusing on the subject while taking photo. 
  • I'm not a photo-savvy individual but the built-in camera features got me sold. I can take photos in the modes that I like. These features are perfect if you have a blog, or you like taking photos using a smartphone, and upload it in your photo collection. 
  • It has a decent performance. It's easy to use, loading is fast, I have no problems with uploading photos and multi-tasking in my social media accounts. 
  • It has a good battery life. Since I'm active in social media, I can say that the battery lasted almost 6-10 hours with wifi on. 
  • The ZenUI is perfect for the so called 'oc-organizer' type of individual like me. The pre-installed themes got me, really! I'm the type of individual who likes organizing stuff, arranging the things I like in a neat and coordinated way. Every time I look in my chosen theme, I feel so happy. It brings good vibes to me every day. 
  • I also like that there are pre-installed apps that I can use instantly like the PhotoCollage and Mini Movie.

What I don't like:

  • I'm having a hard time using the keyboard. But I guess, I'll get the hang of it in time. 
  • There are lots of pre-installed apps that I think I will not use any time soon. 

Will I repurchase/recommend? Yes! Not for myself but it's a great gift for a techie friend or a relative who likes capturing photos. I highly recommend this unit. Less than Php 10,000 for awesome build and features. 

Recommendation:
     I give this a 4.75/5 recommendation. It's a great smartphone for its price. To tell you honestly, I'm the type who make sure to use and abuse the gadget I already have. I have a smartphone with me that I really love. I've been using it for three years already and even if there are new smart phones with great features and price, I stick to what I've used too. When I received this phone, I can say I still fell attached to my old phone but after using this ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser, my mind has changed a bit. I need to move on, I need to use a new phone that's performing the job so well.

     But if I have to choose between a high-end one and ASUS, I'll stick to this even if I have a spare money to buy the first one. Again, this is me. This is my honest opinion and what I look for in a phone. I'm satisfied with the features of ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser. I was with my relatives yesterday and been telling them the features of this phone. They're surprised with the price. If you can have the budget to buy a smart phone that's less than P10,000 I highly suggest ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser.

Let me know your thoughts, share your ASUS experience below if you're already a proud owner of this smart phone :)

For more information about ASUS  Philippines, visit their website:
https://www.asus.com/ph/
Like them on Facebook: ASUS Zenfone Philippines
Follow them on Twitter: @ASUSph
Follow them on Instagram: @asusph

Good Times!~


DISCLAIMER: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser was sent to me by Di9it for a review. The thoughts expressed are my honest opinion about the product and real user experience. We may have different standards in describing our experience/s. Kindly leave a comment below to share you thoughts. 

5 comments

  1. Thanks For the review

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi ms. kath.. i have the same unit.. and its new.. im having a hard tym removing the battery. how can i pull out the battery??? m afraid to damage it. thanks for the quick response..Godbbless!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, please use your depth of field correctly. It is supposed to blur the backgroumd.and focus the foreground. Don't use it to take a picture of an object on a flat surface

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thank you so much for the correction. Deleting the photo to avoid confusion on the depth of field feature. Thank you also for the tips :) Truly appreciated!

      Delete

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