Gadget Review: Asus Zenfone 2 Laser - Zen on a budget

Sep 07, 2015, 08:10 IST | Hassan M Kamal

Priced at Rs 9,999, Asus Zenfone 2 Laser seems like an attractive buy. And while we love the 5.5-inch HD display, the compromises on its camera and performance weighs it down. Hassan M Kamal gave it a workout

Zenfone 2 Laser
DESIGN: There’s no difference among Zenfone 2 devices, except for the quality of the backcover. Being a variant (only specs-wise) means the front screen, camera placement, control buttons and every inch of the Zenfone 2 Laser is same as the Zenfone 2 which was launched in April. Though, it’s still a smooth ride, we dock a point for the lack of creativity. (Read our review of Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML) on for details). Ratings: 8/10

Asus Zenfone 2 Laser

DISPLAY: We are impressed with the 5.5-inch 1280x720 IPS display (pixel density is 320ppi). The Corning Gorilla Glass 4’s resistance to scratches works like a charm (in fact, we ran a sharp pin on the screen, and there was no sign of scratch at all). Full marks there. We also liked the built-in Blue Filter that aids in reading. Some issues remain, such as poor visibility under sunlight, and its affinity to smudges. Ratings: 9/10

CONNECTIVITY: The Laser is a dual-sim smart phone with support for 2G, 3G as well as 4G LTE networks (band 1, 3, 38, 40 and 41) on both sim cards. The other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot and Wireless Display. The Laser can also double as a ‘media server’ making shared content (pictures, videos and music) on your phone accessible from your PC or laptop connected to the same wireless network. As for navigation, sadly, you have to rely on A-GPS, which requires the device to be connected to the Internet and read Wi-Fi networks around, and hence can’t be used in offline mode. Ratings: 8/10

CAMERA: It has a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and auto focus (AF), and a 5MP front camera. Though we were happy to see auto exposure (AE) and AF lock, the picture quality in both cameras is poor. Pictures are grainy and colours look faded whether used in daylight, night, or with flash. Ratings: 4/10

BATTERY: Though, real-life performance may vary based on the user and usage behaviour, we were content with the Laser’s 3,000 mAh Li-Polymer, which gave us over 36 hours usage on 3G (single sim) and Wi-Fi turned on throughout the period. Most importantly, it’s replaceable. So, if the battery performance drops, you can always replace it yourself. Ratings: 8/10

USER INTERFACE & OS: Asus runs its customised ZenUI on top of Android Lollipop 5.0.2 OS on Zenfone 2 Laser. As mentioned in the past, we liked the options within the settings menu, but the UI remains clumsy — there are too many utility (and third party) apps crowding the app drawer. Asus could have easily combined the utility apps into a single app as the control centre. Ratings: 7/10

HARDWARE & PERFORMANCE: It’s not the camera alone that suffers in Asus Zenfone 2 Laser, but hardware too. Though, it gets 2GB RAM and a 64-bit Qualcomm S410 SoC with 1.2 GHz quad core processor and Adreno 306 GPU, the combination just doesn’t cut out well. We faced lags, both while browsing, playing games as well as during multi-tasking. The built-in storage is 16GB, which should suffice all needs, but if you’d like to expand storage, Laser supports MicroSD cards up to 128GB as well. Ratings: 6/10

DISPLAY: 5.5-inch IPS 1280x720, 320ppi
PROCESSOR: 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm S410 Soc
MEMORY: 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, expandable up to 128GB
CAMERA: 5MP (front), 13MP with flash and AE/AF lock (rear)
CONNECTIVITY: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, A-GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Wireless Display
PRICE: Rs 9,999
Available on

Overall rating

The guide’s VERDICT If your need includes hard core mobile gaming and multi-tab browsing, you may want to keep away from the Zenfone 2 Laser. However, if you are looking for long battery life, a great scratch-resistant 5.5-inch display but with average performance, for Rs 10K, it’s worth it.

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