Asus' ZenFone 2 has been on the market elsewhere in the world for a while now, but the company's latest flagship handset was officially launched in the U.S. today. It features a 5.5" 1080p display, Moorefield-based Atom CPUs, a 13MP camera, and up to 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. The best part? All of that goodness will be available in unlocked, contract-free form starting tomorrow at select retailers, including Newegg.
The $199 version features a quad-core Intel Atom Z3560 SoC backed by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage, while the ritzier $299 model bumps things up to an Atom Z3580 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. For an idea of how these CPUs perform, check out Geoff's review of Dell's Venue 8 7000, which also uses the Atom Z3580.
Both phones feature a microSD slot for expandable storage. They ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop dressed in Asus' ZenUI skin. Power is provided by a non-removable 3000mAh battery. Should the juice run low, the ZenFone 2 features quick-charging tech that can return the phone to a 60% charge in about 40 minutes. However, this feature requires an 18W charger that's only included with the pricier ZenFone 2 by default—it's a $30 upgrade for the base model.
The 13MP rear camera has a bundle of software features, including a pro-friendly manual mode, an HDR mode, and a low-light mode that downsamples groups of pixels into a 3.25MP image for better performance in dark scenes. Asus also includes a dual-color LED flash for better color balancing with ambient light. The rear camera and 5MP front shooter both feature fast f/2 lenses.