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Pros: Flagship specs: 2.3Ghz quadcore Atom CPU, 4GB of RAM & 64GB of storage PLUS SD cardslot!
Only $299! seriously... Only $299?
Fast & smooth, well thought out UI
Good battery life
Useful ASUS apps Included
Rapid charging is no joke. (the phone charges to 100% in like an hour)
Did I mention the UI is amazing?
Cons: Power button.... Why is it on top of a 5.5" phone?
thats all I got.
Other Thoughts: Just to get this out of the way, At $299 off contract this is a total game changer in the US. most flagship phones cost this much with a 2yr agreement! And with the direction the Nexus line is taking, this is the only saving grace to make smartphones affordable. Basically what we are seeing here is ASUS is doing with the Smartphone market with what they have been doing with the PC market for some time. Making a cutting edge computers at bare minimum profit margins. The PC space has been so competitive in the last 10 yrs that Manufactures make sometimes next to nothing on a product just so that their competitor moves less units. So this is why I say "Game changer" if this phone becomes successful, you will see other manufacturers follow suit and lower profit margins to stay competitive. which is awesome for the consumer!
OK so now for the Phone its self!
Obviously at this price point this phone is a crazy Value and with reviews I always like to take price point & value into context of how I rate a product.... but to be completely honest. The "value" aspect does not affect any other part of owning this phone! Well other than making your wallet happy. So even though this is technically a budget phone, you still get a top tier flagship phone. You're getting one of the fastest SOC on the market right now, combined with 4GB of RAM. which is the highest amount of ANY phone out right now, 64GB of storage with SD card expansion (some phones still don't even have a 64GB option!).
The screen really nice quality (no odd ghosting or under saturation, etc) and a sweet spot of 1080P resolution for 5.5". It has good enough brightness to be easily seen outside on a sunny day and goes dim enough to not blow your eyes out of their sockets while reading in bed at night.
The camera is about on par with anything out now. not mindblowingly awesome but above average for sure. taking pictures outside on a sunny day, shots are nicely saturated, clear and sharp. even when uploading them to a PC and viewing them on a bigger monitor the images remain clear and crisp. The camera settings allow you to use several helpful pre-defined presets and also a pretty useful "manual mode" for people with a little more know how in the camera dept. I wasnt impressed with the low light performance however, but the Dual LED flash makes up for most of it.
Battery life was really good. I got just over 5 hours of onscreen time over the 1st two days with the phone (42 hrs up time). This was with all the updates, benchmarks, etc. I hit the phone pretty hard when I was actually using it.
The UI is Simply amazing. Fast & Smooth! I MEAN SMOOTH! there is ZERO lag. ever! startup manager, Custom home screen transition and window animation settings. Fonts, themes, icons... yes you can customize EVERYTHING. Even the grid in the app drawer can be "pinched" to set the amount of icons you want shown on each page. the UI and Launcher are simply the best i've ever used, period.
This review is from: ASUS Black ZenFone 2 View Flip Cover Deluxe (ZE551ML) 90AC00F0-BCV006
Lightweight but still sturdy
Mostly good build materials
Cons: Kind of expensive for what it is
Camera app time out is WAY too short (see other thoughts)
Not necessarily going to protect the sides from most drops.
Other Thoughts: This is a very welcome addition to the Zenfone 2. It offers good protection from daily wear and tear. The main material used is a good balance between Silicon rubber and TPU. Its not so grippy that your entire pocket lining gets pulled out when you take your phone out of your pocket but at the same time its still very grippy in the hand and it will prevent the phone from sliding around on your car seat etc. It won't really protect the sides from much. Including drops, which would have been nice if they designed it a little better to do so but all in all the Case is a really good product. I just wish it was cheaper. At the end of the day its just about $2 worth of readily available materials with a nice App ASUS wrote that gets triggered by a magnet inside the case cover. It does add a nice amount of functionality and protection but $39 is just too high in my opinion. $19 would be more justified.
Now for the functional parts.
Opening the cover conveniently unlocks the phone, as well as closing the cover locks the phone. This sounds really simple but is an awesome fix for the horribly placed power button that will be hard for most people to reach on a 5.5" phone. The cover sadly doesn't have any way to hold it closed or open (magnets, velcro, etc) which became frustrating a few times during regular use, but not by any means a deal breaker. The window on the front cover is basically a "S view" ripoff but it's a very welcome addition to the phones functionality. Its activated when you close the cover or double tap on the window Itself. Not only does it show useful notifications, weather, appointments, etc, etc. It allows you to use several functions of the phone without opening the cover, including a flashlight app and the camera. The camera function is kind of limited in that it the app only stays open for 2-3 seconds before the app closes... I dont know about you, but I need more than 2 seconds to find the "subject", focus and then take my shot. Especially when the focus itself can take at least a second on its own. Hopefully this will get fixed in a update because I see this as one of the more important functions of a case like this. One thing to note, the window is in line with camera when the cover is flipped open so you can easily take pictures with it open but.... if you have smudges or anything on the window it may be present in your shot. Another sidenote is that you can customize the apps that appear in the window under the phone settings.So if you find on app useless you can just disable it, that way you wont need to scroll past the useless app every time to get to the app you really want. which is really nice!
Good Flip Cover case. minor flaws. Maybe overpriced
This review is from: X-Mini UNO XAM14-GR Portable Capsule Speaker, Mono, Green
Solid Build materials
Sounds AMAZING for its size
Cons: Slight vibration at higher volumes
Other Thoughts: This is my second Mini. My first is still going strong with amazing sound and crazy battery life. The reason I bought this newer is that the rubber on the cord is starting to fray after a few yrs of use. The old one still works fine but Its only a matter of time before it breaks.
This newer one does have slightly better sound quality and feels built better. its definitely worth the money.
One thing I have noticed is at higher volumes on BOTH of my Minis. there is a spring inside e the unit that helps it stay popped up in the open position. well it rattles or make a vibration noise at the higher volumes with Bass heavy songs. (not talking about the noise it makes when it bounces up and down) I actually took the spring out of my old one after the warranty expired to fix this problem. But like I said its only at higher volumes and with certain songs. so you many never even hear it depending on how you use your Mini.
Overall a AWESOME lil device. I know most people go with Bluetooth type speakers these days but I think these sound waaaaaay better than anything you can get for around $100 in the wireless kind.
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