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This review is from: ASUS Black ZenFone 2 View Flip Cover Deluxe (ZE551ML) 90AC00F0-BCV006
Pros: Enables access to various apps without having to go through the main menus. Need to check the time, turn on the flashlight, take a picture, etc? The Flip Cover provides quick and easy access to these features and more through its 'Port Hole'.
The cover's texture eliminates the slick feeling of the Zenfone 2’s stock back cover. After adding this cover, I no longer feel as though the phone could rocket out of my hand at the slightest breeze/bump. This texture also prevented the phone from sliding around inside of my vehicle without having to purchase a third party anti-slip mat. With this being said, the cover doesn't go overboard with the grip. It still allows for easy retrieval even out of a pocket on a pair of skinny jeans.
Removes the need to press the power button or tap the screen twice to wake up the phone. Once the Flip Cover is installed, simply flipping open the cover will bring the phone out of sleep. After using this cover, it makes pressing the power button on other phones seem like a chore.
Slight power saving benefits. After installing this cover, I noticed I would have about ~5% more battery power remaining by the end of a standard day. I believe this is due to me being able to see meeting, text, call, clock, and email notifications through the 'Port Hole' quicker than through the standard Android menus.
Cons: Finger oils build up on the 'Port Hole' quickly. When taking pictures using the main camera, the Asus team indicates the cover should be flipped back behind the phone. In this orientation, the main camera takes pictures through the window of the cover. Image quality of the phone suffers due to having to take the picture through an often smudgy window. When I take the approach of holding the flip cover at a 90 degree angle from the phone, pictures are clearer but become awkward to take.
The Flip Cover's hinge has a slight memory effect. If the cover is flipped back for any longer than checking an email, the flap will not want to close completely at first. I work around this by either holding the cover shut for several seconds or closing the cover and flipping the phone over as so that the weight of the phone corrects the issue. This isn't a big deal but it is a minor annoyance.
Other Thoughts: While this cover does flip over the display, it will not protect it from more than minor scratches and dings. On this same note, it has protected my phone from the various keys and such that have resided in the same jean pocket as the phone. Even with these sharp points actively sliding against the phone almost every day, both the cover and phone underneath have remained scratch free.
I was taken aback by the need to remove the stock back cover of the Zenfone 2 as this was the first time I had seen an accessory replace the back cover. Realizing this is a cover and not a case clarified the reasoning behind this.
When I first started using the Zenfone 2, I felt as though something was missing. My previous phone allowed for seeing the time, date, and notifications simply by holding my hand over the display. After installing the View Flip Cover, the Zenfone 2 finally felt complete to me. To me, the Zenfone 2 really shines once it is paired with the View Flip Cover.
Pros: Asus made a sleek high quality phone with a fast 2.3 Ghz Intel processor, plenty of RAM, and lots of storage. This phone powers through everything I throw at it and hasn't bogged down.
Even with all of this processing power, the phones battery out shines many others. My phone environment consists of my work exchange email, personal Gmail, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all running with Push notifications enabled. While utilizing the phone for apps approximately 10 minutes out of every hour of the work day with many phone conversations sprinkled between, I have been consistently able to go two days without recharging. The quick charge function provided by the included power adapter came in real handy for those times when I forgot to plug the phone in overnight after two days of use. I was able to plug in the phone before my morning shower/shave and have over a 50% charge by the time I was ready to leave for work. Due to the efficiencies in the platform, this was plenty to last through the day.
The call quality of the Zenfone 2 has been crystal clear over the ATT network. Voices through the speaker phone are actually quite clear and the microphone has been great at providing the person at the other end of the call with an understandable audio compared to the mumbling most phones seem to translate audio into.
I would have preferred a dedicated camera button for this phone. With the photo function being pushed with this phone, and the Flip Cover accessory, a dedicated camera button would have made taking images more comfortable. While on the subject of dedicated buttons, the volume rocker rests below the camera lens on the back of the phone. In my time using this phone, utilizing the volume rocker never felt natural.
The Bluetooth stack in Lollipop never functioned correctly with music (I tested with multiple audio sources and Bluetooth devices). The area of greatest concern was in my 2012 Mazda vehicle. Music playing via Bluetooth would skip for brief moments of time. These skips were subtle enough that it made the music sound as though the tempo had simply increased for an instant then returned to normal.
Aside from the Bluetooth oddities, I have been unable to set different sounds for email and text messages. The sound titled New Message is played for both of these scenarios which has actually increased my need to check the phone in order to confirm whether it was to indicate a text or email. Through research, both of these issues seem to be due to the Lollipop version of Android and hopefully will be corrected soon with an OTA update (I did apply an available firmware update but this didn't rectify these issues).
Other Thoughts: I’m using this phone through ATT in a large market. I attempted to utilize Verizon as the second SIM only to discover this phone is meant for GSM phone carriers (ATT and T-Mobile here in the USA).
Experiences migrating from a Windows Phone 8 Nokia 1020:
Asus included many Apps that allowed for a seemless transfer of my contacts from my Nokia. This process simply needed a Bluetooth connection to be established between the two devices and within a couple of minutes, all of my contacts were on the Zenfone 2. One big concern I have is the lack an integrated feature that allows for text messages to be read to the user over Bluetooth and provide a response, if desired, to said message. With the ever increasing ‘Hands Free’ laws, this should be a must. Yes, calls can be made and accepted over Bluetooth. Yes, there may be an android app that provides this but it isn't a feature of the phone out of the box. If this feature were to be added through either the Android OS or a preinstalled Asus App, I wouldn't have even a sliver of a thought to go back to my Windows Phone.
This review is from: SILVERSTONE ST45SF 450W SFX12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Pros: The Silverstone ST45SF packs the power needed for a gaming Mini-ITX build while remaining efficient, quiet, and reliable. The fan inside the PSU has always remained whisper quiet even when pushed to it's upper limits.
Silverstone provided long enough power leads to allow for connectivity of components on the other side of a Mini-ITX case. The ST45SF fits perfectly inside of the Silverstone FT03 Mini without having to sacrifice precious space otherwise used for a video card. The 80% plus power efficiency is icing on the cake!
Cons: This isn't a modular power supply. That being said, the modular variation of this power supply caused clearance issues inside of the Silverstone FT03 Mini case. The extra power connections were easy enough to bundle up and neatly tuck out of site.
Other Thoughts: Over the course of a year and a half, I've put this power supply through some serious gaming binges and it has withstood the abuse. It has powered two different generations of Nvidia graphics cards without any problems.
Silverstone Fortress FT03 Mini
Samsung 840 Pro 256 Gb SSD
WD 1TB Hard Drive --> Upgraded to Samsung 840 EVO 1Tb
G.Skill Trident 2x8Gb Ram
Antec Kuhler 620
EVGA 670GTX FTW --> Upgraded to EVGA 970GTX Superclocked