Unveiled earlier this year at CES, Asus' ZenFone 2 is now available for sale in Taiwan. The variant with 4GB RAM (ZE551ML) is up for sale for the equivalent of $290, along with two models — ZE550ML and ZE500CL — that offer a more modest 2GB RAM.
All three versions are available from leading carriers in the country — Chunghwa Telecom, FarEasTone, Taiwan Mobile and Vibo Telecom — along with Asus' online storefront. The ZE551ML variant features a 5.5-inch full-HD display, quad-core 64-bit 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 13MP camera at the back, 5MP front camera, dual-SIM functionality, LTE connectivity and a 3,000mAh battery. The handset also comes in a version that has 2GB RAM and 32GB storage.
The ZE550ML model features a lower-clocked 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z3560 CPU, 5.5-inch 720p display, 2GB and 16GB internal memory, with the rest of the hardware remaining the same. The ZE500CL is the entry-level model in the ZenFone 2 lineup, and has a 5.5-inch 720p display, 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2560 CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, 8MP camera at the back, 2MP front camera, LTE connectivity and a 2,500mAh battery. All three models run Android 5.0 out of the box.
In terms of pricing, the ZE551ML version with 4GB RAM is listed for NT$8,990 ($290), while the same device with 2GB RAM is retailing for NT$6,990 ($220). The ZE550ML model is available for NT$5,990 ($190), with the ZE500CL variant on sale for just NT$4,990 ($160).
At the launch event in Taipei, Asus chairman Jonney Shih announced that the ZenFone 2 would make its way to global markets in due course of time:
The ZenFone 2 series will build on the resounding success of the ZenFone. ZenFone 2 embodies every aspect of the ASUS brand spirit—In Search Of Incredible—and we look forward to introducing this empowering luxury worldwide with upcoming launch events in China, Hong Kong, France, Russia, Japan, Indonesia, India, and the United States.
The pricing of the ZenFone 2 will make the device extremely competitive against the likes of what Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei have to offer in this segment. Asus has several features in its favor — including the design — as you'll see in our hands-on post linked below:
Update: A previous version of the article suggested that the 4GB version was available for $220. As it turns out, that was the pricing of the variant with 2GB RAM, with the model featuring 4GB RAM available for $290.