ZenFone 2

Recently, ASUS and Android Central got together and gave away a slew of ZenFone 2 phones to the community. ASUS is rightfully proud of their new phone (and we think it's pretty good, too) but we also wanted to get a feel of what the community at large thinks about of it. Getting the phones into the hands of experienced Android users so that they could review it was the best way to make that happen.

Everyone has had some time to use the ZenFone 2 and get a feel of it, so now it's time to see what the reviewers think.

Plenty of folks simply love it

Most everyone involved thinks the ZenFone 2 is a good bargain and a phone you should be looking at. Some of the reviewers are even more positive, and love it!

ZenFone 2

smooth4lyfe: When I say this phone is fast, I mean fast. The 4GB of RAM really does justice with this phone. There is no lag, no stutter, no slowdowns, no anything. I have about 5 different games on my phone, and I switch between them, as well as other apps, and it works really well with no stutter in between. I can even say this phone performs better than the S6 in terms of speed, but its probably because of the 4GB of RAM.

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mstrblueskys: Overall, I'm super impressed with this phone. The simple aesthetics of ZenUI aside, I have yet to find something that isn't impressively included in this $300 phone. Sure, they can improve some things (looking at the screen, here) but for the price, it's a killer machine. If you've thought about upgrading to the ZenFone 2, don't hesitate. Get them while they're hot!

planoman: The ZenFone 2 is this years "Flagship Killer"! It really is a very competent device in many ways. The screen is not as bright as other flagships, but is is a full HD panel and the $300 price is less than half of other devices I have purchased. ASUS has a winner on its hands. I have no doubt that this device will sell many millions and deservedly so!

doctordwaynewilliams: Anyone purchasing this smartphone for any reason whether it be price or performance, won't be disappointed. I have really enjoyed the device and the value is hard to beat.

RichieHD: If I didn't win the device, I was planning on picking it up to try it out anyway. I've never owned an ASUS phone before but the pricing on this device was what had sold it for me. Do I think the model I won is worth the $300 that they are charging for it? Yes. I think that if in a few months they have a temporary sale where they charge $250, they will have an even harder time keeping it in stock.

Android_Covert: While ASUS may have made some "phone market amateur" mistakes with this device, I'm glad they made this phone. I've loved using it, and if I wasn't given this review unit then I'd go buy one. To me, this phone performs as well or better than many phones above its price bracket. With lower-end models even cheaper, ASUS is helping make smartphones much more affordable and making contracts less attractive.

slywalk: It's only a matter of time until Asus starts scaring the big boys. If you're on budget, buy this phone. If you're not on a budget, consider this phone.

Gabes_up: The phone is great and I would love to buy one for each member of my family.

Weighing the pros versus cons

ZenFone 2

Other reviewers were more cautious, but still think the phone has potential and promise. Understanding that the phone isn't perfect and pointing out why is valuable feedback. Still, the overall feel is that the phone is pretty awesome and well worth thinking about buying.

kissdafloor: I give this phone an 8.5/10. I do not feel like this is a budget phone or a mid tier phone, it is up there with the likes of the S6/M9 and the iPhone 6, but the ZenFone 2 is not a perfect phone. But it does turn heads and make people wonder why their phones cost 600-900 dollars. I can't wait for more from ASUS.

TheJastrom: What more can I say about this phone, it's a real bargain, it's only $299! You get a 5.5-inch screen, great speed, a great amount of storage and even an SD card slot. Sure, the speaker doesn't blow you away but I am happy for what it does. Anyone that is sick of paying off their expensive smartphone in tiny increments every month will enjoy the trade off you get with the ZenFone 2. You can own it right now, it's unlocked and it's yours!

grooveRite: The Asus ZenFone 2 may not be perfect but it has many great qualities that I look for in a device. This is a really good device considering the price. This device was my first to have 64gb on board storage capacity and I LOVE IT!! It makes me feel at ease knowing that I have so much internal space for many things and its just icing on the cake that it also has an option for added memory with an SD card slot! For $299, this phone is top notch and many users who are light to moderate like myself, I know would absolutely love the Asus ZenFone 2! I've already seen a few in the wild here in NYC! Asus has a winner here and I'm more than happy to recommend it to my friends and family especially the budget conscious who still want a great device!

kit_cat3000: For $299, you can't beat this phone. However, if I were to glance at one that is comparable, I would say the Sony Xperia Z2 packs a punch. For ~$70 more, you get better battery life, better display, and a 20 mp back-facing camera, with the only sacrifice being the 2.2 mp front-facing camera. Overall, I'm very happy with the Zenfone 2, and I want to thank Android Central and Asus immensely for this amazing opportunity!

Golfdriver97: This is a device that has some room for improvement, but it isn't horrible out of the box. Would I suggest this as a daily driver? Probably not, depending on your use. As for emerging markets, this might be the overall goal of the ZenFone. Is it a good backup device? Very. I can easily see this as a solid backup device.

Almeuit: All in all — Would I recommend this phone to someone? Yes — depending on the user. For a $300 phone (4GB/64GB Variant) you can't really complain. I mean... we could but it isn't fair to compare it to a $700 retail phone and wonder why it doesn't perform exactly like that other expensive phone. The phone performs very well and is snappy when going through the UI and daily tasks.

B. Diddy: Overall, I would say this is a very good phone, and definitely an excellent value given the $299 price tag, but it just seems that it could be a ridiculously great phone after a few more tweaks and bugfixes. I'm hoping that ASUS continues its diligent updates and ultimately addresses the remaining issues.

Raptor007: For an overall score I am giving this phone a 7.8 out of 10, based on comparing it to the higher end phones on the market like the GS6 and iPhone 6, etc. I will say if you are comparing this to mid-range devices I would actually rate it much higher closer to a 9 out of 10 given the overall features and performance.

ibcop: Overall, I think Asus has a great phone for their first device. Can it be expanded on? Absolutely. If I used T-Mobile or AT&T as my dedicated carrier, I wouldn't hesitate to use this as a daily driver. The price point is good too.

skatergirl: If I were buying a phone, this would not be my first choice. I tend to go for the highest end phones, so this is not a knock on this phone. It is just a personal preference.

Some people aren't feeling it

ZenFone 2 rear cover

Of course, not everyone was ready to recommend the ZenFone 2. Issues that seemed minor to some reviewers were major hurdles for others.

jpr: The build quality is solid, but as I and some others found out, it can be too solid. I had a terrible time getting the back cover off and actually hurt myself, ripping off both thumbnails. I'm still physically in pain from it a week later - seriously. After wrapping up my bleeding thumbs, it then took me an hour prying it off with an eyeglass screwdriver.

Sometimes I turn on my Note 3 screen just to look at it because looking at the ZenfFone screen actually makes me sad and irritated. It also puts a great physical strain on my eyes. I didn't realize how much it was affecting me until my battery died and I switched to my Note 3 and I stopped squinting and my headache went away and I felt instantly more relaxed. This happens everytime I switch between my Zenfone 2 and my Note 3. And putting the phones side by side with the same thing on the screen, the difference in displays is absolutely ridiculous.

Feedback is important. Feedback coming from users who aren't constantly jumping from phone to phone is often even more important. Be sure to jump into the ZenFone 2 forums and talk with these guys and gals, and know everything there is to know about using the ZenFone 2, from the people who are using it.