First introduced at Computex, the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser is another budget-friendly smartphone from ASUS that comes in two main models — one for the U.S., which we'll focus on here, and another for international audiences.

The U.S. model of the ZenFone 2 Laser is ZE551KL, and is a larger and much more capable version of the phone — it has a 5.5-inch 1080p display (same as the original ZenFone 2), along with a Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage, and a 13MP camera with laser autofocus.

The international version, ZE500KL, has a 5-inch 720p display instead, as well as a Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of base storage and a smaller 2400 mAh battery. Both phones offer dual SIM capabilities, which is a bonus.

ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE551KL) Specs

Category Specification
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop
ASUS Zen UI 2.0
Display 5.5-inch IPS 1920x1080 (401 ppi), 178 degree wide view angle
Corning Gorilla Glass 4
ASUS TruVivid Full Screen Lamination Technology
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core 64-bit at 1.7GHz
Adreno 405 GPU
Storage 16 or 32GB
SD card expandable up to 128GB
SIM Dual Micro SIM
LTE on both SIMs
Rear Camera 13MP, laser autofocus, f/2.0 aperture
5 element Largan Lens, dual LED real tone flash
Front Camera 5MP, f/2.0, 85 degree wide angle lens
Network GSM/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
HSPA+: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz
WCDMA: Band 1/2/4/5/8
FDD-LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/17/20
Cat 4 LTE up to 150 Mbps, DC-HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps
Dual antennas
Connectivity 802.11n Wifi, Bluetooth 4.1 with AptX, Wifi Direct
Sensors GPS, BDS, GLONASS, accelerometer, ambient light, proximity, e-compass, HALL sensor
Battery 3000 mAh Li-Po
Charging Micro USB
LED notification light Yes
Dimensions 152.4 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
Weight 170 g

Both models are sold for roughly the equivalent of $199 for 16GB of storage and $249 for 32GB, so be sure if you're in the U.S. to pick up the right model to get the most bang for your buck. While you're at it, you may also want to consider the original ZenFone 2, which may offer you better value at similar prices in the U.S. depending on what features matter to you most.

ASUS makes it an interesting decision for anyone who was considering a ZenFone 2 in the U.S. today. Compared to the base model of the original ZenFone 2 it really seems like the new ZenFone 2 Laser is a better choice at $199, with its faster focusing camera, extra gigabyte of RAM and removable battery.