Do we have a good one for you today – the popular Asus ZenFone 2 goes up against the new LG Nexus 5X. Can the new Nexus 5X hold its own against the large and powerful ZenFone 2? Both devices are made from plastic, although the ZenFone 2 looks deceivingly like brushed metal from a distance. Does the ZenFone 2 still have what it takes to go up against the newer, albeit mid-range, Nexus 5X? These two devices do have a few things in common that we will take a look at now and then later we will look into each individual device to try to determine a winner of this specification comparison.
The ZenFone 2 and the Nexus 5X are surprisingly close in physical size, although the Nexus 5X weighs in at only 136 grams versus 170 grams for the ZenFone 2. Both devices use an LCD display with a FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI) on the ZenFone and 424 PPI on the Nexus 5X – due to its smaller display. The main camera sensors are very close with the ZenFone 2 coming in at 13MP and the Nexus 5X at 12.3MP – both have autofocus, dual-tone LED flashes and both use a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chats. Both offer only a non-removable battery and both offer some sort of rapid charge. The have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (v4.0 on the ZenFone 2 and v4.2 on the Nexus 5X), GPS, NFC and a microUSB port (v2.0 on the ZenFone 2 and Type-C reversible on the Nexus 5X).
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML)
The ASUS ZenFone 2 looks deceptively high-end with brushed metal – but pick it up, and you will find out that it is all plastic. We are not saying it feels cheap – it does not – but it is certainly not in the same league of a real flagship device, but then, neither is the price. Another LG G4 trait they stole is the placement of the rocker switch for the volume – it is on the back of the device, but the on/off button is awkwardly located on the top of the phone. It looks nice, but is just not quite as refined as the LG G4. The curved back of the ZenFone 2 does make it easy to hold and explains some of its 10.9mm thickness.
The ASUS ZenFone 2 features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI). It goes up against another FHD 5.2-inch display on the Nexus 5X with 424 PPI. The top-of-the-line ZenFone 2 model we are looking at uses a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz and is coupled to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory, although, unlike the Nexus 5X, it does offer expansion by way of a microSD card. This compares to the Nexus 5X’s 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage with no room for expansion.
The main camera on the ZenFone 2 is packing a 13MP sensor, autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash…but no OIS. This does provide some decent photo shots, but not quite as good as the Nexus 5X’s 12.3MP Sony sensor with laser autofocus and dual-tone LED flash. Both, the ZenFone 2 and the Nexus 5X come with a large 5MP FFC for social selfies and video chatting. Power for the ZenFone is in the form of a 3000 mAh non-removable battery and the Nexus 5X uses a smaller 2700 mAh non-removable battery – both offer quick charging, with the Nexus 5X.
This Dual-SIM device is running Android 5.1 Lollipop along with its ZenUI Skin overlay that has followed the Google Material Design look. It also sports an FM radio with RDS. It will eventually be available in Osmium Black, Sheer Gold, Glacier Gray, Glamor Red and Ceramic White. Pricing on Gear Best for either the Gray or the Red model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage will cost you $220, a now discounted price.
LG Nexus 5X
LG has produced more Nexus smartphones than any other manufacturer. LG built the Nexus 4 in 2012 and the next year they produced the Nexus 5. Motorola took a turn in 2014 and showed up with a huge 6-inch Nexus 6 – hailed by some as a true flagship, but most thought it was too large and expensive. Google went back to LG and asked them to make the mid-range Nexus 5X this year. With a 5.2-inch display, it makes the Nexus 5X a great size and a great price at only $379. Any mid-range device has to cut a few corners and in this case LG had to use a polycarbonate build that is rugged, but not very premium feeling or looking.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI. This goes up against the 5.5-inch LCD FHD display on the ZenFone with 401 PPI. The Nexus 5X uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82 GHz. ZenFone decided to go with the Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available. The ZenFone 2 ZE551ML comes with 4GB of RAM with 64GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot to expand another 64GB.
The Nexus 5X uses a Sony IMX377 sensor – 12.3MP main camera with laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, with no OIS. It has a large 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats. This goes up against a 13MP sensor on the ZenFone 2 and a 5MP FFC. The Nexus 5X has a smaller 2700 mAh non-removable battery while the ZenFone 2 has a larger 3000 mAh non-removable battery. Both devices should make it through a full day and both devices have a rapid charge battery.
The LG Nexus 5X has a fingerprint sensor and will be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow – the newest Android OS. With Marshmallow, you will be able to use the fingerprint sensor to authorize mobile payments using Android Pay, among other things. The Nexus 5X also uses the newer microUSB Type-C reversible connector and a single, bottom mounted speaker. The colors available are Carbon, Quartz and Ice. It costs $379 for the 16GB model and $429 for the 32GB variant.
…And The Winner Is…
This was a very hard decision and as I write this, I still have not picked a winner. My first instinct is to go with the Nexus 5X – it has the fingerprint sensor, a better camera with laser autofocus, a bottom-mounted speaker, comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and will get the first Android updates first. It is being sold unlocked so it with work on all major US networks. However, it has so-so processor, only 2GB of RAM with only 32GB of memory as its top option and it costs almost double with such good deals on the Asus ZenFone 2.
The Asus ZenFone 2 has a slightly larger display, double the RAM and double the internal memory, not to mention a microSD card slot to expand that memory. It has a great processor from Intel, a decent camera and the same 5MP FFC as the Nexus 5X. It comes equipped with an FM radio, has a larger battery and with the price coming down to only $220 how can you turn your back on that deal.
There you have my dilemma – do we go with the newer mid-range Nexus 5X that costs twice as much or do we go with higher specs and half the price. I am going to have to give the Asus ZenFone 2 – it has better specs, no fingerprint sensor, but such a good price, we cannot turn it down…what do you think?