The ASUS ZenFone 2 was announced way back at CES 2015 in January, but so far it has only been released for purchase in the Asian market. ASUS grabbed a lot of attention for announcing the ZenFone 2 as the first smartphone to be coming with 4GB of RAM, and alongside the other specs the ZenFone 2 sounded like a pretty compelling device. ASUS had already confirmed in the past that they would be bringing the ZenFone 2 to the U.S., but should anybody in the North American region have wanted to get a hold of the phone they would have had to import it. Today ASUS is holding their 'Incredible Comes To New York' event where they're likely to be showing off the ZenFone 2 in person, and it could possibly be their formal announcement for the North American release of the device. We'll be covering the event in a live blog so you can follow along with all the details as they unfold.
The event has just started, with ASUS CEO on stage. ASUS is currently going through their successes for units sold of the ZenFone in various regions around the world, totalling a collective 10,000,000 units in selected regions since April of 2014.
ASUS is now announcing the U.S. launch of the ZenFone 2, which sports incredibly thin edges measuring at just 3.9mm thin and comes with a "class-leading" 72% screen-to-body ratio. ASUS is also announcing the Illusion series of the ZenFone 2 to give consumers a little more of a unique design for those who have unique taste. The North American launch version will also be coming with the 4GB of RAM along with the other specs that have already been listed after the initial launch earlier this year.
ASUS touts the performance of the Intel Z3580 processor which powers the ZenFone 2 as being twice as fast as the competition. They also claim the Power VR GPU inside of the device is also twice as fast as other graphics processing chips inside other flagship devices. Thanks to ASUS delivering 4GB of RAM inside the device, they were able to speed up data transfer by up to two times while also making sure consumers never run out of memory for running tasks or opening apps.
The super fast CAT 4LTE allows the ZenFone 2 to support carrier aggregation through LTE-A technology with high-speed up to 250Mbps. Building on the idea of speed, ASUS has integrated quick charge technology into the ZenFone 2 allowing up to four hours of talk time in just 10 minutes.
ASUS unique pixel merging technology inside the camera allows for what ASUS claims to be a 400% brighter image capture in low-light situations. Using this ASUS states they show consumers what others can't see. For those who like taking pictures with the front-facing camera, the ultra wide 140-degree selfie panorama mode for the front camera on the ZenFone 2 should be able to provide some great selfie shots. On the back camera users can capture up to 52MP of details using ASUS super resolution technology inside of the sensor.
As part of the announcement today ASUS announced they'll be giving people a chance to win their own device with the 100 days of Zen contest, which will seek to give away 100 ZenFone 2 devices at 1 per day for 100 days. ASUS making accessing features on the device fairly easy using gestures called ZenMotion. For example, users could draw a "C" on screen to open the image gallery etc. ASUS will also be launching a specialized set of flip cover cases for the ZenFone 2 that comes with viewing windows so users can see important details without opening the flap, like time, date, and notifications.
ASUS will be launching the ZenFone 2 in the U.S. with two different models of the ZE551ML. The first comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, a 5.5-inch display, and a 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 CPU for just $299. ASUS will also be offering a cheaper model of the device that comes with 2GB of RAM and an Intel Atom Z3560 CPU for $199. Alongside the devices ASUS will have a range of different accessories like the Flip Cover Deluxe(which we mentioned above) for $39.99, as well as the ZenPower, ZenFlash, and Lolliflash accessories for $19, $29, and $14.99 respectively. The device will also come with 100GB of Google Drive storage for free. As for where the device will be available, ASUS will be selling it at various retailers including Amazon, B&H Photo, Newegg, and Groupon in the U.S., and Newegg, NCIX.com, and others in Canada with orders starting tomorrow in both markets.