Do we have a good one for you today – the LG G Flex 2 versus the new ASUS ZenFone 2 (the ZE551ML model). These are the flagship devices representing each of their respective manufacturers, although LG's G4 is their true flagship. We have the curved LG G Flex 2 with a self-healing back going up against the plastic ZenFone 2…but then it does cost half as much as the G Flex 2.
This will not be an easy decision to make – the LG G Flex 2 definitely wins in the looks department with it curved body and display, but not in the specification or price department. Both devices are identical in their 5.5-inch display size – with the G Flex 2 using the P-OLED technology and the ZenFone 2 is using the LCD technology. This makes both devices almost the same size. Both devices offer a microSD card slot to expand internal memory – 128GB in the G Flex 2 and 64GB in the ZenFone 2. Their batteries are both non-removable and identical in size at 3000mAh.
Each device carries the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (ZenFone 2 has 4.0 and G Flex 2 has 4.1), GPS, are NFC capable, FM radios and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. Each device offers a Quick Charging feature as well, so when you get low and are near a wall outlet, you can get up and running faster.
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.
LG G Flex 2
Last year, when LG first introduced the original LG G Flex, some hard-core LG enthusiasts surprisingly embraced it. I just could not understand paying $300 for a device simply because the phone and display were curved and if you pressed the back in with your fingernail, it would 'self-heal.' It only had a 720p display resolution and 245 pixels-per-inch (PPI), when all other devices were coming in at 1080p and even the LG G3 had 1440p.
LG updated the LG G Flex 2 in all of the spots that I felt it was lacking – the display and device are slightly smaller (5.5-inch vs 6-inch) and more manageable. LG upgraded the display to a reasonable FHD P-OLED display, giving it a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a much more acceptable 403 PPI…and matches up to the ZenFone 2's 403 PPI. The G Flex 2 also uses the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64-bit processor with four cores clocked at 2.0GHz and four cores clocked at 1.5GHz. This goes up against the new 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz. The G Flex 2 comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory versus 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in the ZenFone 2 – both have expansion capabilities via a microSD card.
Both devices sport excellent main cameras – the G Flex 2 uses a 13MP sensor with Laser Autofocus, OIS+ and a Dual-Tone LED flash and a 2.1MP FFC for social selfies and video chatting. The ZenFone 2 also uses a 13MP main camera and a much larger 5MP FFC. As I mentioned earlier, both devices even have the same size, 3000mAh, battery…of course the G Flex 2 battery is curved and non-removable and the ZenFone 2's is also non-removable.
Recapping what these two devices share are Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, are NFC compatible and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer, a FM Radio and Mobile sound enhancements. The G Flex 2 has a built-in IR Blaster and because of its Qualcomm heritage, includes Quick Charge 2.0. Aside from the obvious curved design, the G Flex 2 also has an improved self-healing back panel.
The LG G Flex 2 is available on AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular, with prices varying greatly – AT&T is high at $300 for a two-year agreement and $700 off-contract. The low price goes to US Cellular of only $50 or $630, with Sprint falling in the middle at $200 or $500. It is running Android 5.0 Lollipop.
ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML)
The new ASUS ZenFone 2 borrowed a trick from the LG G4 using a metallic looking plastic back and it looks deceptively high-end. I am not saying the ZenFone 2 feels cheap – it does not – but it is not in the same league that you would find the Xperia Z3+, HTC One M9 or Galaxy S6. They did borrow another feature from the LG family, like the rocker switch for the volume by placing it on the back of the device, but they placed the on/off button on the top of the device. The curved back of the ZenFone 2, while making it easy to hold, also makes it 10.9mm at its thickest point…even thicker than the G Flex 2. It does appear that ASUS had the design of the LG line in mind when they worked on the ASUS ZenFone 2.
The ASUS ZenFone 2 sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 403 PPI, which is the exact same 403 PPI found on the G Flex 2. We are looking at the top-of-the-line ZenFone 2 that uses a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz coupled to 4GB of RAM (the first in a smartphone) and 64GB of internal memory and very capable PowerVR G6430 GPU. Like the G Flex 2, it does offer expansion by way of a microSD card. This compares to the G Flex 2's 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage.
The main camera on the ZenFone 2 is a respectable 13MP sensor, with autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash and no OIS. This will certainly allow its user to take some great photos, and compares quite nicely with the 13MP on the G Flex 2, although it adds laser autofocus and OIS. The ZenFone 2 comes with a large 5MP FFC for social selfies and video chatting…this compares to a paltry 2.1MP FFC in the G Flex 2. Power for both devices is in the form of a non-removable 3000mAh battery.
The ZenFone 2 is a Dual-SIM device and will arrive running Android 5.0 Lollipop with its own ZenUI Skin overlay, and is in keeping with the look of the Google's Material Design. It has battery fast-charging of 60-percent in 40 minutes. The colored backings are quite nice looking with their brushed metal look – available in Osmium Black, Sheer Gold, Glacier Gray, Glamor Red and Ceramic White. The back speaker is larger and sounds great with its enhanced audio. You can find the ASUS ZenFone 2 on Amazon for $299 for the 64GB model that comes in black, silver, gold, or red. In the case of availability, you still are dealing with a third party vendor and the ZenFone will only work on T-Mobile or AT&T, so check it out with ASUS and your carrier.
…And the Winner Is…
This was a real tough one to pick, but in the end, I went with the ZenFone 2 as the winner of this comparison. It has the same size display, same resolution, Intel Atom processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal memory, comparable camera, expandable memory and the same size battery all for only $299 versus $500 – $700 for the LG G Flex 2…it was too much of a bargain to pass up.
I know that many LG G Flex 2 lovers will be up in arms over my choice, but all you are giving up is a curved device with a self-healing back and the built-in IR Blaster. It has less RAM, the less onboard memory, the same size main camera and a smaller FFC…for twice as much money – even buying the G Flex 2 on a two-year contract can cost you the same as purchasing the ZenFone 2 outright.
The Asus ZenFone 2 is an all-around great device and you get a lot for your $300. If you really need to purchase your device outright and you are on the right network, then you could save yourself quite a bit of money by purchasing the ZenFone 2. However, if you are caught up in the curved back of the G Flex 2 and simply have to have it…then buy it, you will not be disappointed.
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