Design and Build Quality
Although the Zenfone 2 sports a brushed metal look, the removable back is plastic.
Still, it’s very good plastic, so it feels tough and there’s practically no flex. The Zenfone 2 looks like a flagship, yet prices start at just over $250.
You could be forgiven for thinking this is a unibody design, because it sure looks like one.
Since this is a 5.5-inch phone, or phablet, it’s not very compact. It measures 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm (5.99 x 3.03 x 0.43 inches) and the thickness is probably causing a few alarm bells to go off right now. Luckily, the Zenfone 2 is not fat, well, at least not Elvis-in-Vegas fat.
The back is curved, so it’s 10.9mm thick at the centre, but it tapers off to a much more manageable 4mm at the edges. This approach has a couple of implications. There is no room for the volume rocker on the sides, so Asus installed it at the back, mimicking LG’s approach. The curved back reminds of HTC One series phones, but there’s nothing wrong with that because the One is a gorgeous device. The tapered edges also appear to result in somewhat bigger bezels.
The power button is located at the top, which is really not an ideal position on such a big device. Fortunately, you won’t have to use it that often. You can access the unlock screen with a double tap, and you can lock it the same way. The buttons feature the same brushed metal look and feel just as good as the back.
Although it’s all plastic, the Zenfone 2 does not feel cheap, not even close. The faux metal back feels great. It doesn’t feel cold to the touch like metal, but it sure looks like metal, and feels just as strong. Another bit of good news is that the texture is very resistant to fingerprints. The phone is available in black, white, red, grey and gold. Additional multicolour Fusion and Illusion series designs will be available as well. Asus also has a range of stylish accessories, ranging from headphones, through smart covers and powerbanks, to external LED flashes for the Zenfone 2 family.
The spacious screen is covered by a pane of Gorilla Glass 3, so it feels good and should stand up to a lot of punishment. The glass is flat, none of that curved 2.5D stuff here.
We like the way the Zenfone 2 looks, and the way it feels. Plastic or not, the Zenfone gives off the impression of a premium device. Luckily, the pricing is not premium.