Having owned an ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5 and the 5.5 variant, I feel that I have already shared what I know of this ASUS smartphone line up. So it came as a challenge when I was asked to review the Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5S. Quite simply, it has the same feature with the rest of the Zenfone that I had, only bigger in capacity. It turned out that I was wrong. Simply put, bigger is better.
As a blogger active in covering events and on social media, I take photos a lot. I would also do videos from time to time. Because of convenience, I used my smartphone almost always. In fact, my point and shoot camera has been hiding inside my drawers for a year or two already.
Through the years I made sure that I have an SD card with large capacity inserted in my camera and/or phone. There was a time when I would switch between my camera and phone when taking photos. The ones in the camera would be used for blogging, and the ones on my phone for social media.
But when I decided to use my smartphone as my primary gear for taking photos, it became a chore remembering to transfer the pictures to my laptop. There were times that I forget doing that and I encountered situations where I’m unable to save photos or videos because the memory is full. Now that is such a hassle especially if you’re in the middle of covering an event. Add to that the cumbersome process of replacing the SD card with a new one.
This prompted me to prefer a smartphone with bigger internal storage, and also buy an SD card with bigger capacity. But all that was lost when my white Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5 was lost. When I received the 5.5S model, I immediately bought a 32GB SD Card. It turns out there’s no need for it.
Whenever I install apps on my smartphone, I would use the option (when available) to save it on SD Card. It’s been a habit since time immemorial when RAM and internal storage are precious space you don’t want to fill up to avoid issues. But this time on the Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5S, I opted to save it in the internal storage with 32GB internal capacity.
I was initially planning on expanding internal storage by inserting the 32GB SD Card, but decided to do it at a later time. I wanted to use it as a backup and see how far will it go for me to use up the entire storage for photos and videos. It came to a point that I was holding on to over 1,000 photos in my phone and didn’t even noticed it.
Indeed, bigger is better. I’m not just talking about the big 32GB internal storage. I’m also referring to the 3GB RAM. It’s been my dilemma you see, with 2GB RAMs and lower. As one who’d install a lot of apps on his phone, I always get a message that my memory is full. I’d end up clearing RAM and at some point, uninstall apps.
I never experienced that anymore with Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5S. As of this writing, I have 182 apps installed. Yet my phone never lagged, even on games; everything is fluid. The phone is also a great multi-tasker; I can open over 20 apps and each with no problem. That’s a far cry from other phones I’ve used. I have to admit that even on the previous Zenfones I used, I encountered the phone freezing at some point after using it for several months.
Design and Construction
The ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5S have been my primary phone since I received it in May. Aside from the bigger memory and storage capacity, I enjoy carrying it around. Despite being 6-inches wide, the curved back made it easier to hold. The left and right sides are free of any buttons, thus grasping the phone is made comfortable.
ASUS has their own user interface sitting on top of Android 6.0. Called ZenUI and it looks the same with all the ASUS Zenfones I’ve handled. The phone was initially powered by Android Lollipop when I received it and was then prompted for an update. After successful update to Android Marshmallow, I noted some of the pre-installed ASUS apps were removed but the entire look, feel and performance of ZenUI is intact.
With the other non-ASUS phones I’ve used before, I actually had to install a new launcher to make my phone appealing. That’s not the case with ZenUI. At the onset, my phone screen looks nice that there’s no need to use other apps. I did try changing the themes, but that’s as far as I’ve done to change things up a bit.
Of course, what I love about this phone is its camera with laser auto focus. It’s the main selling point of every Zenfone 2 Laser, and that’s not an exception with 5.5S. The infrared laser technology implemented is spot on as it helps the camera focus faster.
I also love that the camera’s interface suggests the mode that you can use for a particular shot – HDR, Low Light in addition to tons of options such as beautification, panorama, super resolutions, etc. One colleague was so in love with the crisp photos I’ve taken that she’s warned me of snatching the phone from me, haha!
ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5S is bigger and better. The increased RAM and storage capacity definitely upped the game of an already solid phone. I would even say that it was thoughtful for ASUS to introduce this version. If you own one of the best camera phones around you’ll definitely need huge storage space, and now you have it with the 5.5S. As a matter of fact, buying this phone is even more practical because you no longer have to buy an extra SD Card to upgrade storage.