The Asus ZenFone 2 is a smartphone that made waves earlier this year when Asus announced it’d sell for just $199 and up, while offering surprisingly good specs for a phone in that price range.

Asus launched the Zenfone 2 in Europe and Taiwan recently, and now it’s coming to America. Several versions of the phone are now available for pre-order from Amazon.

Update: And the listings have been removed, but I suspect the pricing is accurate. Asus had planned to hold a launch event today, but it’s been postponed until May 18th. Someone probably forgot to tell Amazon. 

Update 2: The Asus Zenfone 2 is now available in the US for $199 and up.

zenfone 2_001

The US version of the phone is compatible with GSM networks including AT&T, T-Mobile, Straight Talk, MetroPCS, and Cricket Wireless. You could also buy the phone from stores that ship an international model from China, but you’re likely to have limited support for 4G LTE in the US.

There are three versions of the Asus ZenFone 2. The cheapest and most expensive models don’t appear to be available for pre-order in the US yet.

That means you may have to wait a little while to get your hands on a model with 4GB of RAM and an Intel Atom Z3580 processor.

But for $199 and up you can get a phone with:

  • 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS display
  • Intel Atom Z3560 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 802.11ac WiFi
  • 13MP camera
  • microSD card slot
  • Dual SIM

A 16GB model sells for $199, while a 64GB version costs $299.

Asus also offers a cheaper version with a 5 inch, 720p display and a less powerful processor in some markets. It’s not clear if that model is coming to America.

Here’s a hands-on video I shot of the Zenfone 2 at CES earlier this year:

via Techaholic

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46 replies on “Asus ZenFone 2 coming to America for $199 and up (eventually)”

  1. 199 for the 1080p model? I don’t think that’s right. The bottom model in all other countries with 2GB and the Z3560 comes with the 720p display, not 1080p. You can only get the 1080p display after upgrading to the 4GB z3580.

  2. I have the 5LTE and it’s been a completely regret-free $200 buy off-contract. Very happy with it. Runs Softmaker Office HD, R Console and LabPy Console like a champ. Replaced my N9, which I never thought anything would.

  3. I waited so long for this phone to come out. Then heard about the battery issues and that the camera wasn’t that great. So I decided to buy an IDOL 3 for $250. The camera on that isn’t so great either but it has a better battery, nearly stock android, and pretty good speakers. Oh well……

  4. I doubt the 1080p 2GB variant will start at $200 in the U.S. My guess is the 720p variant will, whic is still a very god deal, but no fast charging ,on NFC I believe.

    1. There’s no fast charging on the 720p one? Are you sure that’s not for the 5″ one, which is pretty much a separate phone with the same name?

      Pretty sure every 5.5 inch Zenfone 2 has the fast charging? Including the bottom end 720p z3560 one.

      EDIT: Ok I see it now, the fast charger is only included with the z3580, but the lower end ones do include the tech for it I think, you just need to buy the fast charger seperately
      https://www.asus.com/Phones/ZenFone_2_ZE551ML/Charging/

  5. I just bought a ze551ml 2gb/32gb for $309. I feel I got majority cheated now

    1. What do you expect when you buy a phone that;s not released in your country yet? You’re going to pay a lot more for it.

    2. Don’t worry. The Amazon pages were all pulled now. The $199 price tag was too good to be true.

      1. On T-Mobile, is the international model able to get 4g (Non LTE), 3g, or 2g? I was considering purchasing the international but I want to be sure that it will support all of the T-Mobile speeds in the US.

  6. Has the US arrival been officially announced by Asus? Liliputing is the only blog I’ve seen with the news that it’s coming to the US next.

    1. From as early as January they announced that the phone would come to the USA in April. Well there’s only a day left. I guess the postponement might put it into may.

  7. Asus failed to get FCC certification… oh well buy the TW version. It has all the US bands.

    1. Where did you hear that Asus failed to get FCC certification for this phone? I can’t find that anywhere…

        1. Thx!

          I’ll have to check this out. Always good to have a cheap backup.

      1. No time soon… the most recent announcement from Shen is a new 615 variant will be released.

  8. Brad,
    Any plans to do a full review of this phone some time? I have been waiting for this phone to go on sale and am very close to buying one, I just want to get an honest and straightforward opinion from someone with lots of experience.
    Keep up the great work!

    1. Android authority has a full review. I plan to write a full review on my personal blog by the end of the week. Phonewbie.com. I’ve had mines for 10 days.

  9. They all say temporarily out of stock?
    This is fantastic phone for price, I thought the price was much higher but I guess those were international models listed on Amazon. So it is dual sim and supports lte so I can use this with att and tmobile?
    Is it aluminum or plastic back? This might replace my Oneplus One

    1. I see you are right about the “out of stock”. This might prove to be a difficult phone to get for a while. The features for the price is just, it appears, much better than anything else on the market right now. I can’t see this phone for this price and understand people “buying” $600+ phones. The quotes are because we know they’re heavily subsidized, but they’re still paying full price in the long run. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype! This on Cricket Wireless and I’m about as happy as could be!

  10. I’m definitely going for the ZE551ML model with the Z3560/2gb/16gb.

    The 4gb RAM model sounds tempting, but I’m inclined to think that having the same battery, the 2gb RAM model with a lower clock CPU will have better battery life.

    1. I hope there is a US model (I know there’s a Taiwanese model) which has the Z3560 and 4gb of RAM, which is the perfect combo for future proof and battery life.

    2. I have the international model, ZE550ML Battery life is pretty good. Not great like the Z3 battery though.

      LTE is super fast on T mobile. The camera sucks.

      1. hearing the camera sucks is a bummer. My wife was interested in this, but only if the camera was good.

      2. Can you elaborate on your complaint regarding the camera? My biggest reason for wanting this phone is the low light performance of the camera.

        1. The low light performance is really bad on auto mode. On low light mode it was good, not great.

          The pictures at night with flash were bad too but I only took 3 so I need more testing.

          I do love all the different modes of the camera and editing tools

          The video camera is bad too. I will upload video on my YouTube (phonewbie) page today. I’ll post pictures on my blog by Friday/Saturday.

          1. When you say the low light performance is bad, do you mean it has lots of noise in lower light?

      3. how is gaming perfomance with it
        and could you tell me which is better in perfomance –
        1- lenovo p70
        2- ze550ml

        i wait your reply

    3. I’ll go with the 720p variant if it’s available in the U.S. I’ve had phones with 720p and 1080p and my wife’s 2560p Note 4 and I barely notice a difference and that’s only if I look at them side by side and close up, and still there is hardly any difference to me and I have 20/20 vision. I have a Huawei Ascend Mate 2, a 6/1″ screen with just 720p and it looked really good, even side by side with my wife’s Note 4. The Mate 2 was a little too big, so I’m downsizing and the Zenfone 2 seems ideal.

  11. I hope this is as good as the specs indicate it could be. Since I use Ting, this could be a great BYOD onto their GSM network.

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