The Asus Zenfone 2 smartphone has been grabbing headlines since Asus unveiled the phone at CES in January. Priced at $199 and up, it comes in a few different models — including some that sport 4GB of RAM and full HD displays.

Asus has been selling the Zenfone 2 in select markets for a few months. Now the company is bringing the smartphone to North America.

The Zenfone 2 will be available in North America starting May 19th, 2015.

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Asus is relatively new to the smartphone market — the company is best known for its laptops, tablets, motherboards, and other PC devices.

But the company launched its first Zenfone product in April of 2014 and Asus says since then it’s become a major player in the sim-free smartphone space. Asus has shipped 10 million Zenfone smartphones to date, and is currently shipping 1.5 million units to date.

There are two models coming to America. Both have 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS displays, 802.11ac WiFi, 4G LTE, and dual SIM card slots.

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For $299 you can get a model with an Intel Atom Z3580 Moorefield processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. A more affordable model with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage sells for $199. That model has an Atom Z3560 chip.

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Why do you need a smartphone with 4GB of RAM? You probably don’t… but Asus says its phone can handle multitasking more seamlessly than most Android phones, letting you run up to 26 apps at a time without having to worry about throttling.

The 4GB model also has more storage and a faster processor, which isn’t bad when you consider that some companies charge an extra $100 just for extra storage.

Asus is selling the Zenfone 2 as an unlocked device that can be used with T-Mobile or AT&T in the US. It should also support international GSM networks.

Customers who buy a Zenfone 2 also get 100GB of cloud storage from Google Drive.

Asus says its phone has a quick charge feature that lets the Zenfone 2 charge up to 60 percent in 39 minutes, while a 10 minute charge provides up to 4 hours of talk time. And if that’s not good enough, the company is also introducing the ZenPower line of external battery packs including a 10,400 mAh model.

The Zenfone 2 has a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera with a 140 degree wide-angle lens for selfies. While there’s a flash bulb on the back of the phone, there’s also an accessory called the Lolliflash that is a dual-LED flash bulb you can plug into the headphone jack to use flash on selfies snapped with the front camera (or to get higher-quality flash performance when shooting with the rear camera).

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39 replies on “Asus brings Zenfone 2 to North America for $199 and up”

  1. x86 android is not perfect… I returned my dell tablet after the first week when chrome and other apps had major issues with one update. Nothing is free.. the discounted price should not be a shock. I would be worried about standby-time with an Intel SOC. Anyone else have any problems with a x86 tablet?

    1. We currently own 3 different models of zenfones, and they are really solid, with great battery life. They offer a great sweetspot in price-performance (and also durability, always my greatest concern).

  2. By the time this phone comes out you might incline to wait for Oneplus Two. Just saying…

    1. yeah I just decided to give this a wait and see approach since they aren’t too candid to reveal if there will be any updates for Band 12 I guess I’ll stick with my Optimus F6 since I honestly can’t afford the the TMO unlimited plan atm anyways..my plan was to be able to switch between ATT and TMO.. but it might just be more cost effective to use what I already have..

    2. By the time the OnePlus One became widely available, it made sense to wait for the Zenfone 2. By the time the Zenfone 2 was released in the US, it made sense to wait for the OnePlus Two. By the time the OnePlus Two becomes widely available… With these sorts of things you eventually just have to take the plunge while accepting the fact that a better option is almost always six or so months away,

      1. Yes but I am just saying that to date, oneplus have proven to me personally to be the best bang for the money and oneplus two just might deliver the same. For those who can’t wait jump right in. But if you can wait, wait for oneplus two.

        1. OnePlus Two looks like it will be considerably more expensive than even the 64 GB version of the Zenfone 2.

          1. yeah, it will be at least a hundred more bucks, and won’t be available for a long time, and will be invite only…and it will still have crappy customer service. but it will be a better phone. but I wont buy it

      2. It really depends on whether your current device is still in working order, less than 3 years old and a good piece of tech when bought (meaning a decent performer then). If so, then you can wait and have more choices later. That choice 9 months from now might still be the Zenfone 2, but at least you will have had more choice.

  3. Is the cheaper $199 model a ZE551ML or ZE550ML? If ZE551ML, 32GB; if ZE550ML, 16GB. Which one is it?

    1. You are wrong on all accounts.
      The $199 is the ZE551ML wth 16gb emmc and 2 gb ram

  4. I wish Asus would have said something about Band 12 support especially with T-Mobile making the huge push into that frequency right in the same city where they have the launch event..

    1. FDD-LTE: (US version)
      2100MHz(1)/1900MHz(2)/1800MHz(3)/1700MHz AWS(4)/850MHz(5)/2600MHz(7)/900MHz(8)/700MHz(17)/800MHz(20)

      1. yes I saw that already, but a lot of phones on T-Mobile are getting firmware updates to enable band 12 which has me curious if this hardware is capable since it supports Band 17

  5. Watched the live stream and blown away by the prices. This phone is a really great deal. A little disappointed that they only brought two variants to the US.

  6. This is an amazing value. MicroSD, dual sim, good performance, large amount of ram for loads of multitasking, and good design except for the power button…

  7. Now I need a price and carrier availability. Might sell my oneplus one and get this

    1. I was also considering this but have a look at the CPU performance, it’s fairly bad compared to the 1+1.

        1. HTC? 😛 But yeah, so a phone available in europe for exactly the same price as the 1+1 beats it by… not much, while having less storage, big whoop? If you’re upgrading from something older fair enough but jumping from a 1+1 to this doesn’t make sense imo. Not sure what american pricing is like mind.

          1. I don’t have an opinion about any of that 🙂
            I just know that a Moorefield Atom is a faster CPU than an SD801, which was the original point.

          2. Fair enough 🙂 Separately I just checked the price tags on Amazon UK, £267 for the 1.8GHz model and £370 for the 2.3GHz one. So that vs a 1+1 64GB for £270… yeah…

          3. I don’t think UK prices have “stabilised” yet.

            ASUS aren’t in the same league as Apple for Flash pricing

            £80UK for 48Gb on an Iphone 6 is “Apple prices” 🙂

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