ASUS ZenFone 2 Review (Dual SIM + US LTE)


So, I’ve had ASUS ZenFone 2 for a few months now, but it took me a while to make this review for several reasons. First I went on a long vacation, and planning this vacation took a lot of time. Second – half way through my testing, the phone began to die slowly. Now I don’t want you to get get scared right away – this can happen to any device, including big brands like Apple, Samsung, LG and others.

I just got VERY unlucky πŸ™ … But as I was researching the problem, I went to my favorite XDA Developer Forum and found that very few people have such issues as I have. Mind you this is a very popular phone and I could only find 2 or 3 threads that relate to my problems.

So here is my extended review video:

I reviewed an International Version with 32 GB storage & 2 Gigs of Ram and 1.8GHz Atom.

In US you can buy two versions:
– 16GB / 2GB / 1.8 GHz CPU for $199
– 64HB / 4GB / 2.3 GHz CPU for $299

The one I have, I got from Expansys USA, because I was convinced (wrongly so) that US version is SINGLE SIM… I was wrong! πŸ™‚


To start I want to tell you why ZenFone 2 is a GREAT phone!

1) It is VERY Fast!
2) It has DUAL SIM with LTE that works on both AT&T and T-Mobile networks, unlike BLU Studio 6 LTE, which gets LTE only on T-Mo.
3) Knock ON / Knock Off is AWESOME!
4) Terrific Camera – both still images and HD Video, and a really great Selfie camera (not that I use it often).
5) It is VERY inexpensive ($199 and $299 versions).
6) Easy One Click ROOT and many custom roms!
7) Super Functional Circle Case (see my video review below)

This list can go on for a long time, but there are also CONS that I want to discuss:

The bad stuff about ZenFone 2:

1) Of course the fact that MY Zenfone “died” 2 month into testing.
2) Wide bezels (sides). At 5.5″, this phone is much bigger than same size LG G3.
3) Thick, heavy.
4) Non removable battery.
5) Stupid location for Power Button (which is somewhat fixed by Screen Knock On / Off function
6) No Lollipop 5.1 (at time of review)
7) Gorilla 3 glass gets scratched EASILY!

My ZenFone 2 is DEAD

So to clear things up, it’s not 100% dead, but it IS 100% unusable! Basically my ZenFone 2 constantly reboots. Usually 1-2 minutes after complete boot, and then just goes into reboot cycle until Battery is dead.

First I thought it was overheating. But it reboots even when it’s COLD (after sitting in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour).

Second I thought it was the power button, but after taking power button, because the way it reboots – it shows Power Menu on screen and then self shuts down. But after removing power button completely, it never booted up for more than 60 seconds.

I also had instances when Power Button would stop working completely for 1 day, and then I could use the phone for 2-3 hours. Then button would start working again and phone would shut down.

The best way to turn it on, is to hold it in front of AC (air conditioner) grill when AC is on, and take of back plate. This way phone cools off and can work for extended period of time. As soon as I remove it from AC it shuts down within 5 minutes.

So now I do not know if the problem is 1) Overheating or 2) Power Button malfunction or 3) combination of these two or something else.

I ruled out Power Button getting stuck by physically removing the button mechanism. However it could be bad internal wiring.

I will investigate this further and post it on XDA to get ASUS support to respond.

Bottom line – I cannot get warranty repair because phone is from Taiwan and warranty only applies in “home country”, and my phone is completely unusable.

BUT, had I not gotten this “bad apple”, the phone is actually AWESOME, and I would switch to it as my EVERYDAY phone since it is an LTE Dual SIM with Great Camera and good performance – things that are a must for me. If you watch my unboxing video, I mention this.

Let me know if you have this phone and how you like it and if you had problems such as mine.

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