Gadget Review: The ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5

In today's visually-obsessed world, everyone with a phone camera becomes an instant foodstagrammer when dining out in restaurants, and all of our feeds are almost always filled with photos of coffee, desserts, steaks, ramen, and craft beer. With everyone hooked on this kind of foodie culture, it's good that budget smartphones can take great photos for keepsakes (and social media flooding)—anytime, anywhere.

shot using the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5

I, as a blogger, am especially thankful for affordable yet powerful phones like the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5, since it saves me a lot of trouble during unscheduled food trips (didn't bring my Lumix) or emergencies (empty batteries). At PhP8,995, this budget smartphone packs a lot of exciting features without making us go totally  broke (and subsist on styro food for weeks). Before I got myself an S7 Edge, I used my ASUS Zenfone 2 for a lot of my Instagram posts, and even a couple of photos in my blog (and still bring it around)! Read on to find out more about this phone's amazing features.

Look, Feel, Design, and Display

The ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5 looks similar to my old Laser 5.0 (matching colors even), except that it has a bigger 5.5-inch display, allowing me to enjoy watching YouTube videos or downloaded movies better. The upgraded model boasts of the same sleek ergonomic design that fits the palm and is easy to grip.


The buttons are positioned in the same manner—power on top, volume keys and camera at the back, as well as the laser sensor and flash. Removing the back case reveals the microSD and SIM card slots and the removable 3000mAh battery.

The phone has a strong Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display (720 x 1280 pixels) that protects the phone from breaking due to drops or strong impacts, perfect for clumsy people like me!

When you buy a new unit, it comes with the standard accessories like the charger, USB cable, earphones, extra ear buds, user manual, and warranty.

The Camera

This is the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5’s feature that excites me the most—the main reason why photography-loving people like me would consider buying a mid-range phone instead of a top model. Like the Zenfone 2 ZE500KL, the Laser 5.5’s camera works wonderfully in daylight, indoors, and low light situations because of the laser-powered autofocus system, which enables the phone to capture images in as fast as 0.3 seconds.

shot using the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5
Laser technology allows the camera to measure distances quickly and thus focus rapidly, allowing us users to capture even the most candid moments.

The colors are still accurate—not too vibrant and not washed out either. It’s perfect for food photography wherein we want to capture the natural colors of the food. See a couple of samples below—as usual, I have placed the original unedited photo side-by-side with the VSCO-processed one, and because it’s my personal preference, I brightened the photos a bit and added just a tad of purple tint to them to keep my Instagram cohesive.

Look at the way it captures subjects on low light—still capturing enough details and focusing fast.

The lens has a 2.0 aperture, so it can produce good bokeh if you’re into that kind of thing. Using the Depth of Field mode gives you a good background blur.

Like the Laser 5.0, the camera also has a Manual mode that allows you to have more control and do more advanced techniques like adjusting the exposure, ISO, white balance, etc. One feature that's not in my Laser 5.0 is the Panosphere, which can take a full hemisphere photo. Cool!

shot using the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5's Manual mode; edited using VSCO
The camera app tells you which direction to go next. (And no, those aren't my slippers. LOL!)
One improvement from the 5-inch version is that the Laser 5.5 packs a 13MP camera, unlike the former which only has 8MP. While this increase in pixel number doesn’t really affect the image quality significantly, it can be useful for people who like to print out their photos.

look at the details!
The front camera has 5MP and is similar in terms of performance to the Laser 5.0.

In general, I find that the Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5’s camera is powerful enough to get you awesome-looking photos for your social media feeds and even personal printed albums.

Other Features

Another upgrade from the Laser 5.0 is the increase in RAM size and internal memory. The ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5 boasts of a 3GB RAM and a 32GB internal memory. I love it since I like downloading a lot of photo-editing apps and storing pictures on my phone, and sometimes even download games that demand a lot of space. The storage can still be expanded up to 128GB via microSD.

The phone has a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor, supporting multi-tasking.

For those whose faces are always buried onto their phones, the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5 has a 3000mAh removable battery, which will pretty much power up the unit for the entire day (unless you listen to music while on 4G and 100% brightness, LOL).

The ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5: Powerful and Dependable

As I always say, the best camera phone for you isn’t always the latest model out in the market—but instead, the one which provides everything you need at the lowest possible price. For Instagram junkies, food porn enthusiasts, and photography lovers, the ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5 offers a capable alternative to bulky and more expensive cameras for casual photography. If you want good-looking social media galleries without spending too much, this is perhaps the cheapest phone out there that can give you those.

Add that to the fact that it has an amazing display, sufficient storage, powerful processor, and reliable battery and you get a solid budget smartphone perfect as an everyday companion.

  • 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.8mm, 170 grams
  • 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 5.5-inch HD display, Gorilla Glass 4 protection, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB/32GB of storage, expandable up to 128GB (microSD)
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 apeture, Laser AF, dual-tone flash
  • 1080p @ 30fps video
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 2G,3G, LTE
  • WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android Lollipop with Zen UI
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Colors: black, ceramic white, sheer gold, silver, glamour red
  • Price: PhP8,995

ASUS Philippines

What ASUS products do you use? Do you like the Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5?

My ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5 was provided by ASUS Philippines for review purposes. All opinions, however, are my own. All photos without the Pepe Samson watermark are owned by ASUS Philippines.

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