A few months after ASUS showed off several variants of the ZenFone 2, a couple of the models have made their way to the US.
ASUS is now selling the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone 2 Deluxe in its online store. The ZenFone 2 Laser is all about the laser autofocus sensor on the phone’s backside, which helps the phone’s 13-megapixel camera focus up to 3 times faster on a nearby subject. The ZenFone 2 Laser also includes a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera, 5-inch 1920x1080 display, 3GB of RAM, 16/32GB of storage, a microSD slot for adding more storage, and a removable 3000mAh battery.
ASUS is offering both the 16GB and 32GB versions of the ZenFone 2 Laser, with the former carrying a price of $199 and the latter being $249. Both come with Android 5.0, WCDMA support for bands 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8, as well as support for LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, and 20 (meaning they’ll work with AT&T and T-Mobile, but not T-Mo’s Extended Range LTE). Both models of the ZenFone 2 Laser are also available from Newegg, B&H, and Amazon.
In addition to the ZenFone 2 Laser, ASUS is offering the ZenFone 2 Deluxe in its online store. The Deluxe has a crystal-patterned backside and, unlike the ZenFone 2 Laser, it’s powered by an Intel Atom Z3580 processor. The Deluxe also boasts a 5.5-inch 1920x1080 display, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a microSD slot, 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras, and a non-removable 3000mAh battery.
The ZenFone 2 Deluxe will set you back a cool $399 and comes with Android 5.0 and support for GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mo (again, no Extended Range LTE on T-Mo).
ASUS has offered its unlocked Android phones to consumers in the past, including the regular ZenFone 2, so the release of these variants isn’t a total shock. That said, it’s always great to see manufacturers offer unlocked hardware directly to consumers, especially in the US, a country that was all about carriers and contracts just a few years ago. And while a lot of folks do still buy through carriers, having options for those of us that do live the unlocked lifestyle is good.