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Asus ZenFone 2 Laser 6.0 Unboxing And First Impressions! The Powerful Midrange Phablet!

The 5.5 Inch segment is currently the hotbed of the smartphone industry due to their just enough size to make it great to hold and use. As a matter of fact, that's actually the bread and butter of Asus in terms of mobile phones ad their number 1 in sales all year long last 2015 in that segment. However, Asus is not done yet as they're targeting another category that's left untouched by every international and local brands in the sub 15k department, the midrange 6 inch phablet category.
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser 6.0 review part 1
Asus ZenFone 2 Laser 6.0 review part 1

Just mid last month, Asus Philippines released the ZenFone 2 Laser 6.0, the 3rd variant of the popular mid-level line which is the biggest and most powerful in paper.

Will Asus be successful again in their "out of the box" approach? Let's all find out in this review. Let's start!

Asus Zenfone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) Specs

Display: 6 Inch FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ Gorilla Glass 4 protection at 367 ppi
CPU: 1.7 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 616 octa core processor
GPU: Adreno 405
ROM: 32 GB expandable via micro SD card up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP f/2.0 w/ laser AF and dual real tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP f/2.0 and 85 degree wide angle lens
Battery: 3,000 mAh Li Pol
OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop w/ Zen UI upgradable to Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, A GPS, Dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass, light, gyroscope
Others: Colors: Glacier gray, sheer gold, glamour red, dual speakers
Dimensions: 164.6 x 84 x 10.6 mm
Weight: 190 g
Price: 11,995 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

The box
The box

Nothing changed with the way Asus presented this handset. It still goes with the familiar rectangular box that has basic info on what you should expect out of the device.
Inclusions inside
Inclusions inside

After opening the box, I was greeted with the huge phone itself, their fast charging 2A wall charger / adapter and thick looking charging / data cable. Asus also bundled this device with their impressive sounding ZenEar that sounds terrific and fairly detailed for a freebie.

So far the only missing thing that we'd like to see in their future releases is the inclusion of even just a TPU case.

Build Quality / Design

View at the back
View the back showing the camera with flash and laser AF and volume rocker

In terms of material used, this ZenFone version reminds me very well of the original ZenFone 2 that has a combination of solid polymer on the body and glass on the screen. Except that this time, this phone uses the tougher and newer Gorilla Glass 4 technology to prevent damages in the screen from drops and etc.
Phone opened
Phone opened (removable batteries)

In terms of design, the ZenFone 2 Laser 6.0 carries the same the way of the Zen tradition that made the Asus a major player in the  industry today. It's generally an enlarge version of the regular ZenFone 2 that looks and feels more premium than the smaller Laser variants and the SelfieIt has the brushed metallic like back cover that adds more grip, there are no sharp edges and utilizes the volume keys at the back popularized by LG Electronics.
Mic, power button and jack visible on top
Mic, power button and jack visible on top
Another mic and micro USB port located below
Another mic and micro USB port located below
View on how the slim phone looks
View on how the slim phone looks

It looks slimmer at first look even when compared to other devices due to the curved arc back illusion that generally makes the device looks stylish and close to premium at the same time.

Due to the huge screen size of the device, one handed operation is also nearly impossible unless you have the hands of a basketball player like Junemar Fajardo and the likes.

What I didn't like here just like with almost all other Zen devices (except for the Max and Zoom) is the awkward button placement on top. Button placements are acceptable as a whole, but could be better if they made it more ergonomic for humans with normal sized hands to hold.

Camera Teaser

Rear camera sample
Rear camera sample
Rear camera sample
Selfie camera sample

As of the moment

Looking at the how a phablet should perform, I'm very pleased initially with the way Asus presented this device. Even on a midrange pricing, it goes with close to high end features that Asus is very well known. So far so good!

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