When the people heard that ASUS was launching a new phone, a minority of gamers prayed that it would be what they thought it should be: an ASUS ROG phone. For the uninitiated, ROG or Republic of Gamers is ASUS’ long-standing sub brand specifically made for gaming and extreme computing. For gamers, this is what they have waited for for so long.

The phone and the brand then proved them wrong, but the the final product did give off something of a similar vibe. Even though the phone wasn’t an ROG phone, it promises to beo be like one and act like one. Enter the ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition, a red and black phone that packs a punch in terms of performance and has the looks to back it up.

Looks

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Appearances can be deceiving. Despite the fact that the Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition is an incredibly good looking phone, it still is a shell of its comparatively weaker counterpart, the Zenfone 2.

The whole package comes with two covers: one sporting a crystal design while the other having a the looks of a carbon weave.

Simply put, it looks like every ASUS Zenfone released. You can even use third-party protectors for the Zenfone 2 on this one! Just do remember to replace the crystal-design cover as it is more than likely incapable of supporting existing phone armor.

Hardware

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The looks itself might not be that unique, but the power is definitely contained underneath. The Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition packs a 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom Z3590, a mobile processor mostly used in laptops. Complimenting it are numbers that are whoppingly huge for a mobile phone – 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 256GB of storage (split in two 128GB). The 256GB storage in itself is already a kicker in the whole package and ASUS was able to play the large number game by using an internal 128GB and appending a 128GB SD card. If the large capacity still feels a bit on the short side, the user can make use of the included 5GB of free storage via cloud using ASUS Webstorage.

Though the numbers themselves can introduce the phone, bear in mind that this phone was designed by ASUS to push the limits.

The ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition also supports two SIM cards, wireless 802.11ac, and 4G LTE.

Benchmarks

We’ve done a number of benchmarks to test if the phone has what it takes to duke it all out with other high-end ones. Anyhow, here are the results:

AnTuTu Benchmark
Probably the most popular benchmark app in the world, Antutu tests the UX, GPU, RAM, CPU , I/O, and more. Each test is individually assessed and given a score.

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GeekBench
Tests in GeekBench measure the effectiveness of multi-core and single-core performance of the device. 

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3DMark
3DMark includes multiple benchmark tests, each one designed for a specific class of hardware. Ice Storm Extreme is part of the tools offered and it measures performance by increasing the rendering resolution and using high quality textures with post-processing effects. 

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Camera

It’s not a good phone if we can’t have the joys of capturing the absurd moments in life. The ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition still packs the formidable but dated 13MP camera found in its lesser counterparts. It also has flash and a 5MP front camera. Here are some samples that we took using the phone:

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This is a food blog too, remember?

While the pictures above may admittedly not be good indicators of what the camera has to offer hands-on, we can just show you this incredibly extensive line-up of camera effects:

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Conclusion

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Playing the latest video games is a bliss.

While an overall good phone, the only gripe that we’ve found in the ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition is its tired appearance. While it does exude a fast and speedy phone, we can’t help but feel that we’ve seen the thing before. It’s not something you’ll wave around proudly and people would not give you a look of jealousy. It looks like most ASUS Zenfones: the Laser, the 2, even the first Zenfone 5! The design neither deviated nor evolved, and that might be a good thing to some. But as a classified “special” and “limited-edition” phone, one couldn’t help but expect more. Yes, the backside might’ve been a bit different, but come on. The crystal one also impedes the addition of standard casing and you’re more than likely to cover it with your hand.

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Now we go to the positives. It’s fast and it definitely is one of the shining moments of having an Android phone. While reviewing the phone, it wasn’t hard for it to juggle between hardcore applications such as graphically intense video games and productive gibberish. If you’re after playing the latest games available on Google Android, then this is your best mobile bet. It also proves that ASUS has taken pains in considering user-experience in designing and handling their phone. It also charges like a phone on steroids!

Lastly, the ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition retails at the price of PhP 22,995. A solid placing that asks quite a premium for its 256GB storage and better processor. But it is still a far cry from flagship phones from other big-name brands. So if you’re hungry for quality performance without having to rob a bank, and you favor simple looks, then best place your bet on the ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition.

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