The ZenFone 2 was a hit last May 2015 here in the Philippines. Delivering the most powerful Intel processor performance on a mobile, paired with 4GB RAM made it a smartphone of desire to any smartphone enthusiast. While you think it couldn’t get any better, along with the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone Selfie, ASUS added up the ZenFone 2 Deluxe into the lineup and making it the 1st 128GB Android Smartphone to reach the Philippines.

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So what’s the complete difference of the ZenFone 2 Deluxe as compared to the regular ZenFone 2? Check out our review below to find out, but first here is the official specifications

ZenFone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML 

  • 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display @ 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 64-bit 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB MLC internal storage Expandable up to 128GB via microSD
  • 13MP PixelMaster rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and real-tone flash
  • 5MP front camera with 85-degree field of view
  • LTE (1 Sim) + NFC + Wi-Fi ac + Dual-SIM / Dual active
  • 3000mAh battery with ASUS BoostMaster Fast Charging
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI 2.0

Eye catching back cover

The ZenFone 2 Deluxe is still the same ZenFone 2 but with different internal storage and an undeniably beautiful back cover. The Deluxe’s diamond inspired back cover is unique and feels different. The matte finish gives the diamond patterns a great tactile feel for the smartphone to hold, making it easier to hold as compared to the brush metal finish of the original ZenFone 2.

DSC07052Interestingly the back cover has 3 colors that changes depending on the angle of view or source of light being thrown. Cool color brings out the purple and blue hue, while yellow light activates the combination of both delivering a blue-green color. A conversation piece no doubt, but were not sure if everyone will like this kind of design.

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The Deluxe also comes in white where the colors of apple green and yellow reflects into the cover. Right now we don’t have a sample photo, but we will let you know if we encounter one.

But how can I maximize my 128GB?

It seems impossible to fill up the 128GB storage for an average person but interestingly it opens a new possibility for smartphone heavy users such as gamers with emulators, movie junkies, music collectors, photo addicts and even people who simply needs available storage anywhere.

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The 128GB MLC storage is made by Toshiba.
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Emulator Games anyone?

To be honest as of this writing, we have tried to fill up our phone with several movies, series, games, photos, music and even personal files. As a result we still have 27.71GB space available and still a MicroSD card slot to fill up. So technically you can have up to 256GB of storage in this smartphone.

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Performance vs Space

The iPhone 6 Plus was plagued with slow performance once the storage of 128GB fills up which is simillar to any smartphone. Fortunately with the unit we have, we did encounter some longer loading and reading of files but not significant enough to say that its bothersome.

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At an AnTuTu benchmark speed of 46,950 the 128GB MLC storage definitely helped out in the overall performance to avoid the storage being the bottleneck. As a result we can definitely say that the ZenFone 2 Deluxe can load applications faster than the regular ZenFone 2 64GB / 4GBRAM.

Battery problems are solved

Perhaps one thing we noticed is that the battery performance of the original ZenFone 2 was quite underwhelming. Fortunately in the new update of ASUS last September 7, 2015, they were finally able to deliver an update to fix the battery problems. In our everyday experience with the Deluxe, we were able to have 7 hours of battery life with mobile data always active.

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While it might not be longer than we thought, we still recommend and love the Boost Charging capability of the Deluxe which full charges the ZenFone 2 in just 80 minutes.

Speakers

One gripe we have on the Deluxe is the speakers. The assembly is only a one piece speaker on the lower left, making it mono. Although it delivers a loud volume, the quality of music is too thin as compared to smartphones like Galaxy S6 or even the iPhone.

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Same snappy camera

The camera of the ZenFone 2 Deluxe isn’t different from the original ZenFone 2, but we have to say its still a pleasure to take photos in the snappy camera interface. Here are some camera samples we took at Masil Korean Restaurant

Verdict

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Knowing the ZenFone 2 Deluxe will ask yourself if you really need a 128GB storage. But with the same monster performance thanks to the Intel Moorefiled processor and 4GB RAM, you’ll definitely be challenged to maximize the phone to its fullest potential. Competition wise there aren’t alot of 128GB storage out there, next in line is already the iPhone 6 Plus at around 45k. So choosing the Deluxe is no doubt easy if you’re on a budget or comparing similar priced phones. Lastly, priced at only Php17,995 the ZenFone 2 Deluxe is definitely a steal for its performance, beauty and ridiculous storage.

Pros

  • Affordable Price point for 128GB Storage + Micro SD Card
  • Beautiful Back Cover (Although not all will like it)
  • Fast Processor and 4GB RAM
  • Fast Charging (80mins to full charge)

Cons

  • Speakers could improve more (Mono speakers and too thin)
  • Battery can still improve
  • Still using Gorilla Glass 3

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