Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML review: Premium experience under affordable price

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML review: Premium experience under affordable price


4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
Battery Backup
4 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for Money


4.5 out of 5


  • Pros:

    Premium design
    Latest Android experience
    Vivid display
    Easy-to-use interface
    Splendid performance
    Impressive battery life

  • Cons:

    Non-removable battery
    Heats-up a bit
    Whole plastic built

  • Conclusion:

    The Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML not only has a new built and a refreshed list of specifications over the first-generation Zenfones but it also offers the same high-end performance that one today gets from a premium flagship.


We have already seen the design aspects and camera performance of the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML in the previous sections. And now, it’s time to dig further to bring out all its major pros and cons.

The Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML features a 5.5-inch IPS display with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (full-HD) resolution that makes 403ppi pixel density. The display delivers a fair amount of brightness in indoors as well as outdoors but it does not give impressive results under direct sunlight. Asus has provided a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top of the display that protects from minor scratches but prone to smudges. Besides, there are some software tweaks like Asus Splendid app and Reading mode to enhance viewing experience on the Zenfone 2.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML

Asus has given Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system on the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML with its Zen UI on top. In addition, the smartphone has options to receive future updates as well.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML with Android Lollipop operating system

The proprietary Zen UI interface on the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML has many tweaks that one wants in stock Android. There is a tap-to-unlock feature that unlocks the lockscreen by double tapping the screen. Users can also lock the screen by double tapping on the homescreen. The interface has also a wide list of customisations, including the ability to choose fonts, wallpapers, themes, scroll effects and icon packs. There is a notification panel on top of the screen with Quick Setting toggles and a brightness adjuster. Users can create new homescreens or delete any of the existing screens. Furthermore, there is an option to add widgets and shortcuts as well as create folders on the homescreens.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML with Zen UI on top of Android Lollipop

Apart from some major customisations and homescreens, Zen UI on the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML has a proprietary app drawer which has apps and widgets tabs and unique features such as smart group, lock apps and hide apps. Users can create folders in the app drawer and can adjust the sorting of the app icons through a view mode.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML with proprietary app drawer

Similar to the first-generation Zenfone smartphones, the Zenfone 2 has some pre-installed apps. These apps include Clean Master, 50+ games, TripAdvisor, Dr. Safety, Amazon Kindle and Zinio among others. Thankfully, users have the option to easily uninstall any of the pre-installed apps to make their smartphone more personalised.

On the part of telephony and messaging, the Zenfone 2 has a smart dialler and messaging app and comes preloaded with Asus Keyboard. The smartphone has dual-SIM card support with dual-standby technology. The company has additionally provided call recording to let users record their telephonic conversations. Furthermore, there is 4G LTE support on Indian as well as international networks. We have not found any issue while making calls or sending text messages on the Zenfone 2. In-call quality was also fair during our tests.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML with smart telephony and messaging support

The Zenfone 2 ZE551ML has pre-installed File Manager app that allows users to take a look at the internal storage of the smartphone. The app also works with external storage devices as the smartphone has USB On-the-Go (USB OTG) support.

For browsing the Web, the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML has pre-installed Browser and Google Chrome web browsers. Both the web browsers support multi-tabbing and there is HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. The large-size display enables a decent web browsing experience and high-end hardware makes that experience buttery smooth.

The Zenfone 2 ZE551ML has pre-installed Google Play Music and Play Movies and TV apps as well as Asus Gallery and Music. All these apps are designed to support most of the widely used audio and video formats. The built-in loudspeaker delivers decent audio quality and there is Asus AudioWizard app to let users select any of the preset modes, namely Smart mode, Music mode, Movie mode, Recording mode, Gaming mode and Speech mode. However, the position of the loudspeaker makes audio muffle when the smartphone is kept on a flat surface or on a mattress.

To test performance of the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML on benchmark apps, we installed some of the popular apps. These apps include AnTuTu, Geekbench, NenaMark, Quadrant Standard Edition, Real Pi Benchmark and Vellamo. On AnTuTu Benchmark version 5.7, the smartphone resulted 43,266 and on Geekbench version 3.3.2, it resulted 905 single-core score and 2,773 multi-core score. When tested on NenaMark 2, it resulted 59.7fps frame rate and on Quadrant Standard Edition version 2.1.1, it got 23,257 overall scores. It took 7.84 seconds elapsed time on calculating the unit of Pi through Real Pi Benchmark, while Vellamo version 3.1 resulted 1,202 overall scores.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML benchmark results

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML performance on benchmark apps

Apart from testing its performance through benchmark apps, we use played some popular games on the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML. These games include Asphalt 8: Airborne, Brothers in Arm 3, Modern Combat 5: Blackout and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. There was no lag in terms of graphics or processing throughout our playtime on the smartphone. However, we noticed some heat from the rear, but this was bearable and is quite a common issue in most of the mid-range smartphones.

In terms of hardware, the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML has an Intel Atom Z3580 chipset that has a quad-core 2.3GHz CPU, PowerVR Rogue G6430 GPU and 4GB of RAM. There is up to 128GB on-board storage along with a microSD card slot for further expansion up to 128GB. We got the 32GB variant that has over 25GB internal storage for end users. The smartphone has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and a microUSB port and there is built-in NFC support. Asus has provided an array of sensors that mainly include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, magnetic field sensor and a gyroscope.

The Zenfone 2 ZE551ML packs a 3,000mAh Lithium-Polymer battery that has quick charging support. The battery has enough juice to deliver over a day backup on a single charge. On the downside, it cannot be replaced from the user end and generates some amount of heat while charging.


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Categories: Mobiles