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 03 November 2015
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 Dr. Adrian Wong
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ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review Rev. 2.0
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Camera Performance - Photos

The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser uses the same Toshiba T4K37 sensor used in the flagship ASUS ZenFone 2 smartphone. The pictures no longer suffer from the yellow cast we saw in our ZenFone 2 Camera Shootout, but it still exhibits considerable noise. This is not a problem when the pictures are posted online on Facebook, Twitter, etc. but they are obvious when the pictures are blown up on a computer screen.

Take the example of the elevator and the Dala horse. They look perfectly sharp and well-defined. But if you blow it up to 100%, you will see the noise blurring the edges. That said, this has been improved since our ZenFone 2 Camera Shootout.

The ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review

The ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review

The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser does a good job with exposure in shaded or dim scenes, and a decent job in bright scenes. The warning signs were located in a shaded area with relatively low light, while the bubblegum dispenser was shot with the sun streaming in from the back. ASUS could do better with the bright background, but the most important thing is that the object in focus (the bubblegum balls) were well-exposed.

The ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review

The ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review

These pictures of various fruits again show the abilities and limitations of the ASUS PixelMaster camera. They appear well-exposed and well-detailed. Only when you blow them up, will you see the edges blur from the sensor noise. This is most evident where there is text.

The ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review

The ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review

The ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review

The ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE550KL) Smartphone Review

To summarise, the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser generally produced pictures that were well-exposed and sharp. More than good enough for online use. Its sensor noise is only apparent if you blow up the pictures to 100%, and while you may lose some details in the bright areas of a scene, the most important thing is that the objects in focus are well-exposed.

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Camera Performance - Laser Focusing

The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser's main claim to fame is its laser focusing system. It uses a laser diode to shoot laser beams at near objects to instantly determine their distances. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, than can be achieved using contrast detection or phase detection auto-focusing techniques.

In this video, we tested the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser's laser focusing capabilities, using two boxes placed 30 cm apart. Take a look.

The laser focusing system also allows the ZenFone 2 Laser to accurately focus on objects even in low or no light. However, it only works for relatively short distances, due to the low power laser diode used (for safety reasons). If it fails to detect any object in range, the ZenFone 2 Laser falls back to its original contrast detection autofocus method.

Note that this test was performed with Touch Shutter disabled (the default setting). You should enable Touch Shutter to best use the laser focusing system.

The ASUS ZenPad 7.0 Tablet Review

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Camera Performance - Video Recording

The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser is capable of recording 1080p video, albeit without any form of image stabilisation. Here is a sample video we recorded of a piano performance by Mr. Yang I-Deun.

The ZenFone 2 Laser appears to have some problem controlling the exposure of the bright areas. They were all overexposed. This is similar, but to a lesser extent, to what we saw with the ASUS ZenPad 7.0 tablet. This should be a correctable problem, via a firmware update.

We hope ASUS looks into this, because other than this exposure problem, the ZenFone 2 Laser did a great job of recording this event. Mr. Yang and other subjects in the area remained properly exposed, even when the video panned around.

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The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser Review


ASUS ZenFone 2, Divergent Edition
, What's Inside?


Unboxing, Unwrapping & First Look
The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL)
Opening Up The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser


It's ALIVE!, Available Storage & Memory
Camera Options, Laser Ruler


Photos + Laser Focusing Performance
Video Recording Performance


Work Performance - PCMark
Battery & Recharging Performance


Overall Performance - AnTuTu
Gaming Performance - 3DMark


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