The three full-HD versions of upcoming smartphone, Asus Zenfone 2, will be priced at Rs 15,990, Rs 19,990 and Rs 23,990, and will be thrice as powerful as existing Zenfones in India, according to our sources.
All the three upcoming Zenfone 2 models will have powerful quad-core Intel Z3580 Silvermont processors released in Q2 of last year as well as the new Intel XMM7260 modem that will bring LTE connectivity. The processor, Atom Z3580, is also used to power netbooks and tablets and variations are even used for low-priced desktops.
In other words, the Zenfone 2 range comes with the latest and greatest hardware that Intel has to offer at present.
To put all this in perspective, the Atom Z3580 scores about 1,000 points in single core performance on Geekbench 3 benchmarking system, and 3,000 points in all-core performance. On Antutu, they score about 50,000 points. In comparison, the Atom Z2560, found in current Zenfones, scores about 460 points on single-core performance and 1,000 in multi-core performance.
As a result, the Zenfone 2 will have three times the power of the first generation models, and more or less the same power as last year’s top-end smartphones like the Galaxy S5, which is still priced at Rs 30,000 in India.
In other words, thanks to the use of Intel chips, a Rs 16,000 Asus model will deliver the performance of a phone that costs double that money.
The scores are comparable or better than those of last year’s Snapdragon 800 series. However, the scores are about 20-30% below the latest ARM-based 64-bit processors such as the Snapdragon 810 and MediaTek MT6795.
One key thing to be kept in mind is that not all Zenfone 2 will have the quad-core Z3580 processor. There will be a cheap model within the new range that will continue to be powered by Atom Z2560 found on last year’s models, likely to be priced at Rs 9,999.
There will also be one model which will be powered by a quad-core Atom Z3560 processor, priced at around Rs 12,500, which will deliver about 75% of the performance of the Z3580.
(The digit after Z in Atom series indicates the generation of the processor. The Z2xxx series is one generation older to the Z3xxx.)
In other words, the three models we highlighted initially all come with the same Z3580 processor, but have different internal storage and RAM.
While the Rs 15,000 model will have 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, the Rs 19,000 model will have 32 GB of internal storage and 4 GB of RAM. The top model, costing around Rs 22,999, will have 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage.
The Rs 12,500 and the Rs 9,999 models will come with 720p displays and not full-HD ones. The models priced from Rs 15,000 to 23,000 will all come with full HD 5.5-inch displays.
What is common to all five models is that they will come with LTE and the latest Android Lolipop.
Another key advantage to the Zenfone range is that they can also be technically made to run normal operating systems such as Windows 8, Ubuntu and other linux distributions as they come with 64-bit Intel x86 processors.
The Asus Zenfone range currently has a reputation for delivering good performance at extremely affordable prices. With the new line-up, Asus is targeting to deliver the same value for those who want even better hardware.
For example, the best value offering from Samsung, the Galaxy A7, is priced at Rs 30,000 and has a 5.5-inch full-HD display and LTE. It, however, comes with 16 GB of internal storage and 2 GB of RAM. The Asus Zenfone 2 with a similar configuration will cost only around Rs 15,000, or about half of what the A7 costs.
Of course, Samsung A7 comes with an AMOLED display that is far superior to the one found on the Asus model. Still, the Taiwanese company will offer tremendous value for money in the mid-range market when it unveils the new models later this month.
There has been some speculation that Asus is launching the new line-up next week. However, chances are that the phones will be available for sale only by the middle or the later part of this month.
Asus is also likely to launch the MeMO Pad 8, which is also built on the Atom Z3580 processor and comes with 2GB of RAM. The MeMO Pad 8 comes with an excellent 8.00-inch 1920×1200 display and is likely to be priced around Rs 19,000.