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Why the Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) is Worth the Extra 4K

The gorgeous Asus ZenFone 2 ZE551ML
The gorgeous Asus ZenFone 2 ZE551ML

Skip the ZE550ML and go for the ZE551ML

Online stores and various gadget shops in malls have already started offering the lower end Zenfone 2 variant, the ZE550ML. Based on what we’ve seen the current gray market price is at Php10,000-Php10,500. The higher end model of the Zenfone 2, the ZE551ML is currently being offered at just Php4,000 more, roughly Php13,999. We’ve received a lot of questions via our Facebook Page if it’s worth the extra cash. Without a shadow of a doubt we can say a big YES. If you guys can save up the extra Php4,000 and skip the 550ML so you can go straight for the 551ML, do it.

Here are the 5 reasons why we think you should:

1. Generous serving of 4GB RAM

The ZE551ML has twice the RAM of the ZE550ML. The extra 2GB ensures a much smoother experience and we experience this ourselves at the demo floor of ASUS during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Multi-tasking was a much more flawless experience with the ZE551ML compared to the ZE550ML. Slow multi-tasking was also one of the biggest criticisms against the Zenfone 5 so might as well make sure we avoid that altogether with the Zenfone 2 by going for the ZE551ML.

When it comes to processors, the ZE551ML has two variants. There’s one with the Intel Atom Z3580 2.33GHz processor and the Intel Atom Z3560 1.83GHz. The Php13,999 (Php4,000 more expensive vs the ZE550ML) model carries the same Z3560 1.83GHz processor so what you’re really paying for in terms of internals here is the additional 2GB RAM and the other benefits listed below.

2. It looks much better with the Metallic Brushed Finish Body

The ZE550ML (pictured above) has the same body as the Zenfone 5.
The ZE550ML (pictured above) has the same body as the Zenfone 5.

This is more aesthetic than anything but the brushed metal finish feels and looks much more premium compared to the generic build that was originally used by the Zenfone 5 and was eventually retained with the ZE550ML.

3. Beautiful Full HD Display

Full HD vs HD
Full HD vs HD

Both the ZE551ML and the ZE550ML use a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Corning Gorilla Display. What makes the ZE551ML superior is the resolution and pixel density. The ZE551ML packs a Full HD Display (1920 x 1080 pixels) which is roughly 403 pixels per inch. The ZE550ML is only HD (1280 x 720 pixels) or around 267 pixels per inch.

With this big of a screen you’d really want it to be Full HD since this will be a great entertainment and gaming mobile device. Better resolution means better viewing experience so if you ask us it is well worth the extra moolah to upgrade.

4. NFC

Used properly, NFC can make your smartphone experience incredibly better. Our current set-up is that we have NFC tags in three key places: inside our car, at our home, and at the office. By tapping the phone to the tags the phone automatically adjusts its settings. For example, if we tap it at the office the phone goes silent, data goes off, and wifi connects to the office network. At the car data and bluetooth go on while wifi turns off.

5. Better Internal Storage at 32GB

Lastly… 32GB internal storage (vs 16GB of the ZE550ML). Why is this important? Two reasons. First you don’t have to store all of your media anymore in your phone. Streaming services like Spotify and YouTube can give you your music and video fix while you’re on the go. Secondly you don’t have to spend anymore on a microSD card which can go up to the thousands. 32GB should be more than enough for casual-moderate users. If you’re a hardcore user though then that 64GB microSD can come in handy.

And there you have it! Those are the main reasons why we’re skipping the ZE550ML and going straight for the ZE551ML. If this is going to be your primary and main phone, might as well go all the way.

If you guys have any thoughts on this matter please do share it with us via the comments section below. :)


ASUS Zenfone 2 Initial Review: Certified Beast of a Smartphone
3 Reasons Why It’s Better to Wait for the Asus Zenfone 2 Launch
Asus Zenfone 2 Pops Up on Widget City
Asus Zenfone 2 Now Available Unofficially in Malls

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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  1. So, extra 4k for things the majority of consumers won’t really use or need in their daily routine. Ummm, no. Those extra bells and whistles are reserved people who burn cash they don’t even have as long as they have the latest whatever gadget their is.

    1. The higher resolution screen is something even non-power user will appreciate.

      And Zenfone 5 and its successors appeals to power users anyway, because it’s mix of value/power/dependability is something few brands/phones match. For non-power users, the Meizu Note, which is less expensive is just as nice, Or even most Quad-core phones which sells for 5k below…

        1. In a way I don’t as well. Especially if the battery will be the same size as the one on the 720p model. But if there’s something to compensate the higher resolution (such as a larger battery) why not.

  2. that’s why I have been waiting for this variant and still waiting –
    unless XIAOMI’s MI NOTE, the 32GB variant arrives first
    non the less, i still have to get a new phone

  3. Well… it’s still expensive but at least it’s a Flagship spec phone with more future proofing specs in it but… if Asus doesn’t give the phone anymore features like “Multi-window” in the future, this is just a gimmick :(

    Multitasking capability is probably the best thing this phone can do but… i dunno, i love it, but i don’t trust it yet :(

  4. ” The Php13,999 (Php4,000 more expensive vs the ZE550ML) model carries the same Z3560 1.83GHz processor so what you’re really paying for in terms of internals here is the additional 2GB RAM and the other benefits listed below.”

    Wait ..what?? so saan napunta si Z3580?? o_0 ~ coz i’d rather get the Z3580 one than additional 2gb ram :P

    coz you still use one app at a time on android lol

    1. Ibig mong sabihin kahit mataas taas na ang RAM ng mga MODERN SMARTPHONE na ito eh nagpo pause pa rin ng apps pag nilagay sa background? Katulad nung nagyayari sa simpleng egg timer sa iphone ko pag napunta sa background?

      1. well multitasking sa android at iOS ay magkaiba as far as I know, pero I will give you an example, kunwari nag youtube ka sa android phone mo…then nag open ka bigla ng isang game app, yung youtube app mo, kahit nasa background yun, hindi naman nag cocontinue yung pag play.
        yan ang ibig ko sabihin, unlike sa pc na multitasking na umaandar pa din realtime sa background yung naka open na apps, sa android, naka cache lang sa background pero naka pause.

        kaya in my opinion I’d go for more processing power over more ram. unless ofcourse mali ang nakasulat sa itaas na Z3560 pa rin ang may 4gb ram instead of Z3580.

    2. Ou nga naman, one app at a time lang, maliban na lang kung may multitask feature ito like other highend competitors… but for me okay na si ZE550ML which have a 2gbram 16gbrom HD display 13mp 5front 3kbatt.. at 10k below..

    3. I would like to correct what was written in the article sir Carlo, ZenFone 2 ZE551ML has 2 variants, where there is a Z3560 1.83GHz processor with 2gb ram and another one with a Z3580 2.3GHz along with 4gb of ram, the rest of the specs are the same 5.5″ 1080p display.

      Refer to these posts for reference:



  5. San ba makakabili nyan?? Ayun yung tanong sa tingin ko di lalabas yung 4gb version dito sa kasi yung zenfone5 A500CG di lumabas dito satin ayun yung 2.0ghz dualcore version ng zenfone5 maxadong malaki ang compition sa asia at first tayo ang main target ng xiaomi pero naagaw ng india ang xiaomi kasi mas malakas ang demand dun if ever na lumabas yung 4gb version ng zenfone2 baka limited unit lang or flash sale lang i like to be wrong with this but its all make sense to me still wanted the 4gb version ill just wait on may 10

  6. People are overreacting again. Be reminded that no smartphone is perfect, just as how the people behind it are. The 4GB RAM is already overwhelming for a midranger. The point here is, everyone who can afford the 4GB variant deserves it. It’s not the best, but it’s worth it.

  7. Rapid overheating processor with only 5 minutes of call and 15 minutes internet browsing? No thanks. In depth review muna bago ako mapapabilib ng Asus ulit. I regret buying Zenfone 5 after the experience with intel atom.

    1. so sad bat sa akin hindi naman :P I use mine naka charge pa halos but never nag overheat kahit once. aww~

      1. Have you ever tried playing Real Racing 3 with the ZF5? IT OVERHEATS SO MUCH!!!! I own a ZF5 but decided to give it to my wife and instead opt for the Meizu M1 Note. Better heat management than ZF5. Plus it can play NBA2k15 (due to Mali GPU of the M1 Note) while ZF5/2 (PowerVR GPU) may not be able to play these games.

        I bought the ZF5 to play graphic intensive games but the heating issue and lags (try playing Colosatron using ZF5 and you will see what I mean) are really disappointing. The Meizu M1 Note handled everything perfectly. Hopefully the ZF2 would have better heat management and the poverVR GPU would be able to handle graphic intensive games. If not then the M1 Note would kick the ass of the ZF2.

        1. Don’t worry, Zen2 has way improved power management and way reduced heat output compared to the Zen5. I already own one so I can speak for the device.

    2. Indeed sir
      Ganyan din nangyari sa ZF5 ng mga officemates ko eh mga candy crush fb insta lang mga yun masyado ng nagiinit pano pa ako na 3d games ang ginagawa.
      Kaya hindi ako bumili ng ZF5.
      Hintay muna tayo ng in depth review

    3. There are already lots of in-depth reviews online from other reputable sites like GSMArena, surely by now you know about Zen2’s power consumption already?

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