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Asus outs the ZenFone 2, but the ZenFone Zoom might be the real winner

ZenFone 2
Why don't you meditate on the ZenFone 2 for a bit

We knew new ZenFones were on the way, and now they're official - as part of its Experience 2morrow event at CES in Las Vegas, Asus has taken the wraps off the ZenFone 2 and the ZenFone Zoom.

The ZenFone 2 is the higher-spec, flagship model of the pair, boasting a 1.8GHz or 2.3GHz quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom processor, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel PixelMaster camera and 4G/LTE connectivity. The 5.5-inch IPS+ display is running at a full HD resolution of 1920x1080.

That's a significant step up from the 2014 models, and Asus has also done some work in the design department as well: the phone sports a brushed metal finish, a curved back and edges that taper to a thickness of 3.9mm.

Get closer

The ZenFone Zoom may not have the power or the looks of the ZenFone 2, but it does have 3x optical zoom capabilities, something of a rarity on a smartphone. Optical image stabilisation and laser auto-focus increase the chances of you getting a blur-free shot.

We don't have any details of the ZenFone's Zoom's innards other than the fact it's sporting a 13-megapixel camera just like its more illustrious sibling. Obviously it's designed to appeal to photography enthusiasts, with a 10-element lens design and manual control modes for ISO and shutter speeds.

All that camera technology will cost you extra though - in the US the ZenFone Zoom retails at $399 (£260/AUS$495) while the ZenFone 2 starts at a very decent $199 (£130/AUS$245) plus VAT and should be out in Q2 in the US. Both phones come with a new version of ZenUI based on Android 5.0 Lollipop.