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.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.