Author Archives: Norman3000

About Norman3000

Hi Guys, I'm Norman3000 of Norman's Randoms and PowerBondSeven of YouTube, I created this new blog to serve as my clean slate as I work my way back up to do reviews! I hope I can still have the hearts of my old fans as well as getting some new ones! Happy Reading, Guys!

‘QCY’ Lazada Bluetooth Earphone Review (From Wawawei)

‘QCY’ Lazada Bluetooth Earphone Review

Recently, I seem to have been browsing Lazada lately and I happen to come this item which piqued my interest. Why? It looks painstakingly similar to my Soundpeats QY7.

The aforementioned Bluetooth Headset is undeniably the best budget Bluetooth headset period. Especially if you can get it below P1500 (~$30). Regular price is P2500 (~$50) on Lazada with frequent “discounts”

Last Wednesday (Feb 22, 2017), I lost my QY7 due to my carelessness, and since I need a Bluetooth Headset, I decided to pick this one up.

It only cost me P600 (~$12) which I didn’t think was that much expensive. Since it doesn’t have an official name, I decided to call this One ‘Reddy’. Read on and find out my initial thoughts.

 

PACKAGING AND CONTENTS

 

So let’s get right to it. Out of the box you get the following:

An extremely generic package. It doesn’t even have QCY branding.

Extra sets of ear buds

Instruction manual

A charging cable

And the device itself

 

BUILD AND DESIGN

20170226_092425

Taking the device out one thing is certain, the build quality is terrible. It feels extremely plastic and feels like it will break sooner rather than later. It is also lighter than the QY7.

The buttons are clicky and loud in a bad way and you need to press them hard to register.

Having a QY7, you would think that since they looked the same they would have similar build quality, alas, don’t judge a BT headset by its ad clearly applies here.

Reddy has 3 buttons similar to QY7 but same with its look they don’t function akin to the aforementioned.

On the right you have the pairing button which functions as such. You will even be greeted to the same voices as the QY7. The right also has the volume up and down. And this is the worst thing about Reddy.

Obviously you would think that + is volume up and – is volume down. NO. It functions as previous and next track respectively. Imagine how annoying that is.

Lastly, since Reddy replaces an active BT headset, I decided to take it for a jog and surprisingly, it did not come off. Be sure to change the fins and the buds to your ear first though.

 

PERFORMANCE

 

I realized that being a $12 headset, I really shouldn’t expect much not only onto the design but overall.

So as to performance, I can say that its obviously not in par with other $30 Best BT headset but it is serviceable. Reddy has a muffled sound quality which lack quite a lot of detail BUT its not as tinny or ear deafening as Elliot Audio Active 2, which I already consider a win. The bass is verging on not bad but also not good as the muffling really takes a lot out of the experience.

Personally, I would pick Reddy over EA in terms of sound quality.

Battery life is my biggest surprise as it was able to last me a little over 5 hours which, for $12, is really impressive.

So that’s been it guys, for a $12 Bluetooth Headset that clearly channels QY7, is it worth it?

For me, honestly, no, even if it’s just $12, I find everything about this underwhelming at best. The only saving grace Reddy has is average battery life but the terrible build quality, uninspiring audio quality, and the frustrating button functionalities are clear indicators that this is a clear cut case of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover

 

What I Liked:

Battery Life

 

What I Didn’t Like:

Muffled Sound Quality

Stupid Button Functionality

Terrible Build Quality

 

Journey to the West (Philippine Sea) and Back

(I’ll be posting pictures once I have steady Internet)

This seems a little premature. I wanted to blog about all my ‘adventuring’ experiences at the end of the year to signal that 2017 has been a different year.
So far, I’ve been to more places in 2 months voluntarily than all of 2016 combined.

A while ago (7am in Feb 19, 2017), I was just in the West Philippine Sea with my friends.
We decided to go to Crystal Beach Resort because of all the rave it is getting.

We set off at 5.30am on Feb 18, and arrived shy of noon.
Unfortunately Crystal Beach was already packed. Reservations were needed.
Fortunately the resort Next door was open, PRINCE JB BEACH RESORT.

The rooms which were good for 4, probably six if you can haggle it, only costs P3000.
It is a well ventilated and lit room with your own CR. I don’t know if this is cheap of not, please tell me in the comments.

The clincher here is JB and Crystal are literally a step away.

I found nothing interesting to do here other than swim and surf though. The beach is also too wavy to just float around and relax.
Think mini-Baler.

But hey, I love the beach, I personally find it destressing and calming.

At about 7am, we were packing up and getting ready to leave and this is where things got interesting for me.

At Subic we found a place where the ocean is calm and I think its free. I didn’t kick myself of regret but it made me want to go back and experience the calm ocean of subic. See pics below.

Waze sent me off to a different direction going home and I was stopped by a police officer.

My heart raced as evidenced by my Xiaomi Mi Band 2, as everytime I had to stop I had to pay upwards of P1000.

Holy shit was Kuya nice, he let us off the hook saying that just be careful since it was literally my first time there.

As the boring journey continues back to Manila we found ourselves hungry and we decided to stop at Shell of Asia.

We had 2 places to eat. And we chose the wrong one. Expensive, small serving and the pork is horrendous.

As I started Cruisewind after the Shell of Asia stopover, that’s when I noticed something was off with it. IT started funny but it ran, and as I dropped of my friends in Shaw, Cruisewind went out. In the fucking middle of the road.

Fortunately some kuyas again were there to help. After a few ‘kadyots’ Cruisewindwas running again.

After it warmed up for about 30 minutes, I went off again, only to stop again at the middle of Shaw. I immediately called the MMDAs for help. I knew this time my wallet was going to take a huge asteroid.

Holy shitter! The MMDAs were hella nice. They helped me park the car properly and until the mechanic arrived and they asked nothing in return.

I gave them 2 dozens of donuts for all the trouble. Right now Cruisewind is still dead as there are no open battery charging stations on Sundays, but I’m sure my 10 year old, 0.2Billion Metered Cruisewind will live to fight another day.

This was a whirlwind of a stressful experience but I’m glad that everything worked out in the end.

The last words kuya spoke was ‘Pare pareho naman tayong Pilipino tulong tulongan nalang’

Truly an eye-opening experience that Humanity’s kindness is always around and maybe Change has really come.

Elliot Audio Active Review

 

Elliot Audio Active Review

 

 

As 2017 moves ahead, one of the most common New Year’s Resolution is to be fit get healthy.

Enrolling into a gym is the in thing to do, but running on a treadmill is just boring. What can help the tediousness?

Music! And what better way to listen to music than to go Wireless!

Enter Elliot Audio Active 2. As of this writing, EAA has amassed a whopping 150k+ likes. Yeah it’s sponsored but 150k is nothing short of amazing.

What made heads turn around was its insane price tag. P850. I honestly can’t argue with that so I decided to pick one up myself.

 

Seeing as it is only P850, I decided to look at this from that perspective.

 

PACKAGING AND CONTENTS

 

So let’s get right to it. Out of the box you get the following:

screen

Extra sets of ear buds

Instruction manual

A pouch

A charging cable

And the device itself

 

BUILD AND DESIGN

 

Taking physical tour it has a decent build quality

It feels solid enough to take a few bumps

It has 3 touch buttons that performs different things.

The middle is used for pairing, turning the device on and off, play or pause

It has volume buttons, which can be long pressed to act as next track (+) or previous (-)

This maybe nit-picking but the placement of the buttons feels odd.

Once you wear the headset the (-) button is nearer to your ear which I find annoying especially if you want to play the next.

 

A special feature of this EAA is its ear buds can also be placed together as they are magnetic. Personally this is a very neat trick and a very welcome one.

 

In its name, this is supposed to be an Active device.

For the past two weeks I have used this device, it only came off once.

I have taken this to my workouts and work.

My typical days consists of 15 Minutes Boxing Mitts, 15 Minutes Punching Bag, and 15 Minute Warm-up.

It’s not as intense as a normal workout, but EAA stays on your ear like a champ

 

 

PERFORMANCE

20170127_065535

Onto performance though, it’s still ok but I have to share a few notes.

Battery life is above average, expect about 3 workout sessions before charging it.

If you plan to use it as your daily, expect the need to charge overnight.

The device has amazing standby time and about 5 – 6 hours of usage

You can use this device for calls but don’t expect much.

Oftentimes I find myself disconnecting because the other line wasn’t hearing me clearly.

 

Sound Quality is not this device’s strong suit though.

This maybe subjective but I find the highs too, well, high.

And at max volume it is deafening. The cymbals are way too loud.

This is kind of disappointing as most of my tracks have many highs.

I also didn’t find the bass as punchy as some may think it is.

 

I’m by no means an audiophile but I have tried several earphones namely:

 

Audio Technica CKS77

Sound Magic E50

Sennheiser HD600 (Owned by my brother)

Audio Technica MSR 7 (Owned by my brother)

Awei Earphones

Sony SBH 50

Jaybird X2 (Owned by my brother)

 

Though it’s unfair to compare EAA to say the Jaybird X2. I just can’t say that EAA can replace my earphones at home.

Again the sound is subjective to each and everyone’s ear.

What I find bad maybe good to you.

If you manage to get yourself one try comparing your current one with Elliot Audio Active.

Try listening to Brock Lesnar’s theme. And you can see what I mean.

CONCLUSION

Overall though, sans the high highs, I can’t suggest anything else remotely as good as the EA Audio Active for the price of P850.

For those looking for a rugged durable gym buddy that will never leave your side, your ear in this case, this one is a good buy.

I have an upcoming review for Soundpeats QY7, for a few extra hundreds this is miles ahead of EA

 

What I Liked:

Battery Life

Magnetic Tips

Good build

Affordable

 

What I Didn’t Like:

Highs are too high

Distortion at Max Volume

Button-Placement

To My Next Girlfriend

I will channel my inner Piolo Pascual here ala Starting Over Again.

I want you to know something about me. I want you to know that I am a God-fearing person who also love my family and friends. I want you to know that I value my friends dearly as I am the type of person who will make an extra effort for them. Let me give you an example, I had a friend who held a Christening for their child. Even if there was a threat of a storm, our group, me being the driver, pushed through to get there from Manila to Cavite. During that same trip I learned that another friend of mine got laid off. You know what I did after the Christening and taking my friends home? I went to that other friend to talk. Have I mentioned, both these are GUYS?

You also need to know that many of friends are women. UST is a school with tons of beautiful gorgeous women, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if I have lots of good looking friends. I constantly talk to them because that’s who I am. I talk to my friends on a consistent basis, boy or girl, because I am very talkative. I am very sure at this point in time, you, my crush, I would have made extra effort to talk to you.

If ever you feel threatened, don’t. I just have this undeniable charm where women tend to go ‘Uyyyy ohhh ang funny niya, masarap siguro i-Friend ito’. I’m on that side of the spectrum as opposed to the ‘Uyyy ang gwapo naman, magsusungit ako sa kanya para pansinin nya ako’ side. This is not a generalization on women rather, this is how I have always felt.

Also if we would be together, I want one of my first move to be to introduce you to my friends so you can get to know them and see that they will be no threat to our relationship. Who knows, you may find a new bestie within them.

Lastly, I would like to think that I am an adventurous person even if the farthest place I have ever been is Cebu. I would want for us to have soulful conversation which can help us get to know each other. I would like for me to be your motivation as I indubitably see you. I want us to grow together towards hashtagforever. Even though I have been broken, cheated on, used, I haven’t given up. I know you are out there. If ever you will be my next girlfriend, I don’t want you to just become the next. I want you to become the last. I want you to eventually be my wife.

 

 

Chasing Happiness

At barely 25, I have come to peace with something that I never thought I would be 5 years ago. Hell, even since I was in elementary, I never would have imagined I would find myself in this situation. Where I am chasing happiness. Happiness and comfort over money and experience. Facially, I am one of those who you can brand as someone who chases money. Back in High school, our teacher asked, ‘Who among you wants to be a Politician?’ Two of us raised hands, the other one was the loveable goof of the batch. My teacher commented that he would be a great fit in politics as he has the charm. Comments to me? “You are one of those who would only want to run for money” At that, time she was spot on. Don’t get me wrong, I love that teacher and I was actually surprised that she saw right through me.

 

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to become a pilot, but boy could I not be more wrong. By High school as well, I realized that this is an impossible dream. Why? Aside from the fact that it would literally take me Millions which we do not have, I am physically unfit, I’m too short, too un-pilot-like (Tall and Philippine-parlance accepted Handsome) looking and I do not have a perfect eyesight, something apparently is a requirement for Pilot. And barring the latter I still don’t have millions to spend.

 

Then I decided to become an Engineer. Choosing UST was by far one of, if not the best decision I have ever made, as I felt HAAPPY AND CONTENT THERE. What happened to my ECE dream?  Of course it failed, what else did you expect. Not only did I not pass the Boards I generally felt ECE is not for me, I did not excel the way I wanted and even if I put some effort, I really felt no connection to the subjects.

 

Moving on from one of my biggest failures in life, I decided to work in the IT industry and be still my aching balls! I AM GREAT AT IT. I legitimately enjoy IT-ing and learning new stuff as I move forward. My lack of knowledge did not come as a hindrance, rather, it became a challenge to learn more and more. I can confidently say I instilled a stereotype on ECE to me, I am a jack-of-all basics, master of none. I love breezing through basics of concepts and technologies and learning them.

 

Envy. Originality. Confidence. Dreaming Big. Physical Attribute. These, I realized, are my most glaring weakness.

 

Biggest mistake of my life thus far? I left a place where I was extremely comfortable, I left a place where it has accepted me and my body accepted it, I left my Happy Place. Why? Because I thought I could get more. You can and probably will argue that 2 years of experience is not enough but some of my friends were already jumping from company to company getting hired with 1 year experience on their companies. How could I not be empowered to do the same? Learning your batch mates now earns twice as much as you do on similar fields, how could you seriously not want to try other options?

 

Why am I not given other lucrative opportunity? That has always been my question and I answered it now.

 

I don’t actually blame employers as my ECE background and my self-proclaimed self-studying WILL NEVER hold ground against actual IT graduates and those with more experience than me. In a sea of potential candidates, of course the best one should be picked.

 

Plus I will always attribute back to that fact that I am Philippine-parlanced unattractive hahaha Why? I don’t know if this is coincidence but the moment I removed my picture in my resume I started having MORE CALLS than when I had my picture on. and yeah, tons of my pogi friends or babae friends are constantly getting JOBS THEY WANTED.

 

Also, I did have some job offers and you know what all of them have in common? The job offers I get are from companies where the one that interviewed me were Foreigners. I HAVE NEVER GOT A JOB OFFER from a company where the manager or the final interviewer is a Filipino. How could I seriously not attribute my face there? Call-based I get accepted, Face to face not? Don’t me, I’m ugly, that’s it. Foreigners take chances on me yet my fellow men don’t. If I could, I would seriously consider going abroad but how do I even get VISA, I don’t even have enough to fund myself finding a job on a foreign land. Plus I’m gonna miss my dog. Lol.

 

Lastly, start my own business? Business of what exactly? I don’t have any specialty, my passion is in IT, and I don’t have the funds (Don’t me on Loan wala ngang maisip na business eh).

 

This has been my life and statistics would tell me that it would continue to do so. I was stuck on an impasse, but I have made peace with the fact that this is the best I can be. Work -> Bills -> Work -> Bills. With this, I am now continuously searching, actually I am wanting to come back to my Happy Place and never leave. EVEN IF MY BATCHMATES WILL EARN 200K/MONTH I won’t care anymore. I just want to be happy. I want to come back to Happy Place, be content with friends. I have the attitude to want to learn continuously and I want to do it in my Happy Place. I am now searching to be Happy at Work -> Bills -> Happy at Work -> Bills. Never mind the experience, Never mind the money. What I want is to be Happy.

 

CHASINGHAPPINESS#

Cow Evolution Review: MOOre Poop is MOOre Profit!

Cow Evolution Review: MOOre Poop is MOOre Profit!

TITLE

Casual Gamers. The term rose significantly as iOS and Android dominated the market. And what does Casual Gamers play? Well, Casual Games of course! There are tons of games to play on either platform, lately a friend suggested me to play this game. I usually don’t take advice from friends but we were close for a long time I had to trust his word.

The moment I played Cow Evolution, I had one thing in mind. This is stupid. This game is so stupid it’s actually great! How? Read on and find out!

Disclaimer: All Images/Footage are screenshots from playing.

COW PUNS EVERYWHERE

CLICK

One genre of casual games would be clicker games. These are games that require you to, well, click, and tap endlessly. A great example would be Tap Titans, but their mechanics is no way the same. Think of this as a hybrid of 2048 and Tap Titans.

Basically, the goal for you is to fuse cows until you reach the Ultimate Cow Being.

COWPUNS

In addition, Cow Evolution has this weird humor injected all over the place. The Headlines at the bottom right are corny and sometimes funny. The entries from the MooPedia are disastrously insane and actually quite funny, and the Cow names themselves is MOOrbidly the best factor if you would want to continue what Cow Puns they have next or you want to stop. I’m a corny person so I pushed and actually finished this game.

DRESS

Cow Evolution extends its value by way of grinding to collect all the headgears for the game. I never knew playing dress up could be so much fun.

If I have to nitpick on Cow Evolution, I would have to say the lack of Social Media/Google Play cloud save integration. In this day, many people change their device consistently. Not that you would play this game for years but it would have been a nice feature. Here’s hoping cloud saves come in the near future.

I can’t say anything more, that’s basically what Cow Evolution is. And reiterating what I said before, it sounds and probably looks stupid and non-sense at first glance, and it probably is.

CONC

But there is something weird about this world that wants you to play more. This maybe due to the relative ease on how the game praises you and gives positive reinforcement for insignificant tasks. I don’t know about you guys, but when I am praised, I tend to feel better and, in turn, give more. If we feel like we have this sense of accomplishment and we are properly recognized, we feel better. Fuse the first two cows and you get this congratulatory sign. Fuse for the second level, you get another, and so on.

  1. Graphics 

Cow Evolution is a 2D Game that looks like it was drawn by a kid who thinks everything in the world can be cows. It’s silly fun.

  1. Gameplay 

Fuse, fuse, fuse, buy cows, cows make poop, poop is money.

  1. Sound 

I can’t tell you how much I’ve muttered –TATATATATATATAT. The sound is like music of this generation. Pointless, but it gets in your head.

  1. Replay 

Fusing for the next Cow Pun is your best source of replay.

Score

Conclusion

GET COW EVOLUTION FROM GOOGLE PLAY Image From PrizeRebel.com

Cow Evolution may not have the same action like Tap Titans, it doesn’t even need the skills to beat 2048 but it does categorize as a stupidly great Casual Games when you are bored while travelling or helping you to sleep. Cow Evolution is weird and pointless but in a very good way. It’s not for everyone but those cute cows will get some hearts and fans one evolution or another.

Asus Zenfone 2 – The Dark Knight of Smart Phones

Asus Zenfone 2 – The Dark Knight of Smart Phones

Back to the Future Part II. Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets. X-men 2. 22 Jump Street. The Dark Knight. What do all of them have in common? They are all sequels to a good movie but they are not just sequels. They are movies that took a quantum leap and took the franchise to new heights. So how does this connect to Zenfone 2? Duh! Zenfone 5 was a sure-fire sleeper last year and now, its successor took that same Quantum Leap and what I assume I assume correctly, has propelled Asus to the upper echelon of Smartphones. Zenfone 2 is not just a successor or a simple sequel. It is the #SmartPhoneDarkKnight! #BoldStatement

Zenfone 5 almost had it all last year and what momentum it had is used by Zenfone 2 with so much more. Zenfone 2 maybe twice the price but it still delivers the same bang for the buck as its predecessor. Maybe even banger-for-the bucker! Zenfone 2 is undoubtedly one of this year’s most anticipated phone and has it lived up to the hype? Well, I can say yes now but I still want you to read on and find out why Zenfone 2 is The Dark Knight of Smartphones

This model is Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML 4GB 32GB Model

  1. Design and Build

 Looks

Zenfone 5 was, if not the, one of the best looking budget phone in the market last year. Its design language was unique it screams premium. Now, as superficial as this world is, Zenfone 2 also received a facelift which looks stunning, high-class and premium. That 5.5 Inch Screen with generous bezel. Those capacitive touch buttons with Asus’ shiny thingy at the bottom just tells you ‘Hey this is Asus’. The back is reminiscent of the G3 which is not a bad thing considering G3 is one of the more amazing looking flagship last year. The Intel with the Zenfone logo sits at the bottom with the speaker grill. The thin bezel helps with ease of one-handed usage but most of the time, two hands will be required. The center positioning of the power button is quite peculiar. Headsets attached it’s harder to reach with the left hand. Spoiler alert, this phone supports double tap to sleep and wake so use of the power button will be lessened.

For the superficial race that we are, Zenfone 2 is one of those you will boastfully whip out and friends will say that it looks great mistaking it for a higher-tier device. A tiny criticism with the design would be how slippery it feels in the hand. For sweaty handed people like me, Zenfone 2 feels like it could slip out sooner rather than later. As the expression goes here in the Philippines, ‘Kanin palang ulam na’ (Rice only, viand too). That is the perfect expression for Zenfone 2’s look.

  1. Display

display

Zenfone 2’s relatively big 5.5 Screen is partnered with a gorgeous Full HD 1080p Display. Sure, QuadHD is now the trend but what are you seriously going to do with those alleged power hungry screens? Full HD is an amazing complement. Text looks sharp, images are clear and vibrant. The Zen UI helps with how punchy Zenfone 2 is.

disp2

Zenfone 2 has polarizing backlight. Its lowest is not too low, which is a good thing, but its Highest is relatively low too. It has ok viewing angles but a brighter max brightness could’ve made it much better outdoors.

Same with Zenfone 5 complaint I had last year is the non-backlit capacitive touch buttons. It’s a minor minor gripe but it is worth mentioning. Luckily, most phones do have the same layout of Back-Home-Recent so it’s not that much of an issue.

  1. Entertainment

Entertainment

You can’t use a smartphone without using it as a multimedia driver. Zenfone 2 is the Mid-range phone to beat with respect to multimedia performance.

For audio quality, the only reason loudspeaker will fail from time to time is because of its single driver at the back. Plug in your earphones, I now use an Awei ES900i, ughhh, eargasm. High volumes, useful for drowning out everything else, partner it with clean audio output at max volume, Heaven!

Fancy a movie or a series? Zenfone 5 was an amazing Movie Player sans some 1080p here and there. Zenfone 2 breaks that wall like Bane breaks Batman’s back that it can play anything you throw at it. I haven’t tried those movies which are 20GB+ but it has played a 9GB file flawlessly. I don’t see the point of watching movies beyond those 1080p, 2GB files on a smartphone so as far as Video playing goes. Zenfone 2 is a Beast. Do note that MX Player is better than the stock. Just. Just. Ok?

games

Gaming. Do I really need to tell you how Zenfone 2 plays Angry Birds? Yes? Alright, fantastic. So let’s get on to the more graphic intensive games like Dead Trigger and Goat Simulator. Still Great. Nova 3? You bet your ass it still is fine. As far as gaming goes. Zenfone 2 is still an amazing performer. Do note that playing continuously will heat your device up and once it is hot, battery drain is inevitable. Contrary to Zenfone 5, Zenfone 2 is leaps and bounds ahead.

As with my previous review, Web Browsing and Streaming has been upgraded significantly on Lollipop. Partner it with the hardware, Zenfone 2 soars through web pages. Facebooking actually felt great again. Well, it maybe due to Facebooking using a new device but still. Another thumbs up.

  1. Camera

 Camera

Zenfone 2 is equipped with a 13MP Camera t the back and a 5MP Snapper in the front. Same as with last year, Zenfone 2 is loaded with shit loads of features which make picture taking much more fun.

As far as image quality is they sit beyond the above average right below great. Under good natural lighting, Zenfone 2 captures good photos. Inside, not much can be expected but the good thing is, it is still useable. You can check out some of the pics yourself.

  1. Software

Perf1

Zenfone 2 is power-packed with Intel Atom Z3580 Quad-core 2.3 GHz Processor. The model I got was 32GB but it is expandable up to 64GB. It also comes with Lollipop. Finally it is packed with a whopping 4GB of RAM. That is right. FREAKING FOUR GB RAM. The amount of apps you could run in the back ground is just insane. This is one of the first, if not the, to have this insane amount of ram and it translates into performance. Dead Trigger, Goat Simulator, YouTube, Twitch, Limbo, MX Player, Messages. As non-sensical as running the aforementioned simultaneously, Zenfone 2 did it, without slowing down swiping between screens and animations. It ran all of it seamlessly like how Brock Lesnar suplexed the crap out of John Cena in Summerslam last year. This is a testament on how powerful Zenfone 2 is in terms of performance.

Moving on to its insane backgrounding power is the Lollipop under the ZenUI. Having a skin is personal preference, personally, I would have preferred a stock look but Asus needs to have their identity. ZenUI is close to stock so minor gripes here and there but out of the box, Zenfone 2 did have tons of bloatwares. Some are useful but some cater to niche audiences. You can remove them though.

features

As far as useful extra features go, Zenfone 2 comes with one-handed usage option, smart-cover feature, battery saver, motion gesture and my all-time favourite, gesture features which include the mega super useful double tap to wake and sleep. Samsung S5 did not even have this feature, if it does do tell me how. Kudos to Zenfone 2 for this amazing feat.

Call

As far as performing as a phone, Zenfone 2 is a Dual Sim Dual Standby phone which has LTE on Sim 1. Another thumbs up. As far as reception go, I was able to constantly get LTE driving from Quezon City to Taguig. Call quality both as a receiver and transmitter is excellent. As far as my calls with some of my friends went, I did not have any problems.

  1. Battery 

battery

This phone was officially released a few days ago. I haven’t fully tested the battery yet. But ever since I got it I have been constantly using it. If it can give me 3.5 Hours of screen on-time (which I am close to achieving), then this is another aspect Zenfone 2 succeeds.

That 1.5 Hours of screen on-time consists of 1 Hour Movie Watching and the rest for little gaming, browsing, and testing the device. As far as initial testing is, it looks to be another winner.

Executive Summary

scores

CONS:

  • Non-Backlit Capacitive touch buttons
  • Slippery to hold
  • Lots of Bloatware
  • Peculiar button placement
  • Low Brightness

PROS:

  • Lollipop out of the Box
  • Expandable Storage
  • 4GB RAM
  • Great Audio Headset Output
  • Great Design Keeps Asus’ Identity
  • Dual Sim Dual Standby with LTE
  • Rumoured to be supported at least for the foreseeable future
  • Mid-Range Price for a High-End Device

 LIMBO (I cannot judge if these are Pros or Cons):

  • ZenUI

conc

At P13, 995, Asus is once again gunning for that Mid-range Crown. As of now, it looks like it is firmly in its grasp. P13, 995 may seem like a lot especially considering as how Zenfone 5 was aimed for the lower tier market. Zenfone 2, I think, was looking to target more here. I think Asus wants to punch a hole in Samsung and Apple and I think it will. That punch could cause a rattle that the debris it causes may ultimately lead to permanent damage to local performers Cherry and MyPhone, not that I care.  As far as Brand Recognition is, you are certainly getting more out of Asus than the latter aforementioned locals and probably the same as the former Superstars mentioned. Zenfone 2 is way beyond any Cherry Release and way cheaper and more powerful than Samsung Galaxy A7. I’m not saying that Zenfone 2 performs as well as S6 or IPhone 6 but it’s so damn good I’m seriously considering turning this into my main phone over my Samsung S5.

Zenfone 5, the same way Batman Begins brought us a new light into the Smartphone market and Batman, respectively. Zenfone 2, much like the Dark Knight, exceeded expectations significantly and raised the bar maybe to the point that Zenfone 3 maybe the Dark Knight rises. I certainly hope not but as it stands now, Zenfone 2 is the Real MVP.

SmartPhones tend to give you all but one thing. Most, if not all, have one giant disappointment along with other greats. S5 has that Bandage back, G3 has that washed out look, HTC M8 and Nexus has that disappointing camera. For the cons I have noticed, it can be ignored, encased, removed and lessened. For those looking for a high tier device in a budget, I find it hard to find a better suggestion. Same as Last Year, it maybe premature, but Zenfone 2 is now the King of the Mid-Range. I may have had a bias review but keep in mind that I am looking at this as an evolution to Zenfone 5 and at the price point of P13, 995.

Asus has created great devices since 2012. Nexus 2012, 2nd Generation, Zenfone 5 and now Zenfone 2 continues that trend of great releases. Congratulations to Asus for the successful event last weekend and thank you for this beast phone.

Zenfone 2 is the Smartphone Everyone Deserves. #SmartPhoneDarkKnight