Devices – August 2015

Here we take a look at two mid range devices which aren’t particularly well known. The mid market is an incredible segment right now as we are seeing some great devices at some very sensible prices. Take a look at the Zenfone 2 from Asus and the Kazam Tornado below.

Asus Zenfone 2

When I saw the Zenfone it took a little bit of time for me to get my head around the device. With its 5.5 inch screen, 4GB of RAM, and its speedy Intel processor I was surprised to see it come with a price tag of just £210. Then when I actually picked up the device I wanted to instantly put it down just in case I caught ugly! It’s very plastic and not as well made as some of the other big screen devices out there.

Asus-ZenFone-2In terms of performance the Zenfone was actually very zippy! At less than half the price of the big flagship phones on the market you may expect less than half the performance… in reality the performance is only slightly below the current crop of flagship devices.

Zenfone is packing the new Android 5.0 Lollipop but with a difference. The Asus’s ZenUI overlay is great for customisation (if that’s what you are into) which makes for a more complicated layout, but one that the Android faithful will appreciate. Asus has also included a number of unique apps which are only available on the Zenfone, File Manager provides control over the internal storage and microSD cards (it has two microSD slots). There is also has a task list app which those who need a little more organising in their life may appreciate.

The screen is a little on the dim side and there were a few occasions under a bright light where I had to tilt the screen just to read some text. The camera is also well below par but for the price… you can’t have everything!

In short, if you are after good power with plenty of storage and customisation options then you aren’t going to go wrong with the Zenfone 2. As mentioned previously it is less than half the price of the big flagships out in the market yet in the benchmarks it only performs slightly below the current top devices… but it actually outperforms last years devices!

 

Kazam Tornado 348

When the Tornado hit the market earlier this year it was able to boast it was the world thinnest smartphone at 5.1mm. Unfortunately no sooner had their pr team finished writing the press release than Oppo announced their R5 device which comes in at 4.85mm!

kazam-tornado-348The 4.8 inch 720p Amoled screen is quality but unfortunately falls short of full HD. However for everyday tasks it is more than adequate. There is no sign of an Android OS update yet so those that opt for the Tornado will be stuck with 4.4.2 KitKat. Fingers crossed that Lollipop finds its way onto the device in the near future. The device comes with a octa-core processor ( 2.7GHz) for decent power and efficiency although rather underwhelming only has 1GB of RAM.

Although it’s now not the thinnest in the world it’s actually a very attractive device to look at… well as far as a rectangle can be attractive anyway! Aside from asthetics there are a few major flaws with Tornado which can’t be overlooked. There is no microSD expansion slot and also 4G functionality has been omitted. I could get over the lack of storage expansion but in 2015 having 4G should be a standard feature in my opinion.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine