Tag Archives: Laser auto-focus

The Infinix Zero 4 Pro, Zero 4 & Hot 4 Pro Smartphones Revealed!

The Infinix Zero 4 Pro, Zero 4 & HOT 4 Pro Smartphones Revealed!

Infinix Mobile just launched three new smartphones – the Infinix Zero 4 Plus, the Infinix Zero 4 and the Infinix HOT 4 Pro. Let’s check out their key features, specifications and hands-on preview.

 

Who Is Infinix?

Infinix is a new smartphone brand that was established in 2013. With an established presence in Africa, South Asia and South America, they are now expanding into South East Asia. Here is a primer by Marco Beh, Country Manager of Infinix Mobility Malaysia.

 

The Infinix Zero 4 Pro, Zero 4 & HOT 4 Pro Presentation

Janson Kwan, General Manager of Thorus Technology Malaysia, then presented the key features of the Infinix Zero 4 Pro, Zero 4 and Hot 4 Pro smartphones.

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The Infinix Zero 4 Pro, Zero 4 & Hot 4 Pro Specifications

SpecificationsInfinix Zero 4 PlusInfinix Zero 4Infinix Hot 4 Pro
Display5.98" Full HD IPS display
- 1080 x 1920 pixels
5.5" Full HD IPS display
- 1080 x 1920 pixels
5.5" HD IPS display
- 720 x 1280 pixels
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 3 with 2.5D curved edgeCorning Gorilla Glass 3 with 2.5D curved edgeNone
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0Android 6.0Android 6.0
PlatformMediaTek helio X20MediaTek MT6753MediaTek MT6737
Processor2 x ARM Cortex-A72 cores (2.0 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.85 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.4 GHz)
8 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.3 GHz)4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.3 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-T880ARM Mali-T720ARM Mali-T720
Memory4 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM3 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 128 GB)
32 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 128 GB)
16 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 128 GB)
Selfie Camera13 MP sensor with single LED flash8 MP sensor with single LED flash5 MP sensor
Main Camera21 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens, OIS, laser AF and dual-tone LED flash16 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens, OIS, laser AF and dual-tone LED flash13 MP sensor with single LED flash
SIM CardSingle micro SIM slotTwo micro SIM slotsTwo micro SIM slots
Fingerprint SensorYes, rear-mountedYes, rear-mountedYes, rear-mounted
Battery4000 mAh lithium-ion battery3200 mAh lithium-ion battery4000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions82.97 mm wide x 160.5 mm tall x 8.25 mm thick76.0 mm wide x 151.5 mm tall x 7.75 mm thick76.2 mm wide x 152.6 mm tall x 8.8 mm thick

Next Page > The Key Features & Hands-On Preview, Price & Availability

 

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The Infinix Zero 4 Plus & Zero 4 Key Features

The Infinix Zero 4 and Zero 4 Plus smartphones use in-plane switching (IPS) LCD panels, with a full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920 and support for up to 16 million colours. The Infinix Zero 4 has a 5.5″ screen, while the Infinix Zero 4 Plus has a slightly larger 5.98″ screen. Both are protected by Gorilla Glass 3.

Both of these smartphones boasts a main camera with f/2.0 lens with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) capability that helps to reduce hand shake and low light blurring. The Infinix Zero 4 Plus comes with a 20.7 MP sensor, while the Infinix Zero 4 has a 16 MP sensor.

The Infinix Zero 4 Plus is powered by a 10-core processor, and comes with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The Infinix Zero 4, on the other hand, has an octa-core processor, and comes with 3 GB of RAM with 32 GB of storage. With 4,000 mAh and 3,200 mAh batteries respectively, both smartphones will last hours on-the-go.

 

The Infinix Zero 4 Plus Hands-On Preview

Here is our hands-on preview of the top-of-the-line Infinix Zero 4 Plus smartphone.

 

The Infinix HOT 4 Pro Key Features

Powered by Android M, XOS and an advanced smart voice technology, the Infinix HOT 4 Pro features a 5.5” HD display and dual high-quality stereo speaker with a rated battery life of up to 48 hours.

The integrated smart fingerprint feature allows for secure ID access, eliminating complicated passwords. It can also be configured to wake dormant apps and enable privacy control in certain applications.

Its star feature – 3D Stereo Surrounding uses Dirac Stereo Widening allows users to immerse themselves in an exceptional multi-media experience with its dual high-quality stereo speakers. It also boasts a 13 MP main camera with five lens elements, and a 5 MP front camera – both equipped with a soft LED flash.

Thanks to its large 4,000 mAh battery, the Infinix HOT 4 Pro is designed to function for up to two days without recharging.

 

Price & Availability

The Infinix Zero 4 is available right now for RM 999 (~US$ 219) in the Lilac Grey colour. The other colours will follow later in the year, starting with Galaxy Blue in June.

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The Infinix Zero 4 Plus will only be available in early April 2017. The price will be revealed then.

Infinix Zero 4 and Zero 4 Plus customers will enjoy the following benefits, in addition to the standard 1-year warranty :

  • 6-month screen warranty (redeemable once)
  • 1-on-1 replacement for any hardware malfunction (first 15 days)

The Infinix HOT 4 Pro is available right now for RM 599 (~US$ 133) in the Lilac Grey, Champagne Gold and Galaxy Blue colours.

 

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ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) Phablet Review

When we reviewed the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) smartphone, we noted that it was a divergent model of the original ASUS ZenFone 2. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor instead of an Intel Atom processor. It also came with a laser auto-focusing system to complement its 13 MP main camera’s contrast detection system.

For those who prefer a phablet though, ASUS offers the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon]. It is more than just a larger device, it comes with a more powerful processor, more memory, a better display and more. Take a look at this comparison of the 5.5″ and 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser models :

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (6")ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (5.5")
ModelZE601KLZE550KL
Operating SystemAndroid 5.0 Lollipop with ASUS ZenUI
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 616Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
Processor1.65 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 x 4 cores
1.113 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 x 4 cores
1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 x 4 cores
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 405Qualcomm Adreno 306
Display6.0" IPS display
- 1080 x 1920 resolution
- 367 ppi pixel density
5.5" IPS display
-720 x 1280 resolution
- 268 ppi pixel density
Display ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Primary Camera13 MP PixelMaster 2.0 camera
- Toshiba T4K37 sensor
- Laser autofocus (primary) with contrast-detection autofocus (secondary)
- f/2.0 Largan lens
- dual-tone LED flash
Secondary Camera5 MP camera
- fixed focus, 85° wide-angle f/2.0 lens
Memory3 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Internal Storage16 GB flash storage
Storage ExpansionmicroSD slot
- supports up to 128 GB
SIM Card SlotTwo micro SIM slots
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability
- Both SIM slots support 2G / 3G / 4G
Two micro SIM slots
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability
- Both SIM slots support 2G / 3G / 4G
ConnectivityHSPA+ : 42 / 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat4 : 150 / 50 Mbps
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, EDR
HSPA+ : 42 / 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat4 : 150 / 50 Mbps
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP, EDR
GPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
NFCNo
Fingerprint SensorNo
RadioNo
SensorsAccelerometer, proximity, compass, light, Hall, gyroscope
BatteryRemovable 3,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Fast ChargingYes, comes with 10 W chargerNo, comes with 5 W charger
Dimensions84.0 mm wide
164.55 mm tall
10.55 mm thick
77.2 mm wide
152.5 mm tall
10.8 mm thick
Weight190 g170 g

 

Unboxing The ZE601KL

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] comes in a really nice two-piece retail box. Its key features are listed on the right and left sides of the box, with the device’s actual specifications listed on a sticker at the bottom. ASUS redesigned the unboxing experience with a plastic tab you can pull to slide out the inner box.

Due to the close fit of the two halves, pulling on the tab may not slide the box right out. Don’t pull too hard or it will actually power up the ZenFone 2 Laser inside the box! This actually happened to us in the video above.
[adrotate banner=”4″]Once you remove everything, you will find the following items :
  • One ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) phablet
  • One ASUS 10 W fast charger with 3-pin plug adapter
  • One micro-USB 2.0 cable
  • One ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) User Guide
  • One ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) warranty card
  • One strip of 3 IMEI stickers

In the next page, we are going to take a close look at the ZE601KL and set it up!

Next Page > Close Look, Inside The ZE601KL, Battery & Card Slots, Stereo Speakers

 

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The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL)

In this video, we will show you how to quickly unwrap the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] – just slide it out! And we will give you a quick tour of its key features :

ASUS designed the ZE601KL to be ambidextrous. Hence, they placed the Power button at the top, with the Volume rocker switch at the back. This allows for easy handling by both right- and left-handed users. ASUS placed the earphone socket at the top, with the speaker located at the bottom of the back cover.

For selfies, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] has a 5 MP wide-angle shooter in the front, but for serious photography, there is an 13 MP PixelMaster 2.0 camera at the back. The main camera is supported not just by a dual-tone flash to its right, but also a laser focusing diode and receiver to its left.

The ZE601KL is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 (MSM8939v2) SoC with 3 GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM, and runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI. Its 6″ IPS display has a resolution of 1080 x 1920, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

 

Inside The ZE601KL

Now, let’s take a look INSIDE the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon]. We will show you how to remove the tight back cover to gain access to the two SIM slots, the microSD card and the 3,000 mAh removable battery.


 
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Battery & Card Slots

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] comes with two SIM slots, with dual standby capability. This means both SIMs are connected to the network, but only one can be used at any one time. It also comes with a removable 3,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, and a microSD card slot that supports card capacities up to 128 GB.

The SIM1 slot is located on the upper right side of phablet, and can be accessed without removing the battery. The second SIM slot is paired with the microSD card slot above it. To insert a second SIM card or a microSD card, you need to remove the battery first. Make sure you insert the micro SIM card in the bottom slot. The top slot is for the micro SD card.

 

Stereo Speakers

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] comes with stereo speakers, but they are both located at the lower back of the phablet. The sound emits out the speaker grille near the USB port, so the stereo effect is reduced and only effective with the phablet is used vertically.

Incidentally, you will note that ASUS brought back the premium diamond-cut lines (with a 0.13 mm pitch) on the back cover. The 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) features a back cover with flat matte finish.

Next Page > Setting Up The ZE601KL, Available Storage & Memory, Camera Capabilities

 

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Setting Up The ZE601KL

This video will show you the initial setup process. It will take you no more than 5 minutes to set it up as a new device.

Once you finish setting it up and it loads the home screen, you will be amazed at how bright and sharp the display is. The display is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This makes it twice as hard to break in a drop, compared to Gorilla Glass 3 used in the flagship ZenFone 2 model. Gorilla Glass 4 has, so far, been limited to higher-end phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note5.

 

Available Storage & Memory

Out of the box, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] runs on Android 5.0.2 and has 10.43 GB of free space, out of its internal 16 GB flash storage. As you can tell – that’s not a lot of storage space. Unless you are a light user, you are going to need to add additional storage via a micro SD card.

The ZE601KL also comes with 3 GB of LPDDR3 memory, which is great at its price point. What’s just as important is the fact that the ZE601KL has relatively little bloat, leaving you with 1.7 GB of free memory to play with. That’s more than enough to run several apps at the same time.

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Camera Capabilities & Options

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] has a 13 MP PixelMaster camera at the back, and a 5 MP wide-angle camera in the front. Both cameras use a 4:3 ratio for maximum resolution, with small crop sizes available in the settings menu.

The main camera has a dual-tone LED flash to brighten up dark scenes. as well as a laser diode and sensor for faster and more accurate focusing even in the dark. The main camera can record videos in full 1080p resolution, albeit only with electronic video stabilisation turned off.

The main camera also comes with a bunch of built-in software features like a HDR mode and a low light option that extends the camera’s ability to capture poorly-lit scenes by combining light from multiple pixels. You can also apply some filters or convert your pictures into GIF animation.

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photos & Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] uses the same Toshiba T4K37 sensor used in the flagship ASUS ZenFone 2 smartphone. The pictures no longer suffer from the yellow cast we saw in our ZenFone 2 Camera Shootout, but it still exhibits considerable noise. This is not a problem when the pictures are posted online on Facebook, Twitter, etc. but they are obvious when the pictures are blown up on a computer screen.

Take the example of the elevator and the Dala horse. They look perfectly sharp and well-defined. But if you blow it up to 100%, you will see the noise blurring the edges. That said, this has been improved since our ZenFone 2 Camera Shootout.

Thanks to its bright f/2.0 lens, the ZE601KL handles shaded or dim scenes well, and a decent job in bright scenes. The light fixtures and warning signs were both located in shaded areas with relatively low light.

These pictures of various fruits again show the abilities and limitations of the ASUS PixelMaster camera. They appear well-exposed and well-detailed. Only when you blow them up, will you see the edges blur from the sensor noise. This is most evident in areas of high contrast, like the stripes of the bubblegum balls.

Overall, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] produced well-exposed and sharp pictures that are more than good enough for online use. Its sensor noise is only apparent if you blow up the pictures to 100%, and while you may lose some details in the bright areas of a scene, the most important thing is that the objects in focus are well-exposed.

Next Page > Video Recording Performance, Laser Focusing Performance

 

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] is capable of recording 1080p videos, albeit without any form of image stabilisation. Here are two sample videos we recorded. The first is of a piano performance by Mr. Yang I-Deun, while the second is of skaters at an ice-skating rink.

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] has some trouble controlling the exposure of the bright areas. They were all overexposed. This is similar, but to a lesser extent, to what we saw with the ASUS ZenPad 7.0 tablet.

We hope ASUS looks into this, because other than this exposure problem, the ZE601KL did a great job of recording both scenes. Mr. Yang and his audience, as well as the skaters, remained properly exposed.

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Laser Focusing Performance

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL)‘s main claim to fame is its laser focusing system. It uses a laser diode to shoot laser beams at near objects to instantly determine their distances. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing than can be achieved using contrast detection or phase detection auto-focusing techniques. We tested its laser focusing capabilities using a neat little app that ships with the ZE601KL – a laser ruler.

The laser focusing system is especially useful in low or poor lighting conditions. However, the laser diode has a low power output, for safety reasons.  You can only use it to measure distances of up to 50 cm. Anything beyond that won’t return a reading. As you can surmise by now, 50 cm is also the range for the ZE601KL’s laser focusing feature. If it fails to detect any object in range, it will fall back to the original contrast detection autofocus method.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life, Battery Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance : PCMark

We tested the ZE601KL’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

ASUS
ZenFone 2 Laser
(ZE601KL)
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
Work Performance Score
(Average)
3492 3898 5078
Web Browsing 3351 3756 6788
Video Playback 3773 4325 3091
Writing 3574 4085 5918
Photo Editing 3291 2614 5357

Both the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] and the honor 5X (Amazon) use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor, with some difference in clock speeds.

The ZE601KL has four A53 cores running at 1.65 GHz, with another four A53 cores running at 1.11 GHz. The honor 5X, on the other hand, has four A53 cores running at 1.5 GHz, with the second cluster running at 1.2 GHz. That’s why while they may both use the same processor, they exhibit slightly different performance characteristics.

 

Battery Life : PCMark

We then tested the ZE601KL’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] lasted just under 8 hours, which is surprising since the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) lasted over 12 hours on the same test. Obviously, the higher resolution screen and octa-core processor take their toll on battery life…

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Battery Recharging Speed

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] comes with Fast Charging capability that the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) lacks. They both use the same 3,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery.

As the chart shows, it recharged from 17% to 100% in just 142 minutes (2 hours 22 minutes). It actually hit 90% in just 90 minutes (1 hour 30 minutes). In other words, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] recharges its battery about 31% faster than the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL).

Next Page > Overall Performance, Gaming Performance, Our Verdict

 

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Overall Performance : AnTuTu Benchmark

AnTuTu is a nice benchmark for testing various performance aspects of Android devices.

ASUS
ZenFone 2 Laser
(ZE601KL)
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
TOTAL SCORE 36961 36983 75222
3D SCORE 2538 2446 20579
– 3D (Garden) 1550 1492 8104
– 3D (Marooned) 988 954 12475
UX SCORE 15220 16269 24065
– UX Data Secure 4483 4673 5507
– UX Data Process 2609 2438 4392
– UX Strategy Games 2169 2698 6948
– UX Image Process 2988 2599 3413
– UX I/O Performance 2971 3861 3805
CPU SCORE 15384 14031 25402
– CPU Mathematics 3296 2968 7823
– CPU Common Use 4891 4696 7585
– CPU Multi-Core 7197 6367 9994
RAM 3819 4237 5176

Other than some minor variations in performance characteristics, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] was identical in performance to the honor 5X (Amazon) in AnTuTu Benchmark.

 

Gaming Performance : 3DMark

We tested the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL)‘s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Sling Shot (ES 3.0) test.

ASUS
ZenFone 2 Laser
(ZE601KL)
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
Gaming Score 156 155 1508
Graphics 125 124 1510
Physics 1097 1149 1501
Graphics Test 1 0.3 fps 0.3 fps 8.6 fps
Graphics Test 2 1.4 fps 1.4 fps 5.3 fps
Physics Section 1 15.7 fps 18.8 fps 29.6 fps
Physics Section 2 11.9 fps 11.9 fps 15.4 fps
Physics Section 3 6.4 fps 6.6 fps 8.2 fps

Sling Shot is a very strenuous test, so it’s not surprising to see both the ZE601KL (Amazon) and the honor 5X (Amazon) flounder compared to the Samsung Galaxy S6. In the real world though, they both have no issues tackling the 3D games we throw at them.

 

Our Verdict

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] is the phablet of the ZenFone 2 family. Unlike the other ZenFone 2 models, it skips the Intel Atom for a Qualcomm processor. The model we received was powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, which is n par for this price segment.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 is slower than the Intel Atom Z3580 / Z3560 processors powering the other ZenFone 2 models, but faster than the low-cost Intel Atom x3-C3230 that powers the ASUS ZenPad 7.0 tablet, or the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 powering the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL).

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] also comes with a full HD IPS display. This is perfect for watching 1080p videos, whether it’s recorded on the ZE601KL itself, or downloaded from the Internet. Of course, all that extra processing power and the higher resolution display come at a cost – reduced battery life. The ZE601KL has a 35% shorter battery life than the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) on the same 3,000 mAh battery.

ASUS appears to have improved the 13 MP PixelMaster 2.0 camera used in the ZenFone 2 Laser. It no longer exhibits the yellow cast we saw in the flagship ZenFone 2 model. It has better exposure control – the subject is always well-exposed, although it overexposes bright backgrounds. The overexposure with bright backgrounds is also seen in the videos we recorded. The good news is the subject remains well-exposed. We hope ASUS can address this issue in a future firmware update.

[adrotate banner=”4″]The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser’s hallmark laser focusing system only works for objects that are less than 50 cm away. It falls back to its contrast detection method for objects that are further away. Even with the range limitation, it’s very useful if your subject is in range… especially if there are subjects nearby that may interfere with the autofocus.

To use it properly, you should enable Touch Shutter so that when you touch on the screen, it will fire the laser, focus on the subject you just selected and take the shot – all in one go. This is especially useful for product shots where you want to focus on a particular part. The laser focusing system will guarantee that the part you want is in focus.

As such, we would recommend the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] to those who do a lot of product or miniature photography. The laser focusing system would be very helpful in this aspect. The small storage capacity is a minor hindrance – one easily solved by adding a microSD card.

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] is best suited for those who want an affordable phablet with dual SIM, dual-standby capability and do not need a stylus. It offers an ambidextrous design with a large, full HD display protected by Gorilla Glass 4. All for just RM 1,099 (~USD 279). That’s a hard deal to ignore.

 

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