Anyone with an Asus Phone?
Apr 27, 2015 at 8:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

TRapz

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Posts
991
Likes
94
Location
Connecticut/Washington, DC
Hi all, I was wondering if anybody else owned an Asus phone. I have the Asus Zenfone 5, and wanted to know others' impressions of their Asus phones. I enjoy my Zenfone 5, and I think it was a good deal for the price; it has an Intel Atom Z2560 and 1GB RAM, along with a 720p screen. Battery life isn't the greatest, but overall, the phone works smoothly and the ZenUI looks great. I'm awaiting Lollipop, which was supposedly going to be released at the end of the month. Many different posts on ZenTalk have many different release dates, with some being yesterday, some being at the end of may, and others in between. It's confusing, and I don't enjoy that Asus appears to be delaying the release date, but I'm glad they're working on it to fix any bugs and such. What are your thoughts on anything relating to Asus phones?
 
May 22, 2015 at 3:09 PM Post #2 of 23

parasitius

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Posts
80
Likes
10
I somewhat impulse purchased a Zenfone 2 late last night!!!!!! 3 days shipping.
 
Back story is that I replaced my iPhone 5S with a $107 Blu Studio 5.0C HD about 4 months ago, and it has worked perfectly except for: Google's rubbish microsd support (I've maxed out the internal 2GB and cannot install more apps even though I tried to force every last thing onto SD from the start...) and except for Spotify which is an absolute PIG. The unfortunate conclusion to my experiment in sustainable lifestyle choices is that a $100 phone won't do it for me just yet.
 
--->>>> So $300 big ones on the Zenforce 2 as my next hope. . . (BTW left Apple because after 8 years of that nonsense I'm sick and tired to death of DRM, no filesystem, and iTunes, and still not knowing how to get file on/off my phone. OTOH Android 4.4 has been real trash with copy and past mostly broken, having to "manage" my phone like a full time job, and non-stop problems due to the poor microsd support. I traded one set of problems for another.)
 
I will post updates later... but just in advance wanted to mention the main things I'm excited about: 
 
1) NFC - I want to order some cheap chips off Amazon and set it up so that whenever I drop my phone into my windshield mount it auto launches Google Maps and SPOTIFY!!! 
 
2) Car solutions to finally get a lossless signal? --- My imagination is running wild. When I had the iPhone I used it over bluetooth with a blackberry receiver. It sounded pretty great. My car has an ELS 5.1 factory system. It wasn't until iPhone 4S that Apple finally fixed bluetooth to start sending decent quality audio. Sadly with Android 4.4 Google STILL sends absolutely horrific audio, and I had to switch back to a headphone jack with the Blu. One thing that always tempted me with the Apple was to get an airport express and use airplay to send lossless audio wirelessly and drive that directly into the AUX IN of the car. I saw a YouTube on how to do it, seems uber hacker-y & fun. 
 
That same idea had me googling like crazy to see if there are any mature receivers for Googlecast audio (similar to Chromecast) last night. Alas, nothing yet. HOWEVER, I am thinking about getting a Chromecast, running it into a HDMI-> HDMI+aux out adapter and using Chromecast. IS the quality good, anyone tried? Please god tell me they don't reencode lossy audio into a different lossy 128kbps format all over again and transmit. 
 
Option number 2 is , I hope those fools at google fixed bluetooth in Android 5.x and I can use the Blackberry dongle again... 
 
Option number 3 is, quite delicious, running the OTG USG into a real dac either e17 from fiio or my ODAC. THEN running that into the car's aux in! Perfect sound no static no deficiencies or noise in the signal path! HOWEVER, please guys help me if you have suggestions, how the heck do I make the phone get power when usb otg is plugged in? I can't drive 5 hours in the car streaming 320kbps Spotify and running GPS and a DAC without powering the phone!! 
 
3) 128GB can finally put a substantial portion of my FLAC collection onto the phone itself!! Between 64gb internal, and 64microsd, we're finally seeing phone storage capacities improve for the first time in 5 years. NEVERMIND if you had a 320GB iPod back in the day and have been saying What for about a decade because technology has gone backward so much - from being able to keep all your music library with you in lossless form - to NOT being able to carry but a small portion (consider apps take space too). 
 
As a final point about ASUS, the biggest anxiety I've had since putting in my order is that I saw a review which claimed the phone comes completely spammed out to all hell with junkware. Think about buying a DELL/HP/etc. mainstream desktop computer circa-2002 and what a nightmare it was because the first thing upon getting it home was to reinstall Windows. Apparently with these phones you can't even do a fresh install to "clean" it. That gives me anxiety because my beautiful and glorious work of human achievement, a.k.a., Blu brand phone doesn't have a lick of crap on it. At worst, it comes with a few wallpaper graphics preinstalled. That's it. Clean as a whistle. 
 
P.S. I'm currently trying to figure out why ASUS dropped AptX support, as that'd have been a good car option. Per http://www.aptx.com/brand/asus you'll see the Zenfone 2 is not listed, but the earlier 5 and 6 are. 
 
May 22, 2015 at 8:33 PM Post #3 of 23

TRapz

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Posts
991
Likes
94
Location
Connecticut/Washington, DC
I'm jealous, the Zenfone 2 comes with Lollipop! Us 5 users have been waiting for the update, which has been delayed several times. Out next week supposedly (they said that last week...), and I really hope so. Battery drain should be fixed in Lollipop, it's a bad issue on the 5. I bought mine (first smartphone!) late February when needing a phone, and I just use it for texting, internet, games, etc., just basic stuff. No audio; got my X1 for that. My Zenfone 5 was ~$150, 1GB RAM, Intel Atom processor, 2 SIM card slots, 1 microSD, 720p screen. Not a bad deal. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, my only issue is the battery, which will hopefully be fixed.
 
May 31, 2015 at 1:41 PM Post #5 of 23

parasitius

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Posts
80
Likes
10
I didn't want to pay fast shipping for the phone, because it defeats the whole purpose of me getting a dirt cheap (e.g. non-flagship) phone for the first time. Finally got it a few days back. 
 
Oh my god! So happy. It is beyond perfect for my purposes SO FAR. Extremely responsive. Touch sensor is 100x more accurate and sensitive than my old phone. The only flaw is the volume buttons on the back which I've already REPEATEDLY pushed by accident while using the phone laid flat on a table and tapping too hard. 
 
THIS PHONE WORKS WITH MY FIIO E17k flawlessly!!! 
 
My dream is to now find a Y cable that allows charge AND OTG USB, that way when I get in the car I can plug in just 1 wire, have an external DAC  right into the sound system with no chance or risk of noise or distortion, and have the phone charging, and just throw it into my windshield mount suction cup. This will be better than my current Bluetoouth A2DP solution because no extra lossy encoding step, and I'll be able to start using full quality FLACs in the car to TRULY enjoy my stereo. 
 
Good luck on Lollipop! Everyone with a Zenfone 2 is waiting for 5.1 because apparently it makes the battery last longer. 
 
May 31, 2015 at 6:26 PM Post #6 of 23

TRapz

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Posts
991
Likes
94
Location
Connecticut/Washington, DC
  I didn't want to pay fast shipping for the phone, because it defeats the whole purpose of me getting a dirt cheap (e.g. non-flagship) phone for the first time. Finally got it a few days back. 
 
Oh my god! So happy. It is beyond perfect for my purposes SO FAR. Extremely responsive. Touch sensor is 100x more accurate and sensitive than my old phone. The only flaw is the volume buttons on the back which I've already REPEATEDLY pushed by accident while using the phone laid flat on a table and tapping too hard. 
 
THIS PHONE WORKS WITH MY FIIO E17k flawlessly!!! 
 
My dream is to now find a Y cable that allows charge AND OTG USB, that way when I get in the car I can plug in just 1 wire, have an external DAC  right into the sound system with no chance or risk of noise or distortion, and have the phone charging, and just throw it into my windshield mount suction cup. This will be better than my current Bluetoouth A2DP solution because no extra lossy encoding step, and I'll be able to start using full quality FLACs in the car to TRULY enjoy my stereo. 
 
Good luck on Lollipop! Everyone with a Zenfone 2 is waiting for 5.1 because apparently it makes the battery last longer. 

Manually downloading Lollipop now, hope it's good.
 
I'm thinking about getting an E07k. I need a DAC and amp, and an all-in-one device that's also portable would be wonderful. I feel as though it may be a little outdated though.
 
Jun 24, 2015 at 8:53 AM Post #8 of 23

TRapz

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Posts
991
Likes
94
Location
Connecticut/Washington, DC
Argh- frustrated with this phone right now. I have the Taiwan firmware/phone, which isn't a problem, except I can't get it to update to the TW Lollipop firmware. I've followed all the directions perfectly. I either see "No command" or a "failure to map file" depending on whether I put it in the root of the storage or the internal storage (both are recognized by the phone as having an update). ZenTalk is no help whatsoever, and I'm not sure what to do now.
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 10:51 AM Post #9 of 23

parasitius

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Posts
80
Likes
10
Sorry to hear? Why exactly is there a need to install updates that aren't just automatic? At least on my Zenfone 2 all updates are just either automatic, or one tap to confirm and it updates to the next version totally. No hacking of any sort involved! heh
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 3:21 PM Post #10 of 23

TRapz

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Posts
991
Likes
94
Location
Connecticut/Washington, DC
  Sorry to hear? Why exactly is there a need to install updates that aren't just automatic? At least on my Zenfone 2 all updates are just either automatic, or one tap to confirm and it updates to the next version totally. No hacking of any sort involved! heh

I hear the L update was too big for them to put out OTA. Still having trouble with it, but I'll be trying some stuff tonight.
 
I'd love a Zenfone 2; seems much nicer.
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 9:40 AM Post #11 of 23

wskl

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Posts
1,063
Likes
2,171
@TRapz - I have the Zenfone 5 too (but 2GB RAM version), if I were you I would avoid the Android L update.  From my brief experience using it, it drains the battery so much.  An example is if I have the phone on idle during a 24hr period, the battery would go down from 100% to 64%.  With KitKat, it goes down to only 88% which is a huge difference, Android L update also introduces a bunch of new bloatware although at least it gives you the option of removing it.  Luckily on the Asus download site, there were downloads where I could downgrade back to KK and it works just as well as before.
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 3:08 PM Post #12 of 23

TRapz

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Posts
991
Likes
94
Location
Connecticut/Washington, DC
  @TRapz - I have the Zenfone 5 too (but 2GB RAM version), if I were you I would avoid the Android L update.  From my brief experience using it, it drains the battery so much.  An example is if I have the phone on idle during a 24hr period, the battery would go down from 100% to 64%.  With KitKat, it goes down to only 88% which is a huge difference, Android L update also introduces a bunch of new bloatware although at least it gives you the option of removing it.  Luckily on the Asus download site, there were downloads where I could downgrade back to KK and it works just as well as before.

That's surprising- I'd heard L was supposed to fix the battery drain problem. Running KitKat, mine has a lot of drain, which is pretty annoying. I think I'll be buying a portable power bank just to get through the day, sadly. 
 
How do you find the Zenfone 5?
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 6:27 PM Post #13 of 23

wskl

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Posts
1,063
Likes
2,171
I had also heard that L would give better battery life which is why I decided to do the upgrade, but I'll be sticking with KK for now, maybe the update will work better for you.
 
The Zenfone is actually my first smartphone which I bought in Aug 2014 so I don't have anything to compare it to.  I confess I'm not much of an app person, and my phone is in 2G mode for much of the time, so I use it mainly for voice calls and I use some apps offline occasionally for reading ebooks and comics.  Battery life for me at least in 2G mode is good, I can get up to 6-7 days worth (depending on usage), I think for frequent 3G/wifi users, the battery should last about a day from what I have read.
 
Do you use the Zenfone for music?  I normally use my Clip+ for portable listening and my Fiio E10 usb dac on the computer but I decided to give the Zenfone a try.  First thing I noticed was that there was a big bass boost, this must be why I've been reading that smartphones don't sound as good as DAPs, so I looked around and there is an app called AudioWizard, if you turn that off then the sound becomes much flatter and sounds much better (unless you do actually like your bass).  TBH, I find that the sound coming out from the Zenfone is actually quite good to my ears, bear in mind that I do not have huge expectations with regards to sound quality, e.g. my cheap combo of Clip+ and KSC75 I find to be rather good.  I was only listening to it casually and have not done any extensive AB testing with my Clip+ but there's nothing glaringly bad about it and I find it to be very acceptable.  fyi...I use the Deadbeef app because that's what I use on the computer, the UI isn't too bad and it plays gapless too.
 
Jul 4, 2015 at 4:20 PM Post #14 of 23

ozkan

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Posts
2,844
Likes
813
I've demoed Zenfone 2 today and found them to be very good. It sounds slightly better, cleaner than my Moto G 2013.
 
Jul 5, 2015 at 9:57 PM Post #15 of 23

TRapz

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Posts
991
Likes
94
Location
Connecticut/Washington, DC
  The Zenfone is actually my first smartphone which I bought in Aug 2014 so I don't have anything to compare it to.  I confess I'm not much of an app person, and my phone is in 2G mode for much of the time, so I use it mainly for voice calls and I use some apps offline occasionally for reading ebooks and comics.  Battery life for me at least in 2G mode is good, I can get up to 6-7 days worth (depending on usage), I think for frequent 3G/wifi users, the battery should last about a day from what I have read.
 
Do you use the Zenfone for music?  I normally use my Clip+ for portable listening and my Fiio E10 usb dac on the computer but I decided to give the Zenfone a try.  First thing I noticed was that there was a big bass boost, this must be why I've been reading that smartphones don't sound as good as DAPs, so I looked around and there is an app called AudioWizard, if you turn that off then the sound becomes much flatter and sounds much better (unless you do actually like your bass).  TBH, I find that the sound coming out from the Zenfone is actually quite good to my ears, bear in mind that I do not have huge expectations with regards to sound quality, e.g. my cheap combo of Clip+ and KSC75 I find to be rather good.  I was only listening to it casually and have not done any extensive AB testing with my Clip+ but there's nothing glaringly bad about it and I find it to be very acceptable.  fyi...I use the Deadbeef app because that's what I use on the computer, the UI isn't too bad and it plays gapless too.

The Zenfone is my first Android smartphone. I don't use many apps, however I do browse Reddit and do a bit of texting from my phone, as well as some Googling and such. I get a day or less of battery life, which does disappoint me (I did have a Nokia WP some time ago, on which battery life was phenomenal), and next time I choose a phone I'll certainly be paying more attention to reviews of battery life. 
 
I don't use my phone for music. I haven't played with the AudioWizard app, but stock, it sounds somewhat bad in my opinion. Also, battery life is far too short as it is for me to use it as a music player. I use my FiiO X1, which sounds better, is easier to use IMO, and has a much longer battery life. 
 
I like my Zenfone 5, I just was disappointed by battery life and a couple minor things (very hard to open the back cover, battery non-removable). It does what I need it to do though. I'll be looking into a powerbank for it soon; does anyone recommend any under $20, preferably 5,000-10,000mah (higher the better)?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top