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ASUS releases bargain ZenFone 2 Laser Android smartphone

Both iOS and Android are lovely operating systems. They have both matured into great choices for consumers. While the iPhone may arguably be the better all-around device, it is also quite expensive. For those on a budget, Android smartphones are the way to go.

ASUS has released an unlocked and affordable smartphone - the ZenFone 2 Laser. The phone is quite gorgeous and has great specs. The most impressive aspect, however, is the insane $199 starting price. You won't believe what you are getting here, folks.

"ASUS today releases the unlocked ZenFone 2 Laser for users seeking a premium phone with an excellent camera, dual active SIM, expandable storage and removable battery. The latest addition to the ZenFone 2 lineup features an ergonomic design for greater comfort and a 5.5-inch 1080p display protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for unprecedented damage protection", says ASUS.

The company further explains, "expandable memory and a removable battery makes the ideal for enthusiast users that want greater control of storage and power. A micro SDXC slot supports 128GB memory cards for quick and easy storage expansion to accommodate music, movies and select applications. The removable 3,000mAh high-capacity battery ensures the ZenFone 2 Laser gets excellent battery life that lasts through the entire work day. Power users that desire longer runtimes can quickly swap out a fully charged battery for extended periods away from a power source".

To recap, the phone has a huge 5.5 inch 1080p display, a large removable battery and expandable storage for the super-low starting price of $199. Surely the processor and RAM sucks, right? Not so, dear Android fans - it features a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor and 3GB of memory. Amazing.

The rear camera is equally impressive; it has 13 megapixels, Dual LED flash and laser focus. While it is not guaranteed, it should, at least on paper, take great photos. Sadly, there is no 4K or 60fps video recording, but 1080p 30fps is totally acceptable.

Wow, this thing is a beast at a great price. For $199 you get 16GB of onboard storage, while $249 gets you 32GB. Keep in mind, however, it is a GSM-only affair; it will not work on Sprint or Verizon.

Will you buy it? Check out the specs below and tell me in the comments.

CPU 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core (quad-core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex A53 + quad-core 1.0 GHz ARM Cortex A53)
GPU Adreno 405
Storage 16GB or 32GB
Micro SD SDXC (up to 128 GB)
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT 4.1 with AptX, Wi-Fi Direct, Micro-USB (USB OTG), 3.5 mm headphone/microphone jack
Network Dual Antennas for better signal receptionCat 4 LTE up to 150Mbp, 3G /HSPA+/DC-HSPA+ up to 42 MbpsGSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)WCDMA Band 1/2/4/5/8FDD-LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/17/20

Compatible with GSM Networks including AT&T, T-Mobile and MVNO’s on the same network such as Straight Talk, Walmart Family Mobile, MetroPCS, Simple Mobile, Brightspot, Net10, h20 Wireless, Cricket Wireless and many more

This device is not compatible with CDMA networks such as Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular and MVNO’s that rely on CDMA networks

SIM Card Dual Active Micro-SIM Support (Selectable 4G LTE data)
Navigation GPS, BDS, GLONASS
Display 5.5 inch IPS FHD 1080x1920 with 178’ wide view angle, 401 PPIASUS TruVivid Full Screen Lamination TechnologyCorning Gorilla Glass 4Ultra-sensitive touch panel with glove touchASUS ZenMotion touch and motion gestures (Double tap to wake up)
Video Video Recording MPEG-4 1080 @30fpsPlayback MPEG-4 up to 1080p
Battery Removable Lithium-Polymer 3000 mAh
Rear Camera 13 Megapixel laser autofocusF/2.0 aperture, 5 element Largan Lens, dual LED real tone flash
Front Camera 5 Megapixel, F/2.0, 85? wide angle
Sensor Accelerometer/Ambient Light/Proximity/E-Compass/Hall Sensor
Audio Dual Microphone for Noise CancellationASUS SonicMaster for better sound clarity and deeper bass
OS Android 5.0 + ASUS ZenUI 2.0
Dimensions 6.00" x 3.04" x 0.43"
Weight 6 oz
Color Silver
Price $199 (16GB) / $249 (32GB)