The Asus Zenfone 2 is currently one of the most popular smartphones in the market, offering excellent performance at highly competitive prices across the board. We take a closer look at the Intel Atom processor inside the Asus Zenfone 2, which is responsible for all the magic.
64-bit Intel Atom Z3560
We have with us the 2GB version of the Asus Zenfone 2 (priced at Rs. 14,999 in India) powered by the Intel Atom Z3560 processor that offers quad/4-cores capable of hitting 1.83 GHz per core. Earlier known by its codename, Moorefield, this Intel Atom processor is made using the industry standard 22nm process. This is a 64-bit capable processor ensuring support for latest and upcoming Android versions that can take advantage of 64-bit processing to offer optimal performance and efficiency. Nokia’s N1 tablet also shares the same DNA as the powerful tablet is powered by an Intel Atom 3580 processor.
Advanced processor tech
The 64-bit Atom Z3560 is not only advanced but features intelligent embedded technologies as well. For example, there is an on-die Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS) which detects and regulates the power consumption and thereby temperature to maintain normal operating conditions. The processor is also intelligent enough to manipulate both voltage and frequency accordingly, using Intel’s SpeedStep technology.
Powerful PowerVR GPU
Apart from the processing, the graphics processor in the Intel Atom Z3560 is one of the key advantages of this SoC. The PowerVR G6430 GPU inside the Intel Atom SoC is a high performance graphics processor that offers flawless performance in its segment, ensuring a smooth gaming experience across even the most graphically demanding games on Android today. Just to give you a perspective, this is the same GPU that is used in the Apple iPad Air (1st gen) and the iPhone 5s.
Benchmarks and stuff
Enough, with mere talk, let's get down to putting the Asus Zenfone 2 to the test by running some benchmarks and throwing some heavy games that should challenge the Intel Atom processor.
As you see, the Intel Atom Z3560 inside the Asus Zenfone 2 offers excellent performance across the board and especially in the gaming department. And, while the performance is consistently impressive, the device manages to stay cool and comfortable with no signs of excessive heating or CPU throttling that impacts performance. This can be largely attributed to the 22nm process technology behind the Atom Z3560 that keeps the thermals under check while delivering optimal performance.
Intel’s 4G XMM 7160 modem
Intel has also incorporated its latest XMM 7160 slim modem with the Z3560. This low power modem supports 15-band LTE, 8-band HSPA (3G) and 4-band EDGE. Even with so many transceivers, the modem is very power efficient. Intel has employed an integrated power management unit with Intel SMARTi 4G transceiver. This saves battery and also ensures that you don’t get inconsistent network performance.
All this show of power is useless if the battery suffers because of it but that isn’t the case here. The Intel SoC is a very power efficient beast. In our normal battery test where we play a 1080p video to calculate battery drop, we observed just a 4 percent drop on the Asus Zenfone 2. Now a 8 to 10 percent drop is expected from most smartphones of this caliber but a 4 percent drop is just astonishingly good and most of the credit goes to the Intel Z3560 inside.
So, there you have it, enough reasons to choose Intel Atom based smartphones which tend to deliver superior performance at competitive price points.