Asus Zenfone 2
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE550ML will get Android 5.1 early Asus

After finally rolling out Android 5.0 (Lollipop) OS update for users of its Zenfone 5 smartphones, Asus has now apparently set sights on rolling out the newer Android 5.1 version to the more recent Zenfone 2 handset series.

According to a post in the official Asus Zentalk forum, the Zenfone 2 handset variant bearing model number ZE550ML is in line to receive Android 5.1 before other smartphones.

As per an online chat between a Zenfone 2 customer and an Asus representative, quoted on the Zentalk blog, the Taiwan company has confirmed that testing of Android 5.1 (for Zenfone 2 ZE550ML) is in the final stages, suggesting an early release of the OS update.

Asus Zenfone 2 ZE550ML to get Android5.1
Android 5.1 for Asus Zenfone 2 ZE550ML is currently in its final testing stages and will be ready for deployment very shortly    (Asus Zentalk forum) Asus Zentalk forum

However, the Asus representative did not mention an exact release date for the Android 5.1 firmware upgrade.

Nonetheless, with the release of Android 5.1 confirmed for Zenfone 2 ZE550ML devices, owners of the smartphone can check their handsets regularly for newer over-the-air (OTA) notifications for Google's comparatively newer version of Lollipop.

Asus' Zenfone 2, touted as a flagship smartphone, currently runs Android 5.0 out of the box. With Android 5.1 set to hit the handset shortly, users can heave a sigh of relief after Asus considerably delayed rolling out Android 5.0 to earlier Zenfone 4, Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 6 smartphones that ran the legacy Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) OS until recently.

Newer enhancements offered by Android 5.1

Google's Android 5.1 (Lollipop) OS update, is basically a bug fixing firmware that offers patches to multiple inherent issues within the older Android 5 that threaten to disrupt normal functioning of smartphones.

Inherent issues fixed by Android 5.1:

  • Clock in the status bar isn't updating and alarms are not going off
  • Can't delete SMS messages when the SIM card is full
  • No ringer audio while making an outgoing call
  • Calculator floating point calculations
  • Chrome crashes on launch
  • Frequent restarts while watching Netflix
  • Wi-Fi will not automatically reconnect to your home Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi not connecting after being idle all night
  • Wi-Fi connection issues with multiple routers in one location
  • Bluetooth discovery is not triggered when you refresh settings
  • CPU wakelocks that contribute to heavier battery drain
  • Connection and synchronisation issues with MS Exchange servers
  • Incorrect default APN
  • Can't unlock the SIM with a PIN/PUK code
  • Can't play 'pinned' content
  • General stability improvements

Apart from bug fixes, certain new features are also brought along by Android 5.1:

  • Device Protection: Lost or stolen devices will remain locked until you sign in with your Google account, even if reset to factory settings.
  • Heads-up notifications: In addition to dismissing a heads-up notification, you can now swipe it up to remove it from your screen. It will remain in your notifications tray and you can dismiss it later.

Key technical specifications of Asus Zenfone 2 ZE550ML

Zenfone 2 ZE550ML is an entry-level smartphone, priced at £140 in the UK, $242 in the US and Rs 13,000 in India; featuring the following key hardware aspects:

  • 5.5in IPS capacitive display, enclosed within Gorilla Glass 3, having resolutions of 720x1280
  • Android 5.0, with Asus ZenUI on top
  • 1.8GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3560 processor
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • MicroSD card slot for expansion of internal storage up to 64GB
  • 4G LTE, HSPA, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and microUSB connectivity
  • Fixed 3,000 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery.