Asus Zenfone 5 made its official debut at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona in late February. The company officials told International Business Times, India that the new Android phone will be making its way to the Indian market in a few weeks.
Asus India hosted a pre-launch product showcase event for select media houses recently in Bengaluru and we had the opportunity to get a closer look at the new Zenfone 5 and used the Zenfone 5 for a brief time. Here's our take on the new Asus phone.
Design and display:
The most noticeable feature of the Zenfone 5 is the iPhone X-like notch on the top. We asked a company executive on why they mimicked another brand's design and the quick reply was that their research revealed consumers wanted the feature on an Android phone and they were just enabling them.
Some critics might cry foul and call the notch as unsightly even on the Apple's anniversary mobile. But, if download data from Google Play store is any indication, Android users do love the iPhone X notch user-interface.
There are thousands of iPhone X [review] launchers on Play store and one of them, in particular, has more than a million downloads.
That aside, the Zenfone 5 also comes with vertically aligned dual-camera on top-left corner similar to that of Apple's anniversary phone. Thankfully, the design duplication ends there.
The back panel has the Asus' trademark concentric design with the glossy shell on the back, which was first seen in the popular Zenfone 3 and also fingerprint sensor, which is sorely missed in the iPhone X.
As far as the display is concerned, it's quite bright and vibrant for a mid-range phone. But, we will pass the judgment when we get a review unit and test it for visibility of content under different light condition.
Processor, RAM, and storage:
During the demo session, Asus Zenfone 5 worked seamlessly, be it while the app loading or switching between multiple apps.
For those unaware, the Zenfone 5 comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor-backed ASUS AI Boost, which the company claims, will monitor apps in the background to control the unnecessary use of mobile data and hog battery. It will also extend the battery life of the device.
But, all new devices work faster and run for a whole day with some battery life left, in their early days. We are very keen to test these features and also AI capabilities, once we get the unit for the review.
Asus Zenfone 5 is expected to come in two variants –4GB RAM and 6GB RAM—having 64GB storage with an option to expand up to 2TB through microSD card.
Though I spent very little time with Asus Zenfone 5, the dual camera images taken from the hotel balcony were really good. I was particularly impressed by the wide-angle view feature, which the company claimed, would offer a 120-degree field of view.
Also, the Zenfone 5 camera comes with AI-based scene detection feature, which optimizes the camera settings to take better pictures. For instance, if you are taking a picture of your pet, the Zenfone 5 camera will know it is a dog or a cat (or any other animal) and take the best possible image. It can detect-- food, sky, green field, plant, ocean, sunset, snow, flower, stage, dog, cat, people, text, tripod, QR code and night view.
Even the front camera takes really good quality images. But, we will reserve the verdict on camera quality until we test the device in different light conditions.
For those unaware, Zenfone 5 comes with dual cameras: 12MP (with Sony IMX363 with f/1.8 aperture) and 8MP 120-degree wide-angle lens f/2.2 aperture sensors. And, on the front, it houses an 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture [complete specs below].
Asus Zenfone 5 houses 3,300mAh cell with fast charging capability. The company also claims that the phone's AI feature, based on device owner's battery charging routine, intuitively controls the charging rate.
For instance, if the user has the habit of leaving the phone connected to a charging point and retire to bed at 10 pm and wake up at 6:00 am to disconnect the phone, the AI feature of the phone dynamically change the charging rate and finally complete the full charging of the phone, just before the user gets up.
The company says that the intelligent charging technique will not only improve the battery lifespan and also maintain the optimum performance in the long run. Recently Apple was panned for throttling of older iPhones CPU performance to delay the speed of chemical degradation of the battery.
We cannot help but point out that Asus Zenfone 5 is an Apple iPhone X clone. Having said that, the Asus mobile will definitely appeal to consumers as its spec-sheet is very impressive for a mid-range phone. If priced aggressively under Rs 20,000 in the emerging market like India, Asus will surely give a stiff challenge to established brands such as Xiaomi, Samsung, and Motorola, among other Chinese players.
Key specifications of Asus Zenfone 5 (2018):
|Model||Asus Zenfone 5 (2018)|
|Display||6.2-inch full HD+ (2246x1080p) super IPS+ LCD screen having 90% screen-to-body ratio, supports DCI-P3 and Smart Screen On
|OS||Android Oreo-based ZenUI|
|Processor||14nm-based FinFET LPP (Low Power Plus) power saving technology processed 64-bit class Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor + ASUS AI Boost|
|GPU||Qualcomm Adreno 509|
|Storage||64GB eMCP UFS 2.1 memory (+ expandable up to 2TB via microSD card)|
|Audio||Speaker: Dual speakers
DTS (Digital Theater System) Headphone:
|Battery||3300mAh with fast charging
|Network||LTE Cat13 UL up to 150 Mbps / Cat12 DL up to 600 Mbps|
|Add-ons||Dual SIM (hybrid type: SIM-1 4G nano + SIM-2 4G nano or microSD card), Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac: dual-band: 2.4 & 5GHz), FM Radio, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|Sensors||Rear fingerprint sensor (0.2 seconds unlock, supports 5 fingerprints), Face recognition, Accelerator, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, RGB sensor|
|Dimension||153.0 x 75.65 x 7.7 mm|
|Colors||Meteor Silver, Midnight Blue|