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Asus Zenfone 5 Review

By Sven Von Fawkes on August 31, 2018
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Asus is an extremely popular computer brand. They are known for their high end PC components but also for their fantastic gaming laptops. However, not many know that they also make smartphones now. and, not just any smartphones. Asus has come out with the Zenfone 5, which simply based on the technical specs, looks like it’s designed to compete with other flagship phones. So let’s see how well it can do that.


ASUS Zenfone 5 (ZE620KL) price, availability

The Asus Zenfone 5 is priced at  Rs.21990 in India and is available in Midnight Blue and Meteor Silver colors options.


ASUS Zenfone 5 (ZE620KL) specifications

  • 6.2-inch (2246 × 1080 pixels) Full HD+ 19:9 2.5D curved glass Super IPS display with 500 nits Brightness, 95.4% NTSC color gamut, DCI-P3, 1500: 1 Contrast Ratio, Glove Touch support, Corning Gorilla Glass protection
  • 1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 636 14nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 509 GPU
  • 4GB / 6GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • 64GB  /128GB storage, expandable memory up to 2TB with microSD
  • Android 8.0 (Oreo) with ZenUI 5.0, upgradable to Android P
  • 3,300 mAh battery with ASUS BoostMaster fast charging and AI charging
  • 12MP rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash, Sony IMX363 sensor, 1.4μm pixel size, f/1.8 aperture, 0.03s Tri Tech auto-focus/Dual Pixel PDAF/ 4-axis OIS/EIS, Pro mode with RAW support, secondary 8MP camera with f/2.0 aperture, OV8856 sensor, 120-degree wide-angle lens
  • 8MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture, OV8856 sensor, 83-degree wide-angle lens
  • Other features: Dual speakers with NXP 9874 Smart AMP, Hi-Res Audio 192kHz/24b-bit, DTS Headphone: X for 7.1 channel surround sound, dual microphones
  • Hybrid Dual SIM (nano + nano / microSD) with Dual VoLTE, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS, USB Type-C (2.0), 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
  • Sensors: Rear fingerprint sensor (0.3 seconds unlock, supports 5 fingerprints), Face recognition, Accelerator, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, RGB sensor
  • Dimensions: 153×75.65×7.85 mm
  • Weight: 155 grams
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First Impression

The Asus Zenfone 5 was first revealed in February but it only recently became available in May. Still, the hardware is still pretty impressive. It definitely isn’t outdated. The smartphone also has all of the modern design features. That includes a combination of using both glass and aluminum. And of course it also has notch at the top of the screen.

The only downside of the design is that the backside is glossy. This means that it’s prone to keeping fingerprints. Despite that, the Zenfone still looks beautiful and modern. It even comes with a large 6.2 inch screen. However, thanks to the slim case, the phone is still rather easy to hold onto.

So Asus has done a great job at making this smartphone not only comfortable to use but also nice to look at.


User Interface & Features

To be honest, I haven’t used any Asus phones before. Which is why I was really excited to try it. Asus has done a great job at making the interface user friendly. It has received plenty of updates and improvements. If I had to compare it to something then I’d say that it resembles the interface found on Huawei.

Plus it has a lot of settings and features that can be configured to your liking. For example you can make it so the notification bar opens up when you swipe down on the fingerprint sensor. This is just one of many commands/features that can be configured.

Besides the fingerprint sensor, the new Zenfone 5 also includes facial recognition software. Which means that you can use that to open the phone as well. It’s easy to set it up. It also works really well but don’t expect it to be as good as on the iPhone X. Still, it quickly opens up your phone. The only problem is the reliability. The facial recognition feature worked just fine without any delays at first. However for some reason it just stopped working after a while.

Asus has also included two speakers inside the Zenfone. One is at the top edge of the screen, and the other is at the bottom. Surprisingly they managed to produce a very loud sound. Even the call quality is excellent. And to make things even better, the smartphone also has a 3.5 mm headphone port.


Battery Life

Now I only had the opportunity to use the Zenfone 5 for a couple of days. What impressed me the most was the battery life. That’s mostly because it didn’t look anything special when I first glanced at it in the technical specifications. The battery has a 3300 mAh capacity. So I was really surprised when I discovered that I still had 60% of battery left after a day full of testing. I’m not sure how they have managed to make this battery last for so long, but I’m glad to see that companies are looking for new ways to optimize their products.


Camera

The Asus Zenfone 5 has so far been more than impressive. That can’t be said about the camera. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from bad. However it isn’t mind blowing either. It’s just average.

In a normal mode with good lightning, the Zenfone 5’s 12MP camera takes photos you can be happy with. But there are moments where the edges blur up and the colors turn kind of dim. It takes time to get a good photo.

The Zenfone 5 camera also lets you use a wide-angle lens to capture a wider area. But the picture quality is pretty bad. The photos look too edited and there’s no sharpness. It pretty much looks like they have used a filter to make the photos look better. By the way this feature is also available on the front camera.


Conclusion

What eventually makes or breaks a phone is the price. It’s one of the most important factors about any product. And if I had to spend a flagship price for the Zenfone 5, then I’d say that it’s definitely not worth it.

But the thing is that the Asus Zenfone 5 costs $400. And that changes everything as it’s an excellent smartphone in this price range. Sure the camera could be better but everything else is truly impressive. So it comes down to how much you value the camera quality.

Author

Sven Von Fawkes is a freelance writer on a product comparison blog called Tenpire. He has previous experience from being a Product Manager at BestBuy and is currently studying journalism at USC.


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