Asus had introduced its new lineup of ZenFones-the Zenfone 5, Zenfone 5 Max, Zenfone 5 Lite as well as the flagship Zenfone 5Z went live today at the Mobile World Congress. They seem to sport some incredible hardware inside and we hope that people can move beyond the fact that they look like iPhone X knock offs and appreciate the true power and beauty of these phones.

zenfone 5

In the words of Marcel Campos, Head of Global Marketing for Asus,

“Some people will say it’s copying Apple, but we cannot get away from what users want. You have to follow the trends.”

The two top variants, 5 & 5Z bear a stark resemblance to the iPhone X, with some significant changes in the internal specs. The ZenFone 5 Lite (branded as ZenFone 5Q in the United States) has a slightly different design language.

Zenfone 5 Display: Embrace the Notch

Zenfone 5 Display

The Zenfone 5 comes with a 6.2-inch display, which is a notch higher than the stereotypical 6-inch screens, but that probably does not make much of a difference. What’s good about it is that it has razor thin bezels surrounding it which means Asus was able to achieve a staggering 90 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Asus has also implemented a dynamic color grading system for their screen which looks to change the color temperature as well as saturation depending on the type of content being shown-yes I know, sounds very similar to Apple’s True Tone functionality. . Asus is calling it ‘AI Display’ but if it works anywhere as good as Apple’s implementation, we would be pretty pleased.

The screen also covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut so expect some true to life colors on the new zenfones.

Speaking of design, the new zen series of smartphones embodies an aspect ratio of 19:9 which is quite similar to the 18.5:9 aspect ratio that we have seen popularized by the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9 models, and it also comes with glass on the front and rear ends. The display, however, is a simple LCD display unlike Vivo APEX or Samsung’s more recent OLED panels.  As far as resolution goes, the IPS LCD panel on the these phones sports a Full HD+ resolution at 2246*1080 pixels.

Zenfone 5 Specs: Insane Power, Insane Price

zenfone 5 Specs

ZenFone 5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor with a limited on-board storage of 64GB and two choices of RAM to choose from – 4GB & 6GB.

ZenFone 5Z received a preferential treatment with a stepped-up Snapdragon 845 chipset & a boosted maximum storage of 256GB and 8GB RAM.

ZenFone 5 Lite gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 with Adreno 508 graphics, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space.

Zenfone 5 Camera: Wide Angle Makes a Comeback?

ZenFone 5 gets an 8MP front camera with dual 12MP cameras on the rear side. The primary rear camera sports a f1.8 shooter with 1.4 micron sized pixels as well as 4 Axis OIS. The secondary shooter is a 120 degree wide angle field of view camera.

Comparatively, the Zenfone 5 Lite has a different camera setup with 16MP on the rear end and 20MP on the front.

To boost the camera experience, Asus has implemented a new technique called AI scene detection that optimizes the saturation, white balance, exposure, brightness and post-processing based on whatever it is that you are photographing.

Additionally, Asus has also put into place an innovative system that learns from the user’s way of image processing and with time, suggests them similar edits to other phones for tweaking. This feature might come in handy to the serious photographers but it’s a good add nevertheless.

Zenfone 5 Battery: A Let Down?

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Zenfone 5 battery

All three variants will have a 3.300 mAh battery which isn’t ‘very large’ by any definition but with the AI charging your ZenFone will only charge up to 80 percent at night and hold on until your usual wake up time approaches before charging all the way up to 100 percent. Perhaps this will help in prolonging the life of your battery!

Zenfone 5 Sound Quality: Asus Blows It Out of the Park

ZenFone 5’s dual stereo speakers are quite impressive when it comes to volume as well as the depth of the sound that emanates from it. They will delight anyone who likes to play their music on the loudspeakers. It also supports AptX HD and LDAC for a much higher-quality audio over headphones.

For the headphone lovers there’s a headphone jack on all the variants of the new zenfones.

Zenfone 5 Software: ZenUI Gets a Revamp

zenfone 5, zenfone 5z, zenfone 5 lite
Android Oreo on Zenfone 5 & 5Z

The new zenfone lineup of devices from Asus gets the reworked and revamped Zen UI 5 which is based on Android 8.0 Oreo. This is a much cleaner looking UI without much of the usual bloat that Asus crams their devices up with. Overall it was quite fun and snappy and the added AI features are a definite Plus.

For the sake of brevity, we will consolidate all the AI features into bullet points

  • AI Booster
  • AI Ringing Modes
  • AI Charging
  • Facial Unlock
  • Zenmoji

Zenfone 5 Price & Availability: Should You Get One?

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Side-to-side Zenfone 5 & iPhone X comparison

From what we know so far, ZenFone 5 Lite will be out in March, followed by ZenFone 5 in April. But to get your hands on the flagship ZenFone 5Z you’d have to wait until June.

If you want the look & feel of an iPhone X without actually having to use the boring iOS 11, then you should definitely get one. The 5Z will start at USD $499 (still half the price of iPhone X) and ZenFone 5 will join the league of affordable smartphones.

But the real burning question is, when will they launch in India and at what price? Well rumors seem to suggest that the price of the Zenfone 5 in India is going to be around the 20-22k mark while the Zenfone 5Z is priced a tad bit higher at around the 35k mark! At that price would you guys be interested in getting one for yourself? Or is the One Plus 5T still a better bet? Let us know in the comments down below!

As a Public Relations consultant, Shikhar works with a few tech companies in Brazil.He loves taking things apart and putting them back together and writing long-form content on Tech, marketing, advertising and CRM.You can find him hiking along the Brazilian hillside quite frequently.Connect with Shikhar on Twitter: @Shkrrao

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