Apple released its much-awaited iPhone X smartphone in the latter quarters of 2017, and while the usual debates about whether its features were innovated by Apple as claimed by the Cupertino company went on, the tech world couldn’t help but notice one feature that really stood out in the history of smartphones; the notch.
Other smartphone manufacturers wasted no time in copying the design into their upcoming smartphones, and the 2018 edition of the MWC event reeked all over of smartphones featuring the notch. One of such smartphones is the Asus Zenfone 5.
The Asus Zenfone 5 was announced in a new series of smartphones from Asus consisting of the Asus Zenfone 5Z, Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 5 Lite. These were announced alongside the Asus Zenfone Max at the MWC event in Barcelona back in February.
While there’s a sizeable number of smartphones out there now sporting the notch, the Asus Zenfone 5 stands out in a feature that matters most to many consumers; the price. It has the looks of the iPhone X on the outside (including the notch of course) and more, has powerful internals and software features, and comes along with a price tag significantly lower than that of the fruity flagship.
Join me as we dig into this fascinating device.
Asus Zenfone 5 Specs
Here’s a summary of what the Asus Zenfone 5 brings to the table:
- 6.2-inch IPS LCD Capacitive Display.
- FHD+ (1,080 * 2,246) Pixel Resolution.
- ~402 PPI Pixel Density.
- 18.7:9 Aspect Ratio.
- ~83.6% screen-to-body ratio.
- 550nits brightness.
- 10-point Multitouch.
- Corning Gorilla Glass Protection.
- Dimensions – 153 * 75.65 * 7.7 mm.
- Weight – 165g.
- Octa-core 14nm 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform Processor.
- Kyro 260 CPU.
- Adreno 509 GPU.
- 4GB / 6GB LPDDR4X RAM.
- 64GB internal storage.
- Expandable up to 2TB with microSD.
- 100GB Free Google Drive storage for 1 year.
- 12MP + 8MP (Ultra-wide) Dual Rear Cameras.
- Night HDR.
- Portrait Mode.
- AI Photography.
- 8MP Front Camera.
- 1080p Video Recording.
- 3,300mAh Battery.
- BoostMaster Fast Charging (with AI Charging).
- 4G LTE Connectivity.
- Dual Nano SIM Slot.
- Android 8.0 Oreo OS with ZenUI 5.0.
Asus Zenfone 5 In-depth Specifications
I think we’ve come to a point in smartphone tech when nobody cares whether your smartphone looks similar to another, as long as it looks good…and damn good does the Asus Zenfone 5 look!
They say imitation is flattery in disguise, and the Zenfone 5 flatters the iPhone X very much in its imitation of the latter’s design; it has the same notch (though slimmer) at the center top, and even its rear has the dual camera placed in the same position as it is on the latest iPhone.
If you look closely at the smartphone’s lower parts at the front, however, you’ll notice that it still retains a significant bezel width which is almost nonexistent on the iPhone X. Here, we might say the Zenfone 5 imitates the Samsung Galaxy S9 in design.
Don’t believe? Take a look at the smartphone’s underside.
It has a 3.5mm audio jack, something you won’t find on the iPhone X, but which Samsung prides itself on retaining on the Galaxy S9. Other components present beneath the Zenfone include a USB Type-C port, microphone and speaker.
As many as the similarities are, the Zenfone 5 has its distinctions from the iPhone X. It features a fingerprint sensor centred towards the top on its rear, and its LED flash lies below the dual camera setup, not in-between.
Even though it comes with glass on the rear, features like waterproofing and wireless charging have been omitted from the Zenfone 5; a reminder that while it tries, the Zenfone 5 can’t totally match up to higher-priced smartphones.
The Asus Zenfone 5 comes with a 6.2-inch IPS LCD display which has a Full HD+ (1,080 * 2,246) pixel resolution and around 402 PPI pixel density.
I can hear the compact-and-mobile faction already taking their leave. Stay with me…
The Asus Zenfone 5 comes with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio (like the iPhone X), meaning that the company has been able to fit a 6.2-inch display into a frame the size of most 5.5-inch phones.
This is achieved by shrinking the size of bezels as much as possible on all sides, reducing the width of the phone and increasing its length.
This is also why the notch is present, as vital phone components like the selfie camera, proximity/light sensor and front flash which would have occupied the top bezel and occupied more of screen space now live in the notch, thereby freeing up screen estate for the user.
In terms of display quality, Asus seems to have gotten it right as an FHD+ pixel resolution is what you would find on most smartphones with this screen size and at this price level. And with 500nits of brightness, you can never go wrong using the smartphone outdoors or under direct sunlight.
Performance, Storage & Memory
Powering the Zenfone 5’s operations under the hood is the Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform processor announced by Qualcomm towards the end of 2017. It uses eight (octa-core) Kyro 260 CPUs and runs on the 14nm process and at a maximum speed of 1.8GHz.
Without all the technical jargons, the Zenfone 5 is capable of running high-end applications and tasks without lagging, and even heavy games are covered by its Adreno 509 Graphics Processor.
This doesn’t compare in performance to premium smartphones when running the big game titles like PUBG Mobile and the likes, but things are still run smoothly and you might need only to reduce the graphics output level to eliminate all forms of lag.
Whether it’s the 4GB or 6GB RAM variant you go for, day-to-day multi-tasking will be a breeze on this smartphone. And you have all the space to store multimedia files and install apps with its 64GB of onboard storage, though the heavy file collectors might want to make use of its external microSD slot which can be used to expand the default storage up to 2TB.
The Asus Zenfone 5 sports a dual camera setup on the rear, consisting of a 12MP primary lens and an 8MP secondary ultra-wide angle lens with a 120-degree Field-of-View.
Apart from the regular PDAF and HDR, the phone comes with Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), and Night HDR. The dual-tone LED flash present beneath the dual cameras also helps capture bright images in poorly-lit conditions.
The smartphone sports an 8MP camera on the front for selfie photography. This also has EIS, a LED flash and can record videos in 1080p resolution.
Battery & Software
The Asus Zenfone 5 is kept running by a 3,300mAh battery. If you’re a power user, this battery capacity might seem small to you, but it’s essential to keep the phone as slim as it is — 7.7mm.
A fast charging technology has been included to suffice, and no, it’s not Qualcomm’s Quick Charge; it’s Asus’ own BoostMaster which uses AI to improve charging times, asides the usual fast charging mechanism.
The Asus Zenfone runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, and comes with Asus’ ZenUI 5.0 layered on top with extra software features and customizable options.
It also comes with ZeniMoji which is Asus’ take on Apple’s Animoji on the iPhone X. This feature allows you to animate cartoon animal faces, complete with their voices and facial expressions.
Asus Zenfone 5 Price and Availability
With all the features that have been outlined above, it’s easy to think the Zenfone 5 will be priced in the $800 range. But that’s not the case. At $690, the price is the selling point of the Zenfone 5 as it offers a stunning design and premium features at a price significantly lower than the iPhone X.
The 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM variant of the Asus Zenfone 5 costs $479.99 normally, but it’s currently available for $449.99 on Gearbest as part of an ongoing promotion which ends on the 23rd of April. Higher variants of the smartphone would be released at a later date.