ASUS ZenFone Review

ASUS ZenFone Review

ASUS ZenFone Review :

After taking a break from the over heated smartphone industry and focusing only on computers and tablets,  Asus has re-entered the arena with the ‘Zenfone’ smartphone series announced in the CES earlier this year. The company is all geared up to launch the series in Indian market on July 9th and the debutants are:

  • Zenfone 4
  • Zenfone 5
  • Zenfone 6

The numericals against each device denote the screen size.

We have got a chance to hands-on the middle brother (5) before its launch and here are the key highlights and first impressions of the device.

Key Highlights

Display: 5.0 inches, IPS capacitive touchscreen featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Memory – 8/16 GB internal, 1/2 GB RAM

Data: HSDPA /HSUPA

Camera: 8 MP with LED Flash

OS: Android OS 4.3 Jelly Bean

CPU: Dual Core 1.6 Ghz

DESIGN

Weight

Talking about the design, its the USP of the device. The design is clean, sleek and light weight. Zenphone 5 is handy and can be easily operated with single hand especially for people with larger palm. Even though the weight measures 145 gms, the demographies of the phone handles it very well and does not gives a feel of extra weight at any place.

The Front Panel

The front panel is black in color across all variants and features a responsive and elegant 5 inch screen, followed by 3 control switches – back, home and multitasking. The control switches as compared to other devices, do not feature on the screen section, but are touch sensitive. lack of backlighting around the control switches however, make it uneasy to use in the dark as user struggles to identify the location of switches correctly.

Below the 3 controllers, is the metallic finish which can be seen in other ZEN members of ASUS family – The ZENBOOKS. Similar metallic craving is designed on the power and volume buttons.

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The Rear Panel

The rear panel features a removable plastic back which comes in multiple colors of White, Black, Red, Purple and Gold. The cover displays ASUS, Intel and Zenfone branding. On opening the cover, we see 2 sim card slots, 1 memory card slot and a non removable battery. The rear panel also entertains a 8 MP camera with LED flash.

The Side Panel

A 3.5 mm jack on top, micro USB charging port at the bottom and power/volume buttons on right side of the phone are the key features. Rest all is a clean and elegant side panel. The phone features 2 microphones – 1 on top and 2nd on bottom panel.

DISPLAY

As per the nomenclature suggests, the screen features 5 inch display with IPS HD screen (720*1280 pixels). The screen is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and displays natural colors. The phone is operational even when wearing gloves.

Texting and typing on the device gives a smooth experience with sharp and clear characters. This also makes browsing convenient and user friendly.

Some of the unique features available in Display Settings are

  • Daydream – Control device display during sleep mode with clock, colors, google photos etc
  • Suspend the screen when flip cover is closed
  • Play video on remote display via screen sharing mode
  • Wireless display sharing via Miracast
  • Comfortable Reading Mode – Adjust screen color for enhancing reading experience

CAMERA

Photography is fun with Zenfone 5 sporting 8 MP camera and 2 MP secondary camera. The app is feature rich and provides lot of options to the users. 

Functions such as Time rewind, HDR, Panorama, Night mode, Low light (2M), Selfie, Miniature, Depth of field, Smart remove, All smiles, beautification and GIF animation have great implications and allow users to try different modes and play around photography.

The quality of image is good but has enhanced sharpness resulting in increase some amount of noise in images

SOFTWARE

The phone runs on Android v4.3 Jelly Bean and is listed for KitKat update very soon. The OS is topped up with Asus’s customised ZenUI. The UI is clean and intuitive. ZenUi does not just limit to icon designs and menu, but also basic apps including clock, image gallery, calculator, contacts, camera and others.

The intuitive UI complements well with the hardware and software. The ZenUI is good and user friendly, but consumes 3GB space on the internal memory. The skin tones, app designs and icon graphics make the phone best in the segment.

The phone comes with various handy pre-installed apps including Amazon Kindle, FM Radio, Mirror, Omlet, Party Camera, PC Link, Splendid, Weather, What’s Next, AudioWizard etc. Users can download other apps from the Android market place via Play Store.

VERDICT

Overall experience with Asus ZenFone 5 has been great as the elegant hardware and clean software/UI makes it intuitive and user friendly. In this segment of smartphones, ZenFone 5 is there to mark a presence and give tough competition to its siblings mainly Motorola Moto G, Samsung Grand, Nokia Lumia 1320, Gionee Gpad4 and Sony Xperia C.

The price point at which the company plans to launch the ZenFone 5 and its partners 4 & 6 would be the deciding factor for its acceptance in the market.

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