ASUS has released one of it's latest mid-range flagship phone Zenfone 5 (ZE620KL) earlier this year featuring a 6.2-inch Full HD Super IPS+ display with a notch and its intelligent features such as the built-in AI features that promises to improve the user experience.

ASUS Zenfone 5 Hands-On Review


What’s in the box?

ASUS Zenfone 5 Hands-On Review

  • 1 x Zenfone 5 (Midnight Blue or Meteor Silver colors)
  • 1 x Earphones (plus extra earbuds tips)
  • 1 x USB-C data/charging cable
  • 1 x Power adapter
  • 1 x Ejector Pin
  • Documentation (user guide, warranty card)
  • Clear soft bumper (optional)

Build & Design
The Zenfone 5 has an all front and glass back and has a very similar appearance to the iPhone X but it is a bit much taller. The notch is smaller than other smartphones which is great, it fits the front camera, speaker, and other the sensor.


ASUS Zenfone 5 Screen

The sides contain the metallic volume rocker and power button on the right side as seen below:
ASUS Zenfone 5 volume and power button

So far, the screen is very impressed with its Super IPS+ display, that's really good to look at in comparison with other smartphones I have tested. It's very crisp and vibrant which makes the overall screen experience great when using the phone.


ASUS Zenfone 5 USB-C and Speaker grill

The bottom part has the USB-C data/charging port, audio port (yay! as it's a bit rare for flagship smartphones to have this port) and the speaker.



The back part, as mentioned above is an all-glass back which contains the dual lens camera, LED flash and the fingerprint sensor. 
ASUS Zenfone 5 rear camera and flash

Overall, the build & construction is great, it feels premium but there's a bit of a thought of shattering the glass once you drop it, though I think this is sturdy enough to withstand certain drops (although I would really recommend having some protection like silicone casing just to be safe).


OS, UI, & Apps

The Zenfone 5 has the latest Android 8.0 Oreo baked right into the phone with the ZenUI 5. It also has fewer bloatware apps unlike in the past, it has less but useful pre-installed apps now. The list of the pre-installed app are listed below:

What I like about their redesigned ZenUI (unlike in the past) is that it's now much cleaner and is a bit more comparable to the stock Android design. It makes the interface much easier to understand and faster to switch between apps, thus the ZenUI itself doesn't contribute to additional slow down for the OS. 



As you can see the general UI design is pretty uniform across built-in apps.




What I like now with ASUS is that they try to make the smartphones up to date now in terms of OS updates and/or security patch updates that I have installed since I tested the phone.

Camera Quality

The Zenfone 5 has a built-in 12MP plus 8MP rear cameras and an 8MP front camera. The second camera serves as a wide-angle shooter providing a 120-degree field of view. The main rear camera has a Sony IMX363 sensor with an aperture of f/1.8 while the front camera has a f/2.0 aperture built-in. ASUS also highlights that the phone will produce better shots with the built-in AI photography.

The AI helps in photography by AI Scene Detection, AI Photo Learning, beautification mode, and portrait mode.



Camera app

The rear cameras feature Depth of Effect, Super-Resolution, Panorama, Time-Lapse, Auto mode, Pro mode, GIF animation maker, Slow Motion, and other sets of built-in filters. The front camera has lesser features such as Beautification, GIF animation, Auto, Panorama and other sets of built-in filters.


Outdoor Shots / Well Lighted






Indoor Shots





Close-up Shots




The cameras are producing pretty good shots especially in well-lighted situations, all photos above were captured using auto mode and tested in different places and conditions to show it's real-world image quality performance. I just wish that the camera can show more details in low-light conditions, nonetheless, it still produces decent images but switching to manual mode can give you more control on light exposure. The selfie camera produces good images as well, the beautification mode is just right in detail and never over edits or distort your face.


ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) Specifications

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (1.8GHz) Octa-core processor (with multi-core AI)
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • 6.2-inch FHD+ (2246 x 1080) IPS 19:9 display, 402ppi
  • 2.5D Gorilla Glass
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • microSD up to 2TB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 12MP Sony IMX363 1.4um, 1/2.55″, f/1.8 Night HDR, OIS/EIS, PDAF main camera
  • 8MP 120-degrees wide-angle secondary camera, LED flash
  • 4K video recording (RAW file support)
  • 8MP f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual-SIM (nano)
  • 4G LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Dual speakers with Smart Amp Audio Wizard
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Face Recognition
  • Android 8.0 Oreo with Zen UI 5.0
  • 3,300mAh battery with BoostMaster & Smart Charging
  • 153 x 75.7 x 7.9 mm
  • 155 g

Performance & Benchmarks


The Zenfone 5 is powered by Snapdragon 636 which has an octa-core processor in its chipset, Adreno 509 GPU, 4GB RAM, and a 64GB of internal storage. The phone is able to handle most tasks you expect it to do, including high graphics games and playing high-res videos. It’s able to run and handle well the games like PUBG mobile and Tekken which are two of the most demanding games on Android right now and the phone doesn’t slow down or drops frame rates. It gets a bit warm in gaming though but it doesn’t give much of a discomfort when playing cause it’s hot.
  • AnTuTu – 133,316 (Overall score)
  • Geekbench – 1,504 (Single-Core) / 5,001 (Multi-Core)
  • 3DMark – 942 (SSE - OpenGL ES 3.1) / 760 (SSE - Vulkan)
  • AndroBench – 283 MB/s (Read) / 207.48 (Write)
  • PCMark – 6,036 (Work 2.0 Performance)




Battery Life
For the Zenfone 5’s battery, it has a very decent battery with a 3,300mAh capacity that’s usually can be found on any mid-range smartphones. Upon testing, we usually get about 9 - 10 hours of work, surfing, and light gaming. While running some benchmarking software, it gets up to 12 hours. 

The smartphone has a built-in battery app called PowerMaster that can help extend its battery life by managing your phone’s auto-starting apps and/or prioritizing frequently used apps. It also has a feature called the Smart Charging which helps to charge your device faster and it slows down during overnight charging to help protect the battery.

Verdict

The Zenfone 5 still kicks and live up to expectations especially that it still offers good specs for a very reasonable price. ASUS is also making a better comeback with this new Zenfone build as it did a bit flop is the last Zenfone 4. For its price of Php19,995 (this time of review), it provides a very clear high-res display (whether you like the notch or not), Snapdragon  636processor, 4GB of RAM, a good front and rear camera, and an out of the box Android 8.0 Oreo.




Pros

  • High-quality display (definitely an eye candy!)
  • Good phone build
  • Good performance
  • Cameras produce good photos
  • Out of the box Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Still with a headphone jack!

Cons

  • The rear and secondary camera can still improve in the next line-up as there are better cameras vs competitors.
  • No dedicated microSD card slot (shares the slot with the other sim)


Reference: ASUS Website

How do you feel?
Share this article :)
Magpress

Geeky Pinas

Geeky Pinas is a Tech News, Reviews and a Lifestyle Site