At the ongoing MWC 2018 event, Asus has unveiled its new Zenfone 5 series of smartphones. The series consists of three phones in different price ranges: Zenfone 5Z, Zenfone 5 and the Zenfone 5 Lite. The first two of these three phones bear an iPhone X-like notch and design, the last one comes with a bezel-less form factor like other phones with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Asus has boasted about the “AI features” in these phones, calling it the “most intelligent Zenfone series ever”. Let’s know more about the Zenfone 5 series smartphones.
Asus Zenfone 5Z
This is the flagship phone in the Zenfone 5 series. The phone features top-end specifications enclosed in an iPhone X inspired body. It sports a large 6.2-inch body bearing a Full HD+ resolution. The aspect ratio of this phone is 19:9 which is taller than Samsung’s Galaxy S9 but less than the iPhone X’s length.
Since it’s a flagship device, the phone rocks the latest flagship processor by Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845. To ensure blazing fast performance, the Zenfone 5Z comes with up to 8GB of RAM. You can also choose the lower variants, which come with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. Even in terms of storage, there are three variants to complement the varying RAM models, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. Alternatively, you can also expand the storage via a microSD card up to 2TB.
The Zenfone 5Z comes with a dual-rear camera setup wherein both the lenses are vertically stacked. The primary sensor is of 12-megapixel having an f/1.8 aperture whereas the secondary one is of 8-megapixel with an f/2.2 aperture. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel sensor for clicking selfies and video calling. Both the cameras possess 3-axis EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) to stabilize shaky videos. Asus has also offered Face Unlock feature via its front camera.
It runs on the latest Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box but is skinned with Asus’ own custom ZenUI 5.0. The OS as well as the processor are quite efficient, both of which make the most out of the 3300mAh battery unit fitted inside the phone.
The phone comes with all the common connectivity options including Bluetooth 5.0, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, NFC and USB Type-C. It also retains the 3.5mm audio jack.
Asus Zenfone 5
The Asus Zenfone 5 is exactly similar to the Zenfone 5Z, barring a few internal specifications. It comes with the octa-core Snapdragon 636 instead of the flagship 845. There are two RAM variants, 4GB and 6GB coupled with just a single storage combination, 64GB. Rest of everything stays the same as of Zenfone 5Z.
Asus Zenfone 5 Lite
The Zenfone 5 Lite is the cheapest smartphone launched in this series. That being said, the phone doesn’t feel any less premium than its siblings. The front of the phone features a large 6-inch Full HD+ display having a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. This brings its pixel density up to a good 400 PPI which means the phone will be suitable for most media consumption. The body of the Zenfone 5 Lite is built of aluminium which makes it both light as well as durable.
Continuing Asus’ legacy of offering similar phones with different configurations, the Zenfone Lite comes in two processor configurations. The lower variant features a Snapdragon 430 processor clocked at 1.4GHz. The other variant comes with a more powerful Snapdragon 630 SoC ticking at 2.2GHz. In addition to this, the phones will ship with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. In terms of storage, the lower RAM variant will come with 32GB of storage while the latter will have 64GB.
Talking of the cameras, the phone comes with four sensors in total, two on the rear and two on the front. However, Asus hasn’t mentioned the megapixel count of both the secondary cameras. On the rear, there’s a 16-megapixel sensor coupled with an 120 degree wide-angle lens. There’s a similar lens on the front as well coupled with a 20-megapixel primary sensor.
On the software side of things, the Zenfone 5 Lite will run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box which will be layered with ZenUI 5.0 which is the company’s freshly baked custom UI. As far as connectivity goes, the phone checks all the right boxes and offers support for all basic options. The phone rocks a decently large 3,300mAh battery which it draws power from. This battery should be sufficient to last the phone through a day’s use.
Asus has also launched “Zenimoji” which is once again an Apple rip-off (also rhymes with Animoji!). It animates your face into different cartoon characters which you can send across to other people.
As of now, Asus has only revealed the price of its flagship Zenfone 5Z, it costs EUR 479 which roughly amounts to Rs. 38,400. This is the starting price of the phone and higher variants would cost more. When it comes to availability, the Zenfone 5 Lite will be the first one to launch in March, it will be followed by the Zenfone 5 in April and lastly, the flagship Zenfone 5Z will be available in June of this year.