Asus’ new lineup of ZenFone 5 smartphones bring devices with ultraslim bezels, face unlock and Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon processors.
MobileSyrup was pre-briefed on the Asus ZenFone 5 and Asus ZenFone 5 Lite at MWC. Although the 5Z was not on show, an Asus representative assured us that the ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 feature the same design, with the differences only being under the hood.
Below, we’ve used images of the ZenFone 5 in the section on the ZenFone 5Z. It’s not technically the same phone, but design-wise, there’s no difference.
Asus ZenFone 5Z
The Asus ZenFone 5Z is the premium smartphone among the trio of new devices, and it has a premium aesthetic to match. While most previous devices from Asus ZenFone line have looked a bit dated, these both looked and felt like a cutting-edge device.
Though it’s a bit counter-intuitive that the company would opt for both a notch and a lower bezel on its device, the overall look is impressive. The screen is expansive, bright and vibrant.
The handset features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.
According to Asus, the ZenFone 5Z features a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, higher than any phone currently on the market. It includes a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio.
Asus claims the 5Z’s camera can instantly focus on a subject in any lighting situation with its dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus, which the company says can lock onto a subject in 0.03 seconds. The 12-megapixel camera uses advanced AI algorithms and analytics to consistently get better at snapping photos.
Additionally, the camera includes AI-detection, allowing it to analyze a subject and optimize the camera settings to improve the picture. While the real-time portrait mode can take close-up shots and create bokeh effects, there’s also a manual mode that allows users to adjust camera capture settings like ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, focus and shutter speed manually.
The smartphone also features face unlock, which Asus says can unlock a device within 0.1 seconds. The phone’s fingerprint sensor can unlock a device in 0.3 seconds, according to the company.
The device’s AI ringtone can adjust the ringer volume according to the ambient noise level. Calls in busy places will ring louder than calls in the middle of the night.
ZeniMoji, similar to Animoji, lets users animate cute avatars. Users can use their own voice, facial expressions and head movements. ZeniMoji avatars can be used in video chats or live-streaming as well as text messages.
The ZenFone 5Z will retail for $499 USD (approximately $635.50 CAD).
Asus ZenFone 5
The Asus ZenFone 5 is similar to the ZenFone 5Z. It looks the same, uses the same camera sensor and even includes the same face unlock feature.
There are a few key differences, however. The ZenFone 5 uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor and features up to 6GB of RAM.
In MobileSyrup‘s brief hands-on time, we noted how premium the mid-range device felt and were impressed by the responsive camera, as well as the vibrant, clear quality of the pictures we took. At first glance, it seems the ZenFone 5 will follow in the strong photography-focused footsteps of its predecessor.
Asus ZenFone 5 Lite
The Asus ZenFone 5 Lite is quite different from the other two handsets. The ZenFone 5 Lite uses a 6-inch display with a 2160 x 1o80 pixel resolution and an 18:9 aspect ratio.
The phone also comes in two different variants. The higher-end version sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
The other model has a Snapdragon 430 chipset with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
This phone uses a quad-cam setup with two front-facing sensors and two rear-facing selfie shooters. The front-facing setup uses one 20-megapixel sensor and another 6-pixel, 120-degree wide angle lens.
The rear-facing setup uses a 16-megapixel sensor with and another 6-pixel, 120-degree wide angle lens.
The phone also features a 3,300mAh battery and charges through a micro-USB port. Additionally, it features expandable memory and will come in three colours: ‘midnight black,’ ‘moonlight white’ and ‘rouge red.’
In the briefing experience, the ZenFone 5 Lite handled well and once again presented as a much more premium device than the specs would have you expect. The camera and other apps were quick and responsive, and it took excellent pictures — albeit not quite as good as the ZenFone 5.
MobileSyrup has reached out to Asus for Canadian pricing and availability and will update this article when it arrives.