Thursday, April 25, 2019

Zenfone 5 Hands-On and First Impressions

Asus, the brand known for launching the world’s first 4GB smartphone and the world’s first 8GB smartphone has recently announced the next-iteration of Zenfone series i.e., Zenfone 5/5Z at MWC 2018. Zenfone 5 is one of the first Android notch smartphone announced this year. It’s not only the notch android smartphone but also comes with AI capabilities. A few days back, I got a chance to explore the pre-production sample unit for a while, and here’s my first impressions and hands-on experience of it.

Zenfone 5 – Hands-On & First Impressions:

When compared to Zenfone 4 and the previous smartphones in Zenfone series, there are a lot of changes I noticed on Zenfone 5. The first thing I noticed is the notch at the top. We are in 2018, and the notch phones are too mainstream now, and the Zenfone 5 is not an exception here. In fact, it is also the first android notch phone announced by a leading smartphone manufacturer. Just like the recently launched Vivo V9, the notch at the top is relatively smaller than the iPhone X.
Zenfone 5 Hands-On and First Impressions - 1
Unlike several fullview display smartphones launched last year, Zenfone 5 comes with a 19:9 display thereby giving a real 18:9 fullview experience. The screen-to-body ratio is 90% which is as same as what other brands are offering in their smartphones now. Coming to the rear side, there’s a fingerprint sensor in the middle and the dual camera module is at the extreme left. [Psst…very much similar to iPhone X]. To make it briefer, let me just giveaway the full specifications, so you’ll have a better understanding.

Zenfone 5 Key Specifications:

  • 6.2′ [19:9] Full HD Super IPS display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio
  • 4GB/6GB RAM | 64GB ROM, expandable up to 2TB
  • Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Octa-core processor with AI capabilities
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • ZenUI 5.0 on top of Android v8.0 Oreo
  • A 12MP Dual camera on the rear side with f/1.8 aperture, and an 8MP f/2.0 front-facing camera
  • 3,300mAh Li-Ion battery
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack

It’s 2018, and the Zenfone 5 comes with a headphone jack, Yay!! Anyhow, as the phone hasn’t been announced yet, so I’ll just share my opinion on the main features. Some of the latest trends in 2018 are 18:9 display, AI capabilities, Face Unlock and of course, the new ‘NOTCH’. I’d say, Zenfone 5 inherited all these features in a right way. But most of the smartphones launching in 2018 will have all these features. So, what difference does ‘Zenfone 5′ makes with others’ in the market? Well, that I can say only when I get to test & review it. So now, let’s take a look at the main features –

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  • 18: 9 display – This has become quite a mandatory feature now. As mentioned already, the Zenfone 5 has a 19:9 display that provides a true 18:9 display experience and it’s a deal breaker here. The display is vivid and compared to previous zenfones, I’ve noticed a good color saturation in the display. Though it’s a super LCD display, the colors on the screen are just as brighter as an OLED display
  • AI Capabilities – Most of the brands concentrate on incorporating the AI on their cameras, but Asus went a little further and offered some special features. There are many optimizations can be done using the AI on the phone. There’s an AI-charging, AI performance mode, and many more, but the main feature is obviously the AI-powered camera. Just like the Honor view 10, the AI-camera can recognize different scenes and optimizes the ISO, white balance, etc. automatically. The results are brilliant! I badly want to show you the camera samples I took, but I will wait for the full review. Till then, you can see the camera samples on Instagram by Marcel.
  • Face Unlock – I can’t make a comment on this just now as I’ve not tried personally. I had an experience with one of the leading competitors to Zenfone 5, which didn’t work as promised. So, I’ll test it soon, and update here. I can guarantee that, the Zenfone 5 face unlock works as similar to the OnePlus 5T, but again, they don’t have many sensors that 3d maps your face and updates it like the iPhone X. So, a proper testing is needed.
  • Notch – I don’t want to call it as a special feature, but I feel it’s much needed. Most of the brands haven’t reached a position where they could offer a true bezel-less experience like the Vivo concept phone. So, customers would really love to purchase a phone that merely resembles iPhone ‘X‘. Unlike other notch phones recently released, the Zenfone 5 comes with notch-gestures. So, that’s the main advantage here.

Well, that’s my hands-on & first impressions on the Zenfone 5. I know, this looks like an incomplete article, but I’ll try to update it as soon as I get to test few other features for a few more hours/days.

Zenfone 5 Hands-On and First Impressions - 4
Vamsee Angadala
Chief Editor at iGadgetsworld | Electrical Engineer | Social Media Guy | Technology Writer | Gadget Reviewer

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