One of the members of ASUS’ latest series, the ASUS ZenFone 5 sits in between the ASUS ZenFone 5Q and the ASUS ZenFone 5Z. The Taiwanese smartphone brand’s first entry to the notched display hype, the ASUS ZenFone 5 takes all its features and performance to distinguish itself from being just the iPhone X look-alike.
The ASUS ZenFone 5 can easily be taken as a flagship smartphone although it really is a mid-range device. This isn’t surprising though, as ASUS has always been known in producing elegant-looking devices. On the outside, the ASUS ZenFone 5 has a glass-covered body with a special aerospace-grade aluminum material. Unlike the ASUS ZenFone 5Q which has a plasticky feel, the ASUS ZenFone 5 feels sturdy, although sometimes we deem it a little heavy and bulky for our small hands, especially with its jelly case on. Despite having a glass body, the ASUS ZenFone 5 doesn’t support wireless charging. It is also not water- and dust resistant.
This device has the usual buttons for volume and power situated at the right side while on the left side is a hybrid sim card tray which means you have to sacrifice using two sim cards if you want to expand the device’s memory. Found at the bottom are the smartphone’s main microphone, USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a single speaker grille.
In terms of its display, the ASUS ZenFone 5 has a 6.2-inch FHD+ screen with a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio and a notch on top. The notch doesn’t look awkward although we find it a bit distracting that the status bar on top of the ASUS ZenFone 5 display’s looks chopped. The screen is capable of producing rich, vibrant colors, making the smartphone an apt device for viewing images and videos in high resolution.
Under the hood, the ASUS ZenFone 5 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz with multi-core AI which takes the job of backing up the smartphone’s AI-related functions and features like what’s on its camera. We’ve yet to detail the performance of its internals for our full review, but the ASUS ZenFone 5 has given us a lag-free performance so far. Its storage and memory comes with a combination of a 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage which can be amplified to up to 2TB via microSD support. The ASUS ZenFone 5 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with the latest, cleaner, and easier to use ZenUI 5.0.
Going into its imaging department, the ASUS ZenFone 5 comes with three cameras, two on the rear and one in front. It has a dual rear camera setup comprised of one 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, while the other one is an 8-megapixel 120-degree wide angle lens with an f/2.0 aperture. Our initial camera tests with the ASUS ZenFone 5 gave us decent photos, those you could easily post on social media even without having them edited. What we noticed though, is its depth effect mode often gave us portrait shots with scattered blur effects.
In terms of its selfie camera which is an 8-megapixel sensor with a 80-degree wide angle lens, the ASUS ZenFone 5 doesn’t steer away from other smartphones which produce unnatural-looking selfies especially with the beautification feature used at the maximum level.
You might be wondering what’s the best thing the ASUS ZenFone 5 has under its sleeves. We have a lot of things about this smartphone to discuss in detail in our upcoming full review so watch out for that.