Few weeks ago, you might have met ASUS ZenFone 4 – the smallest member in the ZenFone series. So, now it is time to meet its bigger and slightly more powerful brother, the ZenFone 5.
As what you can see in this table, the ZenFone 5 features a 5-inch 720p IPS display with a pixel density of 294ppi and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 as well as a layer of anti-fingerprint coating. It also comes with Ultra Sensitive option, which allows users to operate the device even while wearing gloves.
For Malaysia, the ZenFone 5 is powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core quad-threading processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB internal storage. Yes, we are aware of the hardware differences between Malaysian and Chinese unit. Fear not, we’ll be discussing that on the subsequent post.
But for now, here’s a look at the device based on our brief experience with it during the ZenFone regional launch event in Jakarta last month especially for those who are still wondering what is the hype surrounding this device.
Just like its 4-inch sibling, the ZenFone 5 is pre-installed with the ASUS own ZenUI user interface on top of its Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system which is upgradable to Android 4.4 KitKat sometime in the future. It also comes with dual-SIM capability and supports up to 42Mbps DC-HSPA+ connectivity.
Camera-wise, the ZenFone 5 comes standard with an 8-megapixels camera sensor on its rear which is paired together with a 5-elements F2.0 lens and LED flash. There is also a 2-megapixels camera on its front to handle user’s selfie needs. ASUS has also provided plenty of camera modes for users to play around within the PixelMaster camera technology in ZenFone 5 such as Depth of Field, Panorama, Beautification, Miniature, and more.
Of course, the most highlighted mode out of the group is the Low Light mode which ASUS claims able to capture up to 400% more lights and 200% more contrast than an average smartphone camera. You can check out our brief test with ZenFone 5’s low light mode right over here to see how it performs, although we will repeat the test once again as soon as we able to grab the retail version of ZenFone 5 as soon as possible.
Physically, the ZenFone 5 has a thickness of 10.3mm which might be slightly thicker that many smartphones out there. However, the device is still quite light at 145 grams – similar to a Samsung Galaxy S5 – inclusive of its 2050mAh battery. Identical to other devices in the series, ZenFone 5 has a removable back cover made of polycarbonate with color options such as Cherry Red (shown here), Pearl White, Charcoal Black, Champagne Gold, and Mystic Purple.
Not to forget, there’s also the concentrated circular polished metal area in the lower front part of the ZenFone 5 which has become the signature of ZenFone series since it also exists on ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 6. Not only that, I feel that it kind of provides a touch of premium design to the ZenFone devices.
From my brief hands-on experience at Jakarta, the ASUS ZenFone 5 is indeed a solid device with a look to boot. The build quality is quite good and with the features that ASUS has included into ZenFone 5, the RM 599 price tag that ASUS has put on it is considerably alright.
That being said, that price tag also puts it head-to-head against low-cost, high-spec smartphones from China that are slowly making their mark in our market. Additionally, there are also issues of continues shipment delays and the very existence of the higher spec Chinese variant which are affecting ZenFone 5’s reputation among our consumers…but let’s save those issues for our subsequent post tomorrow morning.
So, stay tuned then.