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ASUS Zenfone 5 review

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The Zenfone series marks a fresh attempt from ASUS to make its mark in the burgeoning smartphone sector in India. Whether it will be successful or not is something that only time will tell, but we've spent some quality time with the Zenfone 5 ourselves. The design looks good, but the features boasted by the ZenUI and the camera are quite something. Here's a review of the ASUS Zenfone 5, due to land in India very soon....

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ASUS Zenfone 5 review

  1. 1. ASUS Zenfone 5 Review in pictures
  2. 2. Style meets specs • 5.0-inch, 720p display • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor • 2GB of RAM and 8 / 16GB expandable storage • 8-megapixel primary snapper • 2MP front camera • Runs Android 4.3 with ZenUI on top • Dual-SIM 3G (micro-SIMs)
  3. 3. Ups the ante in the looks department • Concentric circle pattern below the screen adds to the oomph. It’s prone to scratches though • Encased in plastic, but doesn’t feel cheap • Available in a range of hues, including black, white, red or gold • Curvy rear adds to ergonomics
  4. 4. Yummy screen • The 5-inch 720p IPS display offers a pixel density of 294ppi • Sharp visuals, crisp text, and colourful graphics on offer • Good viewing angles and sunlight legibility, with ample brightness • You won’t find the screen quality lacking at all, and it’s certainly one of the Zenfone 5’s stronger points
  5. 5. Master of pixels… • A feature-packed 8-meg snapper, featuring ASUS’ PixelMaster tech • Loaded with modes like continuous shot, HDR, panorama, depth of field, Time rewind, Smart remove, beautification, GIF animation etc. A Time lapse mode available for video captures • Range of colour filters • Lots of creative control, including ISO, white balance and exposure
  6. 6. … and a creature of the night • Shoots good images, especially in daylight • The images retain a fair degree of detail and sharpness, though colours are oversaturated at times • Prompts you to switch to night mode or HDR as per the conditions • Low-lights shots are too dark in auto mode, but the night mode does its magic to churn out results that are quite usable
  7. 7. A state of Zen • Runs Android 4.3 (upgradeable) with ZenUI on top • Tons of tweaks, including a custom lockscreen with shortcuts and the What’s Next widget, quick settings, and colourful icons • Plethora of useful apps such as Do It Later, What’s Next and SuperNote • App drawer lets you hide/unhide apps, sort them the way you want and even lock them via password
  8. 8. Piles of software goodies for the taking • The screen supports glove mode • A special reading mode also available • AudioWizard and Splendid apps let you tweak sound and display settings • A suite of apps for hooking up, including PC Link, Remote Link and Share Link • Custom phone app even includes a built in call recorder • Easy Mode displays a simplified launcher, useful for newbies and the elderly
  9. 9. Intel inside, smiles outside • The 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor mated to 2GB of RAM keeps things chugging along. Routine tasks runs smoothly, and even graphics- heavy games like Dead Trigger 2 work well for the most part, with only an occasional hint of lag • Apart from Miracast, the connectivity options are quite standard. The device accepts micro-SIMs in its two slots, with support for 3G on both • Out of 8GB, about 4.8GB is available to use, though you can add up to 64GB more via the microSD slot. Sadly, there’s no support for USB OTG
  10. 10. A guzzler in your hands • The sealed 2,210mAh battery can last for a day, but only if you’re frugal • Lasted only about six hours in our video loop drain test • A range of power saving modes available, including an Ultra-saving mode to help prolong battery life
  11. 11. At a glance • 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 display • 8MP primary camera, 2MP front shooter • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel AtomZ2560 processor • PowerVR SGX544MP2 graphics • 2GB RAM, 8GB expandable internal storage • 2,210mAh battery • Dual-SIM 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, Miracast • Android 4.3 with ZenUI • FM radio
  12. 12. - • The design’s mainstay, the concentric circle pattern, is prone to scratches • Average battery life Pros and cons + • Stylish looks • Smooth performance • Lovely display • Feature-loaded and capable snapper • Fresh-looking UI with tons of useful features • Host of handy apps
  13. 13. Price To be announced Pricing and verdict “The ASUS Zenfone 5 is a commendable effort, and the manufacturer seems to have put its heart into it, evident from the array of software goodies. With the exception of the battery life, the device has a lot going for it, and could be a compelling option if priced aggressively. The Moto G is its main rival, but the upcoming Xiaomi Mi 3 could change things drastically”

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