Asus Zenfone 5 first impressions review – Cheaper Android iPhone X

Zenfone 5 MWC2018Asus has just announced their answer to the “Fruit Phone X” at an event that I attended in Barcelona – I am, of course, talking about their new Zenfone 5

In an event that included non-subtle swipes at a certain Cupertino-based company and a gig by OK Go!, a range of new intelligent smart(er)phones was launched.

The Asus Zenfone 5 range appeared a little confusing to me. However, I am running on approximately a total of 9 hours sleep since Sunday morning.

There’s the Lite, Max, ‘just’ 5 and Z – that I bit I think I’ve got. That said, it’s their attributes that seem a little cloudy to me. Folk in the UK shouldn’t get too confused as, (again, as far as I can make out) the Lite won’t be hitting these shores.

Zenfone 5 MWC2018So, after introducing the entry-level Zenfone 5 Lite, Asus got to the main meat of their launch event at MWC.

That is, of course, the Zenfone 5. And the higher-end Zenfone 5z. These models are almost identical, save for the chipset used, and the amount of RAM and storage you can get them with.

Asus Zenfone 5

Zenfone 5 MWC2018As mentioned, the Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 5 Z share identical specs. These include a 6.2-inch display with skinny bezels, a 3,300-mAh battery with quick charging and a dual camera with a standard and wide-angle view.

Given the digs at Apple and the new Asus sporting ‘that’ notch, there are a couple of things that the iPhone X has that the Zenfone hasn’t. Namely, wireless charging or any kind of waterproofing. How important these factors are is down to you. Oh, and whether they are worth £100s.


Zenfone 5 MWC2018What the Zenfone 5 has in bucket loads is AI. It’s almost like they stumbled upon some shadowy figure in an alleyway offering Artificial Intelligence at knockdown prices.

AI Boost

This hands it more power when gaming

AI Photography

Enjoy scene detection, photo learning, portrait mode and beautification.

AI Display

It stays on while you’re looking at it and has automatic colour temperature adjustment.

AI Battery

It remembers when you wake up so will gently recharge until you’re just about to wake and then complete its 100% charge for the day.

AI Ringtone

This automatically adjusts the volume according to how noisy your surroundings are.


Oh, and Asus is also introducing something called ZeniMoji – live-animated avatars which you can even use in video calls or live streams.

Zenfone 5 specs

Zenfone 5 MWC2018The Zenfone 5 comes with a 6.2-inch 2,246×1,080 Super IPS touchscreen with DCI-P3 support.

Zenfone 5 MWC2018It features a 19:9 aspect ratio, 500-nit brightness, and a notch that Asus boasts is “26% smaller than the Fruit Phone X.” Before you take me to task, these are the actual words spoken on stage tonight.

The new Asus has an impressive 90% screen-to-body ratio thanks to that notch and the slim bezels all around.

asus zenfone 5 mwc2018The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 chipset, built on a 14nm process.

You will get either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

Zenfone 5 MWC2018On the back there’s a 12 MP main camera with Sony’s IMX363 sensor, f/1.8 aperture, and 83-degree field-of-view.

asus zenfone 5 mwc2018Additionally, you get a 120-degree wide-angle camera of unknown resolution.

asus zenfone 5 mwc2018Selfies are taken care of by a single 8 MP unit with f/2.0 aperture.

The Zenfone 5 features a 3,300 mAh battery, dual-SIM functionality, and dual speakers with dual amps.

asus zenfone 5 mwc2018Hi-Res earphones are bundled in the box, and the phone has an FM radio too.

asus zenfone 5 mwc2018Software-wise, you’re looking at Android Oreo with ZenUI 5.0 on top.

Expect to see the Zenfone 5 in Midnight Blue and Meteor Silver.

Zenfone 5Z

The Zenfone 5z ups the game in a few areas.

Well, basically, it’s the aforementioned Zenfone 5 but with a Snapdragon 845 under the hood.

That beefier processor is mated with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Your exact RAM/storage options are: 6/64, 8/128, or 8/256.

Asus Zenfone 5 first impressions

It is certainly a good looking phone. It does, however, look a lot like the Fruit Phone X. Gah! Now they’ve got me saying it!

The 6.2-inch 19:9 aspect ratio Full HD+ IPS display is extremely bright and vivid. I am sure that it will win people over with that 90% screen-to-body ratio.

The fingerprint sensor is around back but it’s also packing facial unlock so, chances are, that’s what you’ll be using the most.

The camera placement seems to be the same as the iPhone X. Also, the animojis, notch, and over all look. In fact, the amount of similarities may prompt confused people to ask how you are running Android on an iPhone.

The major difference between the X and the Z is the price.

Price and availability

Zenfone 5 MWC2018The Asus Zenfone 5 will be priced from €479.

asus zenfone 5 mwc2018I’m guessing that will be the 5 and the 5Z will most likely be around the £500-mark.

Asus Zenfone 5 gallery

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