The ASUS ZenFone 5 was first revealed during the MWC 2018 (Mobile World Congress) along with the rest of the new ZenFone series. Following its predecessors since ZenFone 3 in 2016, the Zenfone 5 is back with the design with more powerful tech on the inside and a different placing of the camera. With the revolutionary notch at the top of the display like the iPhone X that most phones have adopted, the ZenFone 5 too has adopted it to fit its 6.2 inch display compared to its predecessors of 5.5 inches.
*Photos taken with Sony α6300
Check out our unboxing video below:
The ZenFone 5, being faithful to its elegant design since ZenFone 3, has Gorilla Glass on both front and back with 2.5D contoured edges. Asus’ signature concentric circle pattern can still be seen at the back panel of the phone. Though the ZenFone series shares almost identical physical dimensions, this is the first ZenFone that is able to fit a 6.2 inch display onto it.
While they fit nicely onto the palm of an average person, it doesn’t look like an average smartphone. The Gorilla Glass on both sides gives it a premium feel. Though one would expect the ZenFone 5 to have wireless charging as they used a glass back panel, unfortunately there is no wireless charging for the ZenFone 5.
The bottom of the phone is where you can find the speakers, a 3.5mm headphones jack and also the USB type-C charging port. It’s also thin enough at 7.9mm, to have them easily slide comfortably into your jeans. The ZenFone 5 comes in two stylish color options which are the Meteor Silver and the Midnight Blue. Both looked gorgeous but I personally love the sleek Midnight Blue.
Unlike its predecessors, thanks to a certain fruit product, we were gifted with the “notch” design. The notch design is quite the revolutionary design which enabled most of the current phones to have a wider and a 90% screen to body ratio. Because of that, we get a gorgeous 6.2″ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 instead of a 5.5″ display with a 16:9. A 19:9 aspect ratio is pretty huge which is almost comparable to a cinema screen ratio of 21:9.
Paired with an AMOLED display, it’s basically a mini cinema on your mobile if you binge watch movies on it. With Super IPS+display projecting a FHD+ (2246 x 1080) resolution, whatever you watch on it is so clear your eyes would tear up in joy.
Also, the notch isn’t just making space for a bigger and wider screen, notifications and status icons will be rested at the spaces there making use of the space made by the notch design. Thanks to the notch, it is also used as a visual indicator for a shortcut to the settings menu. A swipe down from the left of the notch will bring up a short settings menu, while a swipe down from the right will bring up a full settings menu with notifications.
There are 2 cameras at the back, a 12 MP and an 8MP. The 8 MP is able to capture wide landscapes with its 120-degree wide angle and F2.2 Apertures. While the 12 MP camera acts as the main camera, a Sony flagship IMX363 sensor that is highly sensitive to light and has 1.4 micron pixels with a wide F1.8 aperture.
Now the main selling point of the ZenFone 5 is the integrated AI feature. With the AI feature installed in it, it can help and assist you in many ways. For one, it helps you take better pictures even if you are clueless or an amateur on it.
For instance, if you’re an avid photographer on your mobile, you’re probably going to take tons of pictures on it. With the AI Scene Detection that learns the algorithm of your photos, it is able to recognize scenes in the photos and categorize them up to 16 different scenes. This will also enable the AI camera to use the ideal settings to take that specific scene of a photo to bring out the best results. And once the AI knows you long enough, it actually is able to learn your preferred settings when taking a specific photo.
And if you are into selfies, it has a beautification mode as well which the AI can detect the gender of the human subject and apply the beautification or digital makeup on the human subject.
The AI isn’t just made for the camera, it’s also able to assist you or your phone where its needed. With its fast-charging feature, it can charge your phone quickly during day-time as it recognizes your need during the day. While during night-time, depending on your phone-usage pattern, it can slow down its charging rate so that it will not overcharge and decrease your 3,300mh battery lifespan, giving you no worries while you sleep peacefully.
On the other hand, the AI which features its very own AI Boost, will automatically detect demanding apps that you have launched and gives the user the option for it to be turned on. That way, the app that you’re using will be optimized while monitoring the system’s health and stability. The AI Boost paired with the Snapdragon 636 is able to boost the performance of the phone by 12.7% beating its predecessor the Asus ZenFone 4 with a Snapdragon 660 SoC.
That means you can play your games without any worries of dropped frame rates or lag as seen in our video in the beginning.
The ZenFone 5 is a great companion to have if you prefer an AI friend. It’s smart and intelligent learning capability gives you an ease of mind off the petty things in life. Taking pictures has been made way easier, there’s no worries upon leaving your phone to charge, playing games on it has never felt smoother thanks to the AI Boost and its faithful sleek design based on previous ZenFones are still in style with the notch upgrade in 2018. At the price of RM 1,299, it’s easily a great replacement for your old out-of-style-non-AI-smartphone.
For more information, check out their official site here.