Asus ZenFone 5z and ZenFone 5 (2018) First Impressions

Zenfone 5 launch at Mobile World Congress 2018, Asus hosted a media briefing to tell us about its new phone and directly address the very familiar notch at the top of the device.

 “Some people will say it’s copying Apple,”  “but we cannot get away from what users want. You have to follow the trends.”  said Marcel Campos, Asus’ global head of marketing

Asus brought the Zenfone 5, 5z, and 5 Lite as part of the refreshed Zenfone 5 lineup. The flagship pair of Zenfone 5 and 5z employs a borderless notched screen and promising dual-camera experience. The Lite model shows off with four snappers, while the budget M1 has a 4000 mAh battery to impress.

The flagship pair uses a 6.2″ borderless LCD screen, The notch is narrower but seems taller than the one on the iPhone X, The screen aspect ratio is 19:9, so you can imagine it as an 18:9 screen with the extra little bit to account for the notch — you aren’t technically losing any screen space.

The resolution of 1080p (1080 x 2246 pixels) makes up for 402ppi density, which check the box for a flagship-grade sharpness. The screen supports the full DCI-P3 colour space and Asus uses artificial intelligence to automatically adjust brightness as well as colour temperature (which is another Apple-inspired idea).

Body: Dual Gorilla Glass, aluminum frame;

Screen: 6.2-inch, 19:9, 1080p IPS LCD

Rear Camera: Main 12MP, 1.4um, f/1.8 24mm lens, dual-pixel PDAF; EIS; Secondary 8MP wide-angle camera, 12mm lens; 4K video; Dual-tone LED flash,

Front Camera: 8MP, f/2.0

Chipset Zenfone 5: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, octa-core 1.8GHz Kryo 260, Adreno 509

Chipset Zenfone 5z: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, octa-core Kryo 385 4×2.7GHz + 4×1.7Ghz, Adreno 630

Memory Zenfone 5: 4/6 GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD

Memory Zenfone 5z: 4/6/8 GB RAM, 64/128/256 GB storage, microSD

OS: Android 8.0 Oreo + ZenUI 5.0

Battery: 3300mAh

Connectivity: Optional dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/GLONASS, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, USB Type-C, FM radio

Misc: Fingerprint reader, stereo speakers

The ZenFone 5  exists because Asus knows that the notched screen has wide appeal, but not everyone will be able to afford flagship-class hardware. It’s physically identical to the ZenFone 5z but has significantly different hardware.

The dual-camera at the back has a 12MP main Sony IMX363 with bright f/1.8 lens and dual-pixel PDAF. It supports EIS and 4K video recording at 30 fps. The Zenfone 5z with the Snapdragon 845 chip should be capable of 4K at 60fps capturing once it comes out in June.

There is also a secondary 8MP 120-degree wide-angle camera, just like on the LG G5.

Asus has a Face Unlock option on the Zenfone 5, but don’t get your hopes up for seeing anything as sophisticated as the Face ID system that resides inside the iPhone. Face Unlock is just there to satisfy user demand, and Asus notes that its new phone still has a fingerprint sensor as a fallback.

Asus might be the first mainstream manufacturer to emulate Apple’s iPhone X notch on Android, but it won’t be the last. Whether or not people like this new direction, they’re sure to be talking about it, and that’s what Asus needs.

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