ASUS ZenFone 5 and More at Mobile World Congress 2018

ASUS’ New ZenFone 5 Is The Android Phone With The iPhone X Notch

Believe it or not, there are Android users out there who are enamored by Apple iPhone X’s awkward notch (though, to be fair, Apple was not the one who started it). How we know? The fact that there are apps that will add that useless notch onto any Android phone is a clear sign of this disturbing love. And if you think that’s only isolated case when fans are left to their own devices, well, think again because, ASUS, the global maker of PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones, newest flagship device, ASUS ZenFone 5 has exactly that. That? What that?

ASUS ZenFone 5Z Android Smartphone
ASUS ZenFone 5Z

The notch, dude. The notch. It has the notch found on iPhone X and if you look at the official product images and the images that have been floating on the Internet, you will realize that ZenFone 5 has a uncanny resemblance to the iPhone X. You know like, super uncanny. And mind you, the resemblance is beyond just the notch; it continues at the rear where it sports a vertical dual-camera setup to the right of the device. I cringe when I saw it, but I can’t deny that, the ZenFone 5 is beautiful in its own right. And if you ask me, you’d better off buying the ZenFone 5 than a lesser known brand, right? Well, I guess that’s only if you wanted to iPhone X look so badly…

ASUS ZenFone 5 Android Smartphone
ASUS ZenFone 5

Also, the notch is almost proportionate to that of Apple’s flagship device and not surprisingly, it isn’t there for show; like iPhone X, it has a bunch of stuff packed under it, including Proximity/light sensor, receiver, LED indicator and the front camera. In addition to the obvious size difference from iPhone X, ZF5 also sports few distinct differences, including a fingerprint scanner on the back, USB Type-C port, and the existence of a 3.5mm headphone jack – just to pick out a few. Anyways, the ZenFone 5 is not a single device; it is a series which brings to the table ZenFone 5, ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 Lite, but only the former two sports the notch design. So, if you are a fan of ZenFone series and do not want the copycat look, you are covered as well.

As for those seeking nothing less than performance, the 5Z is the to-go-to model because, it has Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 driving the clockwork and backed by 8 GB RAM and 256 GB UFS 2.1 storage, while the ZF5 gets the lesser (but still the latest of the 600 series) Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform. For the uninitiated, the 845 is the latest Mobile Platform from Qualcomm to feature Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE) and touts features like AI Boost and AI Charging. The former detects demanding app and offer to boost its performance much like over-clocking and the latter is an intelligent charging where it learns your usage habit to vary the charging.

Say, for example, if the phone learns that you tend charge your device early and overnight, it will regulate the charge to charge slower so as not to overcharge the device. And did we mention ZF5 is a big device with an odd aspect ratio? It has a huge 6.2-inch Super IPS+ FHD+ (2,246 x 1,080 pixels) display blessed with Corning Gorilla Glass 2.5D curved glass and a 19:9 AR, but thanks to its almost edge-to-edge display, it has a size comparable to standard (read: not edge-to-edge) 5.5-inch smartphone. Speaking specifications, here’s a rundown of what we have picked up so far:

ASUS ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 Sirocco Key Specifications

Android 8.0 (Oreo) with Zen UI 5.0

ZenFone 5Z
LTE Cat12: UL up to 100Mbps
Cat18: DL up to 1.2 Gbps

ZenFone 5
LTE Cat12: UL up to 100Mbps
Cat13: DL up to 600 Mbps

DC-HSPA+: UL 5.76 / DL 42 Mbps
153mm x 75.65mm x 7.85mm, 155g
ZenFone 5Z
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with 10nm, 64-bit Octacore processor with AI Boost
GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 630

ZenFone 5
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform with 14nm, 64-bit Octacore processor with AI Boost
GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 509

FinFET LPP (Low Power Plus) powersaving technology
ZenFone 5Z
up to 8GB LPDDR4X
up to 256GB UFS2.1 Storage

ZenFone 5
up to 6GB LPDDR4X
64GB eMCP Storage

Expandable via microSD card (supports up to 2TB)
100GB free space for a year on Google Drive
6.2-inch Full HD+ (2246 x 1080 pixels) Super IPS+ display
90% screen-to-body ratio
500nits brightness
95.4% NTSC color gamut, support DCI-P3
Corning Gorilla Glass for best screen protection
Bluelight filter for eye care
Auto Color Temperature
Capacitive touch panel with 10 points multi-touch (support glove touch)
Smart Screen On
Rear Main Camera:
5x light sensitivity low light photos (compared with a typical camera with 16MP, f1.7 & 1.12µm pixel size)
Sony flagship IMX363 12MP dual pixel image sensor - 1/2.55" large sensor size, 1.4µm large pixel size, f1.8 aperture
24mm equivalent focal length in 35mm film camera
6p lens, 83° field of view
Instant cameras switching
0.03 seconds phase-detection autofocus
4-axis, 4 stops optical image stabilization
LED flash

PixelMaster camera modes:
Auto (with Night HDR and Portrait)
Pro (RAW file support / up to 32 seconds long exposure)
Super Resolution (48MP)
GIF Animation
Time Lapse (with power saving mode)
16 AI Scene Detection: food, sky, green field, plant, ocean, sunset, snow, flower, stage, dog, cat, people, text, tripod, QR code, night view
AI Photo Learning

Rear Secondary Camera:
120° wide-angle camera
200% wider view for more friends and scenery in the frame
12mm equivalent focal length in 35mm film camera

8MP, f2.0 aperture
24mm equivalent focal length in 35mm film camera
84° field of view

PixelMaster camera modes:
Auto (with Night HDR)
AI Beautification
Selfie Panorama
GIF Animation
9 various filters
3,300mAh with fast charging
Smart & scheduled charging for battery protection
Dual-band Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi direct, NFC, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS
Front fingerprint sensor (0.2 seconds unlock, supports 5 fingerprints), Face recognition, Accelerator, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, RGB sensor
3.5mm audio jack
FM Radio

Dual speakers
5-magnet speaker with dual NXP Smart Amp for louder, deeper and less distorted sound effect

Audio Output:
Hi-Res audio 192kHz/24-bit standard that is 4 times better than CD quality
DTS (Digital Theater System) Headphone:X™ 7.1 virtual surround sound for headphone support
Audio CODEC integrated into PMIC
AudioWizard with listening profile

Dual internal microphones with ASUS Noise Reduction Technology
4K UHD (3840 by 2160) video at 30 fps for main rear cameras
1080p FHD video recording at 30 / 60 fps
720p HD video recording at 30 fps
3-axis electronic image stabilization for rear cameras
Take still photo while recording video
Slow Motion video (1080p at 120 fps / 720p at 240 fps)
ZeniMoji: Live Emoji
Meteor Silver, Midnight Blue
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No words on the availability of either device, but ASUS said in the official press release that the range-topping ZenFone 5Z will carry with it a “groundbreaking price” of “just” 479 euros (or about US$584) which makes it flagship killer by the way of pricing.

ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite Android Smartphone
ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite

As for the last of the ZF5, the ZenFone 5 Lite, it is a 6-inch device touting the “world’s first globally-announced true four-camera system” that comprises of high-resolution and wide-angle cameras at both front and rear. Speaking of camera, it has a front camera with a cool 20MP Sony sensor and a 16MP as the main shooter. In addition, it has a secondary 120-degree wide-angle camera at both front and rear. ASUS said each camera on the ZenFone 5 Lite is independent of each other every time so it can capture the “perfect” selfies, wefies, landscapes, portraits, or group shots.

Other notables include a 6-inch “Full View” FHD+ IPS display with 18:9 aspect ratio, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, a 3,300 mAh battery, triple-slot SIM/microSD card holder, plus the usual like NFC, fingerprint sensor and what not. And oh, it has facial recognition too, apparently, which is kind of a surprise because this ain’t no range-topper (seriously, like not even close!). No words on the availability and price at this point.

All images courtesy of ASUS.