When it comes to the smartphone business, the first ASUS ZenFone 5 took the Philippine market by storm with the mix of it’s affordable price tag along with the robust features that smartphones weren’t known for during that period.
With a few years down the line, we’re back to the newer ZenFone 5 line coming from the Taiwanese company and it seems that they’re back to form with their latest iteration of the unit.
So to start things off, here’s the specs.
- Dimensions: 153 x 75.65 x 7.7 mm (LWH)
- Weight: 165g
- Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform with 14nm, 64-bit Octa-core Processor with AI Boost
- GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 509
- Display: 6.2-inch Full HD+ (2246 by 1080) Super IPS+ display
- Memory: 4GB RAM
- Storage: eMCP 64GB, MicroSD Card Supports up to 2TB
- Battery: ,300 mAh with fast charging (non-removable)
- Rear 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
- 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
- Front Camera:
- F2.0 aperture
- 24mm equivalent focal length in 35mm film camera
- 84° field of view
One of the most touted features the new ZenFone 5 is it’s AI camera and PixelMaster Camera modes making it easier for the phone to take photos and adjust to your camera setting preference based on your previously taken photos. And from the few months or so of testing, it does provide the type of quality of shots you’d expect from a mid-level smart phone.
ASUS phones in the past had always been able to provide a pretty solid optic build. And as always the case, their biggest weakness is how their default app fails to pretty much provide the full use of the phone’s built-in system. With this latest iteration of the ZenFone 5 it seems like ASUS finally got their system together that the default app seems to be working better than ever. However, there are still kinks that I’d wish they were able to fix since their older models especially when it comes to how the camera’s built-in auto brightness can’t seem to decide when to kick it up a notch or tone it down. The best example for this situation was during our live stream at Long Live Play PH (seen below) where we can’t seem to get the lighting just right even if we tried moving within the area.
With that said though, shooting with low light with the ZenFone 5 is better than ever. The front and back, while providing with a big difference in quality, at least provides the user a bit more light with low light situations.
As you can see below:
And when given the proper lighting the ZenFone 5 cam really just brings those shots to life like so:
Even during on those rare moments where I don’t have my DSLR on coverage and events the ZenFone 5‘s dual cameras was able to provide me quality photos that has me thinking of bringing just the phone to events and coverages if I didn’t want to have a patience to bring things in bulk.
So moving forward to the phone’s better game features and the one I can say that I’ve a bit more experience than the camera side of things is it’s gaming capabilities.
The ZenFone 5‘s screen and Adreno GPU provides the necessary visual brightness that games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PUBG Mobile, and Pokemon Go (yes I still played it for a while) are playable with ease. I love it that the phone doesn’t even heat up after extensive use.
The phone does drain faster since it sports a 3,300 mAh battery, however, the fast charge feature really kicks in that I can fully charge the phone within a span of an hour if not faster. This is pretty handy especially not just in gaming sessions, but also in coverage that I need to recharge my cam when both my DSLR battery packs are done for.
One of the better features I love with the ZenFone 5 is that since it’s running on 4GB RAM I can do multiple things at once. This feature was more prominent most especially when I was playing Pokemon Go with the phone while trying to catch up on my reading.
So far, my experience with the ZenFone 5 has been fun and the phone delivers what it claims to be. The phone’s optics is solid enough to provide my a good alternate camera I can use for coverage. And the AI allowed me to get good shots regardless of the lighting.
Though of course, what I needed to worry about right now is how the phone fails when it comes to adjust properly on some lighting situations that I can’t turn it down especially when I’m recording live.
As a multimedia device, the ZenFone 5 offers enough features that I find it a solid gaming and reading device even if I was on the go.
While the battery itself is nothing to write home about, I like it that the phone fast charges to make up for the lack of battery capacity. If you’re looking for a phone with a solid camera while providing the mid-high end quality features you’d expect from a phone, then ZenFone 5 is a steal.