Hands-on with Asus Zenfone 5: A serious contender against Samsung, Sony phones

We go hands-on with the Asus Zenfone 5, weeks before the official India launch.


Asus has launched the Zenfone series namely, Zenfone 4, Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 6, in the Indian market starting at Rs 5,999. This will mark Asus' return to the smartphone game in India after a long hiatus. We have managed to snag a unit off a cargo truck on the way to Asus's warehouse. Just kidding, but we do have the final retail unit which will go on sale in India next month.

 

 

We have the Zenfone 5, which is the 5-inch version in the series and from the looks of it, seems like a serious contender against offerings from Samsung and Sony. The phone was first announced at CES 2014 but since then, Asus has made a couple of changes to the final Indian retail unit. For starters, the Zenfone 5 ditches the Intel Atom Z2580 for a Z2560 SoC, which runs at 1.6GHz instead of 2GHz. This is not a major setback as it's still a dual-core with HyperThreading based on the CloverTrail+ platform. To make up for it, Asus has also increased the RAM to 2GB and boosted the battery to 2,110mAh.

 

The rest of the specifications remain pretty much the same. You get a 5-inch HD IPS display with Gorilla Glass, quad-band 3G and 2G, dual-SIM, expandable memory (8GB onboard) and a 8MP camera on the back.

 

The phone feels very well built and put together. It's extremely sturdy as well and the back cover sits flush with the rest of the body. The little brushed aluminium trim at the bottom adds some flair to the phone and is in keeping with the Zen-series design language.

 

The Zenfone 5 will come in two variants – 8 GB and 16 GB models, with prices starting from Rs 9,999. it's not too bad considering the specifications. Stay tuned for the full review.

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