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Asus ZenFone 5 Android Phone Hands-on, First Impressions

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Asus has not been a very famous name when you talk of the smartphone industry, but this phone ZenFone 5 could change the thoughts, at least for some extent. The ZenFone 5 comes with a brilliant design, a smart UI and a decent hardware, adding up all together for an attractive price. Announced and unveiled at the CES 2014, this smartphone in the ZenFone series gives a bang for the buck you pay for it.

For the initial impressions, the ZenFone 5 takes away the credits for the design, which although is quite simple, but the slightly curved body on the back and the metallic strip on the front bottom make it stand out, in the range of devices you get in the similar price range. It cannot be still called the best in designs, but this is better than many others. There are quite a lot of color options available, but the white one which we used, was looking neat, solid and simple – all things taken into consideration.

The display of 5-inch when set on full brightness, puts out the colors well and it is the IPS panel with HD resolution, and it has some decent viewing angles. The bezels do take quite some space, but overall, it looks very neat because the ratio from all the sides makes it look quite natural. On the physical aspect, the front touch buttons are not a part of the screen, and the physical buttons, i.e. power & volume rocker button are on the right side. The back panel, a removable one, has quite a lot of branding than one would expect to see – with logos of ASUS, Intel Inside and Zenfone taking place between the camera and the speaker grill in the bottom.

One of the highlights of the Asus ZenFone 5 is the UI. Asus had announced this new interface, called the ZenUI and this custom UI is layered on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS. It looks good in many ways, right from the lock screen. Asus has managed to impress the mass by putting out the colors in the interface in a way that they get easily noticed. But, although using a totally new device, we did not find the interface to be the best at response to functions. And moreover, Asus has promised the Android KitKat update, which is expected to roll out soon, though we don’t expect to see much changes to the UI.

This is one of those rear devices powered by a chipset from Intel, i.e. the Intel Atom Z2580 Dual-core chipset powers the ZenFone 5, and it clocks at 2 GHz. At a time when we are seeing quad-core and octa-core devices swarming in, the term dual-core is not much appealing, but except for the little lag in the interface response, the performance is not at all disappointing. The 1GB RAM is quite enough, but Asus has made sure that people get an option to choose, thus there is a variant with higher RAM and storage.

The 8-megapixel camera is very decent in placement, and in capture quality too – which according to Asus, is because of the PixelMaster software doing the magic. But although we said “decent”, you could have expected even better pictures with an 8MP camera, if we are to compare with similar devices. But, we’ll find out soon how good the camera quality is, overall when we do the review of the Asus ZenFone 5.

Early Verdict

The ZenFone 5 from Asus for the initial impressions, has been a solid, good looking device with a brilliant user interface. It does not excel already in every aspect, but for the price you are paying, Asus has made sure you are getting a very decent smartphone. We’ll review the device very soon and you can then know how good a piece is this.

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