Asus ZenFone5 first take and video: A phone that has a lot going for it

The Asus ZenFones could be a game changers of the Taiwanese company gets its pricing right when it launches on July 9

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Updated: June 30, 2014 10:31 am
The Asus ZenFone5 has a launch price of 9 The Asus ZenFone5 has a launch price of 9

I don’t usually do run of the mill ‘first impression’ reviews. But this time is different. I am not calling it run of the mill, but I certainly had just one day to file this review and it can’t be anything more than first impressions. But the Asus ZenFone is good enough and important enough to post a hasty review 10 days before its launch. For one, this phone comes with a fresh new user interface, then it is powered by Intel Atom processors and then it could have a price point that can change the market for ever.

The ZenFone series had a launch price of $99, for its 4-inch phone. The 5-incher was priced at $149 and a 6-incher at $199. We know that converting those prices into Rupees might be futile, but the message is clear — these are going to be affordable devices.

A full reviewing of the phone can be done only after using it for a few days. This review is based on impressions from the first 24 hours.

What is best?

That has to be the new Zen UI. I think it is the most refreshing take on Android since the HTC Sense. It is slick, it is stylish and over all it is functional. You can do all the important things like make a call, open camera and messaging from the lock screen itself. In fact, the lock screen even shows what is next on your schedule. Asus has redesigned even  the tiles for the ZenFone. The tiles are good, but it takes a while for you to find even the most used ones like the camera app. That is just because you brain has been programmed to look for something else.


DESIGN: The design has the Asus trademark with brushed metal and sharp edges. You will like the feel of this phone with the matte finish rear flap and metallic buttons.

CAMERA: Another great aspect of the phone is its new PixelMaster camera. As our video shows it is in the top draw when it comes to low-light photography. Not many flagships phones can claim this kind of picture quality. But it also means, you dont get a lot of subtle night shows. Everything is so perfectly bright. The camera also gives you a lot of options in modes and adjustments. The camera sensor has larger photoreceptors and an f/2.0 lens to get in more light. Plus, the five-lens combination removes distortions.

PERFORMANCE: A day is too little time to take a call on overall performance. But what I saw and felt was impressive. The Intel processor seems to be pretty fast and the there was no lag to be felt anywhere. This combined with the new UI give a very fluid experience. Also, the phone stayed cool throughout the day, which is a rarity with high-specced Android phones these days. I have to credit that to the low thermal footprint of the Intel Atom processor.

Verdict: Too early to give a full verdict. I still haven’t tested the camera and overall performance of the phone. But I promise a longer, more detailed review towards the time of launch in early July. Hang on till then?


Display: 5″ 1280*720 IPS+ Panel, Corning Gorilla Glass 3

CPU: Intel Atom Dual-Core Z2560 1.6GHz


Storage: 16GB & 8GB

Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0

Camera: 2MP front, 8MP rear

Battery: 2110 mAh

OS: Android JellyBean 4.3 (will update to 4.4 KitKat)

Memory Slot: MicroSD card (up to 64 GB)

SIM: Dual Micro SIM card


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  1. M
    Oct 15, 2014 at 11:05 am
    ASUSZenfone A501CG- All good things come in a “Big” packageDisplay: Thefirst thing that catches the eye in Zenfone A501CG is its big 5inchdisplay which renders 1280X720 HD quality picture. It uses IPS panel technologywhich not only delivers vibrant colors, but saves battery as the screen doesn’tlighten up when touched.Features:A 16GBinternal storage which can be extended to 64 GB and 2 GB RAM facilitatesrunning a number of applications at a faster speed. It runs on the poroid Jelly bean 4.3 OS, which can be updated to latest Kitkat version. Thedual SIM serves the prime purpose well. It has one touch socializationfeatures.Processor:The Intel Atom Dual-Core Z2560 1.6GHz guaranteessmooth operation with satisfactory performance.Battery:The battery life has been optimized for 18 hours oftalk time owing to 2110 mAh battery.Camera: An8megapixel main camera and a 2 megapixel front camera with Pixel MasterTechnology. The camera has modes likeTime rewind, Depth of Field and Miniature Mode, which allows clicking pictureswith high precision and clarity.Verdict:Ifyou wish to see the bigger picture in life, Zenfone A501CG is the phone for youwhich come at an affordable price.
    1. S
      Shweta Singh
      Oct 10, 2014 at 12:14 pm
      ASUS 5 rocksI ordered ASUS ZenFone 5 after a lot ofresearching and got it last week. After one week of usage, I can say this asuper phone. The phone runs all the games smoothly, there are absolutely nolags at all. Although the phone is a little long, it is very slim, andoperating it with one hand is not a problem. Its Zen Ui is colorful and has nice tweaks. The camerais another strong point of ZenFone 5. The battery is OK and charges 100% in quicktime. The phone has lots of great specs. It came with Android Jelly Bean andupdate to KitKat is available. I think the phone is for everybody, be it acollege student or an office goer.