Apple started a trend when it introduced the iPhone X. One that’s filled with no bezels, glass bodies, and notches. Notches everywhere. And Asus’ latest devices, the ZenFone 5 family – well, it follows that trend.
To the T.
Today during MWC 2018, Asus unveiled its ZenFone 5 trio of devices. The flagship models, the standard ZenFone 5 and upgraded 5Z, both offer large screens with barely any bezels, glass on the front and back, and notches at the top to make way for different sensors and the front-facing cameras.
Specifically, the ZenFone 5 features a 6.2-inch LCD IPS display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. That’s just shy of the iPhone X’s 19.5:9 aspect ratio, but both screens appear to be nearly as narrow as each other. Its resolution sits at a comfortable 2246×1080 which is just slightly better than standard 1080p. Asus uses something called AI Display to keep the screen on while you’re looking at it and to adjust its color temperature based on the lighting in whatever environment you’re in.
Speaking of which, Asus is making major strides into the world of artificial intelligence with the ZenFone 5. Not only is AI Display present, but so is AI Boot for better performance during gaming. There’s also AI Photography which adjusts your camera’s settings to for the best shot. There’s even AI Ringtone which will automatically increase the volume of your ringtone and notifications so you can hear them in loud places.
It’s worth noting that when I say “major strides,” I really just mean they’re doing a bunch of stuff in the world of AI, not introducing life-changing technology that the rest of the industry will need to catch up on. A lot of the AI-branded features of the ZenFone 5, admittedly, aren’t even really AI. They’re just kind of smart. In fact, Samsung has that fancy “keep the screen on while the user looks at it” feature on the Galaxy S8 from last year and just calls it “Smart stay.” And let’s not forget, Apple has that True Tone thing on its latest phones.
I’ll give Asus this: LG is doing similar things with the camera the V30S that they call “AI” too, so I guess the ZenFone 5 can say it has an AI-powered camera and get away with it. But other than that, there really isn’t that much on the phone that has to do with artificial intelligence other than the pre-built Google Assistant. But hey, good to know Asus is trying.
Switching back to the device’s hardware, under the hood, you’ll find a Snapdragon 630 processor with 4 or 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 3300mAh battery. The ZenFone 5Z steps things up to the flagship category by offering a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 or 8GB of RAM, and 128 or 256GB of storage. It does have the same battery capacity, however.
For cameras, Asus includes dual shooters that, mind you, are mounted to the back of the ZenFone 5 the same way the cameras are found on the iPhone X. The main 12MP Sony IMX363 sensor features an f/1.8 aperture, while the secondary uses 8MP and a wide 120-degree field of view. This sensor is used for taking super-wide-angle shots like on LG’s phones, but it can also be used for portraid shots as well.
For reference, another 8MP sensor can be found on the front of the ZenFone 5 for taking selfies.
As far as security goes, Asus includes a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and facial recognition that, I guarantee, doesn’t work as well as Face ID. You’re also getting a USB-C port, Android 8.0 Oreo with Asus’ skin on top, a headphone jack (possibly the only non-Apple-like aspect of the device), and high-res audio support, but only on the 5Z.
You remember how I said there were three phones in the ZenFone 5 family? I’m talking about the less-exciting ZenFone 5Q, as it’s known here in the United States. It uses a totally different design than the 5 and 5Z but still opts for a 6-inch Full HD+ 18:9 screen with minimal bezels. Under the hood, you’ll find a Snapdragon 630 chipset, up to 4GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage, dual rear cameras, a 3300mAh battery, Android Oreo, and microUSB connectivity. Yeah, it’s not all that exciting, but it still sits as a cheaper alternative to the ZenFone 5 and 5Z.
Asus will charge $499 (€479) for the ZenFone 5Z when it launches this June. Both the ZenFone 5 and 5Q will evidently cost less than that, but we’re not sure how much yet. Expect more info on the new trio of phones in the future.