ZenFone 5 & 5z are probably how Asus would make the iPhone X

Posted:  February 28, 2018   By:    36 comments   

Asus kicked off its year with a big party at Mobile World Congress 2018 announcing three new phones, the ZenFone Lite, the ZenFone 5 and the flagship ZenFone 5Z. We’ll talk about the ZenFone Lite in a later post, for now I want to concentrate on the two more interesting models – the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5z.

The ZenFone 5 is the most intelligent smartphone Asus has ever made, or so they claim. The device was introduced with a range of what Asus claim is AI technology enhancing seven key performance aspects of the device – AI Display, AI Camera, AI Ringtone, AI Gallery, AI Charging, AI Boost, AI Photo Learning.

Before we go into details on the what these AI enhancements do, let’s talk about the specs of the ZenFone 5.

The Spec

On the inside the ZenFone 5 is powered by Qualcomm’s reliable mid-range chipset, the Snapdragon 636, the same chipset as the one used in the Redmi Note 5 Pro. So you can be assured of reliable and snappy performance. There will be two versions, a 4GB RAM version and a 6GB RAM version, both with 64GB of built-in storage. Wrapping things up is a 3,300mAh battery – which considering the specs is rather small for my liking but…it will be interesting to see how the new ZenUI 5 OS optimises battery life and performance with all its built-in AI capabilities which, incidentally looks very similar to Huawei’s AI-driven OS.

At the front, you get a 6.2-inch FHD+ (2246×1080) Super IPS display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a pro-grade DCI-P3 colour space, for vivid and accurate colour. The 19:9 screen ratio means you can view 18:9 content in landscape full screen on the ZenFone 5 without the footage being cropped.

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The display has the largest ever screen-to-body ratio on an Asus phone. The large screen and small body combo mean that the Asus designers had to incorporate a notch in the ZenFone 5 similar to the iPhone X. However, Asus claims that the notch on the ZenFone 5 is 26% smaller than the one on the iPhone X. On the same token, the iPhone X has a 5.8-inch display with a 86% screen-to-body ratio compared to the 6.2-inch, 90% screen-to-body ratio of the ZenFone 5.

Animoji like the iPhone X

Not to be outdone with the Animoji feature on the iPhone X, the ZenFone 5 too has something similar called ZeniMoji. It works in very much the same way the Apple’s Animoji but with one big difference, you can share your animated emoji across your social media platform though, to be honest, I don’t see much of point with such a feature whether it’s on the iPhone X on the ZenFone 5. I hardly use Animoji on my iPhone and when I do, it’s just to show off what the iPhone can do instead of actually sending someone an animated emoji.

Wide-Angle Camera

On the rear of the ZenFone 5 has a 120 degree wide-angle dual-camera array that utilises the latest top-of-the-line 12MP Sony IMX 363 imaging sensor with 1.4 micron pixel size and 4-axis optical image stabilisation and a f/1.8 aperture lens. If the cameras in past ZenFones are anything to go by, don’t be deceived by the impressive hardware. Asus phones generally are not as good as the competition when it comes to image processing and colour reproduction. Hopefully, with the many new AI features built into the ZenFone 5, we will be able to see improvements in a generally good smartphone package. And there’s also a fingerprint scanner located at the back of the phone. In terms of biometrics, there’s face unlock too.

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Speaking about AI and camera let’s talk a bit about the AI Camera mode in the ZenFone 5. AI Camera means the camera in the ZenFone 5 can automatically adjust its settings to suit the lighting and shooting conditions that you’re in. There are 16 different scenes and subject detection mode in which the AI system can choose from.

You also get Pro Mode with over 60 presets to fiddle around with if that’s your thing. You have the option to shoot in RAW if you want to as well and there’s a Tripod mode for when you’re using a tripod to take pictures with the ZenFone 5.

AI Photo Learning, learns your camera preferences, knows when you use those preferences and for what shots. The system then automatically suggests the right preference based on your liking when you’re taking a particular shot.

The ZenFone 5 has stereo speakers with the bottom speaker being 41% larger the previous ZenFones while the earpiece speaker is 25% larger. The speakers are powered with dual smart amp incorporating the latest NXP 9874 amplifier. Asus claims the speakers on the ZenFone 5 are 1.2 louder than those on the iPhone X and deliver 10% less distortion. Also built into the ZenFone 5 are two noise-cancelling microphones.

Another noteworthy mention is that you get ZenEar S earphones right in the box. The earphones support DTS Headphone X support and Hi-Res audio format for better audio quality when you want to enjoy your music. If you like your audio wireless, there’s also support for Qualcomm aptX, the latest Bluetooth 5 standard and DTS headphone X with 7.1 virtual surround sound.

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Smart features with AI

Among some of the AI features that I find interesting in the ZenFone 5 is AI Ringtone and AI Charging.
AI Ringtone automatically increases or decreases the ringtone volume of the ZenFone 5 depending on the ambient noise. In a noisy environment, the phone will automatically increase ringtone volume to match. Conversely, in a quiet environment, the ZenFone 5 AI Ringtone feature will reduce its ringtone volume accordingly.

AI Charging prevents over-charging especially when the ZenFone 5 is being charged overnight. The system learns your sleep and wake times and adjusts charging accordingly when you charge the device overnight to prevent over-charging. Example, if you charge your phone before you go to sleep, the ZenFone will up to 80% battery capacity and keep it at 80% while you sleep and then complete the charge to 100% just as you are waking up so to avoid overcharging this also maximises the battery lifespan.

ZenFone 5z

Then we move to the ZenFone 5z. Essentially the ZenFone 5z is identical to the ZenFone 5 except for the processor, RAM and built-in storage. The ZenFone 5z utilises the highest-level Snapdragon 845. The Snapdragon 845 is being used in a number of high-end phones, including the Galaxy S9 and S9+, and Sony XZ2. In terms of RAM, the ZenFone 5z gets up 8GB and 256GB of built-in storage.

And that’s pretty much it. there’s no mention on pricing and Malaysian availability yet but expect the ZenFone 5 to be released sometime in April 2018 while the ZenFone 5z to make its market debut in June this year with an expected price from EUR 479 or about RM2,300 in today’s exchange rate.

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36 Comments for ZenFone 5 & 5z are probably how Asus would make the iPhone X


If it weren't for the "ASUS" brand, I'd buy this…not.


Asus is not very good at updating the software


    My first touch screen smartphone was the Asus Zenphone 5 snapdragon chipset version. I can tell you that the camera was really terrible, so terrible to the extend that any pictures taken via the phone, the image is guaranteed to be distorted. As for the software update, I used that phone for 4 years and within that 4 years, not even once Asus managed to updated the software.

    If it's not because of personal budget restriction, I would have bought a new phone on the second month of using the Asus phone instead of needing to wait for 4 years.

    Asus might have improved the phone designs over time, but one thing that never changes will forever be their camera quality and software update. I bet my Huawei Nova 2i camera setup takes even better pictures than any of the Asus phone available out there now.


droidfuks be like: LMAO iphonex animoji feature is pure stupid and useless, what a joke, apple has gone downhill

a year later= Samsung s9 AR emoji , Zenfone zenimoji

droidfuks never get bored slapping their own face every single year


    isheep be like "infinity display is a gimmick", "wireless charging is a gimmick"..

    then the iPhone X came.. a big gimmick it is.


      when you are triggered and diedie want to fight back, you make up your own grandmother story and talk cock, LEL


        Post stupid/hate comment first, and then call other ppl triggered… Lmao, you're the one triggered.


    Remember me? Mr pathetic isheep. Wow you never changed. Well it is what you expect from a person that like a phone that use the same design over & over again. Yes I know the isucks X have a new design. But that design ended itself with a notch. Poor isheep always stuck eating overpriced grass.


      nothing wrong with the notch and it wasnt even a problem to 29million users who have bought it, why would it bother katak like you? and sorry the word 'overpriced' is only for people like you who cant afford yo

      and who the hell are you, bodokambing no23 ? LEL


        u r the 1 is triggered lol


        "29million users"

        U mean 29 million isheep???


IphoneX plus not official announce, design kena stolen and cut q…not a apple fans here because of the hefty pricetag but feel sorry for the iphone lover…copied 98% of other brand designs are something no good to do. Im not going to buy this even it's rm300, feel ashamed owning it.

katak pretend swan

i wonder when apple next phone feature Dual-Sim capability, is it follow android/china cheap phone? or apple fan will said apple so briliant to make iPhone dual-sim. VIVO launch under display finger print, apple fan will said apple had that idea long time before vivo, but vivo stole their idea…..


    applefans around to talk about their pointless product every year get slap by apple


    nah nobody say anything, stop your pathetic delusion


      Of course u wont say anything bcause u just swallow every BS apple throw at u…


High class Zenfone. It will conquer the market again.


So people said Apple doesn’t innovate anymore but then come Android phones which tried not only to copy iPhone designs, but also their software features.


    it is so obvious that whos still leading this industry, just droidfuks stay at bottom too long cant tahan so have to come out with false facts to flatter themselves. LEL


    Lol, only 2/3 stupid brand copycat the iphone…we have a lot more choices.
    The only innovation fr apple is how to milk money from their sheep without them knowing it.

Apple = NSA

Asus has no pride. Why copy a loser design, well, unless they are the bigger loser.


As ugly as the notch is, it can serve a useful purpose. It reduces the height of the phone by say 1 cm (so you can comfortably reach the top of the screen to drag down the notification menu) while maximizing the screen to phone size ratio. Now this would be crucial for phones that are designed to be truly used one handed. Neither the iphone x or the Asus X wannabe are true one handed phones.


Snapdragon 845 is being used in a number of high-end phones, including the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S9 and S9+, and Sony XZ2. S8 using snapdragon 845?


yes, ASUS is poor in software update and after more than 18 months later it hanged like shit even i need to throw away my previous Asus Zenfone 2 touted be the world first smartphone with 4GB RAM then.

    Babi Hutan

    I think user problem not phone. I even want to get another zen 2 as my spare but due to discontinue dy don’t want get ap set else would have get another zen 2 for sure. My first zen 2 died after 2 yr of usage ( motherboard issue ).


Reverse charging problem

Racist dude

I vote ban swan from soya cincai


It's nice to see Asus releases 2 models – 1 cloning Apple and the other, resembling Huawei/Samsung. So, they provide way cheaper alternatives to both camps. One has Zenimoji, the other spots ZenArmoji.

Great job, a win-win release.


I have a Zen phone max..the worst phone I had.The phone hangs frequently and cameras doesn’t focus.Pictures taken not saved.Ridiculous phone,wasted my money.


I have a Zen phone max..the worst phone I had.The phone hangs frequently and cameras doesn’t focus.Pictures taken not saved.Ridiculous phone,wasted my money.Regret ,you will be stressed using this lousy phone


Stupid Asus Marketing Team.

Abusing the word Artificial Intelligence(AI) for sake of getting into AI bandwagon while it is actually not an AI technology at all.

If you’re being indoctrinated by Asus to believing those Asus phones as having AI, you’re being fooled by Asus. They can just be direct with their new invention without abusing AI term to get an attention as their desperate attempt. We customers still could decide which technology gets due appreciation even if they didn’t name it as AI technology. Truth hurts

Babi Hutan

Asus phone buy at Taiwan almost 20-30% cheaper

James Belacan

This is very good fon. I will buy this for dwater. She like selfies and the camera is ery excellent. Piwerful Ram is a plus.
A Should buy.


Stupid zen ui..copycat everywhere..i hope asus will follow HTC falling and falling..


What’s with the 5 years old English level on the title!