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.
ASUS is unveiling its new ZenFone 5 series next week during Mobile World Congress 2018. Serial leakster @evleaks had earlier shared a couple of renders that is alleged to be the ZenFone 5 Lite that comes with a total of four cameras. Prior to that, we’ve seen a couple of renders that feature an iPhone X-style camera bump which is alleged to be the standard ZenFone 5 model. Now here’s another device which claims to be the ZenFone 5 and it comes with another iPhone X design feature.
The ASUS ZenFone series is popular for its dual-SIM smart phones with Intel based processor. For those who prefer something more mainstream with 4G LTE, the ASUS ZenFone 5 with 4G LTE is now available on ASUS Malaysia Online Store.
Priced at RM709, the ZenFone 5 LTE that’s on sale is the A500KL model with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The front display is the same 5″ HD 720p screen and underneath it runs on Qualcomm’s 1.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) processor. Also included is a 8MP main camera with PixelMaster technology, a front facing 2MP shooter and a microSD slot that accepts 64GB. Powering the device is a non-removable 2,110mAh capacity battery.
For more information, you can head over to ASUS Malaysia’s ZenFone 5 4G LTE product page. If you’re looking for a budget device, the ZenFone 4 (A450CG) with a slightly larger 4.5″ screen is also available as well at RM369.
The ASUS ZenFone family has just gotten a little bit bigger with the arrival of its ZenFone 5 Lite. On the exterior it looks like a standard ZenFone 5 but an affordable price tag of RM419 via DirectD. These are the official ASUS Malaysia units that comes with a standard 12 month warranty.
For that extra RM100 lower price tag (ASUS ZenFone 5: RM519), the ZenFone 5 Lite is a notch down in terms of specs with a 5″ display that does qHD (960×540) instead of a HD 720p. Under the hood, it gets a dual-core 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 processor with 1GB of RAM and has 8GB of storage, which is the same as their entry level RM299 ZenFone 4. If you need more storage, it is also expandable via microSD up to 64GB.
It retains the same 8MP f/2.0 camera with Pixel Master technology but the front settles for a standard VGA unit. Despite being a lower spec device, the ZenFone 5 Lite gets a bigger battery capacity at 2,500mAh, versus the standard 2,110mAh on the standard ZenFone 5 offering. Like its siblings, it is also a dual-SIM device that supports 3G HSPA+ connectivity up to 42Mbps. Out of the box, it runs on a newer Android 4.4 KitKat with their custom ZenUI skin on top.
The ASUS ZenFone series have seen tremendous success. Just recently ASUS Malaysia has managed to propel itself to the #3 Smart Phone spot in the last quarter. As for the models, there are just so many variants of its mid-range ZenFone 5 that we are starting to lose count.
To add more choice, a newer ZenFone 5 Lite is expected to come to Malaysia and from the sounds of it, it will be an affordable variant of the ZenFone 5 that still maintains a 5″ display. It was recently spotted in our Malaysian SIRIM database with the model number A502CG.
Apart from the ZenFone 4, the rest of the ZenFone line up including the bigger ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 will be receiving the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat update very soon. ASUS Taiwan has announced this on their forum and it will bring a host of improvements and bug fixes.
The update is currently being rolled out in Taiwan and China, and it should be arriving on our shores very soon. It is recommended to use WiFi connection to download as the update is about 450MB in size. To find out if it is available, head over to Settings > About > System Update > “Check Update”.
If you’re looking for an ASUS ZenFone 5 and you prefer to have a faster 4G LTE support, the official units will be available locally very soon. Dynamics Distribution, which is ASUS Malaysia’s main distributor has posted details of the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE on their facebook page with the retail price of RM709.
The specs of the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE edition include the same 5″ HD 720p display and it runs on a 1.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB of RAM and has a large 16GB storage. The rest of the specs are the same with its Dual-SIM 3G HSPA+ variant which includes a 8MP main camera with PixelMaster technology, front facing 2MP shooter and a microSD slot that accepts 64GB. Unlike the current ZenFone 5, the 4G LTE version runs on a newer Android 4.4 KitKat.
Earlier on, DirectD had also offered the ZenFone 5 LTE but they were selling it at a much higher price of RM859. At the moment, the Dual-SIM 3G HSPA+ version is spotted selling at RM519 and that comes with 16GB of storage. So far there’s no word from ASUS on the official availability of the ZenFone 5 LTE. In the time being, you can check out our earlier hands-on with the ASUS ZenFone series.
The ASUS ZenFone 5 is now available on DiGi and it can be yours for free with 24 months contract of DG SmartPlan 78. The Dual-SIM 5″ smart phone that they are offering comes with 16GB of storage instead of the original 8GB version which was introduced at RM599.
While the device cost nothing to buy, you would need to fork out RM558 during registration which consists of RM78 for advance 1 month subscription and RM480 for advance payment which will be rebated back to your monthly bills. Do note that the 3GB monthly data quota is split with 1GB for selected social and IM apps while the remaining 2GB is for other usage.
To recap on the specs, the ZenFone 5 gets a 5″ HD 720p IPS display and it runs on Intel’s Dual-Core 1.6GHz Atom Z2560 processor with 2GB RAM. The 16GB storage is expandable with microSD up to 64GB. Meanwhile the 8MP camera on the ZenFone 5 boast an impressive low-light performance with its PixelMaster technology while the front gets a 2MP camera. You can check out our hands-on with the ZenFone 5 over here.
For more information on the Free device bundling, head over to DiGi’s ZenFone 5 page.
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The ASUS ZenFone 5 with 4G LTE is now available in Malaysia. Announced recently in Taiwan, the LTE version gets a couple of hardware tweaks with the usage of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 processor instead of its usual Intel Atom processors. It is available now through retailer DirectD at RM859. Do note that these are imported sets (AP set) which means they won’t be covered officially by ASUS Malaysia.
The current ASUS ZenFone 5 that’s sold at RM599 runs on a dual-core Intel 1.6GHz Atom Z2560 processor with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of on-board storage. For the 4G LTE edition (A500KL) that’s being offered by DirectD, it runs on a 1.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB of RAM and a large 16GB of storage. The rest of the specs remains the same with a 5″ HD 720p display with Gorilla Glass 3, 8MP camera with PixelMaster, microSD expansion slot and a 2,110mAh battery. Out of the box, the ZenFone 5 with 4G LTE is running on a newer Android 4.4 as opposed to the original ZenFone 5 that’s still running on Android 4.3.
At RM859, it is cheaper than the Ninetology U9Z1T and it is a better alternative to the Moto G 4G LTE version especially with its 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our camera comparison of the ASUS ZenFone 5 versus other cheap and cheerful smart phones.
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