a competent smartphone at a fair price


The ZenFone smartphone line is in continuous maturation. Even though ASUS has entered this market quite late, the company has demonstrated that it can develop good smartphones at competitive prices, the ZenFone 2, ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 4 series enjoying good sales, especially in the entry and mid market -range. ZenFone 5 seems to continue in this direction, and the main model of the series is trying to offer premium features and construction in a not very expensive device, built on the current trends

Design, construction and ergonomics

It does not make sense to look at comparisons with other phones. ZenFone 5 looks remotely like an iPhone X. Of course, once you start to analyze them, the differences are obvious, but you have to look twice to distinguish the two phones at a quick glance. The ZenFone 5 is still a top-of-the-line smartphone with a screen / body ratio of 90%. The first notable difference we can see is the size, with the ASUS phone having a diagonal screen of 6.2 ", compared to 5.8" on the iPhone, but at the bottom we can see a "chin", while the iPhone screen continue to the bottom edge

Of course, we are talking about two completely different smartphones, even if they look similar to the surface. If you are looking closely, it is quite obvious where compromises have been made to reach a lower price. For example, the phone frame is made of matt aluminum, which is good for touching, but not as robust and hard as the steel on the iPhone X. Even bigger, the ZenFone 5 is about 20 grams lighter. Of course, we are talking about different range phones, one being available at over 1,000 euros and the other somewhere at 400.

The reason we focus on this comparison is generally due to the fact that ASUS has paid much attention to a comparison with the iPhone X even in the official Mobile World Congress presentation, and the design is clearly inspired by Apple's flagship. Fortunately, ZenFone 5 does not just come out of this situation.

For example, the Taiwanese company made the inspired choice of adding plastic frames around both glass panels (front and rear) to provide extra protection in case of accidental mechanical shocks. The ZenFone 5 also comes with a fingerprint sensor on the back, something the iPhone X does not offer. The camera is positioned similar to the one on the iPhone, but it is less recessed, and the entire rear glass panel reflects light in rays whose center coincides with that of the fingerprint sensor. Last but not least, ZenFone 5 integrates a headphone audio jack at the bottom.

The truth is that the ZenFone 5 looks good in design terms (deh, this is inspired by the most wanted phone in Europe, according to Canalys studies), and the materials from which it is built are not bad at all. We're talking about Corning's Aluminum and Gorilla Glass. The dimensions are similar to those of a "classic" smartphone with a 5.5 "screen, so phablet users will not experience too much in use, except that the screen is now much taller, so touching the notification area could be a bit more complicated.

Being a smartphone made of glass, it's recommended to use it in a pouch to avoid accidents and scratching the back, and ASUS offers a transparent silicone pouch in the package. This is not the most resilient, but it is good as a temporary solution until a more durable cover is purchased.


  • Screen: 6.2 ", IPS, 2,246 x 1,080 pixels
  • Operating System: Android 8.0 (ZenUI 5.0)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 636
  • Processor: octa-core (8 x Kryo 260 @ 1.8 GHz)
  • Graphic processor: Adreno 509
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Memory: 64 GB
  • Card: yes, common with SIM2
  • Date: HSPA, LTE
  • WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, aptX HD, LE, EDR
  • USB: 2.0, USB Type-C
  • Camera: 12 MP (f / 1.8, 24mm, 1 / 2.55 ") + 8 MP wide (f / 2.0, 12mm, 1/4" phase, dual-tone, electronic stabilization ), dual LED
  • Video capture: 4K (3840 x 2160 @ 30 FPS), Full HD (1920 x 1080 @ 60 FPS)
  • Front camera: 8 MP (f / 2.0, 24mm, 1/4 "), electronic stabilization, Full HD shooting
  • Battery: Li-Ion 3,300 mAh, fast charging "AI Charge"
  • Dimensions: 153 x 75.7 x 7.9 mm
  • Weight: 155 grams
  • Other: Silion pouch pack

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