ASUS’ answer to the iPhone X is launching next week


ASUS is set to launch the Redmi Note 5-beating ZenFone Max Pro (M1) next week. However, word has it that isn’t the only device it will be introducing to the Malaysian market. The flagship ZenFone 5 series is making an entrance too. Intrigued? Read on.

Revealed at MWC 2018, the ZenFone 5 Series is ASUS’ iPhone X – an unapologetic clone with a notch, vertical dual-camera and all. Albeit one with a more down-to-earth price tag.

On paper, the ZenFone 5 does look like an impressive device, at least in the upper echelons of mid-rangers. It comes with a 6.2-inch Super IPS+ 19:9 ratio display with an FHD+ resolution (1080×2246) that stretches edge-to-edge and blends seamlessly with the body. The notch is noticeably narrower than the iPhone X’s, given its less sophisticated front camera setup.

It boasts a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, which is mighty impressive and 100 percent DCI-P3 coverage.

Admittedly the device is quite a looker and is well built. The body is a combination of glass and a special aerospace-grade aluminium chassis. There’s an eight-layer optical coating process and a final varnish coat under the glass that gives it the iconic Zen-inspired concentric-circle pattern.

Under the hood, it’s engages the services of the 14nm Snapdragon 636 chipset, mated to either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. A mid-tier SoC no doubt, but one that’s power-efficient with performance and AI capabilities to boot. There’s 64GB of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded further via microSD (up to 2TB).

You can’t mention ZenFone and not talk about the camera. The ZenFone 5 features a 12MP dual-camera system with f/1.8 aperture lens. It comes with 4-axis OIS, and like the previous generation’s, the secondary sensor offers a nice 120-degree wide-angle lens. In theory the ZenFone’s camera should do well especially in low light, thanks to its large 1/2.55-inch sensor and 1.4 micron pixel size.

The selfie shooter isn’t much to shout about, a paltry 8MP f/2.0 by today’s standards. However, megapixels don’t tell the whole story.

The phone also impresses in the audio department. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack, Dual Smart AMP and supports DTS Headphone X with 7.1 surround sound and is Hi-Res Audio certified. Audiophiles will appreciate the stereo down-firing speakers that are 36 percent bigger than its predecessor.

It comes with a 3,300mAh battery enhanced by BoostMaster technology. With AI-powered intelligent chargin, you can get 60 percent capacity with just 38 minutes of charge time.

Pricing and availability

As a mid-range device, the ZenFone 5 offers plenty of kit for the money. Speaking of which, in Indonesia, the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage version sells for IDR4,300,000 (MYR1,207). The top-of-the-line ZenFone 5z (with Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage) goes for IDR6,500,000 (MYR1,825), while the 8GB RAM + 256GB storage version retails at IDR7,500,000 (MYR2,106).

Based on the Indonesian pricing, we may see the ZenFone 5 settling in at less than MYR1,300, which is a sweet spot in the mid-tier segment.

The ZenFone 5 comes in Meteor Silver and Midnight Blue.

Let’s wait for the official pricing during the ZenFone’s big reveal on 31 May 2018.

In the meantime, find more info about the ZenFone 5 here.


By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.