The Philippine launch of the ASUS Zenfone 5 is just around the corner. ASUS Philippines announced the event will be on April 14 though the venue is still unknown. I know it’s just two weeks away but I’m so excited to play with the Zenfone 5 again after some hands-on time last month. Thank goodness ASUS sent me a review unit of the ASUS Zenfone 5Q to keep me busy while waiting for the launch.
The ASUS Zenfone 5Q was among the three phones announced in the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC) last month. Also known as the Zenfone 5 Lite, my first impressions of the Zenfone 5Q seems to be a lot more than that.
ASUS ZENFONE 5Q SPECS:
|OS:||Android 7.1.1 Nougat with ZenUI 4.5|
|Processor:||2.21 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Octa-Core processor | Adreno 508|
|Display:||6" Full HD+ IPS Display, 2.5D Curved Glass|
|Wireless Connections:||LTE-A, Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, A-GPS, GLONASS|
|Memory:||64 GB Internal Storage expandable with a Micro SD Card up to 200GB, up to 4GB RAM|
|Connectors:||Micro USB 2.0; OTG Support|
|Cameras:||16 Megapixels f/2.2+ 8 Megapixels f/2.4, 120 degree wide-angle (Main Cameras), 20 Megapixels f/2.0 + 8 Megapixels f.2.4, 120 degrees wide-angle (Front)|
|SIM Card Slots:||2x Nano SIM Cards required|
The package includes the Zenfone 5Q, Micro USB Cable, USB Charger Head, earphones, and earbuds. Not in the picture are the SIM Card ejector pin and the silicon case which is now a standard in all ASUS Zenfone packages.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: HARDWARE
Just like the ASUS Zenfone 5, the Zenfone 5Q is also light to hold. The body has a metal frame covered by a glass panel on each side similar to the Zenfone 3 and Zenfone 4, but I couldn’t figure out how they were able to make it lighter this time. Having a lightweight phone is a good thing and the good news is it still look like a premium smartphone even with its so-called Lite monicker.
Unlike the Zenfone 5, the Zenfone 5Q doesn’t have a notch which some smartphone users find annoying (not me though.) The trade-off here is it made the 5Q longer than its sibling. So far, I haven’t seen any workaround to make it easier for one-hand operation, so if you need to reach the top part of the screen, you may need to use your other hand. Other than that the large 6″ display was great for watching videos and playing mobile games.
Even with the Lite name, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor is no slouch in terms of performance. I am also glad that the Zenfone 5Q has 64GB of Internal Storage and 4GB of RAM. I had no complaints so far in my 4 days of usage but I’ll be pushing the device more in the next few days to see how far it can go. I’m also glad to learn that the Zenfone 5Q now has a dedicated MicroSD card slot for users who need extra storage for media files.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: SOFTWARE
I’m a bit disappointed that the Zenfone 5Q doesn’t have Android 8.0 Oreo on board. According to ASUS Philippines, the Oreo update will happen within Q3. Having used several Zenfones for the past few years, I’m already used to the phone’s ZenUI which is now on version 4.5. The app drawer is absent from the homescreen, so to access the apps the user must swipe the screen upward to see the rest of the apps. To go back to the homescreen, just swipe the screen downward or press the back button. Speaking of, the main control buttons pop-up on the screen by lightly swiping it upward from the lower bezel of the phone. The issue that I have here is I got to hit the home button several times bringing me to the homescreen which was not my intention. So far, the apps I’ve installed are working properly but I will be observing them in the next few days.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: CAMERA
The Zenfone 5Q is equipped with two cameras: a 16 Megapixel and a 8 Megapixel with 120 degree wide-angle lens. I took some sample photos and I liked the results so far. Check them out below:
I’m liking the ASUS Zenfone 5Q so far and even though it lacks the bells and whistles the Zenfone 5 has, this smartphone can definitely get any job done. My full review will be posted by next week.