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ASUS ZenFone 5Q Unboxing and First Impressions

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ASUS is looking to bring back the company's reputation of being the bang for the buck brand this year with the release of the new ZenFone 5 line.
ASUS ZenFone 5Q Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite also known as ZenFone 5Q

Instead of releasing a plethora of handsets in just one launch like what they did last 2017, ASUS only released 3 phones last MWC 2018 which include the ZenFone 5Z flagship, ZenFone 5 the hero phone, and the ZenFone 5 Lite or Q mid-ranger.

But even if ASUS has fewer phones this year, it appears that they are more focused and serious in the smartphone game than ever. Why? The ZenFone 5 line this year is far more exciting in terms of specs, innovation, and pricing versus the ZenFone 5 line last year.

Anyway, the first device that will be available in the market soon is the ZenFone 5 Lite. Here in the Philippines, it is dubbed as the ZenFone 5Q.

The "Q" in the ZenFone 5Q means that it has quad cameras.

Let's check it out!

ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite/5Q Specs

Display: 6-inch FHD+ IPS 2160 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass and Gorilla Glass protection at 402 ppi
CPU: 2.2GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 630 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 508
RAM: 4GB
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 2TB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 16MP f/2.2 OV16880 + 8MP f/2.4 OV8856 w/ PDAF, 120-degree wide-angle lens, EIS, and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.0 Sony IMX376 + 8MP f/2.4 OV8856 w/ 120-degree wide-angle lens and softlight LED flash
Battery: 3,300mAh 
OS: Android 7.0 Nougat w/ ZenUI 4.5
Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE Cat 13, Bluetooth, OTG, NFC, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, Colors: midnight black, rouge red, moonlight white
Dimensions: 160.62 x 76.16 x 7.8 mm
Weight: 168.3 g
Price: PHP 16,995 (PHP 14,995 sale price)

Disclaimer: The ZenFone 5Q unit we have was borrowed from ASUS Philippines for this honest and constructive review.

Unboxing / Accessories

Accessories inside
Accessories inside

The ZenFone 5Q will come with the standard 2A USB Wall charger, USB to micro USB data and charging cable, ZenEar with mic and eartips, and SIM ejector tool. According to ASUS, it'll also come with a FREE TPU clear case inside the package.

Build Quality / Design

Glass at the back!
Glass at the back!

The ASUS ZenFone 5Q reminds us of a taller ZenFone 3. It has a 2.5D curved glass at the back and in front protected by an unspecified version of Corning's Gorilla Glass. The body is made out of plastic-like material instead of metal. But, the overall construction is still quite refined and attractive for a mid-ranger.
Top
Top
Bottom
Bottom
Left
Left
Right
Right

Design-wise, this is a beautiful smartphone! The 2.5D glass at the back and in front are stunning, it doesn't have sharp edges, and the bezels are slimmer than your average smartphone due to its use of the new 18:9 screen aspect ratio standard.

Stylish glossy glass design!

In particular, the ZenFone 5Q has a 6-inch big FHD+ display on a body of your traditional 5.5-inch smartphone. As a result, it is still considered as compact and pocketable even if it has a big 6-inch screen. The vertically aligned Mate 9-like dual camera setup at the back is slightly protruded though. Fortunately, it can be protected by the case inside the package.

It also has generous curves all over which makes it easy and comfortable to hold overall. It still doesn't have the USB Type-C standard, but all the ports and buttons are complete and are on easy to locate placements.

In particular, it has the fingerprint reader found at the back of the phone and a 3.5 mm headphone jack slot on top. We also like that it has 3 slots for your dual SIM and microSD card.

It is just a bit prone to fingerprint smudges without the case.

Intitial findings

Almost 90K AnTuTu score!
Almost 90K AnTuTu score!

1. ASUS ZenFone 5Q's design is stunning for the price. We liked its sandwiched glass design that really looks gorgeous for a mid-range smartphone. It is also compact in size considering the screen size. Speaking of the screen, the  6-inch Full HD+ IPS 18:9 screen of the ZenFone 5Q has natural looking colors and can go quite bright.
2. It runs with Qualcomm's 64-bit Snapdragon 630 octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz paired with Adreno 508 GPU. That chip is fast enough to run even some demanding games. ASUS also paired it with ample 4GB RAM for multitasking and 64GB storage for your apps and games. ASUS also claimed that its 3,300mAh can last for an entire day on a single charge. It even has 4G LTE Cat 13 that's faster than the regular LTE Cat 4 or 6 found on the older mid-range phones.
3. This Zen device loads with Android Nougat OS with ZenUI 4.5 skin on top. It is even upgradeable to Oreo and ZenUI 5.0 soon. So far it is cleaner than ever, but it still has some bloats. It is rich in smart features like the Twin Apps, Game Genie, Scheduled Bluelight filter, Smart Screen, Smart Wallpaper (auto adjust for the most readable mode), Data Transfer, and more.
4. At the back, it has 16MP f/2.2 OV16880 + 8MP f/2.4 OV8856 w/ PDAF, 120-degree wide-angle lens, EIS, and LED flash. For selfies, it goes with a bigger 20MP f/2.0 Sony IMX376 + 8MP f/2.4 OV8856 w/ 120-degree wide-angle lens and softlight LED flash. This ZenFone 5Q is a camera-centric smartphone that shoots promising photos so far. The wide-angle mode is exciting to use.
5. This phone is complete with a fingerprint scanner at the back, accurate looking face unlock technlology, OTG, FM Radio, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, and real dual SIM card slots. It also has an LED light indicator on top.

Related: ASUS ZenFone 5Q: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

This is the most intriguing mid-range ASUS smartphone in a very long while. It has great looks, powerful enough specs, very promising quad cameras with wide-angle lens, loads of features for the expected price of under PHP 20K.

Let's hope that ASUS can really price it that low or maybe even lower.

Update: It is priced at just PHP 16,995!

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