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ASUS ZenFone 5 Unboxing and First Impressions

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ASUS has officially launched the all new ZenFone 5 series for the Philippine market. One of them is the regular ZenFone 5, the exciting upper mid-range phone of the company.
ASUS ZenFone 5 Unboxing and First Impressions
The mid-range king?

Why is it exciting? ASUS treated its fans with a very competitive price tag for the ZenFone 5. At just PHP 19,995, you'll get a premium metal and glass design, iPhone X-like notched FullView screen, one of the best specs for the price, and a very promising pair of cameras at the back.

Sounds fun right? Here's our unboxing and first impressions article!

ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) Specs

Display: 6.2-inch FHD+ Super IPS 2246 x 1080 w/ 2.D curved glass and Gorilla Glass protection at 402 ppi
CPU: 1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 509
RAM: 4GB
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 2TB
Back Camera: 12MP f/1.8 Sony IMX363 + 8MP f/2.0 OV8856 w/ Tri-tech AF, Dual Pixel, 120-degree wide-angle, OIS, EIS, and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0 OV8856 w/ 83-degree wide-angle lens
Battery: 3,300mAh w/ ASUS BoostMaster fast charging and A.I. charging
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo w/ ZenUI 5.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0, 4G LTE w/ VoLTE, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope
Others: Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C face unlock, dual speakers, NXP 9874 Smart Amp, Hi-Res Audio, DTS Headphone: X for 7.1 channel surround sound, dual microphones, Colors: midnight blue, meteor silver
Dimensions: 153 x 75.65 x 7.85 mm
Weight: 155 g
Price: PHP 19,995

Disclaimer: This is a seeded unit from ASUS Philippines, rest is assured of our honest and fair take always.

Unboxing / Accessories

ZenFone 5's box
ZenFone 5's box

The handset arrived with a stylish black box with the ZenFone 5 text and #WeLovePhoto logo of ASUS in the middle.
The accessories
The accessories

Inside, it has the usual set of accessories like the 2A USB wall charger, USB to USB Type-C charging cable, and SIM ejector tool. ASUS also added a nice sounding (for a freebie) in-ear monitors with microphone and extra eartips and a clear type of TPU flexible case.

It is a good set of package overall, but it could have been better if ASUS added a FREE pre-installed screen protector.

Build Quality / Design

Stunning metal and glass construction
Stunning metal and glass construction

ASUS is back to its roots in terms of build! It doesn't have the "less premium" look of the closely priced ZenFone 4 Selfie last year.

Best design and build for the price?

ASUS is back with the premium glass and metal build with good curves, nice chamfered edges, and great overall feel. It generally feels sturdy and the glass at the back and in front has Gorilla Glass protection.
Mic on top
Mic on top
Headphone slot, USB Type-C port, and speaker grills below
Headphone slot, USB Type-C port, and speaker grills below
Hybrid SIM slot at left
Power button and volume rocker at right
Power button and volume rocker at right

Design-wise, its arguably the classiest looking handset for the price. Yes, it has the controversial Apple-like notch, but it is smaller and less noticable than what the iPhone X have.

It is slim and simply stunning. ASUS even claimed that it has a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio. The phone has a 6.2-inch big FHD+ screen on a body of a traditional 5.5-inch phone.

ASUS did it by making sure that the screen bezels are tiny.

It has a small camera hump at the back, but it isn't that noticable.

Moreover, it has all the STANDARD button and ports. We are VERY GLAD to say that it still has the MUCH NEEDED 3.5 mm female headphone jack slot.

It also has the USB Type-C port (something that Vivo and OPPO doesn't have yet) and an easy to reach power button and volume rocker at the right side of the phone.

Surprisingly, the phone is also not that slippery to hold even if it has a metal and glass construction. It is very comfortable to hold as well.

However, it is prone to fingerprint smudges without the case.

Initial findings

140K AnTuTu score
140K AnTuTu score

1. Metal and glass is love! The ZenFone 5 has better design and build than most of the competition. It looks better than both the V9 and F7. It is almost as good looking as the P20 lite in person.

The screen is arguably the best for the price. Bezels are small and the screen-to-body ratio is amazing. The notch is bigger than the V9, F7, and P20 lite, but it is smaller than the iPhone X. Not bad!

2. It has one of the best specs for the price. The Snapdragon 636 chip used by ASUS is a powerful mid-range grade chipset. It is still not as speedy as MediaTek's Helio P60, but it is close in performance. ASUS even boosted it using its A.I. tech.

ASUS also paired this phone with enough 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and 3,300mAh fast charging battery.

Casual usage is silky smooth and heavy gaming performance is respectable. LTE connectivity is also fast and stable so far.

3. ASUS's Oreo based ZenUI 5.0 is more stock Android like than ever. It is clean, fast, easy to use, and feature-rich. It doesn't have most of the annoying ASUS bloats anymore. Good job ASUS!

4. The dual camera technology that ASUS used here is much better than what the entire ZenFone 4 series had. At the back, it  has a 12MP f/1.8 Sony IMX363 + 8MP f/2.0 OV8856 w/ Tri-tech AF, Dual Pixel, 120-degree wide-angle, OIS, EIS, and dual tone LED flash.

It shoots photos with great detail, clarity, colors, and dynamic range for the price. Lowlight performance is respectable as well. The wide-angle performnace can give the LG G6 a very good fight.

Just don't expect it to compete with the cameras of high-end phones.

For selfies, the 8MP f/2.0 OV8856 w/ 83-degree wide-angle lens is also respectable. It is even more detailed than some 16MP selfie snappers. But, the colors are a bit inconsistent. It can oversaturate your selfies at times.

The ZeniMoji (ASUS's Animoji) works, but it is far from great yet.

5. This handset is also complete an LED light indicator in front, Bluetooth 5.0 tech, Hi-Res Audio, dual speaker w/ AMP, gyroscope sensor, OTG, fingerprint scanner, and face unlock tech.

As of the moment

We think that the ASUS ZenFone 5 is the phone to beat at this price point! So far, it arguably has the best design, overall features, and cameras at this price point.

This is the ASUS that we know. Welcome back ASUS!

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