- Analysis by KJ David
Introduced during the MWC 2018 alongside its ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 Lite siblings, the Asus ZenFone 5 ZE620KL potentially holds its own versus the largest flagships on the market. Despite being a highly-competitive 6.2-incher, however, we still caught a couple of hiccups within its array of pros and cons.
One of our biggest concerns is the fact that it opts for a mere 8-megapixel selfie camera resolution , despite the fact that the best selfie phones as of its release reach up to 16 megapixels -- heck, some even go as high as 20 megapixels. We also expected it to pack at least 4000mAh of power, instead of coming with just 3300mAh , knowing that Asus has rigged some of its lower-specked cousins with bigger batteries in the past. Its raw power cap is not that big of a con, though, since it comes with what the brand calls AI-powered intelligent charging , aiming to maximize battery life span and to slow down battery decay.
Apart from its battery, the ZenFone 5's rear-facing dual camera , which is composed of a 12-megapixel dual-pixel-sensor main cam and an 8-megapixel 120-degree-angle secondary cam, taps into the phone's AI capabilities as well. It delivers AI-powered scene detection , which applies the appropriate enhancements (Real-time Beautification) and recommends the optimal shooting mode for certain shots. AI Photo Learning , Ultra HD (2160p) video-recording , and 4-axis optical image stabilization bedeck its rear camera as well, consequently boosting its chances of snagging a spot in our list of the best photography smartphones . Asus's ZeniMoji personalized avatar creator is also on board.
Next up: Display. The ZenFone 5's 6.2-inch Super IPS+ screen, which scores a favorable 500-nit maximum brightness and comes with a 19:9 aspect ratio (one of the most-expansive aspect ratios we've observed as of this specs-based review) should appeal to upscale shoppers who love gaming and binge-watching movies or TV series on their phones. It also comes with the Auto Color Temperature technology that tunes the phone's display settings to fit the current ambient lighting alongside a high-end DCI-P3 color gamut support (95.4 percent NTSC). Having said that, we cannot help but wish that it went for a premium-tier Quad HD (1440p) resolution, just like some of its high-tier phablet rivals, instead of settling for 1080p FHD+.
Powering the ZenFone 5 is Qualcomm's 14nm Snapdragon 636 eight-core processor, which is not as fast as we had hoped, running at only 1.8GHz -- the fastest smartphones around its MWC 2018 debut usually clocked in at around 2.5GHz. With 6GB's worth of LPDDR4X RAM accompanying it, though, multimedia junkies might find little room to complain.
In charge of storage is a 64GB internal memory , which is so-so by 2018 high-end standards, expandable by a whopping 2TB . Topped off by an audio system with dual NXP Smart Amp and 5-magnet speakers and facial recognition , the ZenFone 5's assortment of pros and cons clearly calls out to flagship smartphone shoppers who lean heavily towards multimedia and creativity.
** This phone is also known as: Asus ZE620KL
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