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Asus Zenfone 5: Advantages & Limitations

Disclaimer: This post is about a new phone we bought, and are excited about. It is not about Computer Networking/IT Technologies.

Video Introduction:

So we bought this new Asus Zenfone 5 Smart Phone recently. Here is our observation on the main advantages and limitations of this phone. Of course it’s a great device at an attractive price – don’t hesitate to buy it! 🙂

Asus Zenfone 5

Important Specifications: 5″ HD Screen; 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Dual Core processor with Hyper-Threading; Dual Micro SIM card slots; 8 MP Rear Camera, 2 MP Front Cam, Flash; 2110 mAh non-removable battery; 8 GB Internal storage, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB Expandable memory (Micro SD card slot); 3G, Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Micro USB; GPS; FM Radio; 1-Year Warranty.

Asus Zenfone 5 Screenshot

Advantages of Asus Zenfone 5:

  1. Excellent value for money.
  2. HD Screen: the quality of the display is even better than Full HD screens of other phones. The touch is responsive, soft and easy to use.
  3. There is a glove mode which makes it easier to handle the phone with a glove on hand. (During rains, etc.)
  4. The Zen UI provided by Asus offers a many useful features, short cuts and customization.
  5. Frequent updates: Within a week, there were four updates and the battery performance is slightly better after the last update!
  6. 2 GB RAM at such a low price: Good for multi-tasking. There is an inbuilt RAM booster app which improves the performance further.
  7. The voice clarity in the In-Call speaker is good and it is loud. The phone has good signal reception.
  8. Music quality is good. It comes with equalizer -> Choose from ‘Music mode’ in Audio Wizard.
  9. There maybe a small delay in opening apps, but we found no delay while the apps were running. Normal day-to-day apps, that is.
  10. The camera quality is good. Low light mode is excellent and it works! In selfie mode, one can take a selfie using the main camera. There is a time-rewind mode that takes multiple photos two seconds before and one second after clicking. That allows us to choose the best photo and retain it. With a toddler or a fast moving bird/animal, this could be useful.
  11. Out of the total 8 GB memory (in this model), 3.01 GB is used by the OS and 4.99 GB is available for apps/storage.
  12. There is a reading mode that automatically makes the background duller and makes it easier to read eBooks, etc.
  13. SD card supports up to 64 GB (compared to 32 GB in other phones).
  14. Asus has made the Kernel source code open.
  15. There is an Easy Mode which displays selected apps on the front screen in larger size. This will make it easier for old people to use the phone.
  16. There is a magnetic compass. Useful for trekkers who frequently go out of GPS range.

Limitations of Asus Zenfone 5:

  1. Android KitKat upgrade has been promised, but a firm date is not available yet.
  2. The battery backup is not good enough. Without 3G, we are able to charge it once a day, but with 3G we have to charge it twice a day. This, when the phone is new! And the battery is non-removable by the user.
  3. Some heavy games take more time to open, but there is no lag while running.
  4. The dual-core Intel Atom processor maybe less powerful than the quad-core and octa-core processors in other phones, but the hyper-threading technology compensates (sort of) compensates.
  5. The phone gets heated within 30 minutes. But performance is not affected and applications don’t hang, due to it (yet).
  6. Comes with two Micro SIM card slots only. If you have the larger SIM, you’ll either have to change it with the service provider or have to cut it to this size.
  7. Loud speaker volume, though of decent quality, is very low.
  8. For a 5″ screen, the length is more.
  9. From the UI, it is not possible to restrict the network mode to WCDMA only. We can only select 2G+3G or 2G only. Although there is a hack to change this, it amounts to tempering.
  10. There is no backlight for the three keys at the bottom.
  11. No OTG support, at least for now. So, we are not able to connect pen-drives directly to it.

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