Asus Zenfone 5 is a cheaper mobile phone as Zenfone 4, but it feels well built and very nice. It follows the trend of the flagship mobile phones with a large high-resolution display that almost has no edges. One can even choose whether or not to see the info bar on the top of the display or not. It hides among other things sensors that enable facial recognition to unlock your phone, and it works better than expected. The mobile phone also has a trendy “AI” that learns of your behaviour and adjusts charging, ring volume and image processing of your pictures. But also the adjustment of sound in your headphones, the amplification of DTS headphone:X and support for high-resolution audio.
Just like LG, Asus has opted to use the additional optics to provide a 120 degree wide angle. It’s great for taking group photos or getting the whole view without having to move back. And as with the Sony Xperia, the subject is analysed and it chooses which of the 16 scene modes is best suited. And it works really well. There is also a portrait setting that provides a nice blurred background using both cameras. If you want more control over the result, you can use Pro mode, where you can control ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, closing time and focus points.
A clean, neat and easy to work Pro mode.
Asus has put in a very good Sony sensor, and has obviously worked hard with the algorithms to improve the image quality. The automation does a fine job of colour rendition, white balance and exposure. A bright background also succeeds in exposing the dark motif well. However, it did not succeed as well in a tunnel where the sun-lit outside was washed out. Most surprising is probably how good they have succeeded with pictures in poor light. The colours look natural, the details are not smeared and there is negligible noise. It’s actually better than any of the mobiles that are twice as expensive.
Its predecessor Zenfone 4 already impressed us with very good features at an affordable price. With the successor Asus Zenfone 5, they have taken a step further. It now has a design that is taken from the premium segment, with an almost borderless display. Despite a mid-range processor, they have succeeded in pushing out more performance than expected. Automatic features continuously customise the phone, depending on how it’s used. Even the sound has gotten a little extra. But above all it takes pictures which in most cases can compare to premium mobile phones. Considering that it costs half as much, we need to give Zenfone 5 a whole-hearted recommendation.