The Zenfone 5 2018 series was definitely our biggest question from ASUS cause, this was the series that would decide the state of ASUS Zenfones in 2018. So, how well they did ? Well, quite frankly they did pretty well. So, ASUS have actually announced three new Zenfone 5 Models in their MWC event & then there is a new Zenfone Max that they didn’t mention about in the event but, included in the Press Release.
First let’s come to those three Zenfone 5 variants which are called the Zenfone 5, Zenfone 5Z & Zenfone 5 Lite respectively. So, if that naming scheme makes you a little bit confused, the Zenfone 5 Lite is their entry level smartphone which is powered by the Snapdragon 630, the Zenfone 5 is the Middle-ground with the Snapdragon 636 & the Zenfone 5Z is the flagship with the latest Snapdragon 845.
So, let’s have a Specification comparison of all three Zenfone 5 models below,
The Zenfone 5 & 5Z share the exact same chassis which literally has a glass sandwich design. This year the main changes have been made in the Displays, the Cameras & the Software. So, the Zenfone 5 & Zenfone 5Z now come with 6.2 inch 19:9 Displays with a resolution of 2246×1080. The panel is Super IPS+ so, it’s not an OLED if that matters to you & has a peak brightness of 500 nits. There is also an iPhone X style Notch on the top which ASUS claims to be quite smaller than the iPhone.
The Camera has been tweaked with AI & it can now recognize scenarios & objects and tweak the Camera settings for different situations & objects. This is quite similar to what Huawei is doing with their Kirin 970 powered devices. But, ASUS was able to fit the same for even the regular Zenfone 5 which comes with a Mid-tier Snapdragon 636 so, we think the software has to do more with these features compared to the hardware. The main sensors also have been updated with the new IMX363 which is the direct successor to the IMX362 from last year.
The software have also been tweaked quite a bit. So, now it’s lighter than the previous gen ZenUI 4.0 & definitely more optimized. But, what differentiates ZenUI 5.0 from any previous generation of ZenUI, is the AI capabilities. So, now the device can smartly change the Color Temperature of the Screen depending on the lighting conditions it’s in, detect when the user is looking at the display & not turning off the screen on that time, detect when the user goes to sleep & control the charging when the device is plugged in to same the Battery from harm & much more. So, these are welcome features I guess.
The Zenfone 5Z will be priced around 479 Euros for the 4GB 64GB variant but, the prices are still unknown for the other Zenfone 5 devices.
The Zenfone 5 Lite is basically a selfie focused device as it comes with four Cameras where in the front it has a 20MP Primary Sensor + 8MP Wide-angle Sensor and in the back it has a 16MP Primary Sensor with the same 8MP Wide-angle Sensor.
It’s powered by the Snapdragon 630 SOC that the baseline Zenfone 4 from last year came with & it also comes in a lower Snapdragon 430 variant which we’re not sure why ASUS even made.
Lastly, ASUS have also announced the Zenfone Max (M1) which can be described as the lowest end device in the bunch but, it doesn’t belong to the Zenfone 5 series. The main highlights of this device are, a 18:9 HD (1440×720) Display, dual Rear Cameras & a whopping 4000 mAh Battery. We’re not sure about what SOC it is using but, it’s probably a Mediatek or Snapdragon 430.
Talking about availability, the Zenfone 5 Lite will land in March 2018 while the Zenfone 5 & Zenfone 5Z will land in April & June respectively. However, specific country wise availability & pricing info is still not clear.