ASUS Zenfone Live Review : Not Live-ly Enough

Asus has come up with one more smartphone in the budget range – the Zenfone Live. Priced at Rs. 9,999/- Zenfone live has beautification feature for video streaming and it can beautify you while you go live on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The Zenfone Live uses specially designed BeautyLive app which fixes blemishes and beautifies the face in real time. We have been using the Zenfone Live for some time now and here is our review of the same.

At a first glance, the mobile is compact to hold and is lightweight and weighs only 120 grams with 8 mm thickness. It has 5 inch display with front facing camera with front flash and physical navigation buttons on the lower end. The left of the Zenfone Live houses hybrid SIM slot and on the right side it has volume and power buttons. On the top of the handset, there is a headphone jack and on the bottom the speaker grill is present with micro USB port.  The main camera is present at the back with LED flash and we have chrome plated ASUS logo in the back. As it is slim and light weight, it is easy to keep on hand. The Zenfone Live has sandblasted matte finish with plastic back with metallic finish on the top. It has 2.5D curved glass on the front.

First let us see the specifications of zenfone Live.

Design Front 2.5D Arc Glass

Premium-crafted metallic back finish

Slim bezel and 75% screen-to-body ratio

7.95mm Ultra-thin profile

Display, Resolution 12.7 cms (5.0)

HD 1280×720 IPS display

Bluelight filter for eye protection

Camera:

Front Camera

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rear Camera

 

 

Camera Modes

 

World’s 1st Live Streaming, Real-time Beautification Technology

5MP with Large 1.4μm Pixel Sensor for 2x light sensitivity

Soft-light LED front flash for natural skin tones

82° wide view angle, ƒ/2.2 aperture

 

13MP PixelMaster 3.0 Camera, f/2.0 aperture, LED flash

 

Total 12 different camera modes

Real Time Beautification / Low light / Selfie / HDR PRO / Super Resolution/ Night Effect / Panorama / Time lapse / Children / QR code / Auto

Audio New 5-Magnet speaker

Smart Amplifier technology for up to 4X sound volume

Dual MEMS microphones for clearer char & less noise

DTS Headphone: X, 7.1 channel Virtual Surround Sound over headphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad-core Processor, Adreno 305 GPU
Memory 2GB RAM / 16GB ROM • Micro SD: up to 128GB • USB-OTG support
Wireless 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot

bluetooth 4.0

GPS, AGPS, GLONASS

Battery 2650mAh Lithium-ion (non-Removable)

Standby time: 158.8 hours

3G Talk time: up to 24 hours

Web Browsing (WiFi): up to 17.1 hours

Playback: 10.5 hours

PowerMaster App to extend battery backup

The ZenFone Live comes with 5-inch IPS display that has a 1280×720 HD resolution. This display is surrounded by a very slim 2.36mm bezel and has a 75% screen-to-body ratio with more screen space for a smaller phone size. As already mentioned, the display has 2.5D curved glass on the front and is bright enough. But there is a prominent black border on the sides of the screen which looks very odd on the screen. It does not have the fingerprint scanner and this is disappointing as most of the phones in this range have fingerprint scanner.

Coming to the camera part, Zenfone Live comes with 5 MP front camera with large 1.4μm pixel sensor for 2x light sensitivity and soft light LED front flash for natural skin tone with 82° wide angle and ƒ/2.2 aperture. It has 13 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and soft light LED flash. The camera comes with 12 different modes like real time beautification, low light, selfie, HDR PRO, super resolution, night, effect, panorama, time lapse, children, QR code and auto modes. The photos we took were very mediocre and the selfies were also not so good. It takes some time to focus and take photos. The low light photos were not so good. We were surprised to see this as Asus phones always used to have a very good camera. The only good feature is the beautification feature in the BeautyLive app, which beautifies us when we go live in Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. We can choose the beautification levels from 1 to 10. We tried using this app and went live on Facebook and it was very good. But Asus could have added other social media platforms also. Here are the some of the photos taken from this camera.

Coming to the software part, Zenfone Live runs with Android Marshmallow 6.0 with Zen UI 3.0 running on top. We are not a big fan of the Zen UI and as usual it comes with lots of bloatware which occupies more space in the device and we cannot remove these apps if we do not want them and we can only disable them this makes the storage full.

The audio part comes with a mono 5 magnet speaker that uses a set of five extremely strong magnets to make your songs and videos sound louder and clearer with smart amplifier technology for up to 4X sound volume. It comes with a pair of MEMS microphones which reduces noise during video calls and live stream. The company claims that it has DTS Headphone: X support and you can enjoy music in high-quality 7.1 channel virtual surround sound over headphones. We tried with headphones and it was pretty good.

Coming to the performance part, the device comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad-core Processor with Adreno 305 GPU. And it has 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage which can be extended up to 128 GB with micro SD card. It also supports OTG. The performance of the phone was not that good. When multitasking, the phone literally hangs. And when we kill all the apps only it works well. We tried playing games and we could see frame drops. It also supports Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot, bluetooth 4.0, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS.

Coming to the battery part, it has 2650mAh non-removable Lithium-ion battery. When you use the phone lightly the battery lasts for up to 8 hours. But if you use the phone heavily, the battery can last only up to 4 hours. When we keep in standby, the battery was not at all draining.

Verdict

At the price of Rs. 9,999/- Zenfone Live is not the best phone you can buy. As we already told you, it lacks fingerprint scanning and the photo quality of the camera is not so good. If you want to very ncessarily use the beautification to go live, then and only then you can buy this device. But for this purpose you can as well buy make up rather than buying this phone. The phone also lags a lot and it has only 2 GB RAM which is not that good. So right now, we cannot recommend this one as a must buy. The price range has many brilliant devices. But it will be great to see this feature added to future Zenfone releases from ASUS. For now, it’s not live-ly enough we are afraid!

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