ASUS Zenfone 5 – My phone of 2014

Zen is to bring harmony to mind and soul. Now you can have a piece of Zen wherever you go, at work and at play. The Zenfone 5 was a segment breaker in terms of design. It also marked the serious entry of ASUS into an area that Moto G was ruling over. Budget phones that perform like flagships and deliver quality. It made a serious dent in that segment. In many ways the Zenfone 5 was a big changer in the 5′ category and in the budget category. This phone is my Phone of 2014. And here is why I think so.

My handset was a red one, I liked the handset’s back panel curving into the straight edges in the front .The display has a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 that goes from from corner to corner, and the slender bezels that hold the 720 x 1,280 IPS panel. With a weight of 146g, it’s reasonably light for a 5 inch phone, and build is sturdy and classy at the same time!

Here are the quick specs if you don’t have them: Display: 5″ 1280*720 IPS+ Panel, Corning Gorilla Glass 3; CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Atom Dual-Core Z2560; RAM: 2GB; Storage: 16GB & 8GB; Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0; Camera: 2MP front, 8MP rear; Battery: 2110 mAh; OS: Android JellyBean 4.3 (will update to 4.4 KitKat)’; Memory Slot: MicroSD card (up to 64 GB); SIM: Dual Micro SIM card

The Zen UI which has very little frills and a lot of utility and access packrd into it is one of the biggest reasons for the success of the phone in India. The lock screen has a nifty feature that gives an at-a-glance list of upcoming calendar events and current weather conditions, and the Quick Settings panel has been expanded,and comes with lot of settings that help control the display brightness and many other things in an intuitive manner!

The OS was smooth and the launcher was lag free! The availability of a call recording option which is now standard equipment in smartphones makes it a nifty little phone! The ZenUI has a lot of transitions and bells and whistles if you are into preening your phone and showing off.

It worked through the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark in a reasonable 1,053ms and achieved single- and multi-core scores of 468 and 1069 in Geekbench 3. Even high-performance games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne saw very few dropped frames when played on low or medium graphics settings. At the price point that it is selling, this is a big deal.

The 2,100mAh battery makes it very easily outlast its budget competitors. With Wi-Fi turned off and the screen calibrated to a brightness of 120cd/m2, playing a 720p video used 13% of the battery capacity in an hour. In my  3G audio playback tests; with the screen turned off, the Zenfone 5 used only  a mere 7% battery an hour.

The 8-megapixel PixelMaster rear camera comes with nifty and useful apps and features, such as a low-light mode, which works surprisingly well; a Selfie mode, which automatically detects and focuses on faces within the frame; and a depth-of-field mode. In our tests, it captured vastly more detail than the Moto G’s 5-megapixel snapper, and the results are good for a budget phone. The 1.8-megapixel front camera is fine for the occasional selfie or video chat.

The Asus Zenfone 5 has all the hallmarks of a brilliant mid-range smartphone. The battery life is great, the camera puts is decentand the performance isn’t far off from its main budget rivals like the Moto-G.

The Zenfone Series has received path breaking response from the Indian Market. Its sales had surpassed 2.8 lakhs figure by end of September 2014 in India which was within just a quarter. The company had also been engaging with fans across cities by hosting #ZenMeetUp to celebrate the support received from the fans. The series had received an overall substantial response which is persistent till date.


ASUS is a worldwide top-three consumer notebook vendor and maker of the world’s best-selling, most award-winning, motherboards. A leading enterprise in the new digital era, ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home and office, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktop and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia devices, wireless solutions, networking devices, tablets and smartphones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 4,256 awards in 2013 and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with its Eee PC™. ASUS has more than 12,500 employees around the globe with a world-class R&D team of 3,800 engineers. Company revenue for 2013 was approximately US$14 billion.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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