The Asus Zenfone 5 is one of few Intel x86 powered smartphones out there. The phone just like its siblings run on Atom Z2580 processor which coupled with light Asus Zen UI promised lag free Android experience. It thus feels zipper than the Galaxy S4 which has a heavy UI comparatively.
Like almost any other Android phone you get some bloatware which is not uninstall-able. Yes you can go into settings and disable them but an average Joe will not be able to figure that out. We adore how you can uninstall anything on Windows Phone and we wish we would uninstall third party apps like Amazon Kindle, Movie Studio, Omlet and so on. Fortunately they don’t make the device laggy.
We love how the Asus Zenfone 5 feels in the hands. Its curved back fits just perfect in my palm. The back is matte and overall design is elegant and stylish.
The volume keys and power button have unique texture to it. We felt great every time we picked the unit to play with it.
The display is 5 inch diagonally and packs HD resolution. Being IPS it is very bright and boasts excellent viewing angels. It is very bright too and we had no problems using it in the sun.
Speakers on the back are fine for notifications and phone calls but loud enough for sharing a YouTube video with the person sitting next to you. We recommend using an external speaker or earphones if you are going to listen to a song or video with your friend sitting on your side.
There is a notification bar just like any other Android phone but you must tap on the little top right icon to see your unseen notifications. It took us a while to find that out. Asus should play a tutorial about it the first time user uses notification panel.
Just a suggestion, immediately remove the weather widget from your home screen as it ships quite a lot of battery for some reason.
Its battery life is good enough for a busy work day. My work requires me to have Internet on 24×7 and I am always connected to Wi-Fi or 3G at all times. I sent about 10 emails in a day; talked for around an hour; used it for half an hour as music player at gym and relaxed in the evening by watching videos on YouTube using my A2DP Bluetooth headset. By the end of the day I was left with 25% juice. Not bad at all. Just make sure to charge it everyday and you should be fine. I wish it was removable though.
Camera takes excellent pictures. Color reproduction is at par with Galaxy S4 and Lumia 920. Here are few untouched photos that we uploaded on our Flickr account.
Verdict: An excellent Android phone that offers lag free user experience.
* Dual SIM functionality
* Wonderful display
* Sensitive touch screen
* Responsive user interface and lag free Android skin
* Expandable internal storage
* Good battery life
* Non removable battery
* Bloatware not uninstall-able
* Only 8GB built in storage
* No NFC (near field communication)