Finished kicking off the mobile world in Indonesia with the ZenFone Max Pro M1, ASUS not long after it released its sister ZenFone 5 which is the first cellphone from ASUS.

Similar to the ZenFone Max Pro M1, ZenFone 5 offers high performance but at an economical price. The difference is that ZenFone 5 uses many other new technologies outside the chipset such as better cameras, USB-C slots, NFC sensors, and full screen bangs.

In addition, ZenFone 5 is back to using ZenUI with the latest version. The appearance of the interface is thick with curved elements that appear to follow the shape of the mobile screen which also curves in each corner.

Design


ZenFone 5 has its own unique design compared to other ZenFone, it is the first ASUS mobile phone that carries a full screen with a thin bezel and bangs.

The design of this cellphone is different compared to previous ASUS phones, but from the front of this phone it is similar to Apple's iPhone X. The most striking difference is the smaller bangs and the lower part of the cellphone that still has a thick bezel.

The front and rear of ZenFone 5 are coated with glass combined with aluminum frames. Unlike the ZenFone Max Pro M1, the screen glass on the ZenFone 5 is coated with Corning Gorilla Glass protectors even though it's not clear which version to use.

Because it carries a full screen bangs, the front of the cellphone only has speaker components, cameras, notification lights, and light sensors. The fingerprint scanner is placed on the back of the phone along with a dual camera and flash light.

The side of the cellphone has standard cellphone components such as the earphone slot, SIM / microSD hybrid card slot, speaker, and USB-C connector. The sides are also curved so that it feels comfortable when the phone is held.

Screen


The screen on the ZenFone 5 is large enough for the size of the cellphone because of its thin bezel.The resulting screen display is bright enough.

Because the bezel is thin and the shape of the phone is curved in the corners, the corner of the screen in ZenFone 5 also curves. The screen display in this curved corner looks rather rough compared to the straight screen.

This curved screen causes some application interfaces at the corner of the phone to be cut off or too tight with the corners of the screen. This is commonly found on other sailing angles like the Galaxy S9 because there are still many applications that have not adapted to this type of screen.

The notification area also becomes too narrow. There are only 3 notification icon slots on the left side of the bangs while the right part of the bangs is only used for the system status icon such as battery and signal.

The solution so that there is no interface cut off by this curved angle is to use the standard display ratio only for certain applications. In some game applications an option is available to do this.

The bangs on the ZenFone 5 screen in some conditions will hide themselves but there are no features that can force to hide her bangs. Strangely, if you search for a keyword such as "hide notch" in your cellphone settings, the option will appear but when you click it there is nothing. Maybe this is a sign that ASUS will bring the bangs hide feature manually later.

Performance

To tighten the performance of the ZenFone 5 phone, ASUS uses the latest Snapdragon 636 chipset from Qualcomm. Combined with 4GB of RAM, this phone can run various applications and games that exist today without problems.

Overall the performance of this phone is smooth, but the use of ZenUI seems to have an impact on the performance of the cellphone when navigating, especially about the animation of the mobile interface components.

Often I get animated notification areas lagging, especially when there are several notifications that appear at once. I didn't find this problem on the ZenFone Max Pro M1 which also uses Snapdragon 636 but uses pure Android.

Beyond that, the cellphone's performance is ok. When trying to play the Mobile Legend game with High graphics settings, the game performance is smooth. Also with the PUBG Mobile game with Medium graphics settings, the game can be well played.

If you feel you need more performance, especially when playing games, there is an AI Boost feature to improve the performance of your phone, but with this note will speed up the reduction of battery power.

ZenFone 5 scores in testing applications such as AnTuTu and Geekbench produce scores that are quite high in their class. The score rivals the flagship class mobile 2 years ago especially if the AI   Boost feature is activated.

For fingerprint sensors, fingerprint scanning performance is quite fast. Very rarely I find difficulties when scanning my fingerprint with ZenFone 5. The NFC sensor provided on the cellphone can also detect my e-Money card without problems.

Software


ZenUI on ZenFone 5 uses the latest version of ZenUI, ZenUI 5. Compared to previous ZenUI versions, there have been many changes made by ASUS.

The most striking change is probably the thick white and interface elements with curved corners. The use of curved corners on the interface might be to equate with a curved cellphone screen that follows the shape of a cellphone.

However, I found a bug that was annoying in ZenUI besides the animation notification problem I mentioned earlier. The bug is a notification screen on the lock screen that appears white several times in the corner of the notification. Although this is not often, it is rather annoying because it makes the lock screen look weird.

Bugs currently on the ZenFone 5 software should be repaired by ASUS through operating system updates through OTA. But whether or not ASUS will fix it or not.

Not wanting to miss with Apple and Samsung, ASUS also provides an emoji feature that detects the faces of its users, ZeniMoji. This feature can be accessed through the Selfie Master application on ZenFone 5.

How it works ZeniMoji is more similar to the Samsung Galaxy S9 because it only relies on the front camera but in my opinion the quality of the emojis is still lacking. Often the ZeniMoji animation that appears is rather strange. Besides that, the characters that are currently available are still few.

Camera

One that makes ZenFone 5 different compared to the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is the camera. ZenFone 5 carries a dual rear camera where the main camera uses the Sony IMX363 12MP and the secondary camera is a 120 ° wide angle camera.

ASUS says, the ZenFone 5 camera uses AI Camera technology that will adjust automatically depending on the atmosphere of the photo object to produce satisfying photos without the hassle of manual adjustments.

The default camera application from ASUS is quite good, but several times I have found the camera application sometimes there is a delay of several seconds when activated. In addition, sometimes photos with color appear that are rather strange when using auto mode which might be caused by the AI   Camera ZenFone 5 feature.

Beyond that, the camera on the ZenFone 5 can quickly process photos and produce photos of satisfying quality. Compared to previous ASUS phones, ZenFone 5 is an ASUS cellphone with the best camera.

If you want to maximize the camera on ZenFone 5, there is a Pro mode that opens access to manage various camera configurations manually.

Battery

The ZenFone 5 is equipped with a battery of 3,300 mAh, slightly above the average mobile phone standard at the moment so it is a plus for this phone.

During use, the cellphone lasts all day and I can get a 5-hour on-time screen from 100% to 15% battery level for daily use of my activities such as web surfing, social networking, chatting, and opening various productivity applications.

This figure is quite impressive seeing the battery is only 3,300 mAh. The efficient use of battery power is inseparable from battery optimization provided by ASUS through the Power Master feature and Snapdragon 636 chipset which saves battery power.

For charging, it usually takes about 2 hours 20 minutes to charge the cellphone from 15% to 100% using the default ZenFone 5 charger.

Conclusion

Overall, the ZenFone 5 is a middle class mobile phone with a performance and a capable camera and abundant cellphone features without making a broken wallet.

Maybe someone asks, if there is a ZenFone Max Pro M1, why buy ZenFone 5? If you want a cellphone with a more sophisticated camera and NFC sensor, ZenFone 5 is a more attractive choice than the ZenFone Max Pro M1.