Asus Zenfone 5, lite and 5z announced at #MWC18

Image Source Chris Smith BGR

The iPhone X went on sale in early November, and was the best-selling iPhone every week up until the end of the year, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said during the company's most recent earning call earlier this month.

Disclosure: Asus sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the launch event in Barcelona.

The ASUS ZenFone 5 is the first high-profile Android phone to sport the iPhone X notch.

Editor's note: This is not the first Asus phone called ZenFone 5. It could be also be an attractive buy for the buyers who want large screen and compact design.

Speaking of notch, there's one on the 5Z, and one on the ZenFone 5, so in a way, you can't accuse Asus of copying Apple. Alternatively, you can also expand the storage via a microSD card up to 2TB.

The Zenfone 5 Lite comes with four camera dual lens setup at the front and as well as the rear. The camera comes with PDAF and comes with LED flash. Other AI-based operations include AI Charging, which gathers data on a user's charging pattern and adjusts the phones performance accordingly.

I didn't get to accurately check if the panel does indeed meet Asus' quoted 500 nits max brightness, but with the screen set to 60%, it was cornea-scorchingly bright. Asked what they mean by AI, Asus said it's "adopting a broad definition of AI".

The "notch" is a small bit of plastic that juts out from the top of the phone, eating into the screen. Fair enough, though we still would've liked to test one out. At the launch event, Asus had just revealed the price of the 4GB RAM of the ZenFone 5Z which comes around Euro 479, roughly translating to Rs 38,400. The primary phone, the ZenFone 5Z, actually runs on 2018 specs including the Snapdragon 845 and 6GB of RAM.

Apple said to plan mega-sized iPhone
The iPhone X, on the other hand, is a radical redesign with edge-to-edge display and improved facial recognition technology. Apple's biggest iPhone is expected to feature a 6.5-inch display, and use the OLED display tech seen on the iPhone X .

The Asus Zenfone 5 is exactly similar to the Zenfone 5Z, barring a few internal specifications. If we talk about the color options, the ZenFone 5 smartphone will be available in Midnight Blue and Meteor Silver color options. The variant that's going to be released in the United States will be branded as the Zenfone 5Q and will feature the Snapdragon 630 chip. The phone is backed by a 3300mAh battery.

Both front and back secondary cameras on the ZenFone 5 Lite feature the same 8MP sensor and 120-degree lens.

With low pricing and high-grade specs, Asus could be onto a victor here, but may struggle to steal the limelight from big-budget phone rivals like Samsung and Apple.

Asus ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5Z both feature a 6.2-inch full HD+ 2.5D curved glass display with 90% screen-to-body ratio and 19:9 aspect ratio. The selfie shooters include a 20-megapixel Sony IMX376 sensor, and a 120-degree wide angle sensor to squeeze more people in when taking selfies.

Both phones have Face Unlock, but not as advanced as iPhone X's Face ID.

On the software side of things, the Zenfone 5 Lite will run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box which will be layered with ZenUI 5.0 which is the company's freshly baked custom UI. This SoC is pretty new - only announced in October 2017 - but, as the 600-series designation suggests, it's not a flagship processor.

Android Oreo with ZenUI. So that's the phone I focused during my hands-on time with the new Asus devices.

The ZenFone 5 arrives in April, while the ZenFone 5Z will show up in June.

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