Without a doubt the Android smart phones rule the market in terms of volume. This has led to an influx of Android based mobiles phones in the Indian market. Mobile phones in the same price band usually have a similar hardware and the manufactures try really hard to differentiate their devices from the rest, usually, by skinning the Android UI and customizing it. Over the period of this, the skinning and customization has lead to loads of useless bloatware being bundled with the device. But among all such devices, standing tall in the crowd is the Asus Zenfone series. The Asus Zen UI which is loaded in the Zenfone series, has struck the balance between customization and utility value. Any design which is desinged for a purpose will definitely be of a good utility value. Let us talk about the Zenfone 5 which offers good value for money and has a UI which add a good utility value.
Here are the key specifications of the Asus Zenfone 5
|SIM||Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Display||IPS capacitive touchscreen, 720 x 1280 pixels, 5.0 inches (~294 ppi pixel density). Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Chipset||Intel Atom Z2580/ Z2560|
|CPU||Dual-core 2 GHz (Z2580)/ 1.6 GHz (Z2560)|
|Card slot||microSD, up to 64 GB|
|Internal||8/16 GB, 1/2 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 2110 mAh battery|
It is available for a price of Rs 8999 for the 8 GB version and the Rs 10999 for the 16 GB version in flipkart and that is a very good price for a device with such specifications. The design of the physical form factor is an indicator for the quality that Asus has put into this device. Ergonomically this suits in your hands and pockets under most conditions. The sleek minimalist design and svelte looks will definitely appeal to a large audience. The mobile has been around in the market for a while and am sure you must have seen the device in any of your friends hands or out of curiosity you must have check some tech blog for reviews. So ill skip the hardware tour part and directly jump into my favorite features in the zen UI.
The Reading Mode
The Zenphone 5 is a large device. I wouldn’t call it a phablet but still it has a screen large enough for entertainment, specially it is just right for reading. It is fits in one hand easily and it can be a convenient reader to hold. But the Zen UI adds a feature called the reading mode to enhance the reading experience. When turned on, the screen turns warm and yellow. It reduces the contrast ratio between the text and the background and goes easy on the eyes. I don’t read novels, but I read my daily news and RSS feeds and for my usage, a device like the ZenFone 5 with its reading mode is an fantastic option.
Pixel Master Camera
The Zenfone 5 has a 8 MP sensor in the primary camera. It is armed with an algorithm which Asus calls as Pixel master. It is a combination of software and hardware to give better image results. The camera UI is really interesting. It has loads of interesting modes and inbuilt filters. Apart from the usual HDR, panaroma and low light modes, there are a few fun to try modes. The miniature mode adds a miniature effect to the shot. The time mode takes a couple of shots before and after the moment and you can choose the best. For selfie shots the rear 8 Mp camera can be used in selfie mode. In the selfie mode once it detects the face it clicks 3 shots and you can choose the best. The night mode takes high resolution shots at low light, but the owl or the low light mode detects the ambient light conditions and brightens up the image, and takes the shot at 3 MP. The colors are natural and not over saturated. The edge sharpening algorithm, color reproduction and the image stabilization algorithm render amazing shots. The front camera is a 2 MP camera and it is good for video calls. Also the image quality from the front camera is quite good. A neat little app called the mirror, opens up the front camera instantly and you can quickly check and adjust your looks to be at your best.
The Super Note
The Super Note is an app that comes pre-loaded in the mobile. But it is also available in Asus tablet and some models of notebooks. Though the Zenfone 5 does not have a stylus, taking notes with fingers as the tool works equally good. With a combination of keypad and handwriting, taking notes with Super note is really fast. Images and annotations can be inserted appropriately. This is a nifty app that will help increase productivity on the go.
Asus Zenfone is definitely a pleasant surprise this year. The device is designed with a purpose and the purpose is “excellent user experience”.