[REVIEW] Asus Zenfone Live


The newest member of the Zenfone Line up in India is the all new Zenfone Live. It was being teased by Asus India for quite a while. Now the main USP being laid out by Asus is the real-time beautification technology for live-streaming.

Asus has been trying lately to make a mark in the budget segment which has seen a tremendous growth over the years and is dominated by Xiaomi, Motorola and other Chinese OEMs. Zenfone Live packs in decent hardware according to the price.

Let’s dive in for more in depth review:
Design
The Zenfone Live might give you some iPhone vibes since it carries a similar design, it’s not surprising since most of the smartphones in this price bracket have similar design elements. The smartphone is very handy and lightweight, which is perfect for one handed usage. The body is made of plastic with a metallic finish on top.


On the front, it has a 2.5D curved glass to give it a seamless in-hand feel. This time around Asus has gone with capacitive navigation keys but sadly they aren’t backlit so you have to rely on your muscle memory. Volume rocker and power/lock key which offer good tactile feedback. SIM tray is on the left, 3.5mm audio jack is at the top, while the loudspeaker grill, micro USB port and the mic reside at the bottom.

The camera module is placed on the top left corner along with a LED flash right below it. Since it’s a device that is more centric to live streaming, Asus has thrown in a LED flash with the front camera as well. The device weighs in at just 120 grams and is 8mm thick. The only downside is the lack of a fingerprint sensor which is present even on $60 dollar phones these days.

Display

The smartphone comes with a 5-inch IPS LCD display with HD resolution. The best feature is the high brightness level that this display has which makes outdoor legibility even better.

Apart from this the colour reproduction is really not up to the mark, the display looks dull when compared to competing smartphones in the same price bracket. Though Asus has provided an option to tweak colour tones and modes in the Display settings but that doesn’t solve the problem.

We don’t want to start rambling on the extra borders that display has, which look odd considering the level of smartphones that have earlier been made by Asus. Overall the display is not as outstanding as we thought it would be considering that Asus puts in good quality panels, but this display still gets the job done.

Software

The Asus Zenfone Live runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Asus’s own Zen UI on top. We haven’t been a fan of Zen UI but this version seems like a different product altogether. Now Zen UI is a lot faster, less bloated but still manages to pack in some nifty features and apps like the Security app and many more.


Asus has definitely worked on the optimization part but the icon pack, quick settings panel, and settings menu still look flashy and bit out of place, which can be liked or disliked depending on personal choice.


If you are into changing a look of launcher everyday then there is a very useful app for you which is the Themes app. Using this app users can download free as well as paid themes, wallpapers, icons, and ringtones to customize their smartphone.

There’s a mobile manager app included in the ZenUI using which you can pretty much manage each and every aspect of your device like keeping track of RAM usage, doing deep clean and other optimizations.


The only new addition is that now you get apps like Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps pre-loaded, which is a good thing since these are only apps that’ll take advantage of the inbuilt live beautification mode and will save you the data as well as hassle of installing them.

Asus still needs to do a lot of optimizations on this UI and should cut down on some background usage monitoring apps that keep sending out stats that become very annoying at times.

Performance

The Zenfone Live is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD up to 128GB. Out of 16GB of storage, only 10GB is available at user end, while rest is preoccupied by system. For a Rs 9,999 priced smartphone this is a led down as the competitors are giving Snapdragon 600 series processors with extra storage in the same segment.

You can find the snapdragon 400 on a smartwatch these days, we couldn’t figure out why Asus used this chipset which is nearly 3 years old. If you are planning to some gaming on this device, then find some legacy games since the new ones won’t run smoothly. We thought of giving it a try but couldn’t bear the excessive frame drops and heating.

Here are the disappointing benchmark results:

  • AnTuTu Benchmark: 12316
  • Quadrant Standard: 6252
  • Geekbench 4: Single-core is 233, Dual-core is 544
The ZenFone Live is backed by a 2,650mAh battery. When doing some basic tasks this phone should last a full day but mixed and heavy users should carry a charges on them at all times. The plus point is the phone charges in under 2 hours.

Camera


Asus has pitched and marketed this device as a smartphone perfect for live streaming and selfies. Here’s where the things go South, on paper the specs look very promising but the 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture takes average shots in outdoors. Thanks to the heavy camera software focusing is slow, you can attempt to take moving subject shots. The shutter lag makes it impossible for taking quick shots.

The front camera is a 5MP shooter, which again performs at an average. Asus has made a good feature for selfie lovers in the camera app, now they can even add beautification mode for their live streams as well, this might drive up the selfie craze even more.


Coming to the picture quality the selfies lack details and clarity in most of the cases, it’s just the natural light that helps the camera to click some impressive selfies.






For detailed shots visit this link : http://bit.ly/2vWvyLq

Specifications

Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ASUS ZenUI 3.0
Display
5 -inch HD (720p) IPS | 2.5D contoured Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 | Adreno 305 GPU
RAM
2 GB
Internal Storage
16 GB; expandable up to 128GB with microSD card
Battery
2650mAh
Rear Camera
13 MP camera | f/2.0 aperture | Single - LED flash
Front Camera
5 MP | f/2.0 aperture | 1.4┬Ám Pixel Sensor
Weight
120 grams

Verdict

Overall the Zenfone Live is well build, light weight and performs well for casual usage. But for Rs 9,999 this device is simply overpriced. Camera performance is on the average side of the spectrum and we are not sure if the Selfie lovers would readily use the real-time beautification mode or jump on the live streaming ship.

Asus has used a pretty dated hardware in this device, if it would have come with the new efficient Snapdragon 400 series we would have loved the device.

Finally, if you’re in market for a budget smartphone, we would suggest you to shift your focus on Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Redmi 4 or Lenovo K6 as they’d give you far better performance and value for money.
[REVIEW] Asus Zenfone Live [REVIEW] Asus Zenfone Live Reviewed by YOGESH BRAR on 19:37:00 Rating: 5
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