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Asus Zenfone V Review

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Asus Zenfone V Review

James Shisiah

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What we love

  • Compact and high definition 5.2-inch display
  • Smooth experience
  • Massive 3000mAh battery
  • Incredible 23MP
  • 32GB Internal storage
  • 4GB RAM

Overview

In the US, Asus is best known for their portfolio of budget to high-end laptops. However, since their entrance into the smartphone world, they have given us some incredible devices such as the ZenFone AR and ZenFone 4 Pro. Today, we look at the ZenFone V (the V stands for “Verizon” and not “five”). It is a Verizon Wireless exclusive smartphone.

The ZenFone V catches your eye right from the moment you lay your eyes on it. This is a sleek device made of glass and aluminum having all the components a flagship device had in 2016 which means performance is superb. This beauty’s components include a Snapdragon 820 chipset, 1080p AMOLED 5.2-inch display, 4 gigabytes of RAM, and an impressive 23-megapixel camera. What’s also impressive is the price tag. Currently, the device is going for the retail price of $240 or $10 per month for 24 months making it one of the most powerful yet affordable devices.

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Unboxing

The ZenFone V comes in an impressive compact package. The box itself looks neat and smooth on the outside. The packaging itself says “premium phone inside.” Once you break the seal, unboxing is quite easy. Holding the ZenFone V for the first time feels good as the phone’s aluminum and glass bodies give the phone a sturdy glossy finish.

What’s in the box?

  • One Asus ZenFone V smartphone.
  • A SIM remover tool.
  • A wall adapter and USB-C to USB-C charging cable.
  • Quick reference guides and manuals.
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Design

Design wise, the ZenFone V looks quite like its siblings the ZenFone 4 and 4 Pro with one difference; the squared camera bump at the back. In terms of materials used to make the phone, Asus went off script a bit with this one giving it a more premium and identifiable look. With Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back, you can expect a smooth glossy finish. The sides are aluminum which also gives it a premium feel and a sense of security knowing that even if the phone does fall, it can withstand the shock within reasonable limits.

Although it doesn’t have the rounded edges one has come to expect of many smartphones today; the ZenFone V wins you over with its sleek, slim and shiny disposition. An unlikely expectation for a device at this price point. The phones compact 5.2-inch AMOLED, Full HD display dominates the front side with an impressive 74.8 percent screen-to-body ratio. There is a bottom bezel which is wide enough to fit a fingerprint sensor and two navigation keys. Around the screen we have an incredible five-magnet speaker which we found to be much louder and clearer than its predecessors. The company says this can be attributed to its proprietary AMP technology which gives a deeper and clearer bass.

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Camera

For a $240 device, the ZenFone V has a pretty impressive camera. This phone boasts a 23-megapixel rear camera of f/2.0 aperture with Sony’s IMX 318 sensor. Knowing that Sony is one of the world’s premier camera manufacturers and as such, this camera doesn’t disappoint. Packed with electronic image stabilization (EIS) and optical image stabilization (OIS), this camera does an outstanding job taking photos and videos while on the move. We were also quite impressed by how the sensor responded to mixed lighting conditions giving it excellent balance and accurate detail.

At the front, we have the secondary 8MP camera with a f/2.0 aperture and able to take high-quality pictures even in low light. What’s more, it’s ready to record videos in 1080p which makes it perfect for selfies and video chatting.

Colors are vibrant and not oversaturated meaning the photos have a healthy balance. Of course, it may not stand up to the Galaxy S8, but is way more impressive than most devices even above its price point.

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Display

Impressively, ASUS has given us a 1080p AMOLED display for this price.  Even though the screen is a 5.2-inch affair, we thoroughly enjoyed gaming and watching videos on it. With a whopping 424 pixels per inch, you can expect a vivid replication of color and details. Sometimes color was more on the bluish side but all that was simply rectified in the display settings. With AMOLED technology, outside visibility is well taken care of and I had no issue operating my phone while taking a stroll.

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Battery

Asus also came through on this front giving the Asus Zenfone V a 3,000 mAh lithium polymer battery. I found this to be enough juice to last the whole day with moderate to heavy usage leaving you with about 15-20 percent while plugging in at night. This phone also comes with a surprisingly useful feature called “BoostMaster” which is, in a nutshell, quick charging technology capable of delivering 60 percent charge in about half an hour.

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Storage

The ZenFone V by default comes with a default internal storage of 32GB. With such an incredible storage capacity, the phone gives you room to store more files. Surprisingly, this device also supports memory cards of up to 256GB. Although the phone doesn’t have a dedicated memory card slot, the SIM 2 slot takes care of this. For multimedia fans, this is for sure a great addition to a phone that’s already priced appropriately. Therefore, if you are into shooting 4K videos or a heavy graphics gamer, storage options are not going to be your biggest worry.

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Performance

While ASUS doesn’t offer stock android on any of its devices, available on this device is Android 7.0 Nougat under ZenUI 4 which in my experience was totally smooth. At launch time, in 2016, the Asus Zenfone V had flagship status basing on the high-end resources it boasts.

The ZenFone v comes with 4GB of RAM coupled with a Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor cloaked at 2.1GHz. Now these are solid specs to have on a midrange device. With these in play, you can be assured that apps run smoothly without any lag irrespective of size. With improvements Google has made to the Android operating, Android 7.0 Nougat is the smoothest and most fluid operating system you can use. It’s even enhanced when it finds great hardware specifications as packed in the Asus Zenfone V. Multitasking capabilities are at their best thanks to the ample runtime memory and the quad-core processor.

For the gaming department, this device comes with an Adreno 530 GPU ensuring resource hungry games such as Asphalt 8 Airbone run smoothly without any hitch. We should also keep in mind that the formidable Samsung Galaxy S7 has similar hardware specifications, the difference coming in the display resolution and size. With 4G LTE high speed internet capability, you will enjoy gaming online as well watching high definition videos on streaming sites.

Like most flagships launched in 201, the Asus Zenfone V includes a fingerprint sensor. It’s mounted in the front which also acts as the home button, just like in the Samsung Galaxy S7. It is an added security feature to your phone and works super fast when unlocking your gadget. Other sensors like accelerometer and proximity are available to help the phone respond to its environment. The overall performance of the Asus Zenfone V is impressive.

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Specifications

  • Wi-Fi/ GSM / HSPA / LTE
  • 5.2 inches AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Android 7.0 Nougat.
  • Camera: 23 MP, f/2.0 Front: 8 MP, f/2.0, 1080p.
  • Processor: Quad-core 2.1GHz Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820.
  • Internal Storage: 32 GB. Expandable to 256GB with a microSD card
  • RAM 4 GB.
  • Battery: Non-Removable Li-Ion 3000mAh.
  • Bluetooth: 4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE.
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (front-mounted), proximity, gyro, accelerometer, compass.
  • USB Type-C.
  • GPS enabled

Asus Zenfone V Accessories