Selfies are everywhere, and so are selfie smartphones. But this selfie smartphone comes with a twist.
Asus unveiled the Asus Zenfone Live (ZB501KL) 24/may/2017 in India priced at Rs. 9499 available on Flipkart. We have just checked out the device and here is what we feel about the Asus Zenfone Live.
There are some interesting things about the new Zenfone Live which distinguish it from other smartphones. And there are some major cons for the device which we will discuss a bit later.
The three most noticeable things about the Asus Zenfone Live are
1). Very Sleek and easy to use – It comes with just 120 grammes weight and has 8.2 mm thickness.
2). Good Build Quality and Finish- You will like the smartphone for the neat and clean design.
3). Rear Camera and Front Camera is loaded with features and especially the Go Live App is an interesting feature for content creators to go live on Youtube and Facebook.
Let’s get into the details for different aspects of the Zenfone Live.
Asus Zenfone Live (ZB501KL) Review
The Asus Zenfone Live comes with a sleek design and weighs just 120 grams. The smartphone is 8.2 mm thick and is very easy to carry and use with one hand. The front side has a well lit display, underneath which you will find the capacitative touch buttons which are unfortunately not backlit.
The front side looks more like the iPhone 6s or an Oppo phone, even the rear panel reminds of the Oppo F1s. On the side, it has a power button and a volume rocker which works as intended. The other side has sim card tray which can carry two sims or 1 sim plus one micro-sd card.
The front side has the 5 Megapixel camera and a dedicated flash. The edges are made of metal and at the bottom carries a speaker, micro-usb port and a microphone. At the top lies the 3.5 mm jack and a microphone for noise cancellation.
The rear side is also made of poly-plastic with a metallic finish and has the Asus Logo. It is not a metallic smartphone but overall build quality is satisfying, and the mobile genuinely looks good.
The smartphone comes with a 5.0 inch IPS LCD Display with 1280*720 pixels (HD) resolution. The screen to body ratio is 75% which is decent. It comes with a bright display which I had no problem using in the broad daylight to read text or use Facebook.
There is also 2.5D curve glass on the display which enhances the touch feel and experience. It is not clear if Asus has used Gorilla Glass protection in this device, though it comes with a Blue Light filter to lessen the impact on eyes during the night.
The Asus Zenfone Live has Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 305. This is not the latest processor from Qualcomm and is almost 2 generations old. The processor is clocked at 1.4 GHz, and the GPU has a clock speed of 450 MHz.
The processor and GPU are probably the biggest let down for me in this sub 10K smartphone; I would have liked a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 or even a 430 in this device to make it an ideal candidate for gaming and multi-tasking.
There is 2 GB Of RAM and 16 GB of storage space which can be expanded to 128 GB using the micro sd card slot.
Overall the general performance is fine though it is not very snappy and opening apps and moving from one task to another does not feel as fast as on a faster processor smartphone.
We tested the device on Antutu benchmark and Greek benchmark and here are the Scores:
Antutu benchmark – 24411
GeekBenchmark – 484 on single core and 1184 on the Multi-core test.
The Antutu and the Geekbench score is low as was expected.
Gaming Performance Asus Zenfone Live (ZB501KL)
We played the Asphalt 8 on the smartphone and the game was not playable on the high settings. Then tried to play on the medium settings, and it was playable with frame drops, on the low settings the Asphalt 8 runs fine on the Asus Zenfone Live (ZB501KL).
We also tried the basic games like CandyCrush, Shadow Warrior 2 and Temple Run on the Zenfone live, which it played out smoothly.
OS and Software
The smartphone comes with Android Marshmallow 6.0 along with the Zen UI 3.0. The Zen UI is not the most minimalist UI available, and the older Marshmallow OS is also not exciting. There are lots of bloatware Apps which may not be useful for many users.
Though some of the Apps like the mobile manager from Asus are decent with features to extend battery life and clean the junk files it is quiet useful.
Asus has improved the UI and is less cartoonish with the Android Nougat. We tested the Asus Zenfone 3s Max running on Android Nougat and it is much better than the older Zen UI. The Marshmallow and Zen UI though works without any issues like crashes or bugs but it would have been better to come with the Android Nougat 7.0.
Camera Quality and Beautylive App
The rear camera comes with 13 Megapixel lens and f/2.0 aperture and a single Led flash. The camera performs decent in the well lit conditions and the camera App is also quiet simple to use.
The camera is above average and also comes with a special “beautylive” App.
“Beautylive App” – The Zenfone Live gets its name from this beautylive App which can beautify your Live videos. If you are a content creator or if you like to broadcast to Youtube live or Facebook live this feature is handy to slightly improve the video feed with real time beautification of your video, like you do with your still selfies.
Here are some of the Camera Shots we have taken using the Asus Zenfone Live.
Camera shots taken with the front 5 Mega pixel Camera.
The front camera shot is nice and detailed with some softening for the facial features, but is taken in very good light condition.
The camera takes a while after clicking an image to be ready for the next shot, the Autofocus system is also slow, not as fast as we have seen on some other Asus devices. Overall the experience is average.
There is 2650 mAH capacity battery which can work all day on 4G and 3G network. In our testing we found that the battery lasts almost a day with mixed usage, if you are a very heavy user and keep the device always on 4G you may find it to dischage early.
The battery does not comes with fast charging support and takes nearly 2.45 hours to charge fully from Zero.
Lacks Fingerprint Scanner – Egregiously, the smartphone doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, which is available on most budget smartphones these days.
Call connectivity and reception on the phone is decent, we used the device both with an Airtel Sim card and a JIO 4G VOLTE sim. The Asus Zenfone Live comes with VOLTE support so you can use it to make calls from JIO HD network and call also use it for 4G data.
There is a bottom speaker which is loud and clear for both playing the audio and calls. There is also an Audio Wizard which helps you increase the loudness when you are outdoor or helps you choose the presets to suit the sound quality of songs/videos as per your need.
Overall – Verdict
It may not be the best device in terms of specs and performance but is a light weight mobile with a good display and the unique Live Videos feature. The processor and performance could have been better and Android Nougat would have just made it a much better phone for buyers.
The lack of fingerprint sensor is another important feature which this device is missing while most phones in 10K price range offer a fingerprint scanner. Ram and storage are okay, sound quality and call connectivity also is as desired.
Overall it is neither the best nor the worst phone we have tested in sub 10k price range. It is an average Joe.
Asus could have done better by keeping the latest processor and software, it would have been more successful in this highly competitive smartphone market.