The Zenfone 5 from Asus is using the Intel dual core processor with Hyper Threading Technology running Android 4.3 over a 5 inch screen with HD resolution. The handset supports dual SIM and comes with 2110 mAh built-in battery. The Asus Zenfone 5 (A501CG) is priced at Rs. 9,999.

What’s inside the Box Pack?
There is the Zenfone 5, travel charger, data cable, user guide, warranty card and earphone with free ear plug caps. The earphone ear plug looks weird quite small but fits well and sounds really good.

Design and Display
On the first look you will fall in love with the handset. There are very few handsets in the Rs. 10,000 price range that will impress you on the first look. Zenfone 5 looks different especially because of the iconic concentric circle texture just below the navigation buttons. That small design makes a big difference.

I got the red colour version. The back cover is made of plastic with metallic finishing. It is soft to touch and gives a good grip. The power / volume rockers are on the right, 3.5mm audio jack on the top and micro USB at the bottom.

Asus Zenfone 5 box pack

There are dual Mics for noise cancellation – one placed at the bottom side and other on the top side. Build quality and the finishing are excellent.

Asus Zenfone 5 sports a 5 inch IPS display with 1280 x 720 pixels resolution. It is using the TruVivid technology for impressive quality and colour reproduction. And the best part is that the screen comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection (you don’t need a screen guard). Viewing angles are very good and touch is very smooth and responsive – Glove mode is supported.

Asus Zenfone 5 review and unboxing

There are accelerometer, magnetic, light and proximity sensors. There is LED notification (Yellow + Orange) too.

OS, Memory and Storage
The Zenfone 5 sails on Android 4.3 and will get the KitKat update. It however runs the Zen UI that is another added feature. The UI is loaded with lot of options and the lock screen in particular looks pretty exciting with the what’s Next feature.

There is a good 2GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage. There is a micro SD card slot too which can add up to 64GB of external storage. Of the 2GB RAM you will get 1.4GB free and of 8GB storage there is 4.8GB of free space for apps.

Asus Zenfone 5 review

OTG is supported. Asus is rolling out frequent software updates to fix issues and to improve performance. You cannot install apps on the external storage directly, however once the app is installed on the internal storage, you can move it to external storage. I installed Asphalt 8, MC4 and Real Racing games and was able to move the app along with the data on to the external storage.

Update: There is an option in Asus Customized settings -> App Installation settings, use it and set the prefer install location to external storage, that way you can install apps directly on to the external storage.

Performance and Benchmark
This handset is using the Intel Z2560 dual core chipset (x86 architecture – 32nm process) clocked at 1.6GHz. It is dual core but can perform like a quad core using hyper threading technology. GPU is PowerVR SGX 544MP that does a pretty good job.

Asus Zenfone 5 5 inch screen with FHD resolution

The performance is very smooth, lag free but the handset does tend to heat up when hyper threading, especially when using heavy apps or playing high end games.

Benchmark scores

App Result
Quadrant 9085
Antutu 19247
Vellamo Browser (1694) Metal (802) Multicore (1035)
Nenamark 2 60.4fps
Multi Touch 10 point

Gaming
I played Asphalt 8, Modern combat 4 and Real Racing 3 all of these games at first got installed on the internal storage but I was able to move them to the external storage. (Note: Asus Customized settings -> App Installation settings – set to external storage to be able to install apps directly to external storage). The game play was smooth without any lags. Handset heated up a bit.

Camera and Entertainment
There is 8MP rear AF camera with flash and 2MP on the front. It’s a PixelMaster camera that gives crispy clear day shots and vivid night shots. The rear camera can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps. There is video stabilization mode, however that works only in 720p resolution. The camera interface is also customized and you will find  a lot of options, effects and modes.

Asus Zenfone 5 8MP rear AF camera with LED flash

The interface is simple to use. When using the camera in low light condition you will get an option to switch to low light mode for better output. Do check the video review and sample images at the end of this article.

The still images and video quality are very good.

Others
The Zenfone 5 supports dual SIM with dual standby mode. You need 2 micro SIM’s and you can use 3G on either of the SIM’s (both the SIM support 3G). You can call directly from any of the SIM using the phone dialer. There is voice input option too. I did not find the native 3G video calling option in the dialer. In call sound is clear and volume is good.

Sound is a bit low as compared with other handsets, but acceptable – just choose the ringtones / notifications that is loud. Notification volume is by default set to very low make sure to increase it.

3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS worked well. I got the first GPS lock within 10 seconds. The handset comes loaded with lot of features some are covered in the video review – Smart Mode, FM radio, Torch, splendid option to change the colour temperature, Reading Mode, What’s Next, etc..

Battery
You can remove the back cover but the battery is non-removable. It is of 2110 mAh capacity. For the review all power saving modes were disabled. It is recommended that you use the handset with the power saver mode enabled for extra battery performance.

Asus Zenfone 5 2110 mAh battery

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Running Benchmark apps 24 minutes 9% (40)
FHD video playback (loop) with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 30 minutes 16% (37)
Asphalt 8 + MC4 + Real Racing 3 GamePlay 17 minutes 13% (42)
Battery Charging, handset in on state using wall charger. 1 hours 51 minutes From 6% to 67%.

For heavy usage you can expect usage time of 2:30 to 3:30 hours and with moderate usage about 3:30 to 5:00 hours. Battery can be fully charged in under 3:00 hours.

Verdict
For the price of Rs. 9,999 this is the best available in the market, for now. You get 2GB RAM and screen is with gorilla glass 3 protection. The Intel chipset also does a pretty good job, sound is a little low and handset does heat up when using heaving apps but it is not too hot.

The 8GB version is not easily available and buying the 16GB version for 3K extra doesn’t make any sense. Over all the Asus Zenfone 5 is a premium handset available for a budget price, a must buy if you can grab one. The handset is already giving a tough competition to other brands in the same price segment.

Get the Asus Zenfone 5 for Rs. 9,999.

Zenfone 5 Image Gallery


Sample Images (Rear Camera)


Sample Images (Front Camera)


Asus Zenfone 5 full video review

FHD video shot using the Zenfone 5 handset

Published by Gogi Rana

Founder and Chief Editor - gogi.in

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  1. SOS…..gogi,front camera not working on viber and Skype video calling. what to do to get it right.

  2. Guys, Dont ever buy this zenfone 5 1.2 GH model, flipkart cheating people with increased price, this phone not even worth 3500. I bought this phone after seeing lot of positive reviews on flipkart, this phone is ok for normal usage no lags but when I start games the problem will start, games are lagging in this phone even basic games like subway surfers, temple run is lagging, my old phone was gionee p3, I was used to play zombie sniper shooter without zero lags on gionee p3 which has only 512 ram, even with 2gb of ram this phone lags heavily and even unable to play the game, If u buy this phone you have to forget about the Skype, tango video calls, I am getting only the video but sound is almost nil unable to hear voice. Best part of this phone is its camera, I surprised to see the clarity of pics and I enjoyed with camera and one thing why did they place back button on left side i use two phone its really confusing when i use another phone, Recently Asus released an ota update, after the update the camera also gone now, I am getting blurry images after the update, network quality is not stable when I use 3g, Asus cheating people placing stylish gorrila glass on it, yesterday I sold my phone now I am really really happy.

    1. Are we looking like stupid for you Mr ajay ?? What a childish comment u made . Just review your comment again . We are using it from past 1year . We never faced such type of things . I too played lots of 3d games ,

      1. Read the comment properly Mr rakesh, I said about the 1.2 ghz model not 1.6 ghz model.

      1. Hi Gogi.. Can you please tel if this phone has the smart gestures feature, to go to any app swiping on the lock screen after pattern setup?

  3. Anybody, please clarify:
    Why the Zenfone 5 501 8GB 1.6 GHz is costlier that 16GB and the reviews are also good for 8GB only in Flipkart. what is the difference.
    For 8gb 1.2 Ghz now the Price is 8499 You said it is 7999, i think flipkart increased it. Please suggest the better one.

  4. Hi
    New purchased zenfone a501cg from flipkarts on 19-3-2015. My problem is –
    1. Option of 3G video calling isn’t available
    2. When i put Airtel or Rlnc Sims 2G/3G, its very fast and when i insert AIRCEL sim, no internet signal found.
    3. Main problem is, at our place Asus Mobile Store is not available.
    Please solve my problem ASAP.
    Thanks
    N.Ganga

  5. Hi, I bought this phone a month ago still its up to the expectation but there is one problem is that when I installed any app or any files that I downloaded on sd card it used to disappear and it doesn’t up any more … Why is that happening …. Please provide me the conclusion to resolve.

  6. hi Gogi..I was confuse b/w redmi note 4g ,yureka and zenfone 5….but after watching ur reviews i decided for zenfone 5…i jus wanted to know if i can go for latest zenfone 5 @ 7999…bec i guess every thing is almost same …or will it effect gaming experince bec i love high end racing game like Asphalt 8…plz guide me…or suggest me best mobile in each sense under 10k…which is easily available not like yureka

    1. Hey Anand,

      I wanted to inform u that if u love high end games like asphalt,Fifa,Real Racing etc then i would prefer u buying the Intel 1.6 Ghz Processor which comes with the Zenfone 5 at the price range of 10,000.
      Telling from experience….

      Regards,
      Shivam Krishnam

  7. Hi gogi, I bought a501cg 1.6 ghz zenfone 5 from flipkart performance is great. But for some reason my asphalt 8 for no matter what settings I use lags a lot
    Is there anything I can do to remove that lag, Ps I don’t use power saving at all.

    1. It should work in lowest visual quality mode, have you got the game installed on external storage?

      1. I tried in both external sd(samsung evo card so that should not be a problem) and internal as well.
        I have seen some videos in youtube people playing asphalt at high settings and still getting no lag(i get lag even in low settings)
        Does it has anything to do with the fact that i’m using kitkat?
        Or i’m just expecting a little too much from such a device

    2. Forgot to mention

      Thanks for the quick reply earlier from you
      Big fan of your work
      Awaiting for reply

      Thanks again

  8. Dear Gogi,

    I had purchased asus zenphone 5 501cg 1.2gh, I have problem with the sensor, when I make a call or receive a call, the screen do not automatic turn off and on. kindly advice how to check it.

    1. Seems like proximity sensor is not working, use CPU-Z to check the sensor and place your hand on the sense to see if there is any activity.

        1. Ok so that’s working, seems like some software issue. Restart the phone, remove last installed app or if you know from when the issue started. Last option is a factory reset. If none of these work visit service centre.

  9. Can you tell me about it’s network quality in poor network. Do you notice that samsung have give strong, stable & low fluctuations signal in poor network area. Does this handset give strong and stable signal in low network area like samsung,MT6577, MT6589 based handset. Also mention network quality review into review with comparing to other handset.

  10. My zenfone 5 camera is giving images having high noise, unclear, dim images any good suggestion to overcome this problem gogi, I did restore defaults in cam settings but no use.

  11. step to lock 3G signal
    1. dial *#*#4636#*#*
    2. select – phone information
    3. select – WCDMA only

  12. Hello,
    This is another well written detailed review u have got here, ironically which confused me!!
    Simply left frustrated by the Yureka sales on amazon,I was going for a Redmi note 4G which costs 10k now, but seeing this at a cheaper 8k…
    could you please suggest me which would be a better option between the zen phone 5 and the Redmi note 4G ?
    Which would give me a better value for money and a better after sales service?
    It would be extremely helpful of you
    Thank You

    1. Go for Asus Zenfone 5 either 8 or 16 gb versions simply for value for money (unmatched screen, features etc etc.. ) and support u will receive from Asus.. (Developers are very responsive)

  13. sir,

    i am big fan of yours,

    i need a help from you, i have Asus Zenfone 5 (16 Variant) mobile and i want buy one extra wall changer. i have searched in many site & i am unable locate it.

    Kindly do the needful.

  14. Is the battery is non removable isn’t it. What if the battery get damaged and I need to replace it?