In addition to the high-end ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5Z, Asus presents this year the ZenFone 5 Lite, the worst-selling version of its new range of smartphones. Sold 299 euros (even if the price of 399 euros was initially announced), the device bets on its value for money to stand out, and highlights some premium features such as facial recognition.
Equipped with a Snapdragon 630, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage (expandable by Micro SD), the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite has something on paper. Its large 6-inch Full HD + screen in 18: 9 format plays in particular in its favor.
Glass back for a high-end look
At first glance, we are seduced by the premium aspect of the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite. With its glass back, the smartphone is beautiful and returns an impression of solidity, in particular because of its slightly high weight of 168 grams which one feels good in hand. Under its double vertical camera module, there is a fingerprint sensor perfectly positioned under the index finger during a grip.
The 6-inch 18: 9 screen also works in favor of the smartphone. With a Full HD + definition of 2160 by 1080 pixels, it turns out to be relatively bright (405 cd / m2) and above all extremely contrasted (1841: 1). These measurements are however much lower than on the ZenFone 4, but this remains perfectly correct for an LCD panel. Asus also offers to hide the navigation bar to gain more display space. We can then make it appear again with a simple gesture. Rather interesting for an 18: 9 screen!
Good performance spoiled by a bad experience
With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage, the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite benefits from solid mid-range equipment. Our performance reviews confirm this, revealing a technically up to date smartphone. Too bad: it doesn’t really feel in use …
In video games, even resource-hungry, the smartphone is up to the task. Using it on a daily basis is much more disappointing. We sometimes wonder how a smartphone so well equipped can be so poorly optimized. A lack of fluidity is felt in the vast majority of applications, and browsing his Facebook news feed quickly becomes a sore. Note, however, that the lareview system update has speeded up the experience somewhat, but a lot of work remains to be done. Switching to Android 8 may help remedy this defect.
With 10.55 of versatile autonomy according to our reviews, the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite, however, shows good endurance. We should be able to last a day without too much worry.
Equipped with ZenUI 5.0 on top of Android 7.1.1, the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite offers some features not found in Google’s OS, such as “easy mode” for people who do not want to use it as a smartphone. The Asus interface is closer to the iOS system in the design of its icons or menus than those found on most Android smartphones. Quite successful.
Unfortunately for the ZenFone 5 Lite, ZenUI is not always up to the task. His native keyboard is an eyesore to use. Perfectible predictive system, slowness … We can only recommend that you quickly replace it with SwiftKey or the Gboard.
Other features are not as good as advertised. Facial recognition is in fashion, so Asus offers it on its ZenFone 5 Lite … but would have done better to abstain. If unlocking takes good time in good light conditions but works properly, it is a real hell as soon as the configuration is no longer ideal. The light of an interior is not enough, for example, not for the smartphone, which requires more light. This type of authentication is quickly abandoned in favor of the fingerprint sensor, which has the advantage of being almost immediate.
Front and rear, the ZenFone 5 Lite has dual camera modules. A total of 4 sensors proudly highlighted by Asus on its site, which places particular emphasis on the possibility of taking wide-angle photos with each of the secondary sensors.
Quantity is not necessarily synonymous with quality unfortunately, and our opinion is particularly mixed on the main camera of the device (16 Mpix, opening f / 2.2). In some cases, the photos are very good and rich in detail. In others, the smartphone simply goes into a spin. Quite random.
Still at the back, the smartphone has a second 8 MP sensor. Independent, it allows you to take wide angle shots (120 degrees) for group photos or easy landscapes.
Unfortunately, whether we talk about the first or the second sensor, the smartphone has trouble reproducing colors faithfully, and sometimes misses many details. And the wide angle turns out to be more anecdotal than anything else. The portrait mode is not very efficient either.
It’s for group selfies that a wide angle sensor turns out to be really interesting. At the front, Asus keeps a similar formula with two 20 Mpix and 8 Mpix optics, as well as an LED flash. For taking cool photos with friends, the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite is a good companion.
In video, the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite can film up to 4K and offers a rather good result, much less random than for the camera, which is still difficult to understand. Hopefully an update to ZenUI will correct this.