The new ASUS ZenFone 5 unveiled

The new ASUS ZenFone 5 unveiled

The Mobile World Congress 2018 got exciting on Tuesday evening when Asus unveiled three new smartphones as part of its Zenfone 5 series. ASUS will also offer a Snapdragon 845-powered ZenFone 5Z later this year for around $499, which preserves the design and nearly all of the regular 5's specs but ups the stakes to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Asus calls the Zenfone 5 series an Intelligent Phone because it uses lots of AI.

"We embarked on the ZenFone project four years ago with the idea to create empowering luxury for everyone to enjoy", said Mr. Shen. Without hesitation. The ZenFone 5 and 5Z are iPhone X clones and ASUS seems cool with that.

Next up is the Zenfone 5 which is strikingly like the iPhone X and the announcer wasn't shy about making comparisons.

The first phone that was showcased was the ZenFone 5 Lite which comes in either a Snapdragon 630 or 430 depending on the variant, 6-inch FHD 2160 x 1080 18:9 aspect ratio screen, 2.5D glass panel on the front and back, and it comes with face unlock. This was stunningly bright (over 500 nits) and the phone has a 90% screen-to-body ratio. The ZenFone 4 had a 16:9 5.5-inch display.

There's a notch at the top to hide all of the camera tech and facial recognition tech, and the rear is glass.

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We take a look at the key highlights of the ZenFone 5Z to see where it stands against the likes of Samsung Galaxy S9+ which starts at $839 (approximately Rs54,631) and Sony Xperia XZ2 (price has not been announced yet).

The phone comes in Midnight Blue and Meteor Silver colors. It's still a 6.2-inch screen with an nearly invisible bezel, a dual-camera system that is AI-powered, and a glass-covered body. The ZenFone 5Z steps things up to the flagship category by offering a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 or 8GB of RAM, and 128 or 256GB of storage. Two versions of this device include 3GB RAM/ 32GB internal storage and 4GB RAM/ 64GB internal storage. The smartphone runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box with the ZenUI 5.0 on top. The battery remains at 3,00mAh and this one too has a 8MP front camera.

It's up to 120-degrees, and it should come in useful when you want to fit more friends into your photos or you want to get a attractive photo of a landscape.

We've yet to properly experiment with this feature, but if it works as well as on other handsets you can expect this to be useful when you're just using the phone's automatic mode.

■ For photography enthusiasts, the ZenFone 5Z has a 12-megapixel camera powered by Sony IMX363 sensor with aperture of f/1.8, OIS support and pixel size of 1.4um and an additional 8-megapixel camera to capture images in bokeh or portrait mode. The phone's fingerprint sensor can unlock a device in 0.3 seconds, according to the company. The ZenFone 5Z and the ZenFone 5 come with ASUS BoostMaster Fast charging technology and the company goes a step ahead in introducing the revolutionary AI charging to maximize the battery lifespan and provide an overall better experience. So far, the 5Z is the only one with an official price attached, and will come out in June.

The Zenfone 5 Lite, on the other hand, is expected to pack a quad-camera setup, which means there will be two cameras on the front in addition to the two cameras at the back.