News & Reviews: ASUS ZenFone 5
Dec 23, 2014
ASUS announced its ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE (A500KL) model back in June 2014. The device made it to Malaysian markets through third party resellers but up till now it was not available for purchase officially on the ASUS Malaysia online store from just RM709. It is now officially available online through the ASUS Store. Apart from the high speed 4G LTE support, the ZenFone 5 LTE does have some minor upgrades as compared to the non-LTE variant (A501CG). The ZenFone 5 LTE packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz instead of the Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core chipset. Other tech specs include 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage, 5-inch 720p display (294 ppi), 8MP primary camera with autofocus and LED flash, 2MP secondary camera and 2110 mAh battery. The device runs on Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. The ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE version is available for sale in four different colors – red, white, purple and gold. The non-LTE version is also available on the website too for RM519 with a free Bumper case (for the first 100 customers per day).
Dec 17, 2014
ASUS has scheduled a press event on 5 January 2015, exactly a day before CES 2015. In the event, called "Experience 2omorrow", the company is expected to release a number of new ZenFone smartphones, including a 5.5-inch model. The entire event will be streamed live on the ASUS website. Most of the ZenFone models to be released next year are said to run on Intel's chipsets, just like current generation devices. There are also rumors that some may be powered by Mediatek processors. ASUS ZenFone smartphones are well-known for their decent specifications at an affordable price tag and the newer models are expected to retail under RM1100. The ZenFone smartphones running Intel chips are said to come with 4G LTE support and will be priced around $300 (RM1050). On the other hand, the Mediatek powered ZenPhones will be cheaper, around $150 (RM525) and will be limited to local Chinese markets. ASUS aims to launch the ZenFone lineup in 20 countries instead of the present 14 by next year. The company also plans to double its total units sold - from 8 million in 2014 to 16 million in 2015. The three main ZenFone models, the ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 were launched in Malaysia early this year and we expect these new models to come around the same time next year, perhaps in March or April 2015.
Dec 04, 2014
ASUS Malaysia recently announced that their online ecommerce portal, the ASUS Store is now officially open for business here in Malaysia. As mentioned earlier, key highlights of the site include the fact that ASUS devices like the ZenFone smartphones are sold at the recommended retail pricing. In addition, users have the option of paying for their devices either with Credit Card or cash on delivery (COD) so you don't need a credit card to get your favourite ZenFone. The first 20 ASUS Store customers who send in the redemption email can also get a free mystery gift while other freebies like a free bumper case for the ZenFone 4 smartphone are also available. ASUS Malaysia have said that more devices like the ASUS Fonepads, MeMO Pads and PadFones are expected to be sold at the ASUS Store soon, along with original accessories previously unavailable anywhere else.
Dec 04, 2014
Thanks to the GFX Benchmark database, we have some details about an upcoming ASUS ZenFone model. The device with the model number ASUS X002 was recently found in the database with a MediaTek processor. This marks a shift from the usual Intel processors found inside all the ZenFone models to date namely the ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6. Tech specs include a 64-bit quad-core Mediatek MT6732 processor along with Mali-T670 GPU, 2GB RAM, 8GB storage which is expandable up to 32GB and a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. An 8MP rear camera at the back seems to confirm that it is a ZenFone 5 variant but this one also comes with a 5MP front camera marking it possibly as a selfie camera (other ZenFones pack in a 2MP front camera). It also supports a single SIM card slot and 4G LTE connectivity. It is expected in CES 2015 next year with a Malaysia release a few months later, sometime around April. No Malaysia release dates or pricing yet but we expect a drop in price considering the MediaTek processor.
Nov 28, 2014
Wanted to buy an ASUS ZenFone smartphone but got put off by distributors and sellers offering it at non-retail pricing? Well, ASUS Malaysia now have another option with their soft launch of the ASUS Store (http://store.asus.com/my). Designed to serve all the ZenFone smartphone buyers here in Malaysia, the site offers the ASUS ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 at the retail pricing of RM299, RM519 and RM699 respectively. Unlike other online stores, the devices for sale here are not going to be sold in batches. Instead, you can add them to your shopping cart at any time (sort of like a pre-order) and expect to get it within the next 1 ~ 2 working days. For East Malaysians the wait is extended by a day to 1 ~ 3 working days. So far, the number of colours available to choose from are limited but new colours like Yellow and Purple are expected soon. Also, there is no mention of the other ASUS ZenFone range of devices like the ZenFone 5 LTE or ZenFone 4 A450CG but we assume these should be added soon.
Nov 26, 2014
The ASUS ZenFone lineup has seen tremendous popularity throughout the world and it looks like another variant of the popular ASUS ZenFone 5 is all set to hit the Malaysian market. This rumoured variant could be the ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite, the affordable version of the ZenFone 5 and is expected to be available in Malaysia pretty soon. The device with the model number A502CG was recently released spotted on the Malaysian SIRIM database. While ASUS Malaysia has not yet made any official announcements about the pricing or availability, the device recently went on sale in Philippines for just 5595 Pesos (about RM417). If Malaysian pricing comes around this figure, the ZenFone 5 Lite would lie in between the ZenFone 4 and the ZenFone 5, giving another option to choose from in the ASUS smartphone lineup. Some of the main tech specs of the device include a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, MicroSD card expansion slot, qHD 5 inch 960 x 540 pixel resolution display and a 2,500 mAh battery. As you can see, the processor and the display have been downgraded, but what is surprising is that ASUS has included a larger 2500 mAh battery on the device.
Nov 18, 2014
It appears that ASUS are filling out the niches in it's ZenFone smartphone range with the announcement of the ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite A502CG. Announced in the Philippines for 5595 PHP (RM417) the ZenFone 5 Lite keeps the same balanced design but cuts down on some of the features. These include a 5-inch display with 540 x 960 pixel resolution, a 0.3MP front camera, 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2520 processor and 1GB of RAM. Other tech specs remain mostly the same with an 8MP rear camera with LED flash, support for dual-SIM, WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth and a GPS. Surprisingly, the battery gets an increase to 2500 mAh, perhaps in response to all the low battery life complaints. No Malaysia release dates or pricing available just yet but we expect it to come next month if not early next year, along with all the other new ZenFone smartphones.
Oct 23, 2014
We could soon see new ASUS ZenFone smartphones and a new ZenWatch in the next 4 to 5 days as ASUS Japan has revealed a countdown timer page with teaser images of a ZenFone and a ZenWatch. While this could just be a local Japan release for the ZenWatch it seems unlikely for an existing ZenFone since most of them have already been released. There are still no Malaysia release dates or pricing for the ASUS ZenWatch smartwatch or for a new ZenFone smartphone just yet though. For Malaysia, ASUS have revealed the ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5, ZenFone 6, a ZenFone 4 with a 4.5-inch screen and the ZenFone 5 LTE. Is it the ZenFone 5 with a 5.5-inch display? The teaser image certainly seems so, as it looks too thin to be a ZenFone 4 and not wide enough to be ZenFone 6. Personally, we're still waiting for a ZenFone 6 LTE but it could just as likely be a refresh of the Intel Atom processors being used on the ZenFone smartphones. Stay tuned for more developments as the countdown time indicates we'll find out more on 28 November 2014.
Oct 13, 2014
Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and packing in 4G LTE connectivity, the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE or A500KL continues the ZenFone smartphone range promise of affordably priced yet attractive smartphones. While this is the first ZenFone we've seen to sport a shiny metallic purple back cover it certainly looks as good as the other ZenFone smartphones. The ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE is expected to cost around RM709 with the following tech specs. Nevertheless, if you're interested in seeing how this purple colour ASUS ZenFone smartphone looks like up close, do check out our ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE hands-on video:
- 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm MSM8926
- 5-inch display (IPS, 1280 x 720 pixel resolution)
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB storage + 5GB ASUS Web Storage + up to 64GB microSD
- Supports Single-SIM, 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
- 8MP rear camera (F/2.0, PixelMaster) + 2MP front camera (F/2.4, PixelMaster)
- Android 4.4
- Comes in Black, Gold and White
Oct 13, 2014
Almost all of the ASUS ZenFone smartphones offer 3G connectivity, which for most Malaysians is more than enough. However, for those looking for a faster connection, ASUS Malaysia have come out with the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE or A500KL. Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor that supports 4G LTE connectivity, the ZenFone 5 LTE offers nearly all the same tech specs and features as the 3G ZenFone 5 while maintening the same look and feel as the original. ASUS Malaysia were kind enough to provide us with a review unit for an unboxing video which you can see in this article.