The Asus ZenFone Live was revealed back in May. With a price tag of Rs. 9,949 (16GB), the mid-range phone was targeted at budget minded people. But this segment has grown so competitive over 2 years, it would take more than an average-performing phone to upend fierce rivals like Xiaomi. But that is not what the Asus ZenFone Live is. It is just your average Joe which will get you through the day. Just don’t expect it to do miracles. But the Taiwanese company is introducing a new feature aimed at a special segment of people. That “Live” word, in the end, indicates the phone has a live video recording feature with beautification mode on-the-go. This is a unique feature of the phone but we admit it’s gimmicky. Today we give you our take on this compact Asus handset.
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Specifications
- 5.0 inches HD IPS LCD 720 x 1280 pixels display
- Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon Quad-core 1.2 GHz 410 CPU
- Adreno 306 GPU
- 2 GB RAM
- 16GB / 32 GB internal memory
- microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow version with Asus ZenUI 3.5 interface
- 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, laser autofocus and LED flash
- 5MP f/2.2 aperture selfie shooter
- 2650mAh non-removable battery
Hardware and Build Quality
The Asus ZenFone Live has a plastic body plated with metal. So don’t think it is all metal. While the round edges are full metal that makes it easy to hold. Also, the 5.0-inch size helps with one-hand usage. The back looks like an iPhone and it has very thin but visible antenna lines and an Asus logo.
The front screen is protected by 2.5D curved glass and the bezels are somewhat thinner than the ZenFone 2. One thing that might annoy users is the lack of backlit keys at the front. Overall, the phone is lightweight and not very chunky.
The 5.0 inch HD display is pretty average. looking at the competition we really think Asus could have at least gone for a 1080p panel. The HD screen has ugly looking unit edges that Asus could have easily hidden in a 2017 phone. In terms of brightness, the phone performs well indoors. Outdoors not so much. Viewing angles are also good enough. Although color reproduction is on the low side. In the end, it is an IPS display much like other IPS displays in the market.
Performance and Gaming
If Asus didn’t go with a better display, it could have at least given us a Snapdragon 600 processor. That would have hiked the stakes but Asus chose to stick with the Snapdragon 410. To top it, the phone has 2GB of RAM when a lot of competitors are offering 3GB. The SoC will handle the basic stuff like watching videos or listening to music well. But ask anything more of it and you will be disappointed. The phone is not cut out for heavy gaming like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8 Airborne etc. To wrap it up, this is a pretty below-average SoC at this price point.
The rear 13MP camera is nothing to boast about. It is a pretty barebones setup. As long as you have good daylight to assist you, your snaps will be very good. The colors are accurately depicted real objects. But the software processing is heavy. While in low light, the image quality drops drastically.
The front 5 MP shooter has LED and a beautification mode. You can’t expect to make much out of it. So, take your selfies in good lighting conditions. There is no way around. Software and UI.
Front Camera Samples
Software and UI
When it comes to UI skins everybody has a favorite. And while the ZenUI has come a long way, this version 3.5 preloaded on top of Android Marshmallow is a bit too vibrant for my taste. The theme center provides some good options if you don’t like it. ZenUI 3.5 comes with much-preloaded bloatware, which can’t be uninstalled. Asus has its own suite of apps to provide more functionality, like File Manager. Many of these are available on the Play Store as well. Remember, this is Android. In the end, if you don’t like it. Just change it.
Battery and Sound
The last part is the 2,650 mAh battery isn’t any marathon runner. It just gets you through the day. If you use it conservatively, it can get you 7-8 hours daily. By conservative use, I mean a bit of all things such as calling, consuming media and a little bit of social media. The way average people use it. While if you can’t stay away from your phone you might find the battery percentage plummeting quickly. One last thing. Battery life is a highly subjective topic. And can vary drastically.f all things such as calling, consuming media and a little bit of social media. The way average people use it. While if you can’t stay away from your phone you might find the battery percentage plummeting quickly. One last thing. Battery life is a highly subjective topic. And can vary drastically.
The Asus ZenFone Live doesn’t impress us much in any department. As evident, it falls short of the competition. Asus should have either priced the device lower or replaced the Snapdragon 410 with something better. The live beautification mode while new is not helped by a sub-par camera. Hence, we would not be recommending this device as compared to the likes of Redmi Note 4 or even Redmi 4.