Asus has added another member to its Zenfone series with the launch of Zenfone Live smartphone. The device comes with a price tag of Rs 9,999 and will be available on Flipkart. The phone is touted to be the first to come with real-time beautification camera, which basically beautifies your face when going Live on Facebook or any other social media platform. The smartphone has something interesting to offer in this regard, but what other things like overall performance, camera and battery? We have spent some time with the device and here is what we think about the Asus Zenfone Live.
What we like about Zenfone Live
The Asus Zenfone Live follows design language, which is eerily similar other smartphones available at this price range. However, we liked that the fact the device is certainly very lightweight as it weighs only 120 grams. The phone is compact to hold and does not slip from hand, which is a good thing. The front sports a 5-inch screen along with physical navigations at the base and front-facing camera along with front flash and earpiece on the top. The right houses volume controls and power on/off button, while at the left you will find hybrid SIM slot. The top has a headphone jack, while at the base there is a speaker grille along with microUSB port. At the back one can find the primary camera along with LED flash and beneath it, one will find Chrome-plated Asus logo. Overall, the device is lightweight and one can easily operate, all thanks to the compact design.
On the display front, the phone features a 5-inch HD display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The display gives some good colour output, however, the screen is a bit reflective in nature. We watched different genre of movies during our testing period and was satisfied with the output. The auto-brightness setting works fine with outdoor conditions and there is also a Blue light filter, which comforts your eyes by eliminating blue light.
Coming to the performance part, the smartphone is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor along with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. The phone is able to handle daily tasks like browsing, streaming, and other tasks quite effectively and we faced no noticeable lag during our review period.
Coming to its major highlight, the device is routed to be the first to come with real-time beautification camera. It basically comes with a BeautyLive app, which basically allows users to live stream through the primary 13-megapixel rear camera or 5-megapixel front camera by applying a beautification filter on user’s face. The working of the app is pretty simple and you get the option to choose beautification mode from level 1 to 10, just like any other beautify mode present in the market. You get floating button when you go live on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, which makes your skin tone much smoother, and softer (yes, you don’t need to apply makeup anymore before going live). Overall, it is a good thing for all those who love going live on Facebook or any other platform for that matter.
On the camera front, you get a 13-megapixel rear camera with aperture f/2.0, autofocus and LED flash, while for the front, there is a 5-megapixel shooter with 1.4-micron pixel size and aperture f/2.2 and 82-degree field of view. The front also features a soft light LED flash. The smartphone is able to take some good shots during broad daylight, though detailing was above average. The camera UI is easy to operate and comes loaded with some interesting modes including Auto, HDR Pro, Beautification, Super Resolution, Children, Low Light, QR code, Night, Effect and so on. The HDR Pro mode works fine as it adds the much-needed detailing in the photo, without oversaturating the colours present in the photo.
On the software front, the phone runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with company’s UI running on top of it. The touch experience is good and it comes loaded with some interesting features like Phone manager, blue light filter, and more. One can take a screenshot by pressing and holding the recent menu button and there AudioWizard that provides you with different audio presets, a helpful feature indeed. Other than this, one can select which apps to lock by going opening app drawer and clicking on the three button at the top right corner. Then there is a Glove mode, which increases touch sensitivity when you wearing the gloves. One can also change the quick setting options by going to Settings>Asus customised settings.
Other than this, call connectivity is good and earpiece is audible even in busy environments. The speaker output is optimal and you get an option to choose between Outdoor and Indoor setting when you increase/decrease the volume.
What we don’t like about Zenfone Live
We never become a fan of Asus custom UI. This is primarily because the company adds a lot of bloatware, which is kind of spoils the mood. Though the brand has tried to keep bloatware to a minimum this time but still you have many unwanted apps, which only adds to junk list. Further, you cannot delete some of them, which goes against it. Out of 16GB of internal storage around 6GB is reserved for the system, which at the end of the day leaves you with limited space. Thankfully, there is an option to expand the storage, but due to hybrid SIM slot, you have another limitation here. During our testing period, we found that the app load time was a bit higher at some point.
The performance of the camera struggles in most of the cases. Though it took some good photos in broad daylight, but during night, it struggles. First of all, it takes some time to lock the focus and lags a bit while clicking the shutter button. The post-processing time is quite noticeable as well. Another problem we faced during our testing period was the fact that it was a difficult task to take a macro shot, especially, in low light situations.
The phone also shimmers when you are multi-tasking. This is quite visible when you have opened a lot of tabs on Chrome and then try to switch between different applications. The phone is able to handle most of the casual gaming quite effectively but when it comes high-end games like Asphalt 8: Airborne or Hitman Sniper, we noticed some frame drop and some instance of lags.
Lastly, the performance of the battery is average. The 2650mAh battery hardly makes it a day under normal usage which includes calling, WhatsApp, surfing the internet, listening to music and so on. Under intensive usage, the device gives close to 7 hours of backup. Further, the phones take a lot of time to get fully charged. During our testing, we found out it takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes to get fully charged.