Asus Zenfone Live [REVIEW]

A lot of people look to buy Asus phones for their great battery, affordable price and premium experience. If you’re looking for an all-round budget phone, try out the Zenfone Live. The Zenfone Live price in starts from Rs. 9,999.

Design

The Zenfone Live features a Premium-crafted metallic back finish with well-rounded corners and edges. The device has 75% Screen-to-Body ratio, 7.9 mm thickness and weighs 120 grams. The phone’s back is smooth and can get on the slippery side. The back camera is located on at the top-left corner. The sim card tray (Dual SIM / Single sim + Micro SD card hybrid) is located on the left side and the volume rockers + Power button is located on the right side of the device. The buttons are well placed and clicky.

Display

Asus has decided to stick with a similar 5-inch IPS display, HD (1280 x 720  pixels). It is understandable that Asus had to compromise on the display considering its price but the display leaves more to be desired as in this era of smart phone, 1080p is the base line. Otherwise, the display has good viewing angles and looks fine outdoors.

Camera

The Zenfone live rocks a 13MP Pixel Master 3.0 Camera, f/2.0 aperture, LED flash. Asus’ PixelMaster technology well enhances the images and Low Light mode pulls of surprisingly good pictures in the dark.

It has a 5MP selfie shooter that supports an 82° wide field of view. It comes with beautification mode, HDR mode and Low-light mode.

Connectivity

Flanking the bottom of the device is the micro USB port. The 3.5mm headphone jack resides on the top of the device, which would’ve been preferred at the bottom for symmetry.

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth v4.0 are present here, which we had no problems with. Unfortunately it doesn’t connect to 5GHz WiFi bands. It also includes a FM tuner, so if you’re in the mood for tuning into a nearby FM Station while travelling, this is a nice addition.

Hardware and storage

The Zenfone Live packs quite a punch with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad-core Processor, Adreno 305 GPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM (expandable up to 128GB ). Clearly storage and performance isn’t an issue. The device is generally smooth, lag free and fine with multi-tasking.

Software

Unfortunately, the Zenfone Live ships with Android 6.0 Nougat and it has a custom skin – the ZenUI. Although ZenUI has some plus points such as ZenUI Quick Find, extra customizability etc., we’d like to have seen a more stock Android – Vanilla Android experience. Bloatware cannot be removed/uninstalled from the device. You will probably need to dedicate a separate folder to hide these apps in.

Considering Asus’ track record, try not to be too optimistic about future updates. Seeing as to how heavily skinned the software is, updates will take a while to arrive.

Battery

The device is fueled by a 2650 mAh battery (non-removable) which isn’t really impressive. Asus claims that the device has up to 158.8 hrs standby time or 10.5 hrs playback time. This should get you through the day with moderate use.