Asus Zenfone 5Q Review: The Right Kind of Lite

by Jamie Inocian  March 24, 2018

Is the Zenfone 5Q Worth It?

In 2018, Asus went full circle by Going Back to 5 and introduced us to the new Asus Zenfone lineup, which includes the Asus Zenfone 5, the Zenfone 5Z, and this phone right here — the Asus Zenfone 5Q also known as the Zenfone 5 Lite; a device that features a 6-inch 18:9 display and quad camera. We’ve had the device for a little while now, so join us for this review for this full review of the Asus Zenfone 5Q.

Before we jump in, here’s its spec sheet.

Asus Zenfone 5 Lite Specifications

  • 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 508 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB of expandable storage
  • 6-inch Full HD+IPS display; 18:9 aspect ratio, 2160×1080 resolution
  • 16-megapixel primary at f/2.2 aperture + 8-megapixel secondary wide-angle rear camera f/2.4, PDAF, EIS, LED Flash
  • 20-megapixel primary at f/2.0 aperture + 8-megapixel wide-angle secondary front cameras f/2.4, EIS, LED Flash
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Facial Recognition
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android Nougat 7.1.1 with ZenUI 4.5

Sleek and Stylish but Unwieldy

The Asus Zenfone 5Q definitely looks and feels premium with two 2.5D glass panels sandwiching its metal frame. The downside to the material choice is that, of course, it’s a fingerprint magnet, but, thankfully the phone will ship with a clear jelly case to add a layer of protection and help keep it smudge free. Our review unit came in a classy Midnight Black, but there are two other color variants available to the 5Q: the clean Moonlight White and the fiery Rouge Red.

As mentioned in our hands-on video, the device has a nice and sleek profile and its overall dimensions is pretty much what you’d expect from a smartphone sporting a 6-inch screen at an aspect ratio of 18:9 but the ergonomics are a little off; making seem larger than it actually is. If you’ve got dainty digits, you’re probably going to want to use two hands with this device.

Clear and Crisp Display

One of the main features of the 5Q is the 6-inch Full HD+ IPS Display. It lacks a bit of brightness, especially at this time of the year when the rays are really beating down on us, but it’s a really great panel. Color accuracy is on point and so are the viewing angles. You have an overall pixel density of 402 pixels per inch so you’re getting really crisp and sharper details when watching videos or going through social media feeds.

Up to the Task

Under the hood of the Zenfone 5Q is Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor that has been paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. The phone has more than enough zip for day-to-day tasks and ran smoothly during our time with the device. We were initially worried that the device would ship with a 400 series chip, as most “Lite” devices often do, but we’re happy that the Taiwanese company has put one of the latest 600 series Snapdragon SoCs in this phone.

Let’s check some of its benchmark scores.

For gaming, the 5Q is definitely up to the task as well but you’ll have to tweak settings to make sure you’re getting the best frame rates. We played PUBG mobile on the lowest settings and managed to get an average of 26 frames per second. Here’s a look at some of the results of benchmark tests we ran with two more games, NBA 2K18 and Vainglory.

PUBG Mobile — Average FPS: 26 frames per second. Low Settings
NBA 2K18: Average FPS: 45 frames per second. Mix of Ultra Low to Medium Settings
Vainglory: Average FPS: 57 frames per second. High Settings.

If you love playing games on your mobile do keep note of its limitations and adjust graphical settings accordingly.


ZenUI Feels Lighter

Returning readers to the site probably know that we haven’t had the best relationship with the UI overlay of the Taiwanese brand but we can certainly see the effort they’ve been putting in to listen to customer feedback by trimming down on the bloatware that was once prevalent on their devices. While there still a few and new features baked as well, it feels much lighter and more optimized than previous versions. There’s always room for improvement but we’re glad for the ones they’ve already made.

Quad Cams that Go Wide

Asus has placed four cameras on the Asus Zenfone 5Q and continuing the trend from last year, the secondary cameras for the front and back are at 8-megapixels that 120-degrees field of view; so you can capture more of the landscape or get more of your friends into the frame for those times that you don’t have anyone else to snap a photo for you.

The main rear camera of the 5Q is at 16-megapixels at an f-stop of f/2.2 and true to the qualities of the snaps coming from Asus devices, there’s a bit of punch to its colors. The front camera has a higher megapixel count at 20-megapixels at f/2.0, which is now wonder why it got the Selfie moniker in some countries.

The results for both the front and rear cameras suffer from the typical issues we see in most mid-range devices, wherein you have to get the adequate amount of lighting to get the best results possible. It’s a bit of a mixed bag but definitely still worth sharing on your social media feeds.

A Good Amount of Juice

The Asus Zenfone 5Q is powered by a 3300mAh battery. We ran into a little trouble running benchmark tests on this device but we found that it can last the whole day with a little leftover to entertain you through your commute home. Mileage may vary so, if you’re a bit of a heavy user, make sure you still have your trusty power bank with you at all times.

Verdict: A Jack of All Trades

As it stands though, the 5Q is a competent device for anyone looking for a smartphone with a ton of versatility. It looks good, it has enough muscle for a bit of gaming, and the four cameras give you a ton of options to help capture awesome moments with friends and family. In that sense, it’s a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. It has its quirks but it gets the job done and it does it well. The big question we’re betting all of you are asking is if it’s priced competitively. Trust us. We want to know too.

Unfortunately, as of writing this review, Asus has yet to reveal the price for the Asus Zenfone 5Q in the Philippines. You guys certainly have had no qualms about telling us how you felt about the price of the previous iteration of the Zenfone family and we certainly hope that they’ve gotten it right this time.

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    Maybe this phone won’t sway customers to buy it instead of the Oppo F7 (because that’s a niche segment for selfie enthusiasts and it has a better SoC tbh) but if priced competitively, this will be a better choice than Vivo V9 or Huawei Nova 2i.

    Highend feature ba ang USB-type C? Dapat lahat ng phone na Nasa 10k pataas ay Type C na. Kahit tanggalin na lang nila ang 4k feature.