Here’s a quick look at what ASUS has improved with ZenUI
For the longest time, one of our biggest complaints with ASUS’ smartphones was ZenUI, the company’s custom user interface layered on top of whatever Android version their smartphones were running when they were released. While it gave users more customization options to choose from, it was loaded to the brim with unwanted apps (AKA bloatware) which took up a heck of a lot of space and would slow down the phone over time.
If you’ve been following any of our reviews since ASUS released their phones all the way back from the original ZenFone 4, you’ll know how much we don’t like ZenUI. Our dislike of it reached its zenith with the release of the ZenFone AR – the phone updated a total of 30, yes, 30 pre-installed apps when we connected it to our home network.
I actually had a very long and scathing article ready to go up ranting about how ASUS needs to fix ZenUI for their phones to succeed, and truth be told I’m rather glad I waited for their unveil yesterday. Aside from the company’s new smartphones, ASUS also announced that they are streamlining ZenUI to better, leaner and, well, less bloaty-er.
After seeing Jamie’s footage and some of the screenshots that he sent, I couldn’t believe it myself. Personally I’m more of a stock Android kind of guy, but I really don’t mind companies trying to put their own spin on the mobile OS if it’s not a hindrance to the overall experience. It takes a large amount of guts to take a look at something that you produced and recognize the faults in your product and make it better. We’ve seen institutional pride hinder good products from becoming truly great before, and ASUS deserves a large amount of kudos for that.
As for my thoughts on ZenUI 4.0, I will have to spend a lot of time with their products to give my verdict if it’s really an improved experience, but from what I can see from the screenshots, it looks like ASUS did streamline the UI. There’s no more unnecessary amounts of software in the phone, and as far as I can tell, there’s only a few pre-installed apps this time around that’s not made by Google: ASUS’ Webstorage, Mobile Manager, Selfie Master, Keep, as well as Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. I’m also pretty stoked that ASUS will be pushing out the ZenUI 4.0 update to all the ZenFone 3 devices that were released, as well as promising an update to Android O once it becomes available.
So good on you ASUS. Thanks for actually listening to reviewers and customers and taking the steps necessary to make your phones better.