Hands-On: ASUS ZenFone 5Q (ZenFone 5 Lite) Smartphone - MWC 2018

ASUS held its MWC 2018 event today where the company introduced its latest ZenFone smartphone, the ZenFone 5. In fact, the company announced three different models of the phone, the standard ZenFone 5, the 5Z and the 5Q. We've been able to take a closer look at the three phones and here we will be paying special attention to the new ZenFone 5Q to see what it offers and how it differs from the other two.

Of the three new devices, the ZenFone 5Q is the one that differs most and especially in terms of the design as this is the more affordable option or ‘lite’ version. In fact, while this is arriving in the US as the ZenFone 5Q, ASUS announced the phone as the ZenFone 5 Lite - the branding which will be in use internationally. Due to its lite nature the design of the ZenFone 5Q sees more compromises to account for its price, compared to the other two versions. This is most notable on the front panel as while the standard ZenFone 5 and 5Z include an iPhone-like notch, the ZenFone 5Q does not. Instead, this one boasts a more traditional smartphone design along with a far more pronounced top bezel to match the sides and bottom frame. Though, the sides bezels are minimal due to the employment of an edge-to-edge design. On the positive side, the ZenFone 5Q not only comes loaded with a 6-inch display but also utilizes an 18:9 aspect ratio. Overall, resulting in the feel of a much smaller phone with ASUS drawing on a 5.5-inch smartphone for comparison.

One last point to note about the front is ASUS has included dual cameras above the ZenFone 5Q's display. One of which is a 20-megapixel camera and the other, a 120-degree wide-angle camera. Making this phone ideal for selfies and group, or wefies. Speaking of which the back of the device houses another dual camera setup. This one comprised of a 16-megapixel camera along with another 120-degree wide-angle camera. So it is clear ASUS is positioning the ZenFone 5Q as a camera-centric phone and regardless of whether you are more inclined to use the front or the rear cameras. Especially considering all four camera are able to work independently of each other - something that is not typically the case with dual camera setups on phones. Padding out the design is the use of 2.5D-contoured glass on the front and back of the device. This does mark a noticeable difference compared to early ZenFone models and certainly does add a premium feel to the device when held. According to ASUS, an optical coating has been applied to the body as well, resulting in a more prominent sheen.

Generally speaking the ZenFone 5Q does come with a fairly decent spec list considering this is the Lite model and in spite of the processor being a level down (Snapdragon 630 or the 430 depending on version) compared to the flagship model, the performance was reasonably good when tested. The only unknown at the moment is how much value it will ultimately offer as ASUS has yet to announce firm pricing for the ZenFone 5Q in the US or the ZenFone 5 Lite elsewhere. In terms of general availability ASUS says to expect the phone to launch in March of this year. When it becomes available interested buyers will have the option of choosing between Midnight Black, Moonlight White, and Rouge Red color options. All of which can be seen in the image gallery below.

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