A handful of sketches depicting what’s said to be the ASUS ZenFone 5 appeared online earlier this week, having been shared by German tech outlet WinFuture. The images seen in the gallery below suggest the Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer is preparing to transition its most popular smartphone series to 18:9 displays after releasing four lineups featuring conventional 16:9 screens. The device shown in the leaked sketches is understood to be one of the main members of the ZenFone 5 family that will serve as the design basis for every other handset released as part of the same series. Despite having an elongated screen, the supposed ZenFone 5 doesn’t appear to feature minimal bezels that are often seen accompanying 18:9 mobile panels; its display isn’t of the edge-to-edge variety and is sandwiched between regular-sized top and bottom bezels, yet the smartphone also lacks a physical home key, thus being somewhat reminiscent of the first-generation Pixel flagships and the HTC-made Pixel 2.
The presence of sizeable bezels may defeat one of the main practical purposes of adopting an 18:9 display, which is to deliver a handset with enough screen real estate to place it in the phablet category while avoiding designing a product that’s challenging to hold and use in a single hand. A 3.5mm jack appears to be part of the package, situated on the top of the alleged ASUS ZenFone 5, whereas a USB Type-C port sits on the opposite side, flanked by stereo speakers. A Hybrid SIM tray meant to accept a microSD card and nano SIM one or two of the latter is positioned alongside the left edge of the smartphone when looked from upfront, according to the same source. The top bezel of the leaked handset features a single-lens camera, whereas the system seen on the rear plate of the gadget is of the dual-sensor variety, with its two modules being arranged in a vertical manner and accompanied by what appears to be a dual-LED flash.
The ASUS ZenFone 5 also sports a circular fingerprint reader centered approximately a quarter of the way down its back panel and features somewhat rounded corners, the sketches suggest. The Taipei-based tech giant already confirmed it’s set to announce the ZenFone 5 series late this month at the 2018 edition of the Mobile World Congress and is expected to begin retailing its upcoming Android 8.0 Oreo-powered handsets by April.