These days many of the manufacturers like Oppo and Vivo are concentrating a lot on selfies. But ASUS decided to keep the selfie fever going on with some added flavors of live beautification for live videos and so, they launched the Zenfone Live in India, which is priced at Rs. 9,999. Now, do you need the features it has? Is it worth buying it? Does the phone perform well? You will get to know in this ASUS Zenfone Live Initial Impressions.
Design and build quality
The Zenfone Live is nothing different than many other phones under Rs. 10,000. The design is basic, with a combination of plastic and glass. The rounded edges actually feel good to hold. The phone is also very light at around just 120 grams, but you won’t get the feeling of holding a premium phone with a metallic build and finish.
There is a 5-inch 2.5D display. There is the front camera above it with selfie flash, proximity sensors and the metal earpiece above the display.
The Phone comes with Capacitive Touch buttons, instead of on screen buttons, I have no complaints regarding that but wish the buttons were backlit.
The volume rockers and power cum lock buttons are on the right edge and have the same textured finish.
On the left side, there is the hybrid SIM tray that can house two Nano SIM cards or one Nano SIM along with a microSD card.
The bottom edge houses the Micro-USB port, a single speaker grill, and a microphone port at the bottom, along with a 3.5mm audio socket and secondary microphone on the top.
There is a 13-megapixel camera with single LED flash and the brand logo below it. However, I missed the fingerprint scanner on the Zenfone Live, which could make the phone even better.
The Zenfone Live comes with a 5-inch 720p HD display. The color reproduction is good enough and the display is visible under direct sunlight. However, a matte screen protector is recommended if you don’t want to get blind from the reflection of light. The auto brightness works fine, and it’s not very aggressive as we have seen this issue on many other phones. There is also a blue light filter so that you can read or browse without straining your eyes.
The ASUS Zenfone Live is meant for those who do a lot of live streams on the move. For that ASUS has tried their best to enrich the user experience with live filters, but in terms of performance, it is not a beast, which is quite expected. ASUS didn’t mention anything about the processor model, but the Zenfone Live is being powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8916 410 chipset, coupled with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 306 GPU. It’s good for everyday tasks like browsing the web, social media usage or playing lightweight games. But do not expect it to perform well when you switch to graphic intense games. As a daily driver, it serves the purpose and will help you in live streams for sure. But if you launch too many apps and run heavy games, expect some lags and glitches here and there. We did some gaming on it. Games like Asphalt 8 showed some significant amount of lags and also drained the battery really fast. However, games like Clash of Clans were running pretty good without much drainage of battery.
The ZenFone Live sports a 5-megapixel front facing camera with a selfie flash.There is also a 13-megapixel rear camera with single LED flash. The camera app is as good as we have seen on other Zenfones. The focus time is good and it snaps pictures quite quickly.
In low-light conditions, the camera takes a slightly longer time to focus and sometimes the pictures turn out to be grainy. There is the option to switch on low-light mode which bumps the ISO up and lowers the shutter speed. However, in terms of video, the camera is capable of recording at 1080p. Beautification mode is also available when recording video.
The 5-megapixel selfie camera on the ZenFone Live has 1.4-micron pixels and a selfie flash, both of which help in low-light conditions. Beautification mode is switched on by default and there are multiple options. The front facing camera can record at 720p.
The ZenFone Live currently supports live beautification for streaming to Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. The beautification mode shows a dial from zero to ten which lets you adjust the level of beautification. Live Beautification works for both the rear and front cameras, but the beautification mode is well optimized and isn’t aggressive.
The Zenfone Live runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ZenUI skin on top. The ZenUI brings bigger icons for the quick toggles and in some areas are customization options are great.
There are gestures using which you can launch apps, just by drawing alphabets on the screen. However, for some reasons, there are a lot of apps, including the Facebook app and Instagram, among all, some of them may not be useful to all users.
The ASUS Zenfone Live comes with 2630mAh battery, which will last a single day easily if you’re not a social media addict or playing lots of games. The phone has a 720p display which helps in saving battery, but if you’re online using 4G expect heavy battery drain.
The ASUS Zenfone Live is a phone made for people doing live streams and is not recommended at all to hardcore gamers or people who want a power bank cum phone to stay with them all day long. For such purposes, there are phones like Redmi 4 or Redmi Note 4 or Honor 6X. The camera is decent for sure with live filters, though if you’re looking for a camera phone which performs exceptionally well you should probably go for Honor 6X or Moo G5 Plus. But keep in mind that these phones will cost a lot more than the Zenfone Live. So, the choice depends upon your requirements. The absence of fingerprint scanner and an outdated processor are the key factors, which dragged the phone down a bit, still, it could be better if it were priced a bit lower.