Asus has just stepped up the 'Selfie' game with the launch of Asus ZenFone Live in the Indian market. Designed for selfie lovers, the highlight of the smartphone is its live streaming beautification feature, which can remove blemishes in real-time and enhance your Facebook and YouTube live sessions.
The smartphone was first launched in February 2017 in Taiwan and made it to the Indian market today, i.e May 24, 2017. It also comes equipped with MEMs microphones that can detect and cancel background noise during live videos.
Asus ZenFone Live is priced at Rs. 9,999 in the Indian market and will be available via offline and online retailers by today itself. Here are our first impressions of the smartphone.
Design: ZenFone Live is quite compact and easy to use with one hand
Weighing 120 grams, Asus ZenFone Live is quite slim and maintains a compact form factor. The smartphone has rounded edges for comfy one-hand use and the rear side has been given a sandblasted matte coating that helps to minimize smudges and fingerprints. The front has a 5-inch display topped with a 2.5D contoured glass. Three touch-capacitive buttons are placed at the bottom of the screen.
The volume rockers and power button are placed on the right edge and the hybrid SIM card tray is placed on left. The non-removable rear panel has a 13MP main shooter and LED flash. The smartphone will be available in Black, Gold and Rose Pink colour variants.
Camera: First smartphone with live streaming beautification feature
The camera is certainly the highlight feature of the Asus ZenFone Live. The smartphone sports a 5MP front camera that works on f/2.2 aperture and comes with 82 degree field of view. It is also accompanied by a soft light LED flash. What differentiates the front shooter from other selfie cameras in the market is the built-in "BeautyLive" mode.
The live streaming feature corrects blemishes on your face in real-time to make you look better while you conduct a live video session on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. You also have the option to adjust the beautification level on a scale of 0 to 10. The front camera also offers additional modes such as Low Light, Manual Mode, Night and Selfie modes.
We will test the live streaming feature to find out how it works in real-life scenarios. Talking about the still pictures, the image quality delivered by the 5MP front camera is good but not the best in this price-point. On the other hand, the 13MP autofocus rear camera that comes with an aperture size of f/2.0 is a decent performer.
Display: 5-inch HD (720P) Display with 2.5D curved glass
Asus ZenFone Live sports a 5-inch HD (720x1280 pixels) IPS display with a screen-to-body ratio of 75 percent. The 5-inch HD screen has a 2.5D curved glass on top of it. We don't have any major complains with an HD resolution for a 5-inch footprint, but at Rs. 10k price-point you can get handsets with full HD screens such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and Micromax Evok Note.
Asus ZenFone Live's 5-inch screen is vibrant, has decent viewing angles and comes with Bluelight Filter feature for eye protection. The display settings also has Asus's Splendid mode to let you customize the colour tones as per your requirement.
Hardware: Sub-par hardware
Asus ZenFone Live is powered by the dated 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor paired with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 305 graphics chip. It's not the best combination for computing, gaming and multitasking at this price-point and will only serve good for basic and mid-level tasks.
However, it's too early to comment on the performance part and we will evaluate its full potential in the coming week to give our final verdict.
The battery is certainly not the highlight feature of the handset as it comes backed by a 2,650 mAh unit, which will only be able to last for a day on a single charge.
Asus ZenFone Live comes with 16GB internal memory that can further be expanded via a microSD card slot by up to 128GB. The 4G VoLTE smartphone comes with dual-SIM and USB-OTG support
Software: Heavily loaded ZenUI deployed on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Asus ZenFone Live does not offer the latest Android 7.0 Nougat. The smartphone runs on ZenUI 3.0 deployed on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The ZenUI comes heavily loaded with preloaded apps and customization features.
The built-in Mobile Manager app allows you to customize the performance aspects to get the best out of the handset. The ZenUI also allows you to hide apps to secure your data. The UI worked smoothly during our brief stint with the ZenFone Live. The apps opened instantly and screen navigation was also smooth.
With the first of its kind live stream beautification mode, Asus ZenFone Live can be a good option for users who extensively conduct live sessions on social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. However, all other features- hardware and software, seem dated at a price of Rs. 10,000. We will evaluate the smartphone's performance in our comprehensive review to come out with a final verdict.