Asus ZenFone 5 Launch: The New Budget Choice?

Asus ZenFone series of smartphones will launch in Singapore andneighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, e.g. Malaysia and Indonesia soon. Asus announced this at an event in Jakarta on April 15. The ZenFones are Intel-powered devices, led by the flagship ZenFone 5. This is the first time the devices are being launched outside of Taiwan and China.

Originally announced at CES in January, the ZenFone 4, 5 and 6 are powered by Intel Atom dual-core chipsets and run on Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean). They are also budget phones, and would be targeting the same budget-conscious market that has made the Xiaomi or Redmi so popular. The phones are also competitively priced and would be interesting to see how they compare vs the Redmi. Also, all ZenFones come with Dual-SIM Comptability. I will likely pre-register as a $50 discount (25%!) is too good an opportunity to miss. Next Wednesday!

Asus-Zenfone-5

The ZenFone 5 comes with a 5-inch 1,280×720 HD IPS+ screen, and is 5.5mm thick at its thinnest edge. It’s powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor, and comes with an f/2.0 8-megapixel main camera with image stabilisation that Asus says can take photos that match many dedicated digital cameras.

The ZenFone 4 comes with a 4-inch display, and is powered by a 1.2Ghz Intel Atom Z2520 processor, and supports microSD expandable storage up to 64GB. The main camera is a 5-megapixel camera, and the phone will weigh just 115g.

The ZenFone 6 comes with a 6-inch 1,280×720 HD IPS+ screen and will also have Asus’ SonicMaster audio technology for “immersive entertainment experiences”. It will also come with a 13-megapixel camera, and a 2-megapixel front camera for selfies.

All ZenFone models will come with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screens and Asus’ own ZenUI, which Asus touts as having over 200 enhancements to make it “even more fun and seamless to use”. ZenUI also boasts of “What’s Next” and “Do It Later” features to help users manage the information they have to handle daily. The design is also stylish, thanks to the concentric glass circle look made popular on their zenbook series.

The New Budget Phone to Watch
The New Budget Phone to Watch

All ZenFone cameras have Asus’ PixelMaster technology, that include “Selfie Mode” and “Depth Of Field Mode” to improve camera performance. The ZenFone 5 and 6 will also come with “Low-Light Mode” — to better capture photos in low-light conditions — and “Time Rewind” — where photos are taken before and after the shutter is pressed so that the correct moment isn’t missed.

The ZenFone 5 will come in Charcoal Black and Pearl White, and will launch in May. Registration of interest for the ZenFone 5 begins from April 23 to 30, and interested parties can register at http://www.asus.com/sg. The pre-registration price is S$199 (without contract), after which it will cost S$249.

Both the ZenFone 4 and 6 will come in Charcoal Black, Pearl White and Cherry Red, will be available in late May. Exact availability will be released later. No prices yet here, but in Indonesia, the super budget 4-inch Zenfone 4 is going for 109,9000 Indonesia rupiah (S$120) and the phablet Zenfone 6 is selling at 3,099,000 (S$340) Indonesian rupiah. Great prices all around. Could be a good alternative to the Redmi.

Pre-Register Link for Asus Zenfone 5 Singapore

Here’s the registration link if you haven’t found it yet. Looks like Asus is using Google Forms and partnering with Starhub for this event. New contract users, be warned and read the T&Cs for any VAS (especially 4G plans) if you are going to sign with them.

http://event.asus.com/2014/sg/zenfone5registration/reg.htm

If you are signing a mobile plan, you are entitled to a free flipcover from Starhub. For a $199 phone, I would recommend to just get it without contract.

Terms and Conditions
• I hereby consent to the use by Asus & StarHub of my personal details above to contact and assist me in my purchase or for signing up for StarHub services.
• Special price of S$199 is only applicable to registration without mobile contract, while the free flipcover is only applicable to mobile contract registration.
• Each individual is entitled to purchase a maximum of two (2) ZenFone Units only.
• Selection of the colours is based on a first-come-first-served basis and is subject to stock availability at your selected mobile service provider.
• By registering your interest with ASUS, you are accorded priority status with regards to the purchase of the phone. However, this does not guarantee your purchase of the handset or stock reservation.
• A SIM card activation fee will apply for new mobile sign-ups. For renewal of your mobile line with a new SIM card, an activation fee applies. Kindly check with your selected mobile service provider for details.
• An early re-contract fee of $200/$300 will be applicable for renewal of mobile service between 13th and 21st month of the contract. Kindly check with your selected mobile service provider for details.
• Purchase of the handset will be subject to your mobile service’s eligibility for sign up/renewal and is not transferable.
• If you are not a Singapore NRIC holder or a Permanent Resident, you may be required to provide an additional deposit at the point of collection or delivery when you register for a mobile contract. Kindly check with your selected mobile service provider for details.
• I am aware that my online submission is subject to StarHub Mobile Postpaid sign-up eligibility checks and other terms and conditions (found here: http://bit.ly/1hfG5Xw) apply.
• Once your booking form is submitted successfully, you will not be allowed to make any changes or resubmit another form.
• Details regarding purchase and delivery will be communicated to you by your preferred mobile service provider.
• For any questions, send an email to marketing_sg@asus.com
• By clicking submit, you are agreeing to the above Terms and Conditions.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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