The Asus Zenfone Live is the company’s latest smartphone launched in the Indian market on May 24th. The smartphone is being advertised as the first phone by Asus to have real-time beautification camera. The smartphone is targeted at live streaming enthusiasts, as the device comes with a BeautyLive app that essentially removes blemishes and smoothes face in real-time.
The company says this feature comes in handy for streaming live on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Also, it comes with built-in MEMS microphones that are supposed to detect and cancel background noise, another handy feature for live streaming enthusiasts. Priced at the Rs. 9,999 we’ll try to find out whether the device works as advertised.
Build and Design
Asus has decided to use plastic on this one instead of metal, which is quite a bummer given that similarly priced phones feature metallic builds. That being said, the ZenFone Live still manages to retain that premium look and feel. Its slim form factor fits nicely in the palm of your hand, making it very easy to hold and operate with one hand. Besides, it easily slips into your jeans pocket or handbag without feeling chunky or heavy. Considering the price, I didn’t have any major gripes about the phone’s design. However, the extensive use of plastic might be a turn-off for some prospective buyers.
The phones feature a 5-inch HD display which works surprisingly well. It’s sharp, vibrant, and ideal for outdoor usage even in bright Indian summers. Besides, it features a screen-body ratio of 75 percent which means you get more screen space in a relatively compact form factor. That said, colors at times felt a tad oversaturated. But all in all, I had no major complaints about the phone’s 5-inch IPS HD panel.
Hardware and Performance
The Zenfone Live gets powered by the rather old Snapdragon 410 processor bundled with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 305 GPU. As one would expect, the ZenFone Live feels it lacks the power to meet the demands of modern day apps and games. While it gets the job done as far as daily usage goes. It manages to handle tasks such as web browsing, opening and closing apps, and web browsing rather well. But fire up multiple apps and the phone lags like hell. It even struggles to cope up with frame rates of casual games like 8-ball pool. Overall, the phone’s performance is clearly not up to the mark. It’s laggy and the phone’s over bloated Zen UI further adds to the misery.
In our synthetic benchmark tests, the Asus ZenFone Live managed an Antutu score of a mere 18675 points. While in Geekbench 4, it managed to pull-off single and multi-core scores of 422 and 1109 respectively.
While it day to day performance may not be up to the mark, there were a few key areas where the Zenfone Live did manage to impress us. The phone’s noise canceling microphones do help in delivering clearer calls and excellent audio while live streaming.
In terms of storage, the device comes with 16GB of built-in storage which is further expandable to up to 128GB via microSD slot. Connectivity features on the smartphone include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS and GLONASS.
The phone’s highlight is its Beauty Live app. It essentially lets you stream live through the 13MP primary camera or the 5MP front camera by applying a beautification filter on your face. It has the ability to enhance the beauty of your face, that too in real time by removing blemishes and dark spots. It basically uses a beauty filter that comes on most phones, but the ZenFone Live does it in real time. You can tweak the beautification effect as per your liking just like you would in other smartphones. And to its credit, the Zenfone Live actually lets you live stream with zero efforts on social networks through its BeatuyLiv app. Besides, it also comes with dual-lens microphones that eliminate background noise to deliver clearer, crisp audio. The feature did help in negating background noise of the air conditioner that was running beside us while streaming online.
Besides, the phone packs a 13MP Pixel Master Camera with f/2.0 aperture and 82-degree field of view. Shots taken outdoors did pack plenty of details with good color reproduction and sharpness. However, things weren’t so good in low-light conditions, as shots do exhibit a lot of noise. But overall, the images shot from the phone’s primary camera turned out much better than expected.
Even the phone’s 5MP front-facing shooter can belt out decent selfies as long as you’re in well-lit conditions. But then again, noise levels start creeping in while taking selfies in challenging light conditions.
Software and UI
The OS is Android Marshmallow 6.0 skinned with ZenUI 3.0. As seen past Zenfones, the UI is a bloatware extravaganza. However, I didn’t face any issues while navigating around the phone’s user interface. You get a plethora of customization options such as tweaking the size of icons to screen animations. But it seems bombarded with unnecessary apps, most of which cannot be uninstalled.
The Asus ZenFone Live packs a 2650mAh battery which isn’t good enough to last an entire day. I got around 7 hours of normal usage which involved a bit of gaming, streaming videos, and other stuff such as WhatsApping and we browsing. Also, it takes around 2 hours to reach full capacity once fully drained out, which can be a let down for some.
- Works as advertised
- Comfortable form-factor
- Bright and vivid display
- A decent set of cameras
- Lacklustre performance
- Outdated hardware
The Asus ZenFone Live works as advertised. The ability to beautify your face while streaming videos certainly comes in handy for live streaming enthusiasts. It’s apparently the first smartphone at this price to come with such a unique feature and does make you look good while streaming videos on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
That being said, the phone clearly feels underpowered with its mediocre innards. The Snapdragon processor onboard is around 4 years old, which clearly struggles with its basic performance. If you can get past this glaring shortcoming, buy this if you’re really into live streaming videos to make the most out of the device.
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