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ASUS ZenFone 5Q review: Fighting for five

By Luke Tan - 30 Jul 2018

Conclusion

Want to steal the ZenFone 5’s thunder? Get in the Q.

ASUS has been putting out some great stuff lately, but the ZenFone 5Q is difficult to recommend compared to its sexier cousin. Why? Once again, as with a couple of phones we’ve reviewed this year, poor pricing strategy rears its ugly head: The ZenFone 5 is priced at S$488, while the 5Q is just $20 cheaper.

The thing is that the ZenFone 5 offers a lot of phone for the money. While its iPhone X-cloning design does look highly unoriginal, it certainly looks good (some might even say premium.) It also has a faster processor, a more vibrant and contrasty display that’s awfully close to OLED screens in quality, vastly better-sounding speakers, and, not least, a better camera than the 5Q.

The ZenFone 5Q, on the other hand, is a “safe” design for a segment that relies on safe choices. It lacks a notch (which in itself is not a bad thing) - but this alone brings up mental images of phones that cost less, of which there are quite a few. Add to this an older version of Android and so-so all-around performance, and it quickly drops to near the bottom of any decision matrix.

Quad cameras are nice to have, but imaging quality is only serviceable.

So what do we advise? It’s simple. If you’re looking for a ZenFone 5Q, go into a shop and ask for a ZenFone 5 (the 2018 one, of course).

The ZenFone 5Q has met the enemy, and it is a ZenFone.

  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • User-Friendliness 7
  • Performance 7
  • Value 6
The Good
Good build quality
Great battery life
Full-featured camera
Triple-slot card tray (dual SIM + microSD)
The Bad
Old version of Android
Mediocre display and loudspeaker
Unimpressive camera
Micro-USB port on a 2018 phone
RRP only $20 less than the ZenFone 5