Asus Zenfone 5 - It’s all much of a muchness
Don’t do a lot of tech reviews but since my son gave me the Asus Zenfone 5 to use and his only request was to do a review. I thought why not. I am after all a self-confessed geekess. I had a conversation a month or so ago about Android phones. They’re all pretty much the same and if you’re a “Google” person like me, then really easy to set up. You just sign in with your Google account and you’re up and running in a few moments.
I am so much of a Google girl that my business runs on Google Apps. And I don’t regret it for a bit. Makes life a lot easier and upgrading much faster. My business is in the cloud. My laptop or phone could go kaput and other than a temporary annoyance at having to set up another piece of hardware, I just sign in to my various cloud services and have lost nothing. Or almost nothing. But I digress.
The Asus T00J Zenfone 5 is mid-level, dual phone running Jelly Bean 4.3. I guess that’s (the dual SIM) why I wanted to try it. While my main phone is a du (despite their shoddy, patronising customer service, they do still have the best packages) but I still cling to my Etisalat phone number that’s been with me for more than 15 years. It did not have 4G and its 3G signals weren’t brilliant. But then, that could not necessarily be the fault of the phone. I hear from those that know that the local ‘providers’ prioritise their bandwidth to the detriment of us 3G users – which is a bit unfortunate and unfair. So I wasn’t able to tether it for some much needed Wi-fi during an event.
Setting up the phone wasn’t too difficult once I had prised the back off the machine to install the SIM cards. Not very kind to your nails but otherwise simple enough. Like a lot of these phones, there was considerable bloatware from Asus. All of them do it and unless you really want to commit to the brand, no point in setting up another account. I used the Zen UI for a few days and found it easy enough to set up. Found all my apps and installed only the most common ones I used – messaging (WhatsApp, Hangouts, etc); cloud and storage (Dropbox, Copy, Evernote and Drive), and social media (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Path, Pinterest, Instagram, Hootsuite, Buffer). With a total built in storage of 16Gb – there was plenty of storage for my needs at least. I don’t really game on my phone – I have tablets for that – but I do use it mostly to manage mail, calendar and my social media.
There were a few server crashes. As a matter of fact, halfway through a message on WhatsApp, the keyboard suddenly went wonky. It kept displacing some of the letters and I had to resort to using the Google keyboard or downloaded a keyboard (ai.type) from the Playstore and found this quite useful.
Would I recommend the Asus? Possibly for someone that does not use it as extensively as I do. I don’t use my phone as a phone as much as I do for everything else. I’m going back to my HTC One (its battery needs replacing after a year) but I still find it the nicest Android phone to use. The 4G signal and wireless hot spot is useful when I am out and about and it picks up wireless signals quite effectively.