Taiwanese electronics major Asus recently launched in India its social media-centric smartphone, the Asus Zenfone Live. The smartphone boasts a ‘BeautyLive’ feature that promises real-time image enhancement even as you live-stream from the device. Priced at Rs 9,999, the smartphone is available across major e-commerce platforms – Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.
Designed for the country’s young millennials, the Asus Zenfone Live focuses heavily on the camera, microphone performance and the beautification feature, but are these good enough to set it apart from the crowd? Business Standard reviewed the device, and here are our observations:
At just 120 g, the smartphone is super-light and you feel it when you hold it in your hand. As for dimensions, the phone is not too wide or tall and fits perfectly in your hand. Single-hand use of the smartphone is quite convenient, with the notification bar and extreme corners well within the touching reach of your fingers. The smartphone has a 5-inch HD screen with a 1280 x 720 resolution, which is good enough to keep things crisp and clear. Also, the navigation keys are mounted below the display, so they do not kill the precious screen real estate which they share with screen navigation keys.
Like many other budget smartphones, the Asus Zenfone Live sports a hybrid SIM slot that can be used either for two SIMs or for one SIM and one microSD card. The smartphone supports Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE), so it is compatible with the Reliance Jio network as well. The device features 16 GB of internal storage, expendable up to 128 GB using microSD, and a 2GB RAM. The phone comes bundled with 100 GB of free Google Drive space valid for 2 years to cover all your storage needs.
The Zenfone Live sports a 13-megapixel rear camera assisted with an LED flash, and a 5MP front-facing selfie camera with an 82-degree wide angle assisted by LED. Both cameras support Asus PixelMaster 3.0 modes for enhanced results and work fine in day light. However, the picture quality reduces drastically in low-light conditions. The cameras in the Zenfone Live, though, still remain much better than what competitors are offering.
The Zenfone Live is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, which works smoothly and delivers a consistent performance. Do not expect to run heavy games or processor-intensive apps, though – the processor is capable of getting the basic things done without breaking sweat, but it is not of the flagship breed.
The smartphone’s much-touted BeautyLive mode feature, which the company claims enhances the skin tone, removes the blemishes and does everything else to improve the beauty quotient, seems to be only a marketing gimmick. The hardware-optimised feature does work at times but fails to live up to expectations. The quality of the live stream depends on your network, and the result of a terrible network quality along with artificial beautification using the BeautyLive mode can be disastrous. Even on strong Wi-Fi networks, the use of BeautyLive mode for face beautification does not add much value to conversations; it rather tends to keep you busy scrolling the beauty wheel to find the right balance of beauty in you, thereby irritating the viewer on the other side.
The plastic build is another major let-down of the Zenfone Live. The smartphone looks cheap from all sides. There is no loose space or gap anywhere. It is not just the plastic build that kills the look; in fact, the phone’s pseudo-metallic finish makes things worse – shoddy look overall, certainly that premium.
Asus Zenfone Live comes across as a half-baked product. The beautification feature during live streaming does sound fancy, but only in advertisements. In real usage, the feature fails miserably. The pseudo-metallic body and outdated processor do not go well with a price tag of Rs 9,999. The smartphone’s major attraction becomes its major downside, and that kills everything else for the Asus Zenfone Live.