Her GadgetMatch

ASUS ZenFone 5Q review: Pretty and capable

Also known as the ZenFone 5 Lite or ZenFone 5 Selfie

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At MWC 2018, ASUS announced a slew of smartphones (again) and one of them is the ASUS ZenFone 5Q. Depending on where you are, it’s called a lot of things: ZenFone 5 Lite in Europe or ZenFone 5 Selfie in South America. Dubbed the selfie phone from the new line, the 5Q has power packed front-facing shooters and a quad-camera setup. How does this phone fare? Let’s find out.

Look and feel

First thing’s first: This phone looks awesome. Like, really stunning.


It has a reflective glass back that’s so nice and shiny. It may be a smudge magnet, but it makes for a breathtaking look and a great mirror. 💁🏽✨

And, lo and behold: A notchless phone release in 2018!

Sure, ASUS has jumped on that bandwagon for other devices, but the 5Q remains pure in its notchless glory.

Quad-camera goodness

I’m just going to go straight to this phone’s highlight: the cameras. There are four cameras on this handset, and though that’s not exactly a first, ASUS claims that it’s “the world’s first globally announced true quad-camera system.”

Wait, what?

Basically, ASUS claims that for the first time, you can use all four cameras independently. Previous quad-camera phones usually utilize secondary shooters only for portrait or bokeh modes. This means that from both sides of this device, you can take normal shots and wide-angled photos like this:

Wide-angle lenses aren’t new to ASUS, but historically, only one side of the phone had this option. These lenses ensure that you get more stuff in your photographs. That includes more space for people in selfies:

Just make sure to stay at the center of the picture as wide-angle lenses, no matter what phone they’re on, usually distort images — you don’t want your face to be at the receiving end of that.

Using my face as an example to prove a point. The things I do for my job…

The 5Q can take great photos under ideal photo scenarios. See samples below:

Images are usually bright and colors are punchy. Most of the time, they’re a tad saturated which makes photos look like these.

I did notice that in weird lighting scenarios, there was a little inconsistency with how pictures came out. There were times when the colors came out duller than usual.

Here are more photo samples:

Beauty mode and all the camera effects

Of course, what is a selfie phone without all the selfie features?

Front and back shooters are capable of portrait mode on both normal and wide-angle shots. The bokeh on the portrait mode looks like this:

Say hello to MJ, GadgetMatch’s resident creative

As clean as the bokeh cutouts may look for short-haired folks, that wasn’t the case for longer-haired girls.

Chay says hi!

Even on the rear shooters, the bokeh wasn’t as clean, especially with confusing backgrounds.

All this, however, can be forgiven. Most phones, even flagships, still have trouble with their bokeh cutouts. Remember, this software bokeh is only a plus to the phone’s wide-angle capabilities.

That famed beauty mode that the ZenFone 4 line had is still here, and so is ASUS’ built-in Selfie Master app which allows for real-time beautification while streaming. The beauty mode is mostly the same. As always, too much and the possibility of transforming into a smooth wax figure is still a possibility.

But, what changed is something that isn’t in the beauty mode.

Notice how even the photo on the left, shot on Auto, seems airbrushed. Yes folks, even when you don’t have beauty mode turned on, it seems the phone still applies a slight filter which prettifies everyone instantly. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the person using the phone.

Overall performance

The 5Q is powered by a Snapdragon 630 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. This means the phone is pretty capable — everyday social media use and mobile gaming work well on the device.

From Sims Mobile to Tekken, gaming was without a hiccup

Speaking of gaming, there’s even a live stream function on the game mode!

The phone runs on Android Nougat, which is quite a downer in 2018. This means you get ASUS’s existing ZenUI. The Android Oreo and ZenUI 5.0 updates come later this year.

Its 3300mAh battery can last me a whole day’s use, though the phone doesn’t support fast charging. It takes around two hours to charge from zero to 100 percent.

Other notable features

Its 6-inch FHD screen is a tall 18:9 display. This means more content as you scroll through social media, or when you read websites like GadgetMatch (make it your daily habit!) on your phone.

Videos also look good on this screen size, except most videos (even ours!) are shot with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Nevertheless, there’s a crop-to-fit function on the 5Q that makes for better viewing without those pillar boxes.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed on the photos, there is no fingerprint scanner up front anymore. This has been moved to the back to give way to the screen.

For those who can’t be bothered by the rear fingerprint scanner, this phone is also equipped with face unlock technology. When there is good lighting, it works pretty well.

There’s also a triple-card slot which means you have space for all your SIM cards and a microSD card.

Is the ASUS ZenFone 5Q your GadgetMatch?

There’s definitely a premium in being pretty and unpretentious. I honestly believe this is one of the best-looking midrangers out there right now. Not having a notch is notch a problem at all. (Ha ha, get it?) On the contrary, it makes me feel like this phone has a classic premium design as it doesn’t try too hard to be something it isn’t.

Performance was pretty good throughout, though the biggest qualm, really, is the fact that it still runs on Android Nougat. For those patient enough to wait till later on in the year, however, this may be a non-issue.

The wide-angle lenses on both sides of the phone are a definite plus for me — I often feel that this feature is underappreciated and I would totally rock a phone because of this. Just imagine all the cool photos!

If you’re in the market for a well-performing phone in a pretty package and an even prettier price point, the ZenFone 5Q is a definite midrange contender you might want to look at. At less than US$ 400, it’s a device that’s definitely worth considering.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone 5Q (Zenfone 5 Lite) Unboxing and Hands-On

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite comes with quad-camera system

Her GadgetMatch

Arion’s color-changing dress is turning heads

My mind is blown and I want it

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Once upon a time, the internet was divided over a dress all because people couldn’t agree on what color it was. If you’re one of those people who argued for a certain side, I have something that will truly blow your mind.

If your brain can’t process what you just saw, let me spell it out for you: This dress changes color when a light, like your smartphone torch, is shone on it. From a sophisticated muted tone, the reflective material turns into a bright and awesome party dress. Let’s see that again:

People are definitely loving this fashion statement. The first tweet from the designer quoted above has garnered 12,000-plus retweets and almost 69,500 retweets in the first 12 hours of posting — multitudes of shiny-unicorn-loving women who want the awesome look, probably.

Admittedly, I’ve stared at the video far longer than I should have and am now completely convinced that I want this material in every single outfit I’m to don from here on end. Fortunately, the dress is now for sale on the Arion website but it isn’t exactly cheap. The two-piece set retails for US$ 155. As of posting, this is the only design the dress is available in but hey, I’m not complaining!

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Her GadgetMatch

What could the new unicorn Xiaomi Mi 9 be called?

Xiaomi asked and people have answered

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Xiaomi’s new flagship is coming and, of course, the Chinese brand wastes no time in telling us that we’re going to want this new phone. Over the weekend, Xiaomi showed off the Mi 9’s color options and I am swooning.


The three colors posted all include a beautiful gradient in black, one in blue, and another in a purple-pink hue. Let’s look at that last one again:

The color, which people have been quick to call unicorn, has no official name. Global spokesperson Donovan Sung asked Twitter world what they could possibly name it.

There were a number of interesting and funny answers:

Of course, we had our own guesses:

If there’s any clue, though, it would be this reply:

The official Xiaomi Twitter account did conduct a poll calling it Lavender Violet the day before Donavan Sung sent out the tweet…

Until we have this confirmed, we’re calling it unicorn Mi 9. 🦄 Besides, whatever they call it, it’s looking like a very pretty color and I want it!

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Accessories

PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone

It isn’t called PhoneSoap for nothing!

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That smartphone in your purse can do so much but it also has 18 times more bacteria than the average public toilet. Before we continue, let that sink in.

Before you drop that phone you’re probably reading this article on, know that there’s a way to clean your handset and it doesn’t involve soap and water. Introducing: PhoneSoap.

PhoneSoap Go is the brand’s latest release. It’s a tiny chest that will literally clean your smartphone. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria on your device. All you do is put your smartphone inside, tap the lightning button, wait 10 minutes for one cleaning cycle, and your phone should be germ-free.

The inside compartment can house your phone, no matter what size. It’s pretty spacious so it can even fit small everyday stuff like keys or wallets. Despite all that space, the PhoneSoap Go is designed for portability. This is PhoneSoap’s smallest device — something you can bring along on trips to make sure your handset is sanitized anywhere you go.

On the back of the chest is a USB-A and a USB-C port. This is because the PhoneSoap Go has a 7000mAh battery built into it. That’s enough for 45 cleaning cycles, or four phone charging cycles.

Yes, I said phone charging cycles. That’s because you can actually use it as a power bank. There’s even a slot for your charging cable so you can charge as you sanitize your phone. That means even if the whole cleaning cycle is just 10 minutes, you can leave your phone plugged in longer. There’s even “acoustic outlets” at the bottom so you can hear phone notifications.

Of course, unless I have a petri dish and some phone swabs, I won’t be able to say definitively that this thing can clean 99.99 percent of bacteria on your phone, as the brand claims. But, I will say that if it does end up sanitizing your phone in any capacity, that’s already a good enough deal considering how dirty these things supposedly are, and how much we’re holding on to them on a daily basis.

But really, more than phone cleaning, what you get is peace of mind. Honestly, my own (many, rotating) devices have been chilling a lot in my PhoneSoap ever since I got it.

The PhoneSoap Go retails for US$ 79.95 and you can get it from their website.

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