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.
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.
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.”
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.
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:
As clean as the bokeh cutouts may look for short-haired folks, that wasn’t the case for longer-haired girls.
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.
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.
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.
10 gift ideas for the bookworm on your list
Gifts that are not books
If you have friends or family who love to read, chances are other people will already give them books this holiday season. It’s that or they already bought the book they want to read next. If you want to give something different that they will appreciate, here are some other ideas to help you out:
For the friend who has too many books but not enough shelves, get her the new Kindle. It’s also perfect for that friend who brings a book or two when traveling. She always managse to finish reading on the flight leaving herself book-less for the rest of the trip.
If she already has a Kindle, how about a case inspired by classic book covers? Not only will it protect her gadget from scratches, it also gives her the feeling of holding a book while reading. Smell of an actual book not included.
Some people will always prefer reading over listening to audiobooks. For those who are open to the latter, Audible credits are a practical, yet thoughtful gift you can give. If you know of a specific title they want to listen to, there’s also an option to get that book as a gift either through your own Audible credits or using a credit card.
A pair of noise cancelling earphones is one of the best gifts you can give this year not just to bookworms, but to almost anyone on your list. Bookworms will especially love being able to block any noise and concentrate on reading (or listening to) their book.
Plenty of great options came out this year, including the Sony WF-1000XM3, which retails for SG$ 349.
Help decorate one’s home with cute bookends. For someone who lives in a smaller space, a multi-purpose bookend is your best bet — maybe one that doubles as a flower vase for the living room or a kitchen utensil holder. You can also get an upcycled one using old records. For a more personal touch, you can even do it yourself and you got yourself a crafty project this holiday season.
Lumio LED book lamp
Any bookworm will appreciate receiving a lamp to help them read when the sun starts to dip. What if you give them something in the shape of a book? They sure will love you more than they already do!
Another gift idea for that special someone is a book-inspired sleeve to protect her laptop. Make it more personal by making her favorite cover made. You can even add the first and last pages of the book to make it feel more like one. There’s also an option to add a smaller but similar case for the charger and other accessories.
NYPL Library Card Pouch
The New York Public Library store has a ton of useful knickknacks you can buy as gifts. There’s a pouch inspired by the original library cards from the 1940’s that any bookworm will appreciate even if you bought it at the last minute!
NYPL Library Card Socks
Another option is this cute pair of socks that will surely make any bookworm’s heart and feet warm this chilly season. It comes in small and large and is priced at US$12 for non-members.
Black NYPL Ruth Bader Ginsburg Tote Bag
Know someone inspired by the Notorious RBG? This tote could not be any more perfect. It can carry not just that heavy hardbound book, but her groceries or gym clothes as well!
5 gift ideas for the stylish women on your list
Give the gift of style!
Finding the perfect present for the stylish women in your life is quite the task. But don’t worry – we’re here to make the process a tad easier. Here are some gift ideas that will make the stylish women in your life love you more. Well, much more than they already do, anyway.
The hair tool of almost any stylish woman’s dreams is definitely from Dyson. This tool gives the gift of quick, salon-quality styling. Drying your hair as you style for voluminous waves and natural-looking curls cuts prep time in almost half. After all, their hair should be as fabulous as their outfits.
A complete set is currently at EUR 499 but that includes all 11 attachments that will let her save from all those dry bar visits. Get the Dyson Airwrap through this link.
Hër Bluetooth In-Earphones
Listening to music while on the go doesn’t have to clash with one’s outfit. We’re in love with the discreet, nude colour of the Hër Bluetooth In-Earphones and its ease of use. The case that doubles as its charger is also pretty and rather minimalist. Connection to a smartphone is quick and painless via Bluetooth, giving the freedom to move while being in a call.
Pose for OOTDs while listening to music and order a set via this link.
Laura Mercier Paint with Light Radiant Face Illuminator Trio
The holiday season means glitz, glamour, and of course – shimmer. There’s no other season that allows for shimmer overload than the holidays. What better way to do it than by using the perfect highlighter palette. We’re in love with the Radiant Face Illuminator Trio from Laura Mercier’s Paint With Light Holiday 2019 collection.
There’s a hue for every skin tone and outfit. The buildable glow is also something that will make anyone a stand-out at all the parties. Get it here.
Mejuri Organic Pearl Large Hoops
Pearls are not just for the grandmas anymore. Pearls are so in fashion right now and letting them dangle on hoops gives them a modern, edgier update. All without losing their elegance.
This pair from Canadian brand Mejuri has us drooling with their use of organic pearls. You’ll definitely get a unique pair from them as no two organic pearls can ever be exactly the same. As far as we know, stylish women love individuality so this gift is definitely a hit. Get a pair here.
A Rent the Runway subscription
It’s hard to pick a particular outfit as a gift for the stylish women on your list. Preferences and sizes can get in the way. But that shouldn’t stop you from giving them the gift of designer fashion. A subscription with Rent the Runway makes sure they have access to the latest pieces and you’ll never hear them complain about having nothing to wear ever again.
How a connected home can help make your life better
With appliances getting smarter, things can only get better
A truly smart home uses machine learning to understand and adapt to a user’s behavior and preferences. LG’s ThinQ AI technology does exactly that — appliances communicate with each other and learn so it can anticipate the user’s needs and optimize performance.
Take good care of your laundry
Some people enjoy doing their own laundry, especially those who travel a lot; then there are those who just don’t have the time for it. Wash your date night lace and silk items separately from the rest of your wardrobe; or wash yours and your baby’s pile simultaneously so you can spend more time with your precious one. Either way, the LG TWINWash can do the job as it can do two loads at the same time.
Steaming with LG’s stackable front loader washer/dryer can also make things easier for someone who’s single or for a new mom. Using the steam function, dress to impress by making sure your work clothes are wrinkle-free. Baby clothes also deserve the same special care as the heat of the steam will remove 95% of bacteria and allergens.
Keep food fresh while saving energy
Save time and energy with the LG Instaview Door-in-Door refrigerator, which lets you peek into its contents just by knocking twice, reducing the need to swing open its doors. The modern Slim French-Door refrigerators can also help manage energy consumption, thanks to the Inverter Linear Compressor.
If food waste is an issue, a refrigerator like the Two Door Top Freezer can help maintain temperature levels to help keep your food longer. Its digital sensors constantly monitor conditions within the refrigerator and it has strategically-placed vents in every section to help surround your food with cool air no matter where you put it.
Manage your home with a few taps
With the SmartThinQ App, you can control your appliances anytime wherever you may be. Because of LG’s ThinQ AI technology, your appliances get smarter the more you use them. You can use it to turn your air conditioner on remotely or start wash cycles even before you get home.
It’s no secret that home appliances help make our lives more convenient and efficient. This is not going to change anytime soon. With appliances getting smarter, things can only get better.
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