Ultra cheap ZenFone Live L1 shows up at FCC – Coming to US and Canada

We did read a story a couple weeks ago suggesting the ZenFone Live L1 was coming to Canada at a price of $149. However without a source, it wasn’t a bit suspect to treat it as fact. And just keep in mind that if a price tag of $149 CAD is being reported, this phone is going to be even cheaper in the US market. Either that or the actual price is $149 USD which will be higher than that in the Canadian market. Either way, this will be the lowest price phone that ASUS has brought into the North American Market.

The ZenFone Live L1 is running Android Go or ZenUI depending on the variant. At this point it’s too early to say which one is coming to Canada and the US markets. Our guess is that it’s likely NOT the Android Go Edition because that particular model has 1GB of RAM and that seems and unlikely configuration for the US or Canadian market.

Other specs are to include a Snapdragon 425, 16GB storage, 5.5-inch display, 3000mAh battery, 13MP rear/5MP front cameras, and a 18:9 HD IPS display.

With the ZenFone Live L1 showing up at the FCC, a release date eight weeks from now is the most likely scenario.

This is an interesting offering because there is a market for prepaid customers who want a smartphone that offers modern day features without a big investment. Overall the ZenFone Live L1 in North America may have an interesting niche because it’s not competing with Apple or Samsung in this price range. More details to come!

ROG phone may be teased once again by ASUS

Would ASUS show a second teaser image of an apparent ROG phone? The ZenFone gaming phone? We suggest that it’s true that ASUS just teased this phone again. Here is what they said in this tweet:

Think small, play big! Last chance to get your guesses in before the big reveal!

Think small? Yes we can do that and because we follow mobile phones, let’s take a guess and assume a phone is what we’re talking about.

Next up? Here is the original image from the tweet:

So….let’s assume these are fan or heat dissipation grills. It has been suggested (and expected) that any ROG phone will have a robust cooling system and this teaser certainly points towards something that special. We are guessing this is the rear of the phone.

Some cool guy in the tweet replies did some photo tweaking and came up with this:

As was pointed out by other comments, that sure does look like a camera lens up to the top left of the photo. You can also see a some different textures or layers running along the right side. There seems like some roundness to this which again suggests the rear side of a smartphone. Others have suggested this is a ROG tablet. Naw. We say it’s the ROG ZenFone. What do you think about it?

[source: ASUS ROG Twitter]

ASUS just teased the ROG phone aka ZenFone gaming phone

Can you feel it? Computex 2018 is nearly here and the excitement is building thanks to recent ASUS teasers. This particular teaser is special to us because it’s featuring this mystery gaming phone. Thankfully the teaser doesn’t leave a lot to imagination and it seems quite clear that it’s the ROG phone.

ASUS  says “COMING SOON”, June 4th, 2018 from Republic of Gamers. If you have any doubts, ASUS CEO Jerry Shen admitted during a recent interview that you can “expect” a gaming phone from the company. It looks like Shen can finally spill the beans soon.

In this teaser, it’s clear that the ZenFone gaming phone features front facing dual speakers. I also looks to feature the same design that you have come to expect from the ROG brand with the black and red accents.

There is a lot more in this teaser though. Our best guess is that it’s showing two different accessories or docks. It would appear that the ROG phone sits in these gamepads which likely have the traditional analogue sticks. ASUS has already developed and released their own Xbox like controllers in the past so they have the experience and knowledge of designs for such an accessory.

We expect top end hardware, along with a 5.7-inch display. The display technology is an interesting discussion because AMOLED is quality, but is lacking the same high refresh rate possibilities that LCD displays can provide. Typically a high refresh rate trumps all else, so we would be surprised to see an AMOLED display on this phone. Also expect a sizeable battery.

[source: ASUS ROG Twitter]

ZenFone 5 gets a 90 overall score from DXOMark camera review

ASUS has been promoting their camera love starting heavily last year with the ZenFone 4 series. We love photo is one of the oft used ASUS marketing slogans for the ZenFone series.

The website DXOMark is largely considered the top authority when it comes to scoring/rating/reviewing mobile phone cameras. Certainly in the past we’ve seen Google touting (bragging) about their DXOMark scores in the past.

So now ASUS can do a bit of bragging because their ZenFone 5 scored an overall 90, with a 93 for photo and a 86 for video. In terms of the mid range mobile phones on the market, the ZenFone 5 is right at the top of class for the price. Consider too that the iPhone 8 scores a 92, just two above the ZenFone 5.

One major consideration here too is what software version that DXOMark testing the ZenFone 5 under. We’ve seen many times in the past when big websites do a review/critique of a mobile phone prior to a software update that improves camera performance. ASUS especially tends to roll out numerous camera performance improvements just after the release date. So keep this in mind depending on when you are reading this. ASUS may have improved the cameras beyond what the DXOMark website rated it under.

This is the first time for a ZenFone to be listed on DXOMark so this can certainly help ASUS and their photocentric ways.

Breaking down the DXOMark review into more detail, they were fond of the focus and bright light condition qualities of the camera performance. They found as the lighting conditions dimmed, the cameras struggle a bit more. Video wise DXOMark didn’t divulge too many specifics in terms of their 86 rating.

“Excellent mid range option…”
     – DXOMark.com

[source: DXOMark]

US pre orders start for ZenFone 5Q at $299 USD

ASUS is quickly starting pre orders in the US for the ZenFone 5Q at $299 USD from Amazon. If you don’t like a notch, this model will suit you just fine! Other markets know this model as the ZenFone 5 Lite or the ZenFone 5 Selfie or the ZenFone 5 Selfie Pro. Yep, all the same model!

What makes the ZenFone 5Q different than the ZenFone 5 and 5Z is that it’s more selfie orientated with the primary to best camera on the front as opposed to the rear.

Specs wise, the ZenFone 5Q model heading to the US comes with the following:

  • Snapdragon 630 @ 2.2GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • 6-inch display
  • 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • quad-camera

One question this leads up to ask is about the ZenFone 5 and whether ASUS will bump up that release in the US and make it by summer. The release date on this pre order says July but that’s not exactly believable at least based on prior experience.

Software update improves camera performance for ZenFone Max Pro

ASUS is showing to be quite reliable when it comes to dealing with software related issues or ZenFone issues. You may find some complaints about finger print reader slowness which has since been resolved via a software update. Additionally, that previous update did list camera performance improvements as well.

So today we see yet another ZenFone Max Pro software update which puts “Improve Camera performance” at the top of fixes. It doesn’t specify if it improves front camera performance but given the complaints out there, we would be surprised if this update wasn’t specific to the front camera. Hopefully there are some users out there who will provide some feedback about what improvements can be seen with this update.

If you don’t get an over the air update notification, connect to wifi and go into system settings and manually check for update.


ZenFone Max Pro ZB601KL_ WW_14.2016.1804.305
ZenFone Max Pro ZB602KL_ WW_14.2016.1804.305

(India model is ZB601KL)
(All other models are ZB602KL)

Release Notes:

1. Improve Camera performance.
2. Privacy Setting update.
3. Add GPS location icon into QuickSetting.

[source: ASUS – ZB601KL / ZB602KL]