Last year, Asus surprised everyone when they launched their first smartphones in India at very competitive price points. The Asus Zenfone series is still doing well in the country and is among the best phones in the value for money segment. This year Asus has already announced the Zenfone 2, as well as the entry-level Zenfone C which has just been launched in India.
Asus Zenfone C
The Asus Zenfone C is a lot like the Zenfone 4 launched last year. However, it is larger with a 4.5-inch screen. The rest of the looks are almost identical. It has the signature Asus brushed aluminum finish under the keys and on the volume and power buttons. It is a bit heavy at 149 grams, but in a good way. The rear panel is curved in a slightly vintage way, but I think it still works for the overall design. However, the review unit had a white rear panel, which might not be a good idea in India, especially in this price range.
Price: Rs 5,999
Specs: 4.5-inch IPS LCD (480x854p, ~218 ppi) | Dual-core 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 processor with 1GB RAM | 8GB storage expandable up to 64GB | 5MP rear camera, VGA front camera | Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth 4, FM, A-GPS | 2100 mAh battery | Zen UI based on Android KitKat
Why will this appeal to the budget phone customer?
The first pull has to be in the price. If Asus can achieve a 4,990 price point in India, this phone will be a better buy than the Moto E or the Asus Zenfone 4. At Rs 1,000 more people might start looking at whether the dual SIM on the new Moto E is a better bet. But if the Zenfone launch showed us anything, then Asus might not really might pushing the envelope with a killer price.
For the budget phone customer, this phone offers a 4.5-inch display, a decent 5MP camera and a good processing power with a 1.2GHz processor. The Intel Atom processor is good for multi-tasking and does not heat up when stressed. The battery life is also good and will easily lst till you are back home from a long day at work.
I have always liked the Zen UI as it gives some good software tweaks. This phone too comes with the PC link that lets you mirror the phone on a computer, the share link for transfering files and remote link for presentations. Then this phone has an easy reading more for those who consume a lot of text on their phones.
What are the put-offs?
Don’t think I am comparing this phone to a mid-range device, but the display has very limited viewing angles. Shift your head a bit and you start missing text and seeing the image very differently that it is meant to be.
The camera clicks very sharp images and is really fast for this price range. It even comes with auto-focus. But the images are a bit over saturated with an excess of yellow. It gives skin tones a yellow tinge, which might suggest the person needs to be put on jaundice watch. Still, Asus has brought in its low-light capabilities into this range. The phone has just 4GB of storage so you will need to buy a SD card with the phone.
Give it to me straight, should I buy on not?
If you are looking for an affordable phone then this might soon be among the best options available in the market. It gives budget customers everything they need, though cutting corners here and there.