An entry-level device that offers a bright display and decent primary camera
By Meghna Dutta
Asus launched its latest smartphone, Zenfone Lite L1, this October, at an introductory price of Rs 6,999 for the 2GB RAM and 16GB onboard storage. The phone features a 5.45-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor and a single 13MP camera at the back. It will compete against Xiaomi Redmi 6A and Honor 7S. We used the device for a few days and here is our review.
Asus Zenfone Lite L1 features a plastic body with curved corners. The phone has a neat rear panel with a rear camera module, LED flash placed at the top left corner and Asus logo inscribed the centre. The Zenfone Lite L1’s compact form factor makes it easy to operate with one hand and the buttons are placed well within your thumb’s reach.
At the bottom sits a micro USB port and speaker grille, while at the top you will find a 3.5mm audio jack. The phone offers a dedicated microSD slot which is located on the left side. Zenfone Lite L1 sports a 5.45-inch HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The colour reproduction and viewing angles on the display are not bad at all. The sunlight legibility is good and we did not have much difficulty reading content under bright light.
Talking about performance, the Zenfone Lite L1 managed to smoothly handle day-to-day tasks. The casual games run fine and we did not observe any lag or stutter while playing for an hour.
The phone runs ZenUI-based Android Oreo OS. The software is pretty clean and thankfully, you get an app drawer which helps to keep the Home layout appear nice and clean and you can easily search for the installed apps. It comes pre-loaded with a few social media apps like Facebook, Instagram. It bundles a bunch of bloatware as well but you can uninstall them. There are a few customisations onboard like App scaling that enables to select apps and display in full screen, AudioWizard that allows adjusting the equaliser while playing games, music or even while streaming a movie.
In terms of camera, Asus Zenfone Lite L1 features a 13MP rear camera. Up front, it has a 5MP camera that comes with LED flash support. Both front and rear camera have Portrait mode. The native camera app offers a few features including HDR mode, timelapse, Beauty mode and real-time filters.
Under bright light, the Zenfone Lite L1 could capture portraits an landscape photos with decent colour reproduction. In the indoor situation, the rear camera could render output with decent detailing and colours.
While the Zenfone Lite L1 manage to run casual games smoothly, the phone is not ideally suited for graphic-intensive games. We noticed occasional frames drop while playing Alto’s Odyssey. The phone does not have a fingerprint sensor it supports face unlock. However, the facial recognition takes more than a few seconds to unlock the device. The primary camera fails to capture good detail images in low light. Even though the front camera comes with a LED flash module, it does not capture pleasing shots under dark environments.
Asus Zenfone Lite L1 comes with good display, imaging sensor and battery backup, which is good to see at the price. However, 2GB RAM on the phone may just not be enough if you are into downloading and testing new apps more often. This budget smartphone from Asus is ideal for those who want a device to run casual tasks that include a few phone calls, taking a few selfies in between and texting on WhatsApp.
– Estimated street price: Rs 6,999