Sure, Apple didn’t have any sort of official presence at this year’s MWC, but this was the week the iPhone X really came into its own. The company’s premium flagship was everywhere in spirit, through the design choices from the competition. For some it was the mere legitimization of the notch — for others, the inspiration was a bit more unabashed.
With Huawei’s P20 still over the horizon, the Asus Zenfone 5 the biggest and likely best iPhone X knockoff of the show. While it’s true that smartphones have looked more or less the same for several years now, the inspiration is undeniable — but for most users, that most likely won’t matter.
It’s an opportunity to pick up an Android version of last year’s hottest phone, on the cheap (not to mention with the headphone jack). The 5Z, which is the higher end version of the handset (due mostly to the inclusion of the Snapdragon 845), starts at $499. Not crazy cheap, but notably half the price of the phone from which it clearly draws so much inspiration and a couple of hundred bucks less expensive than the standard Galaxy S9.
I’m not sure I’m ready to say “the notch is here to say,” as I’ve heard uttered many times up and down the halls of Barcelona’s Fira this week, but we’re certainly going to be living with it until someone comes up with a better way to deal the whole front screen/camera clash. Or hey, maybe we can all just stop taking selfies.
I’d be pretty okay with that, too, if I’m being totally honest.
Granted, that last bit isn’t super likely. After all, the similarly named Zenfone 5 Lite (which will be the 5Q here in the States) differentiates itself with two front-facing cameras, including one wide angle. It also retains a fuller upper bezel.
The other big selling point for the handset is, naturally, AI. That’s AI in the LG V30S ThinQ sense of AI, mind. In other words, the system is working to determine what it’s shooting in order to get a better of idea of how to adjust its setting.
We’re still waiting on word about availability here in the States.