Over the years, Asus has continuously delayed the release of its ZenFone phones by several months for unknown reasons. For instance, the ZenFone 2 was unveiled in March 2015 while the ZenFone 3 came out in May 2016.
Last year, the delay was even more apparent as Asus unveiled the ZenFone 4 in August, but from the latest developments, it appears that the company is getting back on track for a timely launch of the Asus ZenFone 5 family. This follows a recent online appearance of the ZenFone 5 Lite handset, prompting suggestions that the entire family could be getting ready for a surprise early launch.
In fact, it’s now official that the ZenFone 5 will be unveiled at the upcoming MWC 2018 tech show, but what about the ZenFone 5 Lite? Read on.
Asus ZenFone 5 Lite specs
The “Lite” tag is not common among fans of the Asus ZenFone series. People here are used to names like Max and perhaps Live, but this time around, the company seems ready to join other Android OEMs, more so Huawei, in adopting the “Lite” name tag.
As you would expect, any phone with a Lite tag means that it has entry-level specs, at least when compared to other devices in the same family. This is what you should expect on the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite, which has recently been cleared by Russian authorities.
From the listing, the ZenFone 5 Lite will come with model number ZC600KL and it will reportedly ship with a massive 6-inch display screen. Given the “Lite” tag, don’t be surprised if the ZenFone 5 Lite gets an HD (or perhaps 1080p, to be fair) resolution, but on the inside, an unknown Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset is expected to run the show. Being 2018, you can at least expect the phone to come with support for LTE and Android Oreo out of the box, among other features.
Despite the knowledge that the Asus ZenFone 5 Lite will get a 6-inch display screen, we are yet to determine whether this will sport the new 18:9 design or stick to the old 16:9 design. Looking at the latest trends, and the competition from a device like Redmi 5 Plus, we would prefer Asus to go all the way to bezel-less design now.
Update [February 10, 2018]: More details of the ZenFone 5 Lite have emerged online, giving us an idea of how the phone will look like alongside the specs to expect.
Apparently, the ZenFone 5 Lite will rock an 18:9 display with a full HD+ resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, 4GB RAM and Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. The leaked press material and sketches also show off a four-camera device, where the back will feature a dual 16MP setup while the front will get a dual 20MP shooter for selfies. The back panel will also house a fingerprint scanner just below the camera lenses, but you still get to deal with the old microUSB port for charging and data transfer.
If all goes according to Evan Blass’ leaks, we’ll see Midnight Black, Moonlight White and Rouge Red color variants as shown below.
Update [February 12, 2018]: A live shot of the ZenFone 5 Lite has appeared online and even though it doesn’t give out much, it does confirm that the phone is almost ready for launch.
From the image above, which only gives us a shot of the back panel and bottom of the phone, we can see what looks certain to be a USB-C port, bottom-facing speaker, a glass back, a fingerprint scanner and a dual-lens main camera. Of course, there’s a huge ‘ASUS’ text on the back panel as well.
Asus ZenFone 5 Lite release date
As pointed out, there’s a gap of more than a year between the release of the ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 4. Normally, companies only take a year between their subsequent releases, but Asus wants to make it less than a year between the release of the ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 5, perhaps to make up for previous delays.
Back in 2017, the company’s CEO Jerry Shen said that the ZenFone 5 family will be ready for launch as early as March 2018. Well, Asus has now confirmed its attendance at the MWC 2018 and further confirmed the launch of the ZenFone 5.
— ASUS (@ASUS) January 31, 2018
There’s no mention of the ZenFone 5 Lite, but we do know Asus has a habit of releasing several variants of the same phone. There’s talk of at least three variants for the ZenFone 5 series, including a ZenFone 5 2018 and ZenFone 5 Max, all of which will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets and Android Oreo out of the box.
The fact that the ZenFone 5 Lite was recently cleared by Russian authorities suggest that it will be part of the launch event, which will be held on February 27 at 19.30 CET (12 AM IST).