Monday, July 28, 2014

Asus Zenfone 5 Unboxing and Initial Impressions

The Asus Zenfone 5 is finally available for purchase! Weeks after it's announcement last July 17, 2014 (together with other Zenfones), a lot of consumers became excited to buy one not only because of it's specifications, but also it's price.

For only P6,495, you get a phone with Android Jellybean 4.3 running on Intel Atom Z2560, a 5-inch HD IPS screen with Gorilla Glass, 2110mAH non-user replaceable battery, Dual SIM slots, 8GB of phone memory (expandable thru microSD), and 2GB of RAM. Don't worry, it's upgradable to Kitkat.

I bought a Gold Asus Zenphone 5 from Ambassador Greenhills an hour after Asus Philippines posted its "Where to Buy" on Facebook. The phone comes with its basic packaging and 1 year Asus warranty. It's "Rose Gold" color is perfect and elegant.

I'd like to note that the store is charging a lot for credit card purchase, even on straight payment (YES, straight payment, not installment). The phone is priced at P8,995 when bought using your credit card. That's a P2,500 mark-up compared to the phone's suggested retail price which I find ridiculous and against the law (See DTI practices). I asked why it's charged so high, and the sales lady said because P6,495 is the phone's "PROMO" price, but if I buy it in cash, I'll get it at P6,495. Hmmmm. (Alibi?)

If you plan to buy it using your credit card, I suggest you buy it in online at Lazada or at Memo Express. But, I think Memo Express is also adding charges for credit card purchases. Please confirm this by commenting below.  

Going back, the package includes the phone, a USB cord, a headset, a 1.35A charger, and a warranty card. No extra battery or flip cover similar to other Asus Zenfone 5s from other regions. 

Similar to most Android-powered devices, once you power it up, it will ask you to log-in using your Google account in order to sync your contacts and apps installed on your other/previous Android device(s). It will also ask you to sign-up for Asus services. I don't feel any lag from the home screen or switching between apps.

I am impressed with the phone build quality, and weight. It is surprisingly light, and I feel like I'm holding a phone worth more than P10,000. The front part of the phone looks premium, thanks to Gorilla Glass 3 and the metallic accent at the lower portion. The plastic used for its back cover has a matte finish which helps to make the phone less fingerprint-magnet. The screen displays accurate colors, and contrasts. The camera is really good, other phones in this price range doesn't come close. The speakers are not so loud though, and I also find the power button and volume rocker hard to press. I also noticed that the Android keys does not light-up.

Stay tuned for our "re-unboxing" video, and our full review which will be published within the week.

Follow me on Twitter: @JBTizon


Andres Lopez said...

I bought one Asus Zenfone 5 yesterday at Ambassador Greenhills. I purchased from them even lower than what you mentioned on a 24 months using my credit card. I am very happy with their service. They even demonstrate and explain the features. I think you should not mislead people in buying from online store you just mentioned. I even checked from online before I bought the unit. The amount posted on the online store is 50% higher than the retail price on 24 months to pay. Try to multiply the monthly by 24 months and you will be surprise that it is 50% interest charge. I hope next time you should not accuse anybody and should be more responsible in giving the correct information.

Jan Brane Tizon said...

Hello, Andres. Thanks for your new information. Please remember that I bought the phone on the same day stocks were delivered to their store. It's possible they have not assessed the correct pricing for this. I even saw an Asus Zenfone 5 display on their cabinet with a price tag of P8995, and confirmed this with this with their sales staff. This post is not an attack to that store, but more of relaying the informaton I got that day. I also noted in my post that I bought it in cash from their store.

If you got it at a lower price on installment in the same store, then good for you. At least the store is now giving payment terms for consumers at a lower interest rate.

It is possible they changed the price after assessing a more accurate pricing scheme for the said phone, or after reading my blog.

As for buying online, I only mentioned Lazada because it's an authorized reseller of Asus, so they're selling it at its SRP on cash or credit card (straight payment) plus FREE delivery.

Hope this clear things up on your end.

Jan Brane Tizon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Kenjiro said...

JB you got a hater in here?

Raymart Santos said...

I got mine at JEJ Mobilizer in GreenHills (Malapit sa area ng mga tindahan ng phones). At first decided na ko bumili sa Ambassador pero nagikot-ikot ako at doon nagulat ako 6.5K lang SRP nila. Binili ko agad knowing na halos 9k ang benta sa Ambassador. Dapat nagikot ikot muna kayo bago bumili :D

Anonymous said...

What if they gave you na wala ng plastic yung box? And 3% na lang yung factory charge?

Anonymous said...

What if they gave you na wala ng plastic yung box? And 3% na lang yung factory charge?