A new dawn of the ZenFone is almost here. Announced in MWC 2018, the new ZenFone 5 series currently sports three SKUs: the ZenFone 5Z, ZenFone 5, and ZenFone 5Q. We’re lucky enough to get a review unit of the ZenFone 5Q.

Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
Screen 6.0-inch IPS, 18:9, 2160 x 1080, 2.5D Glass
OS Android 7.1.1 with ZenUI 4.0
Rear Camera 16MP Sony IMX 376 Primary, 5MP wide-angle secondary, PDAF, LED Flash
Front Camera 20MP primary, 8MP 120° wide-angle secondary, PDAF, LED Flash
Storage 64GB expandable via dedicated microSD slot
Network Dual-SIM,  4G LTE
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, Gyroscope, Fingerprint Scanner, Face Unlock
Battery 3,300mAh

Dubbed ZenFone 5 Lite in some regions, the 5Q’s specifications are nothing but light. Inside the rather shiny interior are relatively beefy specifications. We haven’t had much time with the 5Q so we’re not in a place to make a decision yet. Thus, this article will be focusing more on the unboxing and our first impressions of the ASUS ZenFone 5Q.

The box we received from ASUS isn’t representative yet of the final product. Inside are the usual accessories you’d find in a ZenFone smartphone; a wall charger, a USB cable, a SIM tray ejector pin, a pair of in-ear monitors as well as two sets of extra silicone eartips. ASUS has advised us that the retail version of the ZenFone 5Q will ship with a silicone case for the smartphone.

Unlike its bigger siblings, the 5Q sports a 6.0-inch 18:9 display with a resolution of 2180 x 1080 that’s more reminiscent of the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1. The screen is protected by a 2.5D glass while its colors are enhanced by an optical coating.

Bezels are kept to a minimum and the navigations keys have been integrated to the display, which allows the display to take over almost all the front portion of the smartphone.

At the top of the display are its front-facing dual cameras; a 20MP primary selfie shooter powered by a Sony IMX 376 sensor and an 8MP 120° wide-angle secondary shooter. The front-facing cameras are backed up by a dedicated flash to help you take selfies or wefies in low-light conditions. The cameras also function as face recognition for the 5Q since it has the ability for face unlock.

Powering the 5Q is a non-removable 3,300mAh battery that’s charged by a microUSB port found on the bottom of the smartphone that’s flanked by two speaker grilles for the bottom-firing speaker and microphone. We would’ve liked to find a USB Type-C for the 5Q since its specifications are near to that of the ZenFone 3 which had a USB Type-C connection.

The power button and the volume rocker are found at the right-hand side of the smartphone. It is noticeable that only the power button has a ridged design unlike other ZenFone smartphone. It could be argued though that the volume rocker has a more generic design to better differentiate it from the power button.

Going to the left-hand side is the 5Q’s triple SIM slot tray, which can hold a microSD slot as well as two SIM cards at the same time. The dedicated microSD slot is especially helpful if you want to expand the 64GB internal storage of the smartphone.

The ZenFone 5Q’s rear still has the same shiny design that was started by the ZenFone 3. It’s nice enough to look at, sure, but it is slippery and attracts fingerprints and dust like crazy. This can be easily resolved by buying a nice enough looking case but that would hide the pretty rear of the ZenFone 5Q.

Like most of the ZenFone 4 series, the 5Q has a 16MP rear camera backed up by a 5MP wide-angle camera with a dedicated LED flash. The rear cameras are bolstered by phase-detection autofocus that allows the 5Q to focus on a subject up to 0.03 seconds as well as the ability to take 4K videos.The fingerprint scanner is also mounted at the rear unlike some of the ZenFone 4 series, which has theirs integrated with the home button.

The ZenFone 5Q currently runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0 but it’s expected that it will be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo soon.

That’s about it for our unboxing and first impressions of the ASUS ZenFone 5Q. We haven’t had much time with the smartphone to form a definite conclusion but based from what we’ve seen so far, it is a promising start for the ZenFone 5 series. We’ll post a different article for our in-depth review of the ZenFone 5Q. Stay tuned!