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First announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona last February, the new ZenFone 5Q was unveiled on an event in Saturday at One Esplanade, Pasay City alongside 3 new other phones, namely the ZenFone Max M1, ZenFone 5 and the flagship ZenFone 5Z. It is one of the mid-range offering that ASUS is giving to the masses, and if you’re a hater of the notch like me – this one is actually for you.

The interesting part here is that in this era where almost every single smartphone from the mid-range to flagship tier wants to ride on the ‘notch’ bandwagon, ASUS at least decided to single out one smartphone and still give fans the choices to pick between the notched ZenFone 5 and 5Z, or the ZenFone 5Q, without a notch.

Photo: Eljay Reyes/AMG

Although it is a toned-down version of the new ZenFone 5 series, the 5Q is actually a go-to for those who want to achieve decent, powerful performance from a midrange smartphone considering its specs inside.

Impressions

The removal of the notch doesn’t gives the phone compromise aside from a larger chin and bezels. It also helps us to distinguish the phone from the other variants at a first glance.

It doesn’t run the same ZenUI found on its higher-end siblings (this one is still on Nougat, with planned update to Oreo on Q3), and also has the same 2.5D curved glass finish from the front and back (which are really prone and attractive to fingerprints), while the dual cameras on both front and rear are oriented differently, and is noticeably at the center, helping us to distinguish again which is which.

Photo: Bryan Snow/AMG

The cameras are good, and I can say that this phone is really intended for selfie, because of its 20MP front camera. There’s also the option for a wide-angle shot via its 8MP secondary front camera. We failed to get our sample shot there on the phone to our storage, though 🙁

As ASUS claims, the ZenFone 5Q is “the world’s first globally announced true quad-camera system” because it uses the four camera lenses independently from each other, contrary to the implementation of most dual camera setups out there.

Photo: Bryan Snow/AMG

Just like the higher-end ones, this phone fits into your hand, despite it having a 6-inch screen. It doesn’t slip easily, although I recommend the use of a case protection if you want to protect the glass finish from being damaged if dropped, and of course, it still looks better than most of the notched phones out there.

ASUS Country Manager George Su announcing the ZenFone 5Q (Photo: Bryan Snow/AMG)

Although it doesn’t contain all the AI-gimmicks the other ZenFone 5 handsets has, it still seems powerful enough to be on the mid-range tier. One negative point also is the phone is still equipped with the older Micro USB port instead of USB Type-C.

Photo: Bryan Snow/AMG

Here’s my final thought: The ZenFone 5Q might be a good smartphone, giving you all the features a 2018 midranger smartphone should have aside from the notch and USB Type-C.

Specifications and Features

Specs ASUS ZenFone 5Q
Display 6-inch FHD+ 18:9 display (1080 x 2160 resolution), 80.3% screen to body ratio, 2.5D Gorilla Glass protection
Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor
GPU/Graphics Adreno 508 (SDM 630)
Memory/RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB (expandable to 2TB via microSD, dedicated slot)
Rear Cameras 16-megapixel  f/2.2, PDAF

8-megapixel 120-degree wide-angle, 4K video recording support

Front Camera 20-megapixel Sony IMX376 image sensor, f/2.0, LED flash

8-megapixel 120-degrees wide angle camera

Battery 3300mAh battery
Connectivity, Wireless and Features Dual SIM, 4G, LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLO, BDS, Micro USB, fingerprint scanner (rear), OTG support, 3.5mm headphone jack, Dual internal microphones
Software Android Nougat 7.0 (ZenUI 4.5) – planned update to Oreo at Q3 (ZenUI 5.0)

Availability

The ZenFone 5Q is now available for purchase in the Philippine market for only PhP16,995, with color options of Midnight Black and Midnight White. The Rouge Red color option is apparently not listed as an option here.

And for the people who will be buying from now until April 24, you’ll be entitled to freebies worth PhP5,000 as well as a chance to win a Toyota Vios E AT. You can check out ASUS’s official Facebook page for more details.