It had to happen: Android phone makers are adopting the iPhone X’s notch.
One of the first major manufacturers to do it is Asus, whose ZenFone 5 is a dead ringer for Apple’s flagship, with a notch on the top bezel that hides the selfie camera, sensors, and speaker.
There are differences, of course: With a 6.2-inch screen, the ZenFone 5 is larger than the iPhone X. Its notch is a bit narrower, and its bottom bezels is a bit bigger than the one on the iPhone X (there’s no fingerprint sensor there, though — it resides on the other side of the phone).
During a pre-briefing in Barcelona, an Asus rep brushed aside inevitable questions about copying Apple. “One could say that Apple is copying the Essential phone and its notch,” he said.
Be that as it may, this phone will surely make at least some passers-by think you have an iPhone X, so if that floats your boat, the ZenFone 5 might be a good fit.
Inside, you’ll get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor — not the best but not too bad, either — up to 6GB of RAM, and a 12-megapixel camera with some AI tricks, including scene recognition (similar to what we saw on the Huawei Mate 10 and the LG V30s). The pricing for the ZenFone was not released.
Asus also has a more powerful version of the device, called the ZenFone 5Z, but we didn’t get to see that one during the pre-brief — we’ll update this article when we get its specs.
UPDATE: Feb. 27, 2018, 8:45 p.m. CET As expected, the ZenFone 5Z looks just like the regular ZenFone 5, but has better hardware inside — Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage — and, presumably, better performance. It’ll start from $499.
There’s also a ZenFone 5 Lite (for some reason, Asus is also referring to it as the ZenFone 5Q), which doesn’t have the notch; it’s more of a regular Android mid-ranger with a slightly elongated 6-inch screen and …. It does, however, stand out by having two selfie cameras (one of which has a 20-megapixel resolution), in addition to the two cameras on the back. No word on the price for this one, either.