ASUS is shaking things up in the smartphone market with a budget phone that is the antithesis of a $1,000 handset like Sony's Xperia XZ2 Premium. The company's new ZenFone Live (L1) costs a fraction of that at $109.99, planting itself firmly in affordable territory, and if you want one you will have to head over to Best Buy where it is exclusively available for the moment.
As you might imagine, the ZenFone Live is not rocking the latest and greatest hardware at that price point. Whereas flagship handsets typically sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, the ZenFone Live (L1) is powered by a modest Snapdragon 425, an entry-level system-on-chip (SoC) for tablets and smartphones that was released in February 2016.
The ZenFone Live also has just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage, though users can expand the latter by way of a microSD card slot that supports memory cards up to 2TB. All of this powers a 5.5-inch Full View IPS HD+ display that you can unlock with your face.
"The pocket-friendly 5.5-inch ZenFone Live is just as small and compact as many standard 5-inch phones, something made possibly by its big and bright ASUS Full View HD+ display. This has ultraslim side bezels and an 18:9 aspect ratio that not only make it bigger, wider, clearer, and brighter (up to 400 nits), but also allow it to fit in a much smaller frame than a standard display. The result is more screen with less bulk, providing users with an immersive cinema-like experience in a lightweight body that's truly comfortable to hold," ASUS says.
For snapping photos, the ZenFone Live is equipped with a 5-megapixel front camera and an 8-megapixel rear camera. A growing number of smartphones wield dual camera setups for fancy Bokeh effects, but having a single camera sensor on the rear is apparently a necessary compromise to hit an ultra-low price point.
The ZenFone Live is available now, unlocked and in Midnight Black, at Best Buy.