The Asus Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 6 are now cleared for sale in Taiwan, though it’s hard to say if the phones will ever make it to the U.S.
The Zenfone 5 and 6, you may recall, were both unveiled back at CES. There’s also the Zenfone 4, which hasn’t yet gained regulatory approval in Taiwan, but likely will sometime in the near future. Asus plans to sell the line of phones in April.
What sets the Zenfone 4, 5, and 6 apart from other phones is their price. The Zenfone 4 starts at just $99, with the Zenphone 5 costing $149, and the Zenfone 6 coming in at $199. At those prices you’d expect cheap Mediatek or unbranded processors, low-resolution displays, and just terrible to mediocre specs all around. The Zenphone is part of a new class of cheaper phones, though: ones with specs that manufacturers can be proud of.
The whole line uses dual-core Intel Atom processors, and while the Zenfone 4 has an 800×480 display, both the Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 6 have 720p displays. While the phones are priced for the low end, the specs are at least mid-range. These are the phones the Moto G will compete against, if Asus can bring them to other countries.
Sure, it’s easy to ignore these phones for not being big flagship devices, but not everyone can afford to buy phones like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5. For some people, even the $350 Nexus 5 is a bit too much. The Zenfone line gives those users decent phone options at low prices. That’s a pretty big deal. Not only can they spread Android to more users, they can help connect more people in emerging markets to the rest of the world.
That being said, it would be nice to see these phones make it to the U.S., even just as unlocked devices. They’d serve as good alternatives to the current crop of phones available on prepaid networks. There is the Moto G, but competition is always nice.
Would you consider picking up one of these cheap phones if they ever make it to the U.S. or other countries?