2018 has been a very happening year for the Taiwanese manufacturer, Asus, with the launch of phones like Asus Zenfone 5Z and the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 the brand managed to own the mid-range segment fully. Although for its flagship, Asus saw a lot of competition, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 with its hefty 5,000mAh battery saw a gratifying response from the Indian buyers. To follow up to its previous success, Asus also introduced two new smartphones, the Asus Zenfone Max M1 and the Asus Zenfone Lite L1. The latter of the two comes with a very light price tag of Rs 6,999, and it competes with smartphones like the Xiaomi Redmi 6A and the Realme C1. Given its extremely competitive price tag, we decided that we had to review the device to know more about what this phone has in store to offer.
Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Design and Display
Like its competitors, the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 comes with a plastic casing which lends it a metallic texture. It weighs light and is comfortable to hold. On the rear side, we only get to spot a single rear camera, and there is also no fingerprint sensor. The power buttons and volume controls find their way to the right edge, whereas there is a three-way slot on the left side. The phone uses a Micro USB port on the lower edge and is surrounded by the speaker grilles on both sides. On the top edge, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone does come with some bulky bezels, but given its price tag, there is not much to say in this regard.
Speaking of the display, the Asus Zenfone lite L1 features a 5.45-inch HD+ screen with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The quality of the rendered colours and graphics is appreciable, as get to see enough contrast and dynamic range on screen. The display is also visible under direct sunlight making it well worth the price tag.
Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Hardware and Software
Under the hood, the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 packs the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset clocking a frequency of 1.4GHz. The processor pairs with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, alongside the option of a microSD card for expandable storage up to 256GB. The smartphone does lag a little bit behind its other competitors like the Realme C1 when it comes to hardware, however, it still manages to do a decent job. When testing for gaming, the phone did show considerable lags and was slow to load apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Netflix and so on. The 2GB RAM did not provide enough support for smooth gaming but proved to be decent for day to day tasks.
The device packs 3000mAh battery which can last for an entire day of usage complete with audio, video streaming and 4G turned on. But it depends on usage as one might end up charging the device before the day gets over.
On the software front, the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 boots Android 8.0 Oreo-based ZenUI 5.0. Given Asus’ custom ROM, the phone comes with a lot of pre-loaded applications like File manager and PowerMaster which can boost the battery life of the device for prolonged usage. However, the drawback of the pre-loaded apps is that they hog the limited 16GB memory on the device, meaning that users will have to rely on the additional microSD card for further storage. The phone relies on FaceUnlock for security purposes, but even for a budget smartphone, the FaceUnlock is pretty reliable and fast which comes off a positive of this device.
Asus has gone with Snapdragon 430 chipset to power this smartphone and it lacks the crucial Dual 4G and VoLTE feature. 2018 is the year of notches and Dual 4G smartphones in the Indian market, but Asus fails to offer the latter. The Realme C1 and Redmi 6A both offers Dual 4G functionality.
Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Camera
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 boasts of a 13MP rear snapper paired with a 5MP selfie snapper. We get to see decent quality pictures with the right lighting conditions. However, the picture quality deteriorates with low light settings. With the help of software, the phone can snap portrait shots; however, there is some grain when the pictures are zoomed upon. There are also features like beauty mode, panorama and time-lapse. For the unaware, it's the same camera setup as we saw on the Zenfone Max M1.
Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Verdict
Given the Asus Zenfone Lite L1’s price tag, the phone proves to be a good budget segment contender. For someone who doesn’t seem to pay much heed to average camera quality and can do without games on his smartphone, the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 can prove to be a worthy buy. Given its price tag, we are sure that the Zenfone Lite L1 sure packs a punch when it comes to an overall comparison with the competitors. But for those looking for the Dual 4G smartphone, the Zenfone Lite L1 shouldn't be the choice. In other aspects, the phone is on par with the Redmi 6A but loses on the battery aspect when compared to the Realme C1 whose price has been increased to Rs 7,999 in the country.