|Launch Date||October 24, 2018 (Official)|
|Model||Zenfone Lite L1|
|Operating System||Android v8.0 (Oreo)|
|Custom UI||Zen UI|
|SIM Slot(s)||Dual SIM, GSM+GSM|
|SIM Size||SIM1: Nano|
|Network||4G: Available (supports Indian bands)|
|Screen Size||5.45 inches (13.84 cm)|
|Screen Resolution||720 x 1440 pixels|
|Pixel Density||295 ppi|
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Screen to Body Ratio (claimed by the brand)||82.3 %|
|Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)||72.63 %|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 MSM8937|
|Processor||Octa core, 1.4 GHz, Cortex A53|
|Internal Memory||16 GB|
|User Available Storage||Up to 7.0 GB|
|USB OTG Support||yes|
|Resolution||5 MP Front Camera|
|Image Resolution||4128 x 3096 Pixels|
|Settings||Exposure compensation, ISO control|
|Shooting Modes||Continuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)|
|Camera Features||Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus|
|Video Recording||1920x1080 @ 30 fps|
|Standby time||Up to 672 Hours(4G)|
|Network & Connectivity|
|SIM Size||SIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano|
|Network Support||4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G|
|Wi-Fi Features||Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile Hotspot|
|USB Connectivity||Mass storage device, USB charging, microUSB 2.0|
|Audio Jack||3.5 mm|
|Other Sensors||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass|
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is literally one of the kind phones in this price segment. It packs an all-metal build which is quite rare in this segment, the battery life is impressive, the performance is more than acceptable, and kudos to Asus for going with a true Octa-Core processor rather than sticking to Quad-Core 425 chip. The software experience is also on the good side, practically speaking, the only downside to the Lite L1 is the average camera which is not a deal breaker considering the price you are paying. So, if you are in the market looking for a phone, the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is a perfect choice.
Asus is back in the game post the incredible success of the Zenfone Max Pro M1. The phone only not only changed the company’s brand image in the market but also gave a clear idea to Asus what the mass audience in India need. Following the same inspiration, the company launched the flagship Zenfone 5Z in India which too has seen decent success. Moving past the mid-range and flagship stuff, the company recently brought the Zenfone Lite L1 in India which is its budget offering to concrete its place in the sub Rs. 6,000 price segment. The Zenfone Lite L1 looks like a new series from Asus and on paper, it sure looks promising. In our today’s review, we shall find out if its worth the money. Let’s get started.
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 sports a 5.45-inch (1440 x 720 pixels) HD+ IPS display with 18:9 aspect ratio, 400 nits brightness, 800:1 contrast ratio. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 64-bit Octa-Core processor Mobile Platform clocked at 1.4GHz with Adreno 505 GPU. It packs 2GB RAM with 16GB internal storage, that is expandable up to 256GB with microSD. It runs on Android 8.0 (Oreo) with ZenUI 5.0.
In terms of camera, the Zenfone Lite L1 features a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, 5P lens, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture and a 5MP front-facing camera with LED flash, f/2.4 aperture. There is no fingerprint sensor but packs Face Unlock. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS. A 3000mAh battery is on board.
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 unlike the most phones in this budget packs an all-metal build that offers great grip and in-hand feels. At this pricing, the Zenfone Lite L1 is one of the fewest phones to come with a solid metal build that in no way feels ordinary or cheap. We are really impressed with the build quality and how good it feels against our hands while using it. The 18:9 aspect ratio is quite modern and gives an impressive screen-to-body ratio for media consumption and gaming experience. The edges are rounded and the back is slightly curved so you never hurt your hands even if you hold the phone longer.
Moving to placements, up front, you find the 5-megapixel selfie camera, ambient and proximity sensor, main earpiece, and down below the 5.45-inches screen are the three touch type capacitive buttons that are placed within the display. You have a dedicated SIM slot and microSD card slot on the left and the power on/off switch, volume rockers are present on the right side. Top houses the 3.5mm audio jack, while the microUSB port, speaker grill, and primary microphone are situated at the bottom. Flipping the phone to the rear is where you find the 13-megapixel rear camera with Dual LED flash, Asus branding. The Antenna bands are present right above the camera module. The back panel isn’t removable, so is the battery. Overall, the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 build and design for the pricing is just awesome.
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 sports a 5.45-inches HD+ (1440 × 720 pixels) 18:9 display with 400 nits brightness, 800:1 contrast ratio. The 18:9 aspect ratio is slowly finding its way into the budget segment and is moving past the regular 16:9 aspect ratio. The additional screen real-estate offers impressive screen-to-body ratio for media consumption and gaming. Moving to the panel, despite being 720p, the colors really pop-out and they look vivid. You can also tinker with the display color balance according to your taste.
The viewing angles are good, we didn’t notice any distortion in colors even when viewing from extreme angles. As mentioned, the colors look accurate and very natural. Be it gaming or media consumption; we had a good time. It was able to play 1080p videos and thanks to the able chipset, it could run moderate graphics intensive games. It also has an auto-brightness sensor which when enabled automatically adjusts the brightness depending on the ambient light. Thanks to the 450 nits brightness, the display is also bright and we were able to access the content outdoors even with maximum brightness. There is no Corning Gorilla Glass protection, so it is better if you apply a screen protector. Overall, the display of the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is quite good for the pricing.
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC 64-bit Mobile Platform clocked at 1.4GHz Octa-Core processor with Adreno 505 GPU and 2GB RAM. The chipset is very capable of pulling day-to-day tasks and slightly heavy tasks as well. As expected, it was able to pull off apps like Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram which are resource intensive apps without showing any lag or stutters. We didn’t notice any lag while scrolling through the Chrome as well. Despite having 4-5 apps in the background, the phone was smooth and never showed signs of slowing down. The UI offers smoother transitions and animations.
However, if you push the device to its extreme limits, it will start slowing down, hang, taking time to respond. Always clear out the unused apps or inactive apps from the background to have smooth user experience and to run active apps smoothly. As mentioned above, apps never run of memory hence the multitasking was good enough. In the gaming department, the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 produces mixed results. It can run high-end games like PUBG, Asphalt 8, Leos Fortune, and more, but with medium graphics settings. Considering the price, it is fine with us. We are happy that it can even play high-end games in the first place.
The device doesn’t come with a Fingerprint sensor but packs a face unlock. It works good and uses the front camera to unlock. The animation is smooth and unlocks the phone instantly. Overall, the performance of the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is impressive considering the price.
The Zenfone Lite L1 features a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, 5P lens, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture and a 5MP front-facing camera with LED flash, f/2.4 aperture. The camera interface is very simplified; it has toggles for front camera switch, LED flash, ability to adjust the aspect ratio, timer, grid, video mode, and setting option right on the main screen. Though being a single lens, the camera packs a portrait mode which works in a way, but the background blur is not very accurate and looks artificial. Moving to camera performance, given the good lighting conditions, it can shoot decent images that are colourful and details preserved. The landscape images turn out good with a right balance of colors, while the focusing was perfect even when clicking close up macro shots. However, if you are in semi-artificial lighting conditions, the output from the rear camera looks kind of muted and have no life in them. There is HDR mode but needs to be turned on always, the results are acceptable and are a bit better compared to regular shots. Moving to low-light, the pictures are soft and are completely washed out in colors. There is noise in images, but it is still acceptable considering the pricing. The rear camera can record 1080p videos and the footage is acceptable.
The front is a 5MP sensor which is accompanied with an LED flash and the selfies are good enough for the price. It also gets a portrait mode and it works to some extent. The artificial blurring is evident but the company gets a brownie point for trying to include all the necessary features in a budget phone. Overall, the cameras of the Zenfone Lite L1 is just average at best.
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 packs a 3000mAh built-in battery with no support for fast charging. On our regular working day which includes tasks like taking calls, sending text messages, GPS navigations, social media browsing, stream music to some extent, and other basic tasks, the battery was able to last until the evening without stressing much. The battery optimizations are really impressive as it didn’t drop drastically.
Moving along, with heavy to continuous usage which includes tasks like gaming, streaming movies through 4G/Wi-Fi, the battery could last until the evening without any issues, but we had to charge more than once to end the day. It went straight up 8 hours on continuous video loop test and managed to give 4-5 hours of screen on time consistently. The only downside to the battery department is the lack of fast-charging. With the bundled charger, the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 took close to 2 hours 30 minutes to charge fully from 0 to 100%. Overall, the battery of the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is quite impressive for the price and gets the job done perfectly.
The company didn’t include earphones within the box and considering the pricing of the phone, we saw it coming. Moving along, the audio quality when tested with the headphones we had with us was good. There was no distortion or squeaking sounds even when playing music with maximum volume. The speaker grill is placed on the bottom, so it might get in your way when you are holding the phone in landscape mode. When your hands are not coming in your way, the sound quality is impressive and is loud enough to cover an entire room. The default music player was able to play a wide range of music formats without any problem.
In terms of video department, the Zenfone Lite L1 is capable of playing 1080p videos and the playback was smooth without any issues. It can play a wide range of video format but we suggest you install MX Player. There were no heating or freezing issues at any point in time. Since the 18:9 aspect ratio brings more screen real estate, watching videos and movies was an excellent experience. Overall, the audio and video department is excellent but you will have to shell out some bucks on headphones for a better experience.
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with ZenUI 5.0. However, it remains to be seen if Asus would push out Android 8.1 or Pie update to the budget segment phone. Over the years, Zen UI has evolved into a perfect custom skin apart Stock Android. It is close to stock with minimal changes to the UI including a custom notification area, and icons. We like the subtle changes as it makes and keeps things interesting to use after a while. The notification area and the quick toggles are customs tweaked. Apart from Google set of apps, there are other apps like the Mobile manager, File manager, Themes, Gallery, Facebook, Messenger, Atok, BaBe, BR apps, JD and others. These apps can be removed without rooting, so it is a good thing. Since there is a themes app, you can change the look and feel of the UI using custom icon pack, wallpaper, and more. This should keep the phone interesting to use.
The phone comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage out of which around 8.49GB is usable storage and 1.4GB RAM is available on first boot. While the storage is expandable using a microSD card, 2GB RAM is all you get. Considering the price, we are more than fine to see what the company is offering. Since the UI is almost close to Stock, things were pretty smooth and responsive. We didn’t notice any apps running out of memory and it is a good thing. It could handle decent multitasking with about 5-6 active apps in the background. The software experience on the Zenfone Lite L1 is impressive and does a good job.