While Asus smartphones were a rare sight at major US wireless service providers in past years, the biggest of the nation’s “big four” has decided to carry not one and not two, but three of the Taiwanese company’s new Android devices over the last few months.
The ZenFone V and V Live of course have very little in common with the ZenFone AR, lacking advanced Google Tango and Daydream capabilities. Still, the Big Red-exclusive mid-range duo is affordable and eye-catching enough to quietly develop its own following.
Unveiled earlier today and put up for sale immediately, the Asus ZenFone V Live is a severely downgraded version of the original ZenFone V in every department but two. Targeted at vloggers or just folks who want to make their Facebook friends jealous, the new 5-incher comes pre-loaded with a rather ingenious livestream beautification functionality.
This allows you to adjust and control facial features, complexion and skin blemishes while recording and broadcasting your life on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.
Ironically, the ZenFone V Live also runs newer software than the ZenFone V out the box, namely Android 7.1.1 Nougat, otherwise including pretty modest specs. We’re talking 720p screen resolution, a Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a 13MP rear camera, 5MP selfie shooter, and a 3000mAh battery that, come to think of it, is not at all bad.
Available at $7 a month for two years or $168 outright, the mid-ranger also stands out in that price bracket with a full-metal body, curved 2.5D glass, USB Type-C connectivity, and fingerprint recognition.