- 5-inch HD IPS display with useful image settings
- Feature-rich UI with many pre-installed apps
- 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage + microSD slot
- 8MP camera with many modes and settings + Full HD video recording
- Not a very durable battery
This time we are not reviewing one of the latest smartphones because we thought that this publication might appeal to users who are on a budget. We are talking about ASUS ZenFone Go (ZC500TG), which is one of the best deals in the low-end market segment. The model offers the traditional for the Taiwanese company design and some very decent specs.
Of course, we must not forget that this price range has a lot of competitors such as Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016), which we recently reviewed. The current article, however, is dedicated to ASUS ZenFone Go (ZC500TG). Actually, ZenFone Go has another cheaper and newer version but we decided to discuss the more interesting (in our opinion) model that comes with a 5-inch IPS HD display, quad-core processor, and an 8MP main camera. Of course, this is not all that this phone has to offer, so if you want to learn more about it, this is the right place – read on.
Design and construction
Although it’s a budget device, ZenFone Go preserves the ZenFone lineup design language. Its back is slightly rounded along the edges for better grip. Because of this, the profile thickness of 10 mm seems thinner. Holding ZenFone Go in one hand is comfortable, and it feels lightweight (it weighs only 135 grams).
The back cover is matte plastic, and at least with the white version we are testing fingerprints are hard to find, although you may see some from a particular angle. This side holds the main camera (in the center) and its LED flash. Right above them, you can find an integrated microphone for background noise cancellation. Slightly below, and again in the center, there are inscriptions saying ASUS and Zenfone, and the loudspeaker (placed further below).
On the front, you may notice the slightly thicker side bezels, which is negligible in a budget device. Below the display, there are the three Android capacitive buttons (not part of the screen and without LED backlighting). Above the screen, there is the front-facing camera, earpiece, another ASUS inscription, and the barely noticeable ambient light and proximity sensors.
On the right, you can find the volume controls and Power button (right below them). They are thin and slightly protruding. We find them comfortable to use with just enough key travel and uneven texture for ease of use. On top, there is only a headphones jack, and on the bottom – the main mic and microUSB port for charging and data transfer.
Under the hood
Furthermore, the back is removable with the help of a small notch in the lower corner. Once it’s out of the way, you will find two microSIM card slots and one microSD card slot. You can also easily remove the battery.
Display and sound
ZenFone Go (ZC500TG) features 5-inch HD display (1280 x 720p). This translates into a pixel density of approximately 294 ppi, and the image will display maximum detail when you are looking at the screen from a distance of 30 cm or more. In other words, you get good image detail for the money. Additionally, ZenFone Go uses an IPS panel that brings more contrasty and vivid colors. Viewing angles are always good, and depending on the angle you are looking from, the colors may be a little warmer (yellowish) or colder (bluish).
What’s more, the smartphone comes with the MiraVision technology that improves image quality by a number of adjustments. For example, you can customize brightness and contrast levels, as well as color saturation. In the advanced settings, you can also adjust sharpness and color temperature. At the lowest end of the menu, there is a dynamic contrast option which enhances the image.
|OS||Android 5.1 Lollipop|
|CPU||Mediatek MT6580 (4-core, 1.30GHz, Cortex-A7)|
|Display||5-inch IPS LCD capacitive multitouch display (1280 x 720 p)|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, A-GPS|
|Cameras||8-MP autofocus camera with an LED flash (rear), 2MP (front)|
|Dimensions||71 x 144.5 x 10 mm|
This model features a 2070 mAh battery, and nobody seems to expect outstanding performance from it. Nonetheless, it has to supply a 5-inch IPS HD display, along with other components. Its settings menu does not offer additional power saving modes apart from the standard Battery saver, which comes with the Android platform. Of course, we examined this phone’s durability in five different tests – a phone call, Wi-Fi and 3G Web browsing, video playback and 3D gaming. The settings we used were the usual – screen brightness of 120 cd/m2, Wi-Fi module turned on, 3G turned off (except the 3G Web browsing test), Bluetooth and GPS turned off.
AsusZenfone GoZC500TGSamsungGalaxy J1(2016)SamsungGalaxy J3(2016)LG Spirit(H440N)CoolpadModenaPrestigioGrace S505001.0001.5002.0008361.0821.7181.1661.280763
|Asus Zenfone Go ZC500TG||836|
|Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016)||1.082|
|Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)||1.718|
|LG Spirit (H440N)||1.166|
|Prestigio Grace S5||763|
In this test the screen doesn’t affect the battery life, since the proximity sensor turns it off during phone calls.
|Asus Zenfone Go ZC500TG 2070 mAh, 5.0-inch, IPS, MediaTek MT6580||836||0 %|
|Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016) 2050 mAh, 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, Spreadtrum SC8830||1082||29.43 %|
|Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) 2600 mAh, 5.0-inch, Super AMOLED, Spreadtrum SC8830||1718||105.5 %|
|LG Spirit (H440N) 2100 mAh, 4.7-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916)||1166||39.47 %|
|Coolpad Modena 2500 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916)||1280||53.11 %|
|Prestigio Grace S5 2500 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, Mediatek MT6735P||763||– 8.73 %|
ASUS ZenFone Go operates with Android 5.1 Lollipop, although the latter is heavily customized and complemented by a number of features and apps thanks to the ZenUI. From the first time you power up the phone, you will see several pages of pre-installed apps. Fortunately, you can sort them into folders. Additionally, the menus have a specific layout as well. An example is the drop-down menu that has undergone a change in design but also brings more options and shortcuts. By long-pressing or swiping downwards, you will open the Manage Home menu where you can choose a Theme, Wallpaper, Scroll effects, edit pages, a shortcut to the system settings, and more.
Here is what you can expect in terms of pre-installed apps. MiniMovie allows you to create short videos with your photos and some text. PhotoCollage can be used for putting together your pictures into a collage with many effects. Quick memo, on the other hand, can come in handy for note taking. Via Zinio you can avail of an online store for magazines of all types. Tripadvisor will help you organize your vacation by giving you a detailed information about hotels, restaurants, landmarks, etc. ZenCircle is a kind of alternative social network where you can tag at and share different events and moments. Do it Later is an app in which you can note all future tasks and conveniently monitor your success. Share Link allows to easily share almost all kinds of files. Clean Master helps you check on the available RAM storage and options for ensuring more of it. Amazon Kindle is there for reading and buying books. Also available are a file manager, radio, flashlight, and many other apps.
In comparison to other ASUS smartphones we’ve tested, the settings menu here is slightly more simplified and does not contain Kids mode or Easy mode. However, there is the ZenMotion submenu that has two sections – Motion Gesture and Touch Gesture. The former allows you to take a screenshot or add a new task in Do it Later by shaking the smartphone. On the other hand, the latter gives you the option to double tap in order to unlock or lock the screen, as well as five options of drawing a letter on a locked screen which will serve as a shortcut to an app.
ASUS ZenFone Go (ZC500TG) works with the Mediatek MT6580 mobile CPU, which has four Cortex-A7 cores ticking at 1.3 GHz. This is a 32-bit chip manufactured through a 28nm technological process. It supports HD displays, up to 13MP cameras, 1080p video recording, and Bluetooth 4.0. Along with it comes a Mali-400 GPU that ensures GPU performance, and 2 GB of RAM. Undoubtedly, this isn’t among the most powerful chips on the market but most important here is that it ensures smooth and snappy enough operation, and we did not register any serious stuttering or lag.
The internal storage you get with this phone is 16 GB, 10.5 GB of which are available for the user, the rest is occupied the system files and pre-installed apps. However, as it was already mentioned, there is a microSD card slot which supports up to 64 GB cards.
AsusZenfone GoZC500TGSamsungGalaxy J1(2016)SamsungGalaxy J3(2016)LG Spirit(H440N)CoolpadModenaPrestigioGrace S505001.0001.5002.0001.1881.1651.2961.4631.1991.571
|Asus Zenfone Go ZC500TG||1.188|
|Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016)||1.165|
|Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)||1.296|
|LG Spirit (H440N)||1.463|
|Prestigio Grace S5||1.571|
Geekbench 3.0 is Primate Labs cross-platform processor benchmark which simulates real-world scenarios and gives a combined score, based on the results of integer, floating point and memory performance.
|Asus Zenfone Go ZC500TG MediaTek MT6580 (4-core, Cortex-A7, 2GB RAM||1188||0 %|
|Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016) Spreadtrum SC8830 (4-core, Cortex-A7, 1.5 GHz), 1GB RAM||1165||– 1.94 %|
|Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) Spreadtrum SC8830 (4-core, Cortex-A7, 1.5 GHz), 1.5GB RAM||1296||9.09 %|
|LG Spirit (H440N) Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 1GB RAM||1463||23.15 %|
|Coolpad Modena Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 1GB RAM||1199||0.93 %|
|Prestigio Grace S5 Mediatek MT6735P (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1GB RAM||1571||32.24 %|
AsusZenfone GoZC500TGSamsungGalaxy J1(2016)SamsungGalaxy J3(2016)LG Spirit(H440N)CoolpadModenaPrestigioGrace S50,02,55,07,510,07,85,54,55,35,3
|Asus Zenfone Go ZC500TG||7,8|
|Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016)||5,5|
|Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)||4,5|
|LG Spirit (H440N)||5,3|
|Prestigio Grace S5|
The T-Rex 2.7 test is based on ES 2.0/GL 3.0 and includes highly detailed textures, materials, complex geometry, particles with animated textures and a post-process motion blur effect. The graphics pipeline also features planar reflections, specular highlights and soft-shadows.
|Asus Zenfone Go ZC500TG MediaTek MT6580; GPU: Mali-400, ; 2GB RAM||7.8||0 %|
|Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016) Spreadtrum SC8830; ; 1GB RAM||5.5||– 29.49 %|
|Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) Spreadtrum SC8830; ; 1.5GB RAM||4.5||– 42.31 %|
|LG Spirit (H440N) Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 1GB RAM||5.3||– 32.05 %|
|Coolpad Modena Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 1GB RAM||5.3||– 32.05 %|
|Prestigio Grace S5 Mediatek MT6735P; GPU: Mali-T720, ; 1GB RAM||0 %|
After discussing the performance, the time has come for us to see what are the exterior temperatures after a continuous stress test. As you may guess, we used the Epic Citadel app for several hours of simulated 3D gaming. Immediately after this, we measured the maximum temperature values in several sections on the smartphone’s back. The hottest point turned out to be in the camera area where we measured 46.4 degrees. In the middle we got 44.7, and around the speaker – 40.6 degrees. These results are slightly above the understanding for reasonable temperatures. However, considering the fact that we are talking about maximum values after a stress test, we can let it pass.
ZenFone Go (ZC500TG) has an 8MP camera with an LED flash, autofocus, and f/2.0 maximum aperture value. We were impressed by its rich menu, as it offers many modes and manual settings. Apart from the automatic mode, you will also find:
- HDR – suitable for shooting against the sun
- Beautification – offers various options for beautification of your face such as skin smoothing
- Night– good for shooting in poorly lit environments
- Depth of field – suitable for shooting close objects, as it adds background blur
- Effect– various effects (including frames)
- Selfie – after you choose the number of faces in the shot, point the rear camera toward you and once the faces are recognized, the self-timer will start counting down
- GIF animation – by pressing the shutter button you can take up to 30 shots that will form a GIF animation
- Panorama – for panoramic shots
- Time rewind – the camera takes several shots, allowing you to choose the best frame
- Smart remove – you can remove unwanted objects from the shot
- All smiles – suitable for group shots because it takes five photos combining the best facial expression of each person into one shot
- Slow motion – for slow motion video recording
- Time lapse – for time lapse video recording
The front camera is only 2MP but it also features useful modes and functions such as HDR, selfie panorama, Beauty mode, effects, GIF animation, slow motion, and time-lapse.
ASUS ZenFone Go (ZC500TG) met our expectations as one of the best budget smartphones on the market. In taking a closer look at its capabilities, we discovered some drawbacks such as the not so durable battery (especially for video playback). The mobile CPU ensures reasonable performance but the exterior temperatures we measured are slightly higher than the generally accepted, and yet acceptable.
On the other hand, it’s not always the case that a budget device will have a 5-inch IPS HD display or 2 GB of RAM. Additionally, the ASUS UI preserves its tradition of providing many features and a long list of pre-installed apps. We’re also happy with the main camera – in terms of its image quality and the various modes that can make your photos even more attractive. Furthermore, you have the options of slow motion, time lapse, and Full HD video recording.