Zenfone Lite L1 (ZA551KL) Review - Best Among Entry Level Budget Phone

The range of budget mobiles has seen a great surge in the last 4-5 years. If we go back say in 2013, the average Indian consumer had to spend at least around 9,000-10,000 to be able to purchase a quality smartphone, with loaded features. Today, it all has changed. The price for a quality - packed with features smartphone has come down to as less as 6,000.

Asus is one particular brand that has in all honesty, not really entered this price range of 6,000 thus far or as we call it- the budget ended range. It has however realized that there lies a great potential to target the average Indian consumer in this price range and has thus introduced the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 - with an introductory price of 5,999 and subsequently available at 6,999.

We try and look at whether it is worth purchasing the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 in a price category that has some terrific competition - most threateningly from the brand that has mastered this price range I.e. Xiaomi.

 

DESIGN

 

We’ll get straight to the build quality. In all genuineness, you cannot be expecting a great build quality in an average budget ended phone. Therefore, don’t get your hopes too high with Asus Zenfone Lite L1 as well. The build quality is an average plastic looky and it feels average in your hand, just as any other smartphone in this range does.

What appeals to us the most in terms of design is the screen size and quality. With a 5.45 screen at this price point, we believe this is an area that will positively motivate consumers towards this mobile.

With Sim TRAY (with Dual-Sim support), along with MicroSD card slot to extend the memory on the left and power and volume button on the right, the overall design of the mobile is good. There are two color variants in Gold and Black. Micro USB Port is at the bottom and the headphone jack is at the top.

Specifications

Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 Processor which powers the higher ended version of the same phone I.e. Zenfone Max M1 is also backing performance in Asus Zenfone Lite L1. With 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage space, Asus has given plenty for a budget-oriented consumer to be satisfied with.

Support for 4G on both the dual sims is provided. However, the pick is that you can access only one sim to the 4G speed at a given time. In terms of battery, you’ll get a 3,00 mAh which is fairly common in this price range, so nothing big to report here.

Android Oreo backs the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 along with Asus ZenUI. The UI was pretty comfortable to use and while we were a little skeptical at first - comparing it with MIUI, our experience was fairly positive.

One big feature that everyone is talking about is the Face Unlock given by Asus in this budget ended smartphone. Usually, at this price range- it doesn’t seem to work too well but we weren’t left disappointed by the way Face Unlock functioned, it took only a few seconds to unlock in our testing results. The phone however doesn’t support finger unlocking.

Camera & Battery - how does the phone perform?

Camera is something that every buyer - budget, medium or high ended looks for. In a budget oriented phone, camera is though not always the first priority from the brand as it can lead to serious performance lags.

 

With a 13MP camera at the back, you are better off not to be expecting too much. Again, there’s only so much you can get at the price point at which this phone comes. The photos we took in the broad daylight were average, nothing to boast about. The problem was during the night time, where even some of the high end phones leave you disappointed, so it’s unfair to explain much on the mobile, in terms of the camera quality.

In terms of gaming performance, with regard to the impact it has on the battery life - we were pleasantly surprised at how the phone managed to run an average day with usage of games like subway surfers or even a bit of PUBG. Given, the phone does lag while playing the latter but a few shutters here and there is expected with the processor at hand.

Using whatsapp, watching videos on youtube or just surfing in general should last you well over a day on this phone. This genuinely is a strong selling point for a budget oriented phone, since the consumer will always look for maximum utilization for every single charge and Asus Zenfone Lite L1 doesn’t disappoint.

 

The battery therefore is quite satisfactory to the price point. It wont lead to a disaster, should you use it too aggressively I.e. run multiple apps or play more heavy ended games like PUBG - you may run out well within a day but then that’s the case with mid ranged phones as well. In general, the battery is not a weak point here.

Verdict

We feel greatly thrilled to be reviewing a phone from Asus, priced as aggressively as this. This goes to show what the future beholds for the Indian smartphone market where the price wars has begun between the top most brands to target the “budget-oriented” consumer.

The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is a strong option in this range. The build quality is average and so is the camera but it isn’t as if there are far far better options in this range. Asus Zenfone Lite L1 will therefore give a tough fight to Redmi6A but the latter remains the stronger of the two. Moreover, if you’re willing to extend your budget a little more, RealMe 2 and Redmi6 are really strong options in the 8,000-9,000 range.