Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Great Camera, Disappointing performance

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is quite affordable and looks good on paper, but how does that translate to real life performance? Is it worth it? Let's find out.

Zenfone Lite L1
The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is one of the cheapest Zenfones you can buy, however, is it worth it?

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is supposed to be a really affordable sub Rs. 7,000 smartphone that offers great performance. However, ambition is not enough to build a great smartphone. The Zenfone Lite L1 packs decent specifications for its price but does it live up to the mark Asus priced it at? Let’s find out.

Asus Zenfone Lite L1

The Asus Zenfone Lite L1 comes with a 1.40 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 coupled with an Adreno 505 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It sports a 5.45-inch (720 x 1440 pixels) LCD display. For the optics, it features a 13-megapixel sensor with a f/2.0 aperture and an LED Flash on the back. For selfies, it packs a 5-megapixel sensor with a f/2.4 aperture. All of this is backed by a 3,000mAh Battery.

Zenfone Lite L1
Asus Zenfone Lite L1 sports a 18:9 aspect ratio display.

The device sports a plastic back panel that feels quite cheap. It runs Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo with Asus’s ZenUI skin on top. The phone sports dual SIM card slots, a dedicated microSD card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port for charging and data syncing. There is no fingerprint sensor on this one.

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Design

There is nothing that might interest you in the design of the Asus Zenfone Lite L1. The back is made out of plastic and doesn’t feel good. The looks are nothing fancy too, it looks like a basic smartphone with nothing unique to itself.

Zenfone Lite L1
Asus has stretched the display on Zenfone Lite L1 to reduce bezels

The device sports a 5.45-inch LCD display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. Unlike the trend of 2018, there is no notch on the display, However, the display is stretched a bit to reduce bezels. The speaker grille, 5-megapixel front camera, and the sensor array are all placed on the top bezel. Due to Asus deciding to skip the Notch on this one, it gives the device symmetry with the bezels at both the top and bottom, which looks nice.

Zenfone Lite L1
Asus Zenfone Lite L1 sports a plastic back panel.

On the back, the device sports a camera setup and an LED flash aligned in a vertical orientation on the top left corner. The phone bears Asus branding in the centre of the device. The camera although being a low camera on the low-budget range smartphone has a bulge on it, which means the device has a big image sensor.

Zenfone Lite L1
Here’s how the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 looks from the right, left, top, bottom in order

On the right edge, you can see a power button with the volume rockers. The left edge holds the SIM card tray with SIM slots and a dedicated micro-SD card slot. The top edge houses a headphone jack and the bottom edge features a micro-USB port along with speakers and microphone.

Overall the design of the smartphone feels pretty dated. That might appeal to some people who like simplistic designs instead of the fancy ones smartphone companies are using these days. Asus didn’t try to hide that the phone is made out of plastic, which is appreciated. Also, the company tried to maintain symmetry throughout the device with the microphone grille looking like the speaker grille and more.

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Software

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 runs Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo with the company’s own ZenUI skin on top. ZenUI is a skin that Asus adds to almost all of its devices giving them a unique look and feel. It offers a heavily customized Android experience with its icon packs and some bloatware apps like Facebook, Atok and BR Apps. These might be useful for some people but not for all. However, a plus point is that some of these apps can be uninstalled and others can easily be disabled from the app drawer itself.

Zenfone Lite L1 Software
Asus’s ZenUI has definitely evolved, but there is still a lot more things that Asus can do to make it better.

Overall ZenUI has evolved a lot from its old days of Zenfone 2. It now has a less amount of bloatware and modifications. There are small features that have been added here and there which make the experience better than most of the other skins. Still, there is a lot of progress that is needed to be made by the Asus.

Also Read: OnePlus, Nokia, Xiaomi: List of smartphones receiving Google’s Android Pie update

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Performance

Performance is a major area of concern on any device, the same goes for Asus Zenfone Lite L1. It is powered by a 1.99 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor coupled with an Adreno 505 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

Zenfone Lite L1 AnTuTu and GeekBench
Here’s how the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 performed on AnTuTu (Left) and Geekbench (Right)

We ran our usual benchmark tests test to evaluate the performance of the device. On AnTuTu it yielded a score of 55521, which is great considering the price and competition. On GeekBench it managed to get a single core score of 663 and a multi-core score of 2349. The performance numbers of the device on paper were great for the value. However, the phone exhibits quite some lag during normal usage.

While playing light games such as Temple Run and Crossy Chicken, the phone shows a bit of lag here and there. Heavy games like Asphalt 9 Legends and PUBG Mobile are almost next to impossible to play.

Also Read: List of smartphones receiving android 9.0 pie update: OnePlus, Nokia, Xiaomi and more

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Display

Zenfone Lite L1
Readability under direct sunlight on the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is pretty bad

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 sports a 5.45-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1440×720 pixels. The brightness levels are able to get quite low and decently high depending on the situation. The colours are okay for a smartphone at this price. Display legibility under direct sunlight is not good, but that is mainly due to brightness not being high enough.

Also Read: Top 5 smartphones of 2018: Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Xiaomi Poco F1 and more

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Camera

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 features a 13-megapixel rear camera sensor with a f/2.0 aperture and a 5-megapixel with a f/2.4 aperture on the front. Both the camera sensors are good on paper. Although, not everything depends on the camera lenses as we have seen in the past.

Images taken with the rear camera come out very good. The colours are little brighter than natural but the image look very good. The contrast and saturation is also great. Overall the back camera is amazing considering the price point and is one of the best you can get under Rs. 7,000.

Zenfone Lite L1 Camera
Beauty Mode (Left) and Normal(Right)

The front camera is a totally different story. The photos taken come out a little to dark and the white balance is very bad. Turning on the beauty mode solves this issue, however, the white balance still remains an issue.

Overall, the rear camera performs exceptionally well, considering the price. Whereas, the front camera needs a lot of work.

Also Read: Here’s how to get free Google Play Store credit for making App Purchases

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Battery

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is backed by a 3,000mAh battery, which lasts for a little over 24 hours on a single charge. Charging time with the included charger is around two hours, which is not bad. According to us, you might want to charge this smartphone in the night before going to bed so that it doesn’t die on you.

Zenfone Lite L1 Battery
Here’s how the Asus Zenfone Lite L1 performed during out battery review.

We ran PCMark’s Work 2.0 Battery Life test, which subjects the phone to heavy usage and finds out how the battery performs in those conditions. The device yielded a result of 9 hours and 42 minutes, which seems a bit low in comparison to similar battery capacity smartphones.

Also Read: Here are the top 5 gadgets you should buy this holiday Season

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 Review: Verdict

Zenfone Lite L1
The Zenfone Lite L1 impresses with its camera

Asus Zenfone Lite L1 is priced at Rs. 5,499, for which the performance and the features it offers, are a mixed bag. On one had the rear camera performance is amazing and on the other hand, having only 2GB RAM is quite a limiting factor for this smartphone.

This makes the Zenfone Lite L1 quite a hard device to recommend. If your priority is camera then go for it. However, if your priority is performance, pass this one.