Notebookcheck

Asus ZenFone Go Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, Manuel Masiero (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/10/2017

Go, ZenFone, go! Even lower mid-range devices have to have special features today. This is why Asus' ZenFone Go comes with an ergonomic design, HD screen, and removable battery. In this report, we will clarify if the affordable ZenFone Go is convincing.

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With a recommended price of almost 179 Euros ($190), Asus' ZenFone is an entry-level device with mid-range ambitions. Thus, it is slightly more expensive than last year's ZenFone Go, but now it has a better camera and bigger battery in return. High-end features should not be expected this year either. However, at least it comes with an HD panel, removable battery, dual SIM function, and LTE. Asus advertises its ergonomic design and various casing colors of which only black, silver, and white are currently offered in Germany.

We use LG's X PowerWiko's U FeelLenovo's K6, and Huawei's P8 Lite for comparison. All devices are in a price range of 150 to 200 Euros (~$159 to ~$212).

Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL (Zenfone Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10.63 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm headset jack, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 64 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, compass, FM radio
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1900/​2100), LTE (1/2/3/5/7/8/20); bandwidth (download/​upload): 150Mbps/50Mbps (LTE); SAR rates: 0.484 W/kg (head); 1.02 W/kg (body), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 11.25 x 143.7 x 71 ( = 0.44 x 5.66 x 2.8 in)
Battery
10.1 Wh, 2600 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix f/​2.0, AF, LED flash
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: rear-sided speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB cable, headset, Asus Service Center, themes, performance, audio assistent, mobile manager, ZenFone Service, ZenTalk, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
135 g ( = 4.76 oz / 0.3 pounds), Power Supply: 56 g ( = 1.98 oz / 0.12 pounds)
Price
179 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Asus' ZenFone is made entirely of plastic. A stripe with the typical design of Asus' Zen products is inserted below the menu keys: Metal looks with polished, concentric rings. The surfaces are monochrome and otherwise simple. The back is rounded toward the outer sides, which makes it comfortable to hold the ZenFone Go in the hand. The design is also rather organic and roundish rather than angular and thus the handset is pleasant to the touch. Fortunately, the back cover can be removed and the battery can be exchanged. However, both the back cover and battery are relatively difficult to remove. We even had to use a screwdriver to pry out the battery. Asus offers covers in different colors. However, they cannot be purchased individually and are only in a set of colors. Blue and red are currently not available in Central Europe. Silver with brushed aluminum looks, black and white are currently the three color versions on this market.

The clearly curved back makes the ZenFone Go significantly thicker than other smartphones from this category. However, its weight of 135 grams (~4.8 oz) also makes it very light. We quite liked the casing's stability. Pressure on the back or the screen left the smartphone just as unimpressed as our twisting attempts. The smartphone makes a very high-quality impression here. Only the back cover sometimes produced a cracking noise under pressure.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

2 GB of working memory and 16 GB of storage are a typical configuration for this category. Smartphones, such as Wiko' U Feel or Huawei's P8 Lite (2017), come with one GB of working memory extra. A fingerprint scanner is now not unusual in this price range, but Asus' ZenFone Go does not feature this. An FM radio and USB OTG are part of the configuration though.

Upper edge: Standby button, 3.5-mm audio jack
Upper edge: Standby button, 3.5-mm audio jack
Lower edge: USB port
Lower edge: USB port
Left: No interfaces
Left: No interfaces
Right: No interfaces
Right: No interfaces

Software

Asus calls its proprietary user interface ZenUI. It is based on Android, and only a few and mainly visual modifications have been made to Google's Android 6.0 operating system at first glance. It was pleasing that a software update was available right after starting our tests. Thus, Asus apparently takes care of its low-cost smartphones. The Android security patches dated 1st March 2017 after the update and are thus quite up-to-date: Very good, Asus.

Asus has preloaded quite a few software on its handset. Fortunately, there is no adware apart from a hotel-rating platform app. The apps allow accessing Asus' Service Center and the Zen Community or cleaning up the smartphone.

Communication and GPS

It is quite normal that only the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n standard is supported in this price range. However, it is unfortunately not normal that a smartphone should also utilize the speed reserves, which the ZenFone Go does. The review sample achieved almost twice the transmission speed as most comparison devices in our standardized Wi-Fi test a meter (~3 ft) away from the router. Very good.

LTE is now also a matter of course, but this was included for only specific countries in the predecessor. Thus, the current ZenFone Go is significantly more up-to-date. The review sample is also on par with the comparison devices with its bandwidth of 150 MBit per second (download) and 50 MBit per second (upload). However, it offers a relatively large selection with seven LTE bands, and thus it is quite possible that a fast mobile network will be found even in somewhat more exotic countries. The indoor LTE reception was good in the well-developed Vodafone network in an urban area.

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Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
99.7 MBit/s ∼100%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash
54.5 MBit/s ∼55% -45%
Lenovo K6
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
51.9 MBit/s ∼52% -48%
LG X Power K220
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
47.1 MBit/s ∼47% -53%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
106 MBit/s ∼100%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.9 MBit/s ∼51% -49%
LG X Power K220
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.5 MBit/s ∼50% -50%
Lenovo K6
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
52.4 MBit/s ∼49% -51%
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

The GPS module of the ZenFone Go could not locate us indoors. The reception improves when moving towards a window, and the maximum accuracy of 7 meters (~23 ft) outdoors is acceptable.

In the practical test where we take the review sample and Garmin's Edge 500 on a bike ride, the ZenFone Go unfortunately lost the signal to the satellite at 4.8 kilometers (~3 mi) of the route, and did not reconnect. The professional navigation system logged the entire route correctly. This is too bad as the review sample did quite a good job on the route through the woods. Overall, the module seems to be quite susceptible to interference and thus, the user should think twice about relying on the ZenFone Go as a navigation system.

GPS Asus ZenFone Go: Overview
GPS Asus ZenFone Go: Overview
GPS Asus ZenFone Go: Woods
GPS Asus ZenFone Go: Woods
GPS Asus ZenFone Go: Crossing
GPS Asus ZenFone Go: Crossing
GPS Garmin Edge 500: Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500: Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500: Woods
GPS Garmin Edge 500: Woods
GPS Garmin Edge 500: Crossing
GPS Garmin Edge 500: Crossing

Telephone and Call Quality

Phone app
Phone app

Asus has modified the phone app. The keypad opens first and the user can access contacts and frequently called numbers via the tabs in the screen's upper area. Thus, overall, the app is quite similar to that of Google's standard app and its handling is also similarly comfortable.

The call quality is satisfactory. Unfortunately, the contact’s voice sounds very thin since the earpiece does not transmit the low tones. The maximum volume is good and its sound is also quite clear. Our voices also sound somewhat thin and bass-less to our contact, but transmission is also relatively clear and quite audible when we speak more quietly. The contact sounds similar as via the earpiece when using the hands-free mode. However, we had to speak louder in order for the contact to hear us.

Cameras

Front camera photo
Front camera photo

Asus' ZenFone Go is also on category average in terms of cameras: 13 megapixels in the back and 5 megapixels in the front are designed to capture decent photos. The image quality of the primary camera is, in fact, good. Its sharpness is appropriate, the subjective color reproduction is good, but the photos look much darker and subdued than those of LG's G4. The quality also decreases rapidly in poor light conditions. Objects are outlined visibly and colored areas are noisy. Consequently, Asus' ZenFone Go is more suitable for sunshine photographers.

Videos can be recorded in the Full HD resolution. The illumination adapts well to new situations, but it is a little too slow for our taste. Furthermore, the focus sometimes has to be readjusted manually.

The 5-megapixel front camera shoots decent selfies, and still displays details well even in dark places. However, it has problems with bright surroundings as objects are then quickly illuminated too strongly. The subjective sharpness is acceptable, but the photos should not be scaled up too much, otherwise distortions will soon become evident.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

The primary camera of Asus' ZenFone Go ZB500KL also has to show its capabilities in the lab. We analyze the color reproduction and sharpness under defined light conditions. Some colors are reproduced too brightly and also display a visible noise. The general image sharpness and the sharpness of texts on colored backgrounds are moderate. Apparently, Asus' ZenFone Go only creates really sharp photos in really ideal conditions. The sharpness decreases even more toward the photo's edges.

Screenshot of ColorChecker colors: Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors: Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Photographed reference card
Photographed reference card
Reference card details
Reference card details

Accessories and Warranty

In addition to a power supply and a USB cable, Asus also includes an earphone with an acceptable sound quality. Product-specific accessories are not listed on Asus' website.

The manufacturer ships its smartphones with a 24-month warranty.

Input Devices and Handling

The keyboard app is called ZenUI keyboard, and is thus a component integrated into the operating system. However, it is still possible to switch to Google's standard keyboard or download another keyboard from Google's Play Store. The ZenUI keyboard features relatively big keys. Unfortunately, the user will soon notice that the ZenFone Go has problems with fast typing and the app then does not respond as quickly. Thus, it is not possible to type as quickly as on higher-performance smartphones. This lethargy is also noticed when using Google's GBoard keyboard, so it is really related to the smartphone and not the app. Asus' keyboard offers different themes that allow customizing the keypad, a clipboard for text, and an extra keypad that opens quickly. Overall, the app can be used well, although there are the speed issues that we have mentioned.

The touchscreen's surface is good and responds reliably even in the corners. The software offers many helpful settings for impaired users, a one-hand mode, and ZenMotion integrates several motions and gestures. For example, double-tapping for waking up the smartphone, drawing letters for launching specified apps or muting the smartphone by turning it around.

Three menu touch buttons are found below the screen. They function relatively reliably and are clearly lettered. The standby button's position in the smartphone's upper edge is somewhat unusual. This sometimes involves a slightly longer distance than when it is situated on the right, but on the other hand, it is not pressed accidentally here. The volume control is on the rear, which is a good position when the user has gotten used to it. All keys have a clear pressure point and are quite reliable.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

With a screen size of 5 inches and a resolution of 1280x720 pixels, the ZenFone Go is on par with its rivals. Only Huawei P8 lite (2017) offers a Full HD screen. The screen in the review sample has an average brightness of 452 cd/m², which is also class average. The illumination of 84% is not particularly homogeneous: The screen is 76 cd/m² darker in the upper left than lower right when holding the smartphone in landscape mode. Consequently, the brightness of large colored surfaces is noticeably uneven.

407
cd/m²
452
cd/m²
478
cd/m²
435
cd/m²
459
cd/m²
469
cd/m²
434
cd/m²
453
cd/m²
483
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 483 cd/m² Average: 452.2 cd/m² Minimum: 6.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Contrast: 1093:1 (Black: 0.42 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.5 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 6.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
96.23% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.22
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
IPS, 1280x720, 5
LG X Power K220
IPS, 1280x720, 5.3
Wiko U Feel
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Lenovo K6
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
Huawei P8 lite 2017
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Screen
-11%
14%
5%
9%
Brightness middle
459
381
-17%
500
9%
470
2%
575
25%
Brightness
452
352
-22%
485
7%
461
2%
559
24%
Brightness Distribution
84
85
1%
83
-1%
88
5%
91
8%
Black Level *
0.42
0.2
52%
0.22
48%
0.38
10%
0.39
7%
Contrast
1093
1905
74%
2273
108%
1237
13%
1474
35%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.5
7.3
-62%
6.3
-40%
5.2
-16%
5.2
-16%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.6
21.2
-100%
14.4
-36%
9.5
10%
10.3
3%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.5
7.4
-14%
5.2
20%
5.6
14%
7.2
-11%
Gamma
2.22 99%
2.26 97%
2.17 101%
2.24 98%
2.4 92%
CCT
7791 83%
8417 77%
7536 86%
7924 82%
7224 90%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9254 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The black value of 0.42 cd/m² is also rather mediocre. Black looks more like a dark gray and the backlight is very visible in dark areas. However, this still results in a decent contrast of 1093:1, but the comparison devices offer more here. Colors look rather pale on the screen.

A moderate bluish tint becomes apparent in the lab tests with the spectrophotometer and CalMAN software. However, colors are reproduced quite accurately. Only the cyan and green color rates deviate too strongly. Although the panel cannot be used for exact color monitoring in the professional field, the photos look quite natural. A blue light filter with five levels, which select a warmer white balance, is also installed. This spares the eyes and still contributes to a natural image in levels 1 and 2.

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Colorspace
CalMAN Colorspace

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
29 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 15 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 67 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
50 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 28 ms rise
↘ 22 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 83 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

The viewing angles are good: The displayed content is still quite legible, even when looking from the side, although slight color shifts are visible. The screen's glossy surface is a problem outdoors. The screen's content is still quite legible in the shade, but the eyes have to be strained to quite some extent in order to still see something in bright surroundings.

Outdoors: Minimum brightness
Outdoors: Minimum brightness
Outdoors: Medium brightness
Outdoors: Medium brightness
Outdoors: Maximum brightness
Outdoors: Maximum brightness
Outdoors: Ambient light sensor
Outdoors: Ambient light sensor
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 is to add the performance to Asus' ZenFone Go. However the clock speed of the four cores has been limited to 1 GHz, which involves losses in the processor's power. This leads to frequent stutters and prolonged waiting times when navigating through the relatively undemanding Android OS. Installations and loading times also take a long time. The ZenFone Go is clearly inferior compared with the other devices in the comparison. Huawei's P8 lite (2017) in particular offers a considerably higher performance.

Qualcomm's Adreno 306 graphics unit is installed. Like the processor, it is also a few years old and does not support the latest graphics interfaces in the mobile sector. The performance in the lower mid-range is now also much higher as a glance at the benchmarks proves.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
22218 Points ∼9%
LG X Power K220
30432 Points ∼12% +37%
Wiko U Feel
28175 Points ∼11% +27%
Lenovo K6
43673 Points ∼17% +97%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
56798 Points ∼22% +156%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
918 Points ∼3%
LG X Power K220
1506 Points ∼5% +64%
Lenovo K6
1706 Points ∼6% +86%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3240 Points ∼12% +253%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
391 Points ∼7%
LG X Power K220
560 Points ∼10% +43%
Lenovo K6
613 Points ∼11% +57%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
780 Points ∼14% +99%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
558 Points ∼13%
LG X Power K220
860 Points ∼20% +54%
Wiko U Feel
860 Points ∼20% +54%
Lenovo K6
1002 Points ∼24% +80%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1547 Points ∼37% +177%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
42 Points ∼1%
LG X Power K220
165 Points ∼2% +293%
Wiko U Feel
166 Points ∼2% +295%
Lenovo K6
491 Points ∼6% +1069%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
516 Points ∼6% +1129%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
53 Points ∼1%
LG X Power K220
201 Points ∼3% +279%
Wiko U Feel
202 Points ∼3% +281%
Lenovo K6
554 Points ∼9% +945%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
606 Points ∼9% +1043%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
7429 Points ∼9%
LG X Power K220
10103 Points ∼12% +36%
Wiko U Feel
9801 Points ∼11% +32%
Lenovo K6
9034 Points ∼10% +22%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
13590 Points ∼16% +83%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
3836 Points ∼1%
LG X Power K220
4330 Points ∼1% +13%
Wiko U Feel
4355 Points ∼1% +14%
Lenovo K6
9691 Points ∼2% +153%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
11147 Points ∼2% +191%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
4298 Points ∼2%
LG X Power K220
4960 Points ∼2% +15%
Wiko U Feel
4969 Points ∼2% +16%
Lenovo K6
9537 Points ∼4% +122%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
11611 Points ∼5% +170%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
5.2 fps ∼0%
LG X Power K220
8.4 fps ∼0% +62%
Wiko U Feel
8.4 fps ∼0% +62%
Lenovo K6
16 fps ∼0% +208%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
18 fps ∼0% +246%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
9.4 fps ∼0%
LG X Power K220
15 fps ∼0% +60%
Wiko U Feel
14 fps ∼0% +49%
Lenovo K6
15 fps ∼0% +60%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
19 fps ∼1% +102%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
1.8 fps ∼0%
LG X Power K220
3.1 fps ∼0% +72%
Wiko U Feel
3 fps ∼0% +67%
Lenovo K6
7.1 fps ∼0% +294%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
7.9 fps ∼0% +339%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
3.8 fps ∼0%
LG X Power K220
6.6 fps ∼0% +74%
Wiko U Feel
5.9 fps ∼0% +55%
Lenovo K6
7 fps ∼0% +84%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8.5 fps ∼0% +124%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
2217 Points ∼16%
LG X Power K220
3759 Points ∼28% +70%
Wiko U Feel
3856 Points ∼28% +74%
Lenovo K6
3387 Points ∼25% +53%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4419 Points ∼33% +99%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
533 Points ∼26%
LG X Power K220
10 Points ∼0% -98%
Wiko U Feel
595 Points ∼29% +12%
Lenovo K6
10 Points ∼0% -98%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
10 Points ∼0% -98%
Graphics (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
308 Points ∼1%
LG X Power K220
290 Points ∼1% -6%
Wiko U Feel
288 Points ∼1% -6%
Lenovo K6
732 Points ∼3% +138%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
826 Points ∼3% +168%
Memory (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
526 Points ∼8%
LG X Power K220
521 Points ∼8% -1%
Wiko U Feel
455 Points ∼7% -13%
Lenovo K6
530 Points ∼8% +1%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1658 Points ∼26% +215%
System (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
887 Points ∼5%
LG X Power K220
1092 Points ∼7% +23%
Wiko U Feel
1121 Points ∼7% +26%
Lenovo K6
1282 Points ∼8% +45%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
2694 Points ∼16% +204%
Overall (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
526 Points ∼6%
LG X Power K220
200 Points ∼2% -62%
Wiko U Feel
544 Points ∼6% +3%
Lenovo K6
263 Points ∼3% -50%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
435 Points ∼5% -17%

Legend

 
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG X Power K220 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Wiko U Feel Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo K6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P8 lite 2017 HiSilicon Kirin 655, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash

Asus' ZenFone Go is also considerably slower than the comparison devices when browsing the Internet. Sometimes, prolonged waiting times occur. Just entering a URL takes longer because the keyboard app has to load first. Although sophisticated HTML5 pages need longer to open, they usually run smoothly.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
1938 Points ∼4%
LG X Power K220
2657 Points ∼5% +37%
Wiko U Feel
2723 Points ∼5% +41%
Lenovo K6
3438 Points ∼7% +77%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4630 Points ∼9% +139%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
14.105 Points ∼4%
LG X Power K220
18.133 Points ∼5% +29%
Wiko U Feel
18 Points ∼5% +28%
Lenovo K6
21.436 Points ∼6% +52%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
29.499 Points ∼9% +109%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
15895 ms * ∼27%
LG X Power K220
13196 ms * ∼22% +17%
Wiko U Feel
13598.8 ms * ∼23% +14%
Lenovo K6
10849.6 ms * ∼18% +32%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8768.2 ms * ∼15% +45%

* ... smaller is better

We examine how fast Asus' ZenFone Go can access both the internal storage and a Toshiba Exceria Pro M40 microSD. Accessing the microSD is relatively slow, and ZenFone Go clearly takes the last place. The ZenFone Go also usually needs longer than the comparison devices to access the internal storage. Only its sequential write speed is roughly on par with the comparison devices. These slow access speeds could also be another reason for the very long loading times for apps and the occasional stutters.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
14.4 MB/s ∼17%
LG X Power K220
18.17 MB/s ∼21% +26%
Wiko U Feel
16.24 MB/s ∼19% +13%
Lenovo K6
50.4 MB/s ∼58% +250%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
32.1 MB/s ∼37% +123%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
17.7 MB/s ∼18%
LG X Power K220
32.08 MB/s ∼33% +81%
Wiko U Feel
30.25 MB/s ∼31% +71%
Lenovo K6
78.2 MB/s ∼81% +342%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
53.1 MB/s ∼55% +200%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
6.9 MB/s ∼3%
LG X Power K220
7.32 MB/s ∼3% +6%
Wiko U Feel
8.83 MB/s ∼4% +28%
Lenovo K6
10.5 MB/s ∼4% +52%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8 MB/s ∼3% +16%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
19.7 MB/s ∼11%
LG X Power K220
18.78 MB/s ∼11% -5%
Wiko U Feel
23.24 MB/s ∼13% +18%
Lenovo K6
32.01 MB/s ∼18% +62%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
38.7 MB/s ∼22% +96%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
42.4 MB/s ∼17%
LG X Power K220
43.74 MB/s ∼17% +3%
Wiko U Feel
39.94 MB/s ∼16% -6%
Lenovo K6
46.66 MB/s ∼18% +10%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
42 MB/s ∼17% -1%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
143 MB/s ∼16%
LG X Power K220
196.81 MB/s ∼22% +38%
Wiko U Feel
234.83 MB/s ∼26% +64%
Lenovo K6
262.56 MB/s ∼29% +84%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
165.8 MB/s ∼18% +16%

Games

We also tested some games on Asus' ZenFone Go for checking the smartphone's performance here. Mobile games are generally programmed to run on as many smartphones as possible. However, some games provide graphics settings to adapt the game to the smartphone's performance capacity, for example "Asphalt 8" that we tested. Unfortunately, this is essential for Asus' ZenFone Go. It only achieves an average of 14 frames per second in the highest settings in "Asphalt 8", making it unplayable. Smooth 30 frames are achieved in the lowest settings here and in the zombie shooter "Dead Trigger 2". Basic games, such as "Angry Birds" also run lag-free. However, the user is not really well-equipped for the future due to the graphics card's lack of support for modern APIs.

Another point that has to be accepted: The loading times are extremely long, and installing games also take eternities. However, controlling games via touchscreen and position sensor is very reliable.

"Asphalt 8"
"Asphalt 8"
"Dead Trigger 2"
"Dead Trigger 2"

Emissions

GFX Bench battery test
GFX Bench battery test

Temperature

Asus' ZenFone Go does not get exceptionally warm, even when using it in full load for a prolonged time. Nevertheless, 38 °C (~100 °F) is noticeable. The temperature increase is felt over the entire casing during load, but the handset is a few degrees cooler on the back. We measure a maximum of 34.2 °C (~94 °F) in idle mode also on the front.

The performance remains stable during prolonged full load as we ascertained with the GFXBench battery test.

Max. Load
 33 °C
91 F
35 °C
95 F
35.2 °C
95 F
 
 36.1 °C
97 F
35.8 °C
96 F
38 °C
100 F
 
 36.1 °C
97 F
36.4 °C
98 F
37.3 °C
99 F
 
Maximum: 38 °C = 100 F
Average: 35.9 °C = 97 F
34.5 °C
94 F
35.3 °C
96 F
35.3 °C
96 F
33.3 °C
92 F
34.3 °C
94 F
35.3 °C
96 F
34.3 °C
94 F
35.2 °C
95 F
35 °C
95 F
Maximum: 35.3 °C = 96 F
Average: 34.7 °C = 94 F
Power Supply (max.)  43.5 °C = 110 F | Room Temperature 21.7 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.9 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.3 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.5 °C / 89 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

The small speaker on the lower edge is not particularly loud at a maximum of 78.4 dB(A). Basses are almost completely absent, but the mids are quite audible which is very helpful when listening to songs or voices. The high tones are a bit too emphasized in our opinion and sometimes clang. Music fans will hardly be happy with the speaker in the long run, but it is sufficient for music sampling or a short video.

Playback via Bluetooth and the 3.5-mm audio jack is good and without fault.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2029.330.929.32528.129.528.13127.527.327.54028.73128.75027.527.327.56326.42726.48030.92530.910027.223.727.212532.930.232.916029.623.829.620036.32336.325039.722.639.731545.122.845.140050.222.350.250056.122.956.163059.819.459.880065.817.965.8100066.517.766.5125066.318.666.3160066.215.966.2200066.715.766.7250068.615.568.6315068.515.468.5400064.715.464.7500067.315.167.3630066.815.266.8800068.115.268.11000063.715.263.71250057.315.157.31600042.315.242.3SPL78.429.678.4N41.11.341.1median 63.7median 17.7median 63.7Delta11.73.811.73629.93642.228.342.238.229.238.231.730.331.731.229.731.227.925.827.931.823.531.827.72427.731.125.131.126.121.826.132.221.732.237.324.737.34524.14551.521.851.557.922.457.963.219.863.26518.56565.318.465.367.11967.168.717.268.768.316.168.369.51669.570.916.470.97515.87577.214.677.272.514.672.572.914.772.974.514.974.569.414.769.455.514.755.583.629.883.653.11.353.1median 65.3median 18.4median 65.312.93.212.9hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus Zenfone Go ZB500KLHuawei P8 lite 2017
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 48% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 69% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei P8 lite 2017 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 32.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.9% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 67% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 24% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 80% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 15% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The ZenFone Go already consumes quite a lot of power when turned off and in standby. We noticed this in the test because the battery was depleted within a few days despite standby mode. The ZenFone Go is not a savings marvel in idle mode either. However, this is not surprising in view of the old SoC. Then again, the load consumption is acceptable and is relatively low with a maximum of 4.22 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.41 / 0.18 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.92 / 1.76 / 1.85 Watt
Load midlight 3.47 / 4.22 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
2600 mAh
LG X Power K220
4100 mAh
Wiko U Feel
2500 mAh
Lenovo K6
3000 mAh
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
10%
-22%
2%
-43%
Idle Minimum *
0.92
0.64
30%
0.82
11%
0.65
29%
1.44
-57%
Idle Average *
1.76
1.3
26%
1.61
9%
1.65
6%
2.47
-40%
Idle Maximum *
1.85
1.34
28%
1.8
3%
1.67
10%
2.58
-39%
Load Average *
3.47
4.18
-20%
5.99
-73%
3.58
-3%
4.55
-31%
Load Maximum *
4.22
4.87
-15%
6.7
-59%
5.58
-32%
6.3
-49%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

In view of the relatively small battery with a capacity of 2600 mAh or 10.1 watt hours, 9:32 hours in the Wi-Fi test are satisfactory. Furthermore, the battery is removable so that a replacement battery for increasing the runtime can be taken along on long trips. All comparison devices have non-removable batteries. LG's X Power achieves twice the runtime thanks to its very high-capacity battery.

The ZenFone Go does not feature a quick charge function and thus needs up to 3 hours for recharging.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
20h 24min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 32min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 17min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 37min
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
2600 mAh
LG X Power K220
4100 mAh
Wiko U Feel
2500 mAh
Lenovo K6
3000 mAh
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
53%
-3%
22%
5%
Reader / Idle
1224
1626
33%
1326
8%
H.264
617
633
3%
644
4%
WiFi v1.3
572
987
73%
552
-3%
715
25%
604
6%
Load
277
365
32%
350
26%
283
2%

Pros

+ ergonomic design
+ stable, light casing
+ good software
+ fast WiFi
+ relatively color accurate screen
+ removable battery
+ practical battery life

Cons

- no fingerprint scanner
- unstable GPS module
- mediocre low-light camera photos
- high black level
- heterogeneous illumination
- low performance
- sometimes high power consumption
- long charging times

Verdict

In review: Asus ZenFone Go. Review sample courtesy of Asus Germany.
In review: Asus ZenFone Go. Review sample courtesy of Asus Germany.

With the ZenFone Go, Asus delivers a smartphone that stands firmly at the lower end of the mid-range. The solid casing, removable battery, and camera's decent photos in good light conditions speak for the handset. However, the buyer has to accept the relatively low performance that it presents when navigating through the menu. Furthermore, the GPS module has dropouts and the screen only achieves an average contrast and has an uneven illumination.

In our opinion, it is pleasing that Asus provides its handset with Google's latest security patches via updates. However, an update to the latest operating system should not be expected in this price range. The screen's relatively expansive color accuracy and the good handling are also positives.

The ZenFone Go offers positive aspects, such as the removable battery and solid casing. However, Asus could have given it a bit more power.

Overall, we can recommend the ZenFone Go to users who do not depend on high performance. However, the buyer should be aware that some impressive models from the competition exist, such as Huawei's P8 lite (2017) or Lenovo's K6, for the same or just a slightly higher price.

 

 

Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL - 04/03/2017 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
81%
Keyboard
62 / 75 → 82%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
36 / 60 → 61%
Weight
94%
Battery
92%
Display
76%
Games Performance
9 / 63 → 13%
Application Performance
23 / 70 → 33%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
54 / 91 → 59%
Camera
65%
Average
67%
79%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ZenFone Go Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-04-10 (Update: 2018-05-15)