Ultimate Guide for Budget Traveler and Adventure Seeker

You don’t need an expensive camera to take great photos and videos. Your smartphone in your pocket is better than you think. It’s not only ...

Travelling to Brunei with ASUS Zenfone 5

You don’t need an expensive camera to take great photos and videos. Your smartphone in your pocket is better than you think. It’s not only a gadget that you can use for calling, texting and searching information online, it’s also a powerful tool to preserve memories and moments.

Capturing memories from your travel escapade is more rewarding if you know how to use your camera. All you need to do is to explore the camera settings. Good thing, smartphone cameras are now amazingly good, offering the best in image quality. Also, most of the camera features are user friendly and easy to navigate. Even though there are lots of high-end smartphones available in the market, but few of them can produce great outputs.

Recently, I travelled to Brunei. It’s my second time to travel solo abroad and the feeling was still the same from the first time I travelled alone. It's a combination of joy and excitement. As much I want to invite my friends to join with me, their boss will not allow them to leave the office for more than 2 days. It's very different travelling with friends or partner. But hey, solo travelling is really fun.

Aside from my clothes, shoes, and accessories, I brought my Fujifilm camera and ASUS Zenfone 5 on my trip. As a travel blogger, I need to make sure I have images or videos of every destination I visited. Readers of my blog are now more visuals. Most of  them are requesting to upload a lot of photos to get an idea on how places look like and to know what Instagram-worthy destinations they need to include on their itinerary.

Let’s talk about the ASUS Zenfone 5. This smartphone is powered by the very latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 (ZenFone 5) and 845 (ZenFone 5Z) SoC (System on a Chip) mobile platforms. It harness the power of the Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE of the Snapdragon 845) or AI capabilities of the processors to execute the many micro tasks involved in Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing.

I know some of you are not familiar about AI on a camera. Actually, it is one of the hot new buzzwords in photography and  becomes the trend in the advanced technology development. For the  benefits of everyone, AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, a special camera feature that recognise the subjects that you're shooting and adjust its settings automatically to produce the best looking photos. The Zenfone 5 camera’s AI data model can detect up to 16 different scenes and subjects, and this data model is created by referencing thousands of stock photos stored on ASUS servers.

Let's talk about the appearance of the phone. The screen of Zenfone 5 is similar with the iPhone X. Yes, its front screen looks like the display of the latest iPhone. But, you will still see the unique characteristic of a ASUS smartphone. Anyway, the Zenfone 5 has a 6.2-inch 19:9 screen with a notch and display protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. The whole body is a mix of aluminum and toughened glass. Overall, it's a gorgeous smartphone.

I'm sure you want to know if the Zenfone 5 has a good camera. Yes, it captures quality photos and videos. The main camera features 12MP, F1.8 Sony IMX363 sensor with large 1.4μm pixels and the second rear camera has 120-degree wide angle, F2.2, 8-megapixel camera that can capture wide landscapes. The front camera sports 8 megapixel and F2.0 selfie camera with 4-element lens and 84 degree view angle. I know it's a bit techie, just to make it short, the Zenfone 5 produces decent photos and videos, having a camera setup that features a dual lens system that can capture standard view and wide angle photo which is perfect for panorama or landscape shots.

The ZenFone 5 has a stunning AI-powered Portrait mode that lets users achieve professional-looking shots of people or objects, enhanced with a blurred background (bokeh) effect in real time. This Real-time Portrait mode can be used with any of the three cameras on ZenFone 5.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of mobile photography. The color and harshness of a light source can have dramatic effects on the image. No worries, the Zenfone 5 can capture great photos even in a low light. Honestly, I love all my shots especially taken at night. The photo is clear, vivid and crisp.

Due to the limited time, I was not able to browse the camera's various settings to take better portraits, landscapes and panoramas. Usually, I use only the auto or HDR, or High Dynamic Range.  Upon checking the settings of the phone, there are lots of things that I need to be learned to capture best shots.

The ASUS Zenfone 5 is priced at Php19,995 (4GB RAM variant) and is available nationwide.

Overall, the Zenfone 5 is a great smartphone. It's a dazzling phone with good looking display, decent camera and long -lasting battery. It's a great value smartphone for people on the go.


If you have smartphone, familiarize yourself with your camera app’s settings. Take photos as many pictures. I suggest to capture the subject in different angle. Also, always remember that the lighting, scene modes, and composition can all play a part in capturing photo and video. When you used your smartphone correctly, it can produce images that hold up against high-end cameras.

If you have you blog, review or questions about ASUS Zenfone 5, please leave a comment below.