Before you read any further please know that the GloveTouch capabilities of the ASUS Zenfone 5 LTE are amazing. I received a free phone in order to review them but all words and opinions are my own.
Asus Zenfone 5 LTE
The first thing to note about the Asus Zenfone 5 LTE was that it is amazingly easy to set up. Usually I can’t even put the sim card in by myself, but it was so simple (the back came off really easily by placing my finger into the groove and the sim just slotted into place). I did need my son to show me that the plug to charge it was folded in (making it more space-saving) but other than that I managed everything by myself. The 5″ touch screen display is a nice size for seeing all the apps and taking photos, without being too big, so still fits nicely in one hand. The actual set up process was so easy and guided that it happened so naturally I can’t really remember it. I do remember having the option to link up my Google account though.
Some Technical Info about the ASUS Zenfone 5 LTE
The standard Zenfone range (4/5/6) all use a Dual-core variant of the Intel Atom CPU family, the Zenfone 5 LTE uses a Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926), even though this has a slower speed per core, the extra cores help to keep multi-tasking/background tasks running smoothly. This processor also adds support for LTE (4G) and DC-HSPA+. DC-HSPA+ effectively allows for Dual-channel 3G data connections, greatly improving download/upload speeds. Both LTE & DC-HSPA+ support are limited to coverage and carrier support. Another great advantage of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 is that it is manufactured on a 28nm process, in comparison to the 32nm process used for the Intel Atom CPU’s in the other Zenfone iterations, this means that the chips can be smaller and much more energy-efficient (which is always a good thing in a phone). Also a major difference of the Qualcomm chipset over the Intel Atom is that the Qualcomm is an ARM processor and natively supported by Android, the Intel Atom chipsets (at least the ones in use by the other Zenfone phones) are x86 chipsets (like in PC’s/Laptops) this means not every app will be compatible and there may be performance/energy inefficiencies when running them. The large amount of RAM (memory) on the phone, also helps with the smooth running of the phone – especially with multi-tasking/background tasks.
If you are like me you take photos at every opportunity. Luckily thank to smart phones this is even easier than ever. More and more advances are made to make sure that we do not miss capturing a single moment. But saying that I was still dubious about the Asus Zenfone 5 LTE claims to be usable with gloves on. Not those special gloves you can buy (I do have a pair of those SOMEWHERE) but normal gloves. So there I am with my dirty, big fluffy, mum gloves walking to the shops with my new Zenfone 5 LTE – and you know what it did not work! I was absolutely gutted. I took them off and then it worked fine, so knew it was the gloves. I went home and said to my husband about how on earth was I to write a review post about how wonderful the GloveTouch capabilities were if it didn’t work. But I am afraid doubters that that is not the end of the story. No it was simply a case of turning on the GloveTouch function in the settings!
There are two mainstream types of touchscreen technology used for smart phones, resistive & capacitive. Resistive touchscreens work by detecting pressure, and using the co-ordinates of where that pressure was applied can determine what has been “touched”, these screens are cheaper to produce but are less favourable in today’s touch screen market, as they are prone to being insensitive and inaccurate (usually need calibrating on first use – and may need re-calibration every now and then), they usually work best with a stylus as fingers are a bit stubby and can end up pressing a large area of the screen at once. An example of a device that still uses this technology is the Nintendo 3DS. Capacitive touchscreens work on the principle that when a conductive object (such as a human finger) comes into contact with the screen, the capacitance of the touch panel changes, and this is used to determine where the screen was touched. This is far more sensitive than a resistive screen, but this means they do not work with non-capacitive objects (such as a traditional stylus or gloves). ASUS GloveTouch brings together the best of both worlds, a capacitive touchscreen that will work with gloves! I could not find any details of the technology behind GloveTouch, but having a dig around I suspect that it is very similar to Super Sensitive Touch (Clear Sensing) by Synaptics. If it is a similar technology this has many benefits, where the capacitive layer is built into the display unit, it can make displays upto 1mm thinner (which in turn can make for slimmer phones), and as the capacitive layer is no longer obstructing light from the screen, better colours can be seen and less power is needed to get the necessary light to the user. Tied together with a more powerful touch processor, this means that the screens sensitivity can be increased (via a setting) to enable the user to operate the touchscreen whilst wearing normal gloves.
Verdict on GloveTouch for the Asus Zenfone 5 LTE
There is absolutely no difference it seems to the responsiveness of the phone with or without the gloves. As said before mine are quite big and fluffy and most definitely dirty and I am pleased to report that the response time was the same (which was a normal response not that it is slow either way). I tested it out with different types of glove materials and found that it worked well regardless.
What better present at Christmas time than a phone that works with your gloves on. You have to admit that it has definitely got cold now. So whether it is checking your e-mail on the walk back from the school run, social media snooping at the bus stop, playing apps or taking photos – you no longer have to get cold taking your gloves off to use your phone. And isn’t it annoying having to hold your glove anyway?! The obvious benefits of GloveTouch for me this Christmas is for photographs – and they are still of good quality. Moments such as when we take the kids ice-skating (I like to make sure I have gloves on not just because of the cold but also if I slip over!) – now I don’t have to worry about dropping something whilst juggling holding my gloves and phone! I have already mentioned the school run – I am always catching up on the walk home. When something happens suddenly – like Father Christmas goes down the road! Or if you want to wear evening gloves at your Christmas party/ball (there’s even a beautification setting so you can enhance your eyes, change your cheeks, add different shades of blusher and so on).
There are just so many moments missed because you have to take your gloves off. For me the most obvious time for the Zenfone 5‘s GloveTouch to be useful is when just going for a walk to see all the lovely Christmas lights.