Asus ZenFone 5
One of the first significant producers to do it is Asus. Whose ZenFone 5 is a dead ringer for Apple’s flagship, with a notch on the top bezel that covers the selfie camera, sensors, and speaker?
There are exceptions, of course: With a 6.2-inch screen, the ZenFone 5 is larger than the iPhone X. Its notch is a bit smaller, and its bottom bezels are a bit bigger than the one on the iPhone X.
Meanwhile a pre-briefing in Barcelona, an Asus rep swept aside inevitable questions about cloning Apple. “One could say that Apple is copying the Essential phone and its notch,” he said. Be such as it may; this phone will make at least any passers-by think you have an iPhone X. So, if that covers your boat, the ZenFone 5 might be a good fit.
Inside, you’ll get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor — not the greatest but not too bad, either — up to 6GB of RAM. A 12-megapixel camera with some AI tricks, including scene identification (similar to what we saw on the Huawei Mate 10 and the LG V30s). The pricing for the ZenFone was not released. Asus also has a more robust version of the device, called the ZenFone 5Z. But we didn’t get to see that one during the pre-brief — we’ll update this article when we get its specs.
UPDATE: Feb. 27, 2018, 8:45 p.m. CET. As expected, the ZenFone 5Z looks just like the regular ZenFone 5 but has better hardware inside — a Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage — and, presumably, better performance. It’ll start from $499.
There’s also a ZenFone 5 Lite (for some reason, Asus is also referring to it as the ZenFone 5Q). Which doesn’t have the notch; it’s more of a regular Android mid-ranger with a slightly elongated 6-inch screen. It does, however, stand out by having two selfie cameras, in addition to the two cameras on the back. No word on the cost for this one, either.