Asus launched the Zenfone 5Z with Snapdragon 845 and the price for the phone started at Rs. 29,999 which made the phone an instant hit amongst people looking to buy a good flagship phone. It competed directly with other phones like OnePlus 6 due to the low price and top of the line specifications. Asus has been launching great phones this year with the Max Pro M1 at a great price and it seems they have finally understood that to launch great phone that people will buy it is important to keep these phones at a low price that compete with other phones.
But does the low price of the Zenfone 5Z mean any shortcomings or is it just a low priced flagship with a lot of features? Let us know in the review of the Zenfone 5Z.
Design & Build
The Zenfone 5Z comes in two different color variants – Meteor Silver and Midnight Blue. These colors actually look great with the phone’s design and on the build side, the company has made sure that the phone remains solid. It has a frame made up of aerospace-grade aluminum and the heft of the phone shows that. The back and the front of the phone is covered by glass which make this phone a fingerprint magnet.
On the front, it has a 6.2-inch 19:9 display with a notch and the notch houses the front camera, the earpiece and other sensors like the proximity sensors and the ambient light sensor. You will notice a chin below the display but it isn’t that big so you can ignore it easily. The front is covered by a 2.5D glass which can also be seen on the back. Talking about the back, turning the phone around will reveal the dual camera setup, the fingerprint sensor and the Asus branding.
The dual rear cameras on the back are vertically stacked and below the cameras, you will see the single LED flash. The fingerprint sensor is on the upper part of the back in the middle and a lot of people prefer this placement of the fingerprint sensor.
The power button is placed on the right side of the phone which also houses the volume rocker. The SIM tray is positioned on the left side of the phone and the left also has a noise-cancellation microphone. The bottom of the phone has a USB Type-C port along with a speaker grill. The main microphone is also located on the bottom along with a 3.5mm audio jack. The top of the phone is quite empty with just a noise cancellation microphone placed there.
The build of the phone is amazing and since it is a glass body phone, it might be a good idea to use a case along with it to protect the back from scratches and cracked if you accidentally drop the phone. Asus has included a case in the box so you can either use that or get a new one that you like more. The back also has this concentric circle design imprints which make the phone look amazing.
The Asus Zenfone 5Z uses a 6.2-inch full HD+ display which is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection from scratches. It is an IPS panel with good viewing angles and the display can get bright up to 604 nits. It has a resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels with an aspect ratio of 18.7:9 and all this converts to a pixel density of almost 402 ppi. Asus has an intelligent color temperature sensor hidden in the camera to adjust the screen’s color temperature as per the surroundings. This works great on the device and it makes sure you have the best display no matter which environment you are in. You can also set the color temperature of you display manually from Settings.
The display supports 95% DCI-P3 color gamut and the phone lets you switch between this and the standard gamut. Asus is also using AI to give you more features like keeping the display on when you are looking at it. Coming to the Notch, the notch on the display is used to house the front facing camera, the earpiece and a few sensors. Even with the notch the screen has almost 83.6% screen-to-body ratio which is great.
The phone has a dual camera setup at the back with a 12 MP camera with regular lens while the secondary 8 MP camera has a wide-angle lens. The front sports an 8 MP camera for selfies. The pictures taken with the Asus Zenfone 5Z’s rear camera came out to be good and they have good level of details. The colors however seem to wash out a bit when the camera is used in extra bright conditions. The camera produces the best results when used in situations with regular natural lighting.
The 8 MP wide-angle camera also produces great shorts but it struggles to be on part with the primary 12 MP sensor. Photos taken with the secondary 8 MP cameras sometimes seem to show a lot of exposure but when used in better conditions, it can lay out some great wide-angle shots. Coming to the 8 MP camera for selfies, Asus has done a pretty great job at providing beauty modes and they work well and you can tweak the beauty mode to work as you want.
Photos taken in portrait modes are good and they have good edge detection. The phone allows you to take portrait photos both with the rear and the front camera which is always a good thing to have.
Software and Interface
Zenfone 5Z runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with ZenUI on top and brings some extra features like fonts and gestures to the phone. You have a lot of options to customize with ZenUI and you can change the fonts, scroll effects, colors and more. You have options to use the same apps like WhatsApp with two different accounts and all this is included with AI based features like setting the phone’s ringtone volume depending on the surrounding’s noise and more.
The phone also has AI charging where it learns how you charge the phone and saves the battery’s health by slowing down the phone’s charging so you don’t see bad battery backups even if you keep your phone plugged to a charger overnight. A lot of these customization options are present in Settings of the phone and all you need to do is traverse through the settings to see everything that you can customize.
The phone has a top of the line Snapdragon 845 processor which is paired with 6GB and 8GB RAM depending on the option that you go for. Unlike OnePlus 6, the phone lets you expand the storage which means you can use a microSD card along with a single SIM if you are running out of storage on the device. Since the processor is kickass, the phone performs really well and tears through apps and games – whatever you throw at it. App launches are fast and gaming is not laggy but you will feel the phone getting hot when you push it a bit harder.
The fingerprint sensor on the phone can behave a bit weird sometimes and completely misses out of touches every now and then. This is something Asus should look at and fix it with a software update if possible.
The Zenfone 5Z is an amazing phone and stands as a worthy competitor to OnePlus 6 and LG G7+ ThinQ. The 6GB RAM and 64GB storage option is priced at Rs. 29,999 which is definitely a great deal for people looking for a flagship smartphone where the same configuration from OnePlus is priced at Rs. 34,999. It comes with great cameras, a great looking display and a lot of other goods that make this phone worth the price.