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ASUS Zenfone 5Z Review: The OnePlus 6 killer is finally here!

ASUS has finally launched the Zenfone 5Z in India, and here is our honest experience with the same!

ASUS has finally launched the Zenfone 5Z in India. The phone is a direct competitor to the OnePlus 6 as the pricing is pretty aggressive and it sells at a starting price of Rs. 29,999. But, is this phone worth the money you spend? Does it provide great performance? How well the camera performs? I will answer all of these in this ASUS Zenfone 5Z review, as I have used the device for quite some time and before I begin, I must admit that I’m quite impressed.

ASUS Zenfone 5z review: Design and Build

It is one of the best-designed phones from ASUS, The phone features an aluminium and glass build, which makes the phone feel very premium in hand. Also, the back looks gorgeous due that concentric circular design effect. The phone is just 7.7mm thick and has rounded corners, though it’s not very close to phones from LG, it is really comfortable to hold.

There is a 6.2-inch display with a notch on the front and on the right edge of the phone, there are the power button and the volume rockers. While on the left, there is a hybrid SIM tray. On the back, the dual camera module is placed on the top left corner along with the LED flash and the fingerprint scanner is placed below that, placed symmetrically at the middle. The notch houses a five magnet speaker so this phone has a stereo speaker setup which is quite impressive.

The USB-C port for data transfer and charging, along with a headphone jack can be found at the bottom. There are three microphones- One at the top, one at the bottom and on the side, there is another one! The design is pretty minimal, but the phone looks absolutely beautiful and carries the legacy ASUS design philosophies in my opinion.

ASUS Zenfone 5z review: Display

There is a 6.2-inch fullHD+ IPS LCD display with 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The display is very very vibrant. There is no AMOLED display so it a bit power consuming, but the colours look damn good and the sunlight readability is pretty good. The viewing angles are fine and I had no issues with the display at all while using it in all kinds of environment.

The bezels are minimal and there is a notch. But, ASUS has used the space in the notch very nicely as there is a front firing 5-magnet speaker there which has a loud output. So, obviously, users are getting stereo speakers on the ASUS Zenfone 5Z.

ASUS Zenfone 5z review: Camera

ASUS talked a lot about the camera of the ASUS Zenfone 5Z. There is a primary 12MP Sony IMX363 sensor on the back with f/1.8 aperture and 1.4-micron pixel size. Now, the secondary camera is an 8MP 120-degree wide angle lens, which I quite liked as many other phones, let’s say OnePlus 6 comes with a dual camera setup on the back, but the secondary sensor is being used only for depth sensing. On the contrary, with the ASUS Zenfone 5Z, I can take some wide angle photos.

The photos taken with this image are very nice and in outdoor lighting conditions, the photos seem natural but quite well saturated. However, in low lighting conditions, I could see some noise. There is an 8 MP front-facing camera with an aperture of f/2.0 and EIS, also it is capable of full HD video recording.

I was quite impressed with the selfie shooter as well, as there is an ample amount of detail and even with one single lens, the bokeh effect. However, the only downside is that the shutter speed is a bit slow. However, I guess that it can be fixed with an update and ASUS can fix it soon.

ASUS Zenfone 5z review: Performance

The ASUS Zenfone 5Z is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor coupled with 6GB or 8GB RAM and Adreno 630 GPU. The phone runs smoothly and there are no lags at all. Multitasking experience on the phone is damn good and the RAM management seems to be quite nice with the implementation of AI.

Yes, there are some AI based features on the phone and AI has not been used a term to hype the device and I could clearly see how it worked. AI could automatically know which apps I use most and it kept the apps in memory despite many other apps were open. Another use of AI can be seen while gaming. I mostly play PUBG these days which is a resource hungry game so whenever I am in an intense gaming session I just need to select the AI Game Boost option which will allow AI to detect what apps are consuming resources and will shift the resources to the game I’m playing, automatically.

ASUS Zenfone 5z review: Software

The Zenfone 5Z doesn’t run Stock Android, and instead, there is ZenUI 5.0 which is a custom skin. But it is well optimized and has improved a lot when compared to older versions of ZenUI. There are no lags and bloatware present on the device apart from a few apps like Facebook, Instagram and a few apps by ASUS. The UI is now quite similar to Stock Android with some AI based features, sprinkled here and there. Overall, the UI is smooth and responsive with proper optimizations to run smoothly on the device.

ASUS Zenfone 5z review: Battery

The Asus Zenfone 5 packs a 3,300mAh battery which lasts a day easily and during my use, I would just plug it in before going to bed. My usage includes video streaming, checking emails, a lot of phone calls and texting and clicking pictures. Another field where it has an advantage is the charging method.

The Asus Zenfone 5 supports fast charging and you can charge it using any fast charger, rather than looking for a proprietary charger like for OnePlus you always need to carry the Dash Charging adapter and cable with you. While charging as well, AI is being used so that it can prevent overcharging. The AI learns when I go to sleep and wake up, and just before I wake up it charges the phone to full ensuring that the phone doesn’t stay plugged in with a full battery and gets overcharged, which can reduce the lifespan.

Final Verdict

The Zenfone 5Z is probably the best phone right now under Rs. 30,000 if you don’t want to spend beyond that mark and get the OnePlus 6. The variant with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage is priced at Rs. 29,999. The higher variants with 8GBRAM+128GB storage and 8GB RAM+258GB storage are priced at Rs. 32,999 and Rs. 35,999 respectively. There are minor downsides, which should be resolved soon with updates. But, at Rs. 30,000 price point, it is the best you can get.

You can also watch our ASUS Zenfone 5z review in Hindi here:

So guys, this was it for this one, will you buy the Zenfone 5Z or would you wait for the next big flagship? Or are you a OnePlus fanboy? Do let us know in the comments section below!

You can also watch our Hindi comparison of both OnePlus 6 and Zenfone 5Z below:

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Written by Aditya Nath Jha

Aditya Nath Jha is an Engineer from New Delhi, India. His areas of interest include Gadgets, WordPress, speed optimization & latest technology.
When he is not busy blogging he loves to write poetry, compose his own songs and has a taste for music! Find me on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Linked in.
And watch my videos on Youtube.

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