Asus recently launched the Zenfone 5z in India, and it is available for purchase from Flipkart starting 9th July 2018.
A couple of days back I had a word with the Asus India team about the launch of a new flagship phone. This was before the Zenfone 5Z was officially announced they seemed to be pleased and sounded mysteriously happy about the upcoming flagship.
Of course, lots of rumors were out that the company was planning to debut Zenfone 5z.
I was thinking they are not going to launch it below Rs. 450000. At the same time, the launch of Zenfone Max Pro M1 was hinting at the change of pricing strategy for the brand. From premium to budget-friendly.
Finally, on launch day Asus surprised me and many other tech enthusiasts with a base price of Rs. 29,999. The phone comes in 3 variants:
- 64 GB Storage & 6 GB RAM – Price Rs. 29,999
- 128 GB Storage & 6 GB RAM – Price Rs. 32,999
- 256 GB Storage & 8 GB RAM – Price Rs. 36,999
So let’s look at the phone, and it features and finds out if it’s worth your money.
The phone comes in a nice rectangular box which has we Love Photo printed on it in golden colors.
Inside the Zenfone 5z box we find the Following:
- Asus Zenfone 5z
- User Guide
- Sim ejection tool
- Transparent Silicon Case ( Good Quality)
- In canal Earphones ( White color)
- A large Charger
- USB type C Charging Cable
Before we get ahead and talk about the experience. Let me briefly list down the specs for your convenience.
Key Specifications for Asus Zenfone 5Z:
- Display: 6.2-inch IPS LCD FHD+ (1080 x 2246 pixels) with a Notch at the top (~402 PPI).
- Primary Camera: Dual 12 MP (f/1.8) + 8 MP Wide Angle Camera (f/2.0) with support for 4K Videos and EIS.
- Secondary camera: 8 MP, (f/2.0) Selfie Camera With AI Beauty Mode.
- Chipset: Octa-Core 10 Nm Based, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with 2.8 GHz Clock Speed.
- GPU: Adreno 630
- RAM: 6 GB or 8 GB
- OS: Android OS, v8.0 (Oreo)
- Storage: 64 GB or 128 GB or 256 GB, expandable up to 512 GB
- Face Unlocking – Yes
- Water and Dustproof – No
- Wireless Charging – No
- Fingerprint sensor: Yes, rear-mounted
- Battery capacity: 3000 mAh non-removable, Supports Fast Charging.
- Design – Metal + Glass (Corning Gorilla Glass Protection)
- Weight: 155 grams.
- Thickness – 7.9 mm
Also, Can Watch the Unboxing Experience and Hands-On Review Here:
You Can Watch the Full Review for the Zenfone 5Z Here:
Design and Display
The first look and in hand feel tells you that this is premium, really a good looking phone. It doesn’t come with a cookie-cutter approach to make it look better than it is.
The back glass has the signature Asus concentric circle design and is prone to fingerprint marks. Also, this phone is smooth and slippery; I have to hold it firmly when not using the case. Better put on a case after taking it out of the box.
The front side with the notch or even the rear camera design makes it look like iPhone X.
The phone has a 6.2 Inch IPS LCD display that comes with an astonishing 90% screen to body ratio. Further, the display has 96% color gamut DCI P3 profile ( in short means accurate and vibrant colors) and a 550 nits maximum brightness.
It is one of the best displays in sub 30k price range, and it’s pleasing to watch videos or read text on it.
The first thing you will notice once you start using the Zenfone 5z is how responsive the phone is.
I use a Samsung S7 as a daily driver apart from jumping from one phone to other for my secondary Sim.
But this thing seems fast really fast even compared to the most phones I have tested in the past few months.
Powering the phone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-Core chipset, and there is Adreno 630 GPU for playing games and handling graphics-intensive tasks.
Additionally, it has 6 GB DDR4 Ram and 64 GB UFS 2.1 storage which adds more speed to the device.
The phone runs on the Android Oreo 8.0 and comes with the ZenUI 5.0 which is very snappy and a far cry from the older versions of the UI from Asus.
What has changed in the new Zen UI? Overall color schemes, icon design, keyboard, and interface all look better and more usable.
Also, the phone comes with tons of new features and especially the AI features that set it apart from the pool of other Android phones.
Optiflex – This is probably my most favorite feature on the Zenfone 5Z. The Optiflex technology makes your App opening speed super fast. The Apps open much faster in comparison to other phones, and the AI technology remembers which are your favorite Apps and make them quick.
It probably, keep running some of the processes for these Apps in the background, and when you press on the App, it loads instantaneously.
Besides, there are more AI features such as AI ringtone that adapts the environment and the ringtone louder or quiet based on the surroundings.
AI Battery charging is another useful feature and slows down the battery charging speed after 80% to prolong the life of the battery. Of course, you can turn these on and off in the settings.
Aforementioned, the phone comes with a notch, and you can hide it if you wish to use the software settings in the display.
Also, there are options to enable the night mode for night time reading and battery saver mode for enhancing the battery life.
Like most phones the battery saving trigger when your phone is left with 15% battery capacity.
AI Boost – If you want to increase the performance of your phone further there is an AI Boost mode that let you do it. However, I didn’t find any need or reasons to do that.
Lastly, you get the Mobile Manager App which is like the Cleaner Master App from Android, helps you clean residual and junk files, clear ram and manage notifications.
You can play all games at high settings with ease without any need to worry about frame drops or heating woes. I played Mortal Kombat X and the crowd-favorite PUBG for 1 hour and the experience was fluid and without any hassles.
Benchmarks scores are off the charts for the Zenfone 5z and as it performs superbly.
Antutu Benchmark Score – 260698
Geekbench Mark Scores – Multi-Core 9045 and Single Core Score – 2436
Another amazing feature for the Zenfone 5z is its Dual speaker system. There is one speaker at the bottom, and the top earpiece also acts as a speaker when you are listening to music or watching videos.
Overall Sound quality from the loudspeaker and the headphone jack is loud and clear.
Additionally, it comes with the Audio Wizard that allows you to customize the presets based on your taste and preferences. You can choose Pop, Vocal, Stereo, Outdoors, custom or Rock presets and profiles.
The bundled earphones are not bad either and offer decent sound quality regarding bass, treble and voice clarity.
But don’t expect a very premium audiophile grade quality from these.
I was a bit surprised to see them as most brands are now insisting on buying the wireless headphones, like Oneplus or Apple.
Here are some of the initial camera samples I have clicked using the Zenfone 5z. The phone comes with Dual Rear cameras (12 MP + 8 MP) which uses the Sony IMX 363 Flagship sensor.
The primary lens comes with a standard angle lens while the 8 MP lens works as a wide angle lens that allows you to capture a much bigger and wider scene without the need for stepping back.
Below Images are Shot with the Primary 12 MP Lens:
The Dynamic range and clarity is good for the outdoor images.
The color profile is also more or less accurate, can check the vibrant colors on the below image.
Indoor Images turn out to be more white than the natural light in the room. Probably, the AWB adjustments are making these more white than the actual scene. But nevertheless the images are pleasing to the eye and good for social media sharing. If you are professional photographer you may want to try the custom White balance to adjust the image temperature.
Night images are not bad but the below image was taken in the extremely low light scenario, can’t expect too much in such lighting.
Close Up shots and color profile is visually apealing.
Also, there is an AI that detects scenes such as night, a backlit, or clouds to enhance the image. In some scenarios, it works great, and in others, it tends to overdo the effects making the picture look a bit artificial.
Overall, the camera is good, and the f/1.8 aperture makes sure that the images are great even in the indoor artificial light or when clicking at night.
The AI needs some more polishing to reach the level of perfection that we have seen on the phones like Google Pixel 2 XL.
Wide Angle Camera Vs Normal Camera
Shot on the Wide Angle 8 MP Camera – Can See the distortion and curvature on the right side. It doesn’t happen when you click from a good distance.
Standard Camera Shot from the Main 12 MP Sensor.
For Selfies, there is an 8 MP front camera that can take decent pictures using AI, portrait mode, or in the normal mode.
You can also apply face beauty effects to make your images more visually appealing. The selfie camera suffers from underexposure when you are clicking pictures against a well-lit background.
This issue was also there in my testing of the Zenfone Max Pro M1, something probably the company may like to fix.
I have clicked some sample photos in the portrait mode and it doesn’t work great every time, but 3 out 1 photo looks really great and worth sharing on Instagram or FB.
I am still working on testing Videos, Google Camera, Image quality comparison Vs. other phones.
All these things I will update, in 2-3 days will suggest you bookmark the website or post a comment at the bottom of this post to be notified or can also subscribe to Candytech Youtube Channel for watching the video update.
So far its good, the 3300 mAH capacity battery easily last a day and if I don’t indulge myself in playing games it last even up to 1.5 days.
The charging is super fast and takes approximately 1.5 hours to charge the device fully which in my opinion is pretty good.
Also, there is a USB type C port which ensures that your phone adheres to the latest connectivity standards.
FaceUnlock and Fingerprint Scanner
The face-unlock speed and accuracy are above average, but it doesn’t work well in the dark or at night. That is a bit of a bummer considering some low-cost phones have a better face detection in the dark.
The fingerprint scanner is at the back and placed ergonomically to make sure you can reach it with ease. Also, it is blazing fast. You can even use it to pull down the quick menu or notifications, I nifty addition. I like that.
I am using the phone with the JIO sim, and so far there are no hiccups. The call quality and volume are adequate, and you will likely not face any issues in this department.
More Details and Testing
Aforementioned, I am still testing the unit and will add more details especially for the camera to this review in 2-3 days.
Also, there is a recent update which improves the front camera. So hold on for a couple of days and do let me know if you want me to test something else so we can add that to the final review.
Thoughts Should You Buy it?
Based on the experience so far it is a superb performer. The standout feature is the performance, and even the display seems pretty good. Sound Quality and experience are top-notch, and you will find the device meeting your expectations in most areas or even exceeding it.
The camera quality is good in some instances and probably need fine tuning by the company in others. Especially, the selfie camera.
Zenfone 5Z is a Performance Beast with Noteworthy features and tick alot of right boxes.
Overall, I am really impressed by the phone, and it is worth every penny. In fact, it is the best phone under the 30k price range that you can currently buy in India. Yes, you can buy it and don’t forget the Rs. 3000 ICICI bank card offer that reduces the price to Rs. 26,999.
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