When ASUS launched their Zenfone series in India, it was one of the highly successful models and the company was also the first to launch a 4GB RAM smartphone in India. But the last couple of years has been not a great one for the company with so many launches and almost all of them were overpriced and not really competitive. This year, ASUS announced the Zenfone Max Pro M1 with terrific specifications at an excellent price point. Now we have the Zenfone 5Z, the company’s flagship device launched at a stunning price of Rs 29,999. So how does the device stack up against the stiff competition offered by OnePlus 6 and Honor 10? Let’s find out in this detailed ASUS Zenfone 5Z review.
Related Reading: ASUS Zenfone 5Z First Impressions
Design and Build:
The design is one of the strong points of Zenfone 5Z. It is made of metal and glass and looks premium. The device has a flat back panel unlike few flagship devices with curved rear panels. It has 2.5d glass on the front and rear panels and comes in two color variants, the Meteor Silver and Midnight Blue. The device doesn’t feel heavy even though it has 6.2 inch display. The build quality is impressive and definitely looks premium for a flagship device.
The power and volume keys are on the right side, while the left side houses the SIM tray. At the bottom of the ZenFone 5Z, you’ll see the USB Type-C port, the speaker unit, the primary microphone, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The device comes with 3 noise-canceling microphones. The rear panel has vertically stacked dual cameras along with a flash unit. The flash has a color temperature sensor as well. The fingerprint scanner is placed on the back panel. Overall, the design and build quality are impressive on the Zenfone 5Z.
Zenfone 5Z packs a 6.2 inch Full HD+ display and comes with 19:9 aspect ratio and it includes the notch. The IPS LCD display is easily one of the best in this segment and has great colors and good touch response. The viewing angles are also good. The outdoor visibility is also pretty good. Similar to other devices with a notch, ASUS also allows you to disable the notch display.
ASUS smartphones have been powered by Zen UI with an exception of Zenfone Max Pro M1. In previous devices with Zen UI, on of the main issue was that it came with a lot of bloatware and the interface was not polished. With the latest version of Zen UI, ASUS has worked a lot in removing the unwanted apps and the current Zen UI is a lot refined in terms of looks and features. It is a custom UI which comes loaded with features. While ASUS hasn’t removed the useful features, they have reworked in grouping them.
The new UI also features improved looks with cleaner icons and design. You can see the notification center and quick toggles have been redesigned. The UI comes with a host of useful features including dual apps support, kids mode, easy mode, customization via themes and more.
The phone also supports a lot of gestures. The Game Genie option allows you to get the better out of gaming experience with full screen view. The phone also comes with AI features enabled in the software including AI camera, AI charging, AI ringtone and also OptiFlex which enables improved app performance. Overall, we liked the new Zen UI and ASUS has done a commendable work. Probably the only downside is that ASUS has not provided the latest Android version of 8.1, instead, it comes with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.
Zenfone 5Z is powered by Snapdragon 845 Octa core processor and comes in two RAM variants, 6GB and 8GB. We tested the 6GB RAM variant and performance was excellent and no issues or lag. In day to day performance, the UI was extremely responsive without any app crashes.
The gaming experience of the device is also pretty good. With Game Genie mode, you can get really good full screen gaming experience. The heating was slightly on the higher side, but still manageable.
Related Watching: ASUS Zenfone 5Z Gaming
The phone comes with dual SIM card and it supports dual VoLTE out of the box. One of the highlights of Zenfone 5Z is the speaker performance. The dual speaker performance is easily the best we have seen on a flagship device and if you are a person listening to a lot of music, this is definitely one of the best devices to buy. It also comes with an outdoor mode for louder performance.
The device comes in three storage variants, 64GB, 128GB and top of the line 256GB. There is also an option to expand the storage using SD card. The phone comes with face unlock as well and the performance is good but it doesn’t work well in low light conditions.
The Zenfone 5Z comes with a dual camera set up on the rear panel with a primary 12MP camera with F/1.8 and large 1.4u pixels. The secondary camera is an 8MP shooter with which has a wide angle lens. The phone comes with an 8MP selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture. The device also has OIS and EIS. The rear camera flash has a sensor to detect the light for the flash. The camera has a new interface, again clutter free and loaded with features.
Now coming to the Zenfone 5Z camera samples, the daylight captures looked really good with good detailing, sharpness levels and colors. The overall quality of the daylight captures looked great. The only issue we had was with exposure levels not being consistent. The close up images also had great details and excellent sharpness levels. The phone also impressed us with the low light captures and had excellent details and images are well lit, thanks to the large sensor. The selfie camera, even though is just an 8MP shooter, it did a good job with color quality and details. The portrait mode is one area where ASUS needs to work on as the edge detection was just ok. The video recording of the camera is also pretty good and offers OIS and has 4K support at 60fps. Here are some of the samples taken with the device.
ASUS Zenfone 5Z comes with a 3300mAh battery with Qualcomm Fast Charging 3.0 technology. There is also AI enabled battery charging available which intelligently charges based on your phone usage. There is also different battery modes available including normal, performance, power saving and super power saving mode. The battery life on this device is pretty good for a flagship phones and easily last through a day of battery life. But if you play a lot of games, then the battery drop is considerable. But overall, we would say it has good performance.
Priced at Rs 29,999 for the base 6GB RAM and 64GB Storage, the ASUS Zenfone 5Z is a terrific deal especially with great design and build quality, good cameras, excellent performance, and improved Zen UI. If you are looking for a great premium flagship device which gives you great value for money, then, without doubt, the Zenfone 5Z is totally worth the money. The device will be available exclusively on Flipkart.