September 30, 2023

High Options

Good spec-is-to-price steadiness Simple to get used to, snappier UIImpressive AI integration

Bear in mind the previous adage many people learn at school: Strive, strive till you succeed. It seems to be like Asus has taken a leaf out of the nice ol’ Ethical Science textbook and carried out it in its technique for smartphones. Just a few years in the past, the Taiwanese tech large had launched Zenfone 3 Deluxe at Rs 60,000. Whereas the smartphone topped in specs, its value got here as a deal breaker for a lot of.

Now, with its newest smartphone, the Zenfone 5Z, the corporate appears to have learnt the lesson. Priced at Rs 29,999, the Zenfone 5Z appears to have gotten all of it and appears a stable contender to dethrone the OnePlus 6. It’s the most cost-effective smartphone available in the market to boast the omnipotent Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.

You’re going to get the Zenfone 5Z in three variants costing Rs 29,999, Rs 32,999 and Rs 36,999. The assessment unit we obtained was the Midnight Blue model of the 6GB+128GB mannequin (Rs 32,999). Although Asus’ Make in India initiative could have given it the flexibleness of providing such an aggressive price ticket for a ‘flagship’, does this additionally imply that the machine is an effective proposition for these looking for an reasonably priced flagship machine? We spent over every week with the newly-launched machine and right here is our Asus Zenfone 5Z assessment.


Asus performs on the identical grounds because the Zenfone 4 sequence by way of design however with delicate adjustments that shouldn’t be bothering you in any respect. The smartphone has extra rounded corners and a compact design as an alternative of a squarish one seen in Zenfone 3 and former fashions. The design not simply makes your complete package deal compact however provides to the grip as effectively.

In case you are a type of who’s utilizing the Zenfone 3 or older smartphones, design parts like broader rims working on the edges, smoother general end and naturally the close to bezel-less display screen will probably be among the many distinguished adjustments.

The in-hand really feel of the Zenfone 5Z is healthier than a lot of the firm’s earlier smartphones. For the reason that whole front-side is a 2.5D display screen and the again panel has a glass coating, the mixture might make the smartphone bit slippery in some circumstances. The steel sides and the glass again panel additionally make it lightweight. Be ready to get smudges and fingerprints due to the presence of glass on the again.

On the again, you get a vertical twin rear digital camera setup with a dual-tone LED flash proper beneath it and a fingerprint sensor on the centre of the higher half. It’s positioned in a cushty spot the place the finger falls naturally. It may be totally different for these with smaller or bigger-sized arms.

One draw back right here is that you simply nonetheless get a digital camera bump on the again. We aren’t a fan of this specifically. Being a flagship, it retains a 3.5mm headphone jack, one thing from which different flagship smartphones are slowly parting methods. Additionally, the handset is just not water resistant so one must be cautious whereas utilizing it.


The Zenfone 5Z’s show is just not the perfect however it certain is a large improve over its predecessor. Sadly there’s no AMOLED display screen onboard however what you do get is a Tremendous IPS+ show. Not having an AMOLED display screen is definitely the unhappy half on condition that the display screen is just not as vivid or not as battery saving. Nonetheless, that is additionally one of many the reason why the Zenfone 5Z is priced low. So no complaints there. Nonetheless, the distinction and blacks are dealt with effectively, leading to an general good viewing expertise. The viewing angles aren’t AMOLED-level although.

The 6.2-inch canvas with Corning Gorilla Glass safety and a notch is nothing new available in the market. The one different smartphone utilizing this display screen spec aside from Zenfone 5Z within the specific value vary is the OnePlus 6. In Zenfone 5Z you get FullHD+ (1080×2246 pixels) decision, which we predict is nice sufficient for viewing content material in small display screen. With 19:9 facet ratio, Asus touts a 90% display screen to physique ratio in its smartphone.

As for the notch, you get the choice to cover it from the Settings app and in case you like it, you get the choice to optimise all of the apps for a full-screen show – one other characteristic that’s current within the notched handsets. Additionally noticeable is that the notch is wider than what you see in OnePlus 6, hiding a few extra notification icons. Asus’ hack to that is which you could faucet on the notification icons on the left aspect of the notch for just a little drop down exhibiting all the opposite hidden icons. Pulling it down will open the standard tray.

The show ‘smarts’ come within the type of lock display screen gestures, auto color temperature and good display screen on options. The auto color temperature recognises the setting and adjustments the colors barely, supplying you with the perfect view in your eyes. It, nevertheless, signifies that you received’t be seeing true colors.

In addition to the power to cover the navigation buttons, the smartphone additionally offers you the choice to play with the color temperature of the display screen manually utilizing the Asus Splendid characteristic. You may as well set the Bluelight filter from the identical part. As well as, the Sensible Display screen extends the display screen on time whilst you’re viewing at it, holding the machine upright. This can undoubtedly influence the battery because it continuously makes use of the proximity and ambient gentle sensors.


Like we talked about above, Asus Zenfone 5Z is the most affordable smartphone in India that packs the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. This is identical processor that you simply get in Samsung Galaxy S9 (US model), Huawei P20 Professional and OnePlus 6. So it is going to be laborious for anybody to search out any form of lag or flaws within the efficiency division. In our every day utilization, all of the apps and video games labored simply as marketed. The animations are clean and the graphics rendering in heavy video games like PubG received’t offer you any cause to complain. An enormous credit score right here not solely goes to the Adreno 630 GPU but in addition the 6GB LPDDR4X RAM. The 8GB RAM mannequin ought to carry out in practically the identical approach.

Being a 2018 flagship machine, it’s no shock that the smartphone runs on newest Android OS — 8.1 Oreo. In addition to all of the options that the OS model brings, what comes as a nice shock is the refined ZenUI. The ZenUI 5 is not only much less cluttered than what it was a few years in the past however can be simpler to get used to. We discovered the design refresh higher than another UIs carried by different OEMs and with an uncanny resemblance to iOS. It’s in fact not as clear and easy as inventory Android. Asus doesn’t have the perfect monitor report in the case of rolling out month-to-month updates. We’re but to see how the corporate plans to sort out that. Particularly because the rival OnePlus is thought to convey the most recent options onboard sooner.

Asus, on the time of the launch, touted the mixing of synthetic intelligence within the smartphone. The agency stated that the Zenfone 5Z makes use of Qualcomm 685 DSP and it is tweaked AI engine to be taught the sample of apps that you simply use and make operations less complicated and faster. One of many AI-based options you’ll see is the brand new dynamic app drawer (or Recommended APPs) if you entry the app checklist by swiping up from the house display screen. Recommended APPs is alleged to be taught the time you spend on every of the apps and those that you simply use probably the most, and exhibits them within the drawer, letting you entry them simply. The characteristic is non-obligatory although and is switched on by default.

One of many options that’s being boasted is OptiFlex 3.0 that claims to launch the app sooner. This together with AI Enhance and ample RAM is claimed to make the machine snappier. One other space the place you often don’t see a task of AI is the caller ringtone. Zenfone 5Z’s AI ringtone adjusts the quantity based mostly on the ambient noise.

Another nifty options come within the type of fingerprint swipe gesture to entry the notification panel, double faucet to activate the show, flip all the way down to mute and others discovered as part of the ZenMotion characteristic below settings. Asus has additionally joined the dwell emoji bandwagon after Apple and Samsung by one thing known as as ZenMoji. This works in the identical approach as Animoji or ARemoji however must be refined a bit extra. It might be tough to search out it at first go as it’s not there within the digital camera app. The best approach is to activate the Zenimoji app shortcut from the Settings app. You may present these Zenimojis throughout dwell video calls as effectively.

Face Unlock on Zenfone 5Z is basically clean and quick. Nonetheless, in dim lighting situations it may be a hit and miss case. We discovered the OnePlus 6 giving barely higher success fee on this one. Nonetheless, you get a fingerprint sensor as effectively so this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you. There’s dual-SIM with VoLTE help and energetic standby capability in each the SIMs. One of many SIM card slots additionally doubles up as a microSD card slot, a characteristic lacking in OnePlus 6.

Part of focus has additionally been given to the audio output of the smartphone. In a bid to make Zenfone 5Z an entire leisure machine, Asus has included two five-magnet stereo audio system that do make the audio louder. These work with twin NXP good amplifiers which are stated to ship high-volume audio with out damaging the audio system. What comes as an addition is that the smartphone additionally helps DTS Headphone X for 7.1-channel digital surround-sound over headphones and Bluetooth 5.0 Apt:X know-how.

In one other AI-based characteristic, Asus claims that it has included this aspect in its gallery app as effectively. The function of AI right here is that it detects faces in photographs routinely and might categorise them based mostly on customers’ pursuits. We felt that it really works in the same approach as Google Photographs. Speaking in regards to the gallery, the Zenfone 5Z is alleged to boast a robust digital camera. Right here’s what it means for patrons.


Just like the Zenfone 4 and plenty of different mid-range to premium smartphones, the Zenfone 5Z additionally has twin rear cameras which are positioned vertically on the top-left nook inside a capsule-shaped bump. Beneath the cameras is the dual-tone LED flash. The first digital camera consists of a 12MP dual-pixel picture sensor powered by Sony IMX363, the identical sensor that’s utilized in Xiaomi Mi Combine 2S as effectively. It’s comparatively new and is an effective performer. The f/1.8 aperture is fast to seize photographs which are sharp and surprisingly have a extra correct color copy than others coming in the identical value vary. However that’s not the case each time you click on a photograph.

A significant change received’t be seen in daylight photographs however will actually make a distinction when capturing in low gentle. We did witness noise bleeding in night time photographs because the darks weren’t solely darkish and can make the night time sky look grey-ish. However the general job of dealing with photographs is spectacular. That is attainable due to the low aperture, 1/2.55″ massive sensor dimension and the 1.4um pixel dimension. These crew as much as ship sharp photographs in low gentle whereas sustaining the colors and delivering brighter photographs.

What you could discover totally different is the inclusion of a 120-degree wide-angle lens within the secondary digital camera as an alternative of a telephoto lens. The final flagship smartphone we noticed sporting a devoted wide-angle secondary digital camera is the LG V30.

Anyway, the second digital camera within the 5Z has an 8MP sensor whereby it clicks photographs in 4:3 facet ratio. You may as well go for a 6MP possibility with 16:9 facet ratio and 5MP with 18:9 facet ratio amongst others. Then again, Asus’ hack to telephoto photographs is to make use of the portrait software program to convey the topic in focus and the remainder of the realm as blurred.

Sadly, you possibly can’t evaluate the portrait mode within the Zenfone 5Z with that of the Pixel 2 or the OnePlus 6. The main points captured on the edges must be labored out a bit extra however most customers could be happy with the outcomes.

The Section detection autofocus works effectively a lot of the instances and tracks the topic with accuracy. You even have the choice to shoot movies in 4K decision and 60fps and slow-motion movies in 240fps (in HD and FHD), which is a bit disappointing to see as different flagships include 480fps and 960fps slow-motion recording characteristic. This may be thought of as one of many corners that the corporate needed to reduce to make the machine extra reasonably priced. Additionally, we want Asus saved all of the video-based settings at one place as an alternative of separating the Sluggish Movement video recording as a distinct mode and eradicating it from the settings part.

Selfie lovers get an 8MP digital camera that’s positioned alongside the speaker grille within the notch. Since its a selfie digital camera, it’s must be a wide-angle one. The digital camera claims to have an 84-degree area of view, which ought to be adequate for group selfie photographs. Whereas daylight photographs come out simply as imagined – barely gentle together with smoother pores and skin, the low gentle photographs have been simply adequate however not the perfect. Given the processor and sensor capabilities of the handset, Asus can do higher.

Whereas the general expertise is constructive for the cameras, what makes your job barely higher are all of the AI-based options. One of many important areas the place you will notice the AI come into play is within the auto mode. The digital camera routinely detects the setting and the topic to find out which of the 16 modes ought to be utilized on the given time. The modes embody meals, sky, inexperienced area, plant, ocean, sundown, snow, flower, stage, canine, cat, individuals, textual content, tripod, QR code and night time view. You may nevertheless, flip off this characteristic. A few of the different options included are real-time AI Portrait and Beautification, which work effectively a lot of the instances.

Along with this you get the standard set of PixelMaster digital camera modes together with filters, Professional mode, Tremendous Decision (48MP), GIF Animation and Time Lapse. These are there for the front-facing digital camera as effectively.

All-in-all, the digital camera will do a lot of the job for you. You get sharp photographs, best-suited mode for capturing photographs, respectable night time photographs and not-so-bad portrait photographs. The wide-angle lens is unquestionably an addition to the combination.


Asus Zenfone 5Z boasts of a 3300mAh battery, which is identical because the OnePlus 6 however not as effectively performing. The common display screen on time we obtained with the Zenfone 5Z got here as much as round 5 hours, which isn’t spectacular in keeping with right now’s flagship smartphone requirements however is just not that dangerous both. With every day duties corresponding to streaming hours of music, enjoying PubG, browsing on social media apps offers you sufficient juice to run the handset greater than half a day via earlier than you attain for the charger.

As for the charging approach, the Zenfone 5Z helps quick charging tech with the corporate’s personal ASUS BoostMaster know-how. The tech, nevertheless, is just not as quick because the Sprint Charger however nonetheless offers you sufficient juice in much less time to make the handset go for lengthy.

However not like others, you get a number of choices to tweak the battery efficiency of the machine. Along with battery optimisation of apps, you get a devoted part that determines apps which are draining the battery. Additionally current is the PowerMaster, from the place you will get all the data on how lengthy the smartphone will run, what apps could be prevented from auto-starting within the background and switching on the AI-based charging tech.

The AI Charging dynamically adjusts the charging fee based mostly in your earlier charging behaviour. One other one is ‘Scheduled charging’ that adjusts the charging fee between 10PM to 7AM throughout which period most of us plug in our smartphones and go off to mattress. The AI-based charging is beneficial however you’ll have to attend or a few days for the machine to recognise the sample. So it’s doubtless that a lot of the prospects could find yourself utilizing the scheduled charging mode. Each of those are claimed to maintain the battery utilization per time untouched. You may as well change each the modes off.

In case you need to stretch the battery life much more, you possibly can choose the battery modes together with Efficiency, Regular, Energy Saving, Tremendous Saving and Customised, from the PowerMaster part.

So though the quick charging and battery efficiency on auto is one thing that isn’t the perfect in school, the extent of customisation to take out as a lot battery life as attainable from the smartphone is way more than another handset.


You probably have been following the smartphone business, by now it have to be clear that bringing such a flagship smartphone that has top-end specs, at a mid-range price ticket takes quite a bit to drag off. Asus Zenfone 5Z is nearly as good as its closest competitor OnePlus 6 in the case of specs. Nonetheless, it nonetheless stays barely behind by way of battery life, quick charging tech and show. However at Rs 29,999, the Zenfone 5Z definitely presents the most effective specs-to-price steadiness until date, shifting a step forward of OnePlus.

Like we stated earlier, Asus’ ‘Make in India’ plans appear to be slowly bearing fruits within the type of aggressive value tags for its units. This not simply brings the model again into the race but in addition makes it seize the pole place within the Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 section. On the given value, you get a smartphone that has a flagship processor, good cameras, above-average efficiency, an honest show and a package deal that’s worth for cash. So, in all we will say: This truly kills the ‘flagship killer’.

Take a look at Devices Now’s unboxing of Asus Zenfone 5Z



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