Asus Zenfone 5Z First Impressions and Hands-On Review

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Finally, Asus Zenfone 5Z has made it to India. The phone made headlines at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 since then we have been getting many queries about its India launch and what will its price be in India.

Well, the Zenfone 5Z is now official and will retail exclusively on Flipkart for an aggressive price. It starts from Rs 29,999 onwards which makes it the cheapest Snapdragon 845 phone that you can buy today. We have got the chance to spends some time with the device and here are our two bits.

ASUS Zenfone 5Z (Z5620KL) specifications

  • 6.2-inch (2246 × 1080 pixels) Full HD+ 19:9 2.5D curved glass Super IPS display with 500 nits Brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 636 SoC with Adreno 509 GPU
  • 4GB / 6GB LPDDR4x RAM with 64GB  /128GB storage, expandable memory up to 2TB with microSD
  • Android 8.0 (Oreo) with ZenUI 5.0, upgradable to Android P
  • Hybrid Dual SIM (nano + nano / microSD) with Dual VoLTE
  • 12MP rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash, Sony IMX363 sensor, Dual Pixel PDAF, 4-axis OIS/EIS, Pro mode with RAW support, secondary 8MP 120-degree wide-angle lens with f/2.0 aperture
  • 8MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture, OV8856 sensor, 83-degree wide-angle lens
  • Fingerprint sensor (rear)
  • 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
  • Dual speakers with NXP 9874 Smart AMP, Hi-Res Audio 192kHz/24b-bit, DTS Headphone: X for 7.1 channel surround sound, dual microphones
  • Dimensions: 153×75.65×7.85mm; Weight: 155g
  • 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS, USB Type-C (2.0)
  • 3300mAh battery with ASUS BoostMaster fast charging and AI charging

Design and Build

Like most phones today, the Asus Zenfone 5Z comes with a glass and metal construction. In fact, the Zenfone 5-series continues the design legacy established by the couple of years old Zenfone 3.

Factors like the way light reflects around the fingerprint reader, and the chamfered side edges they are all reminiscent of Zenfone 3, which, in our opinion, was a fabulous phone.

Even though the new Zenfone 5Z graces the same design ethos, it has been brought up to the modern code. The size of the bezels around the screen has shrunk drastically, and further addition of notch (which personally I not a fan off) ensures that it is at par with the competition. At 155g weight, the phone feels extremely light and sturdy in hands.

Display and the Notch

The Zenfone 5Z boasts of a 6.2-inch screen that dominates the fascia. it’s a Super LCD panel that runs Full HD+ resolution. Asus was actually one of the early adopters of the iPhone X-like notch. The Zenfone 5Z notch houses the earpiece, selfie camera, Notification LED, and is wider than what we see on Phones like OnePlus 6.

The display seems to be well calibrated as whites aren’t tinged with blue. The phone comes with wide-DCI 3 color gamut and offer a number of options like Color Mode, blue light filter, and manual controls to fiddle around.

Even though the Zenfone 5Z can’t match infinite contrast and deep blacks of AMOLED panels, it makes it with excellent color reproduction and good viewing angles. This is certainly one of the best IPS LCD screens we have feasted on this year.

Software and Hardware

Asus has packed top-notch hardware inside the phone. The Zenfone 5Z uses a Qualcomm’s most powerful offering till date- the Snapdragon 845 system on chip which is paired with 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 64GB/128GB/256GB UFS 2.1 storage. The Graphics side is taken care of by Adreno 630 GPU.

With such high-end hardware, performance shouldn’t be an issue with the Zenfone 5Z.

Coming to the software side, Asus’s ZenUI has been a point of contention in the past. However, Asus has made a serious effort to rectify that with the Zenfone 5Z. The ZenUI has been drastically revamped. Most of the duplicate apps and bloatware apps have are no longer a part of the ZenUI and the interface is much closer to the stock Android. In fact, there are only 4 third-party apps that including Facebook and Instagram.

The new ZenUI is packed with AI features which are not just a marketing blitz. Instead, they do contribute towards a more refined smartphone experience. For instance, the Zenfone 5Z software automatically suggests most frequently used apps at bottom of the app drawer. There are other AI-driven features like AI charging, OptiFlex and AI ringtone in the fold which we will unfold in details in our Asus Zenfone 5Z full review.


Barring Google all other brands have literally accepted the dual optics as the industry standard. Asus too follows the same path and offers a dual camera setup of 12MP sensor teamed with an 8MP sensor that comes with a wide-angle lens. The primary rear camera boasts of a Sony IMX 363 along with f/1.7 aperture lens, and 4-Axis OIS for a better low light photography.

The Selfie camera on the front packs an 8MP camera with f/2.0 aperture, EIS, and full HD videos. Asus has ensured that both rear and front cameras offer portrait mode. While on the rear wide-angle camera is used for depth sensing, on the front Asus uses software to intelligently detect edges of the subject to blur out the background.

The Zenfone 5Z rear camera is capable of shooting 4K videos at 60fps. Asus default camera app also gives an option to create time-lapse, GIF animations, Pro Mode for professionals, record slo-mos and super-resolution images. In our initial testing, the camera looks promising but we will only be able to offer full verdict after an in-depth review.

Asus Zenfone 5Z: Battery and connectivity

The Zenfone 5Z meets its power requirements from 3,300 mAh battery. Asus has licensed Quick Charge 3.0 from Qualcomm and it bundles a 10W fast charger within the box.

On the connectivity front, the Asus Zenfone 5Z support 4G dual SIM with Dual VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi (2X2MIMO), IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GLONASS, and GPS.

Asus Zenfone 5Z Hands-on Review: A perfect alternative to OnePlus 6?

Considering everything the Asus Zenfone 5Z makes a compelling case for its self. Whatever time we got to spend with the phone, it gave us the feel of using a premium flagship. Asus seems to have done its homework right and has figured out all where it went wrong in the past and has tried to fix things with the Zenfone 5Z.

While the Zenfone 5Z specs and features were already known, it was only the price that was not known until today. This time Asus has managed to get the pricing right as well. The 6GB RAM + 64GB storage starts at Rs 29,999 which perhaps makes it the best phone in its class. We will be sharing more about the phone and our final verdict in our Asus Zenfone 5Z Review. Till then, stay tuned.

Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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