If you have noticed, lately Asus seem to be trying hard to up their smartphone game. Though they introduced the smartly priced Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 a couple of months back, it seems they're far from resting. The company is ready with its new flagship device, the ZenFone 5Z, as a direct competitor to the popular OnePlus 6.
Featuring a performance-driven core and coupled with great pricing, the Asus ZenFone 5Z is the newest face in the affordable segment. Hence, it begs the question of whether it's worth investing in this new flagship.
In this post today, we weigh the pros and cons of the phone and try to find out if you should buy the new Asus ZenFone 5Z.
Asus ZenFone 5Z Pros
1. Flagship Processor for the Price
The octa-core Snapdragon 845 at the heart of the ZenFone 5Z makes for an interesting bargain. The Snapdragon 845 is not only fast but is also highly efficient, thanks to the 10-nm design process and Kryo cores at its heart.
This means that you'll be able to glide through high-res gaming and everyday multitasking with ease. Apart from the OnePlus 6, most of the Snapdragon 845 powered phones are priced way high.
2. Good Camera With 4-axis Image Stabilization
The ZenFone 5Z houses a 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 primary shooter coupled with a wide-angle lens. These two lenses combine to give a wide 83°field of vision. Plus, the Zenfone 5Z is equipped with both EIS and a 4-axis OIS, to give way to blur-free photos and stable videos.
On the aperture front, the camera has a value of f/1.8 thus letting more light into the scene. Other than that, the ZenFone 5Z was able to capture admirable photos with some sharp details. Particularly, notable are the HDR pictures which could produce some great play of shadows and light.
Other than that, the bokeh effect of this camera is good. Following are some of the picture samples of the Asus Zenfone 5Z.
3. Stereo Speakers & Dual VoLTE
Another plus point for the Zenfone 5Z is the addition of 5-magnet speaker setup. This setup produces an immersive audio experience with minimum distortion.
This phone also has the advantage of dual VoLTE. This means that you'd be able to use both your VoLTE-powered SIM simultaneously.
4. The Power of Quick Charge 3.0
Quick Charge 3.0 in the Zenfone 5Z is capable of fast charging the device. Though it's a generation old charging technique (the world has moved to Quick Charge 4.0) we were able to see the battery levels reach 60% in around 60 minutes.
This quick charging technique is accompanied by the Asus's BoostMaster technology which, as you may have guessed, boosts the charging rate.
6. The AI Advantage
The Zenfone 5Z packs a swath of AI capabilities and a notable one among them is AI Scene Detection. This feature analyzes the picture frame and enhances the pictures accordingly.
Another interesting AI capability is the Scheduled battery charging feature which dynamically adjusts the charging rate in the night if you happen to plug in the charger before going to sleep.
However, a feature which will sit well with most users is AI Ringtone. This feature will adapt the ringer volume as per the surrounding noise. So, the ringer will ring in all its might in noisy areas while in silent areas, the phone will produce low, mellow sounds.
Asus ZenFone 5Z Cons
1. Lack of AMOLED Display
The Asus ZenFone 5Z doesn't have an AMOLED display, instead, it features an IPS LCD display. Though it's okay for the price range, however, the lack of AMOLED display means that you won't get features like Always On Display or lift-up Ambient display.
Also, the absence of AMOLED display means more battery drain. Plus, you may not be able to see the deep blacks on an LCD screen.
2. No Selfie Flash
For the selfie buffs out there, here's a bit of bad news. The 8-megapixel front shooter is not accompanied by a selfie flash.
So, in low-light areas, you may have to take the help of a secondary flash.
3. No Dedicated Memory Card Slots
Last but not the least, the Zenfone 5Z doesn't have a dedicated slot for memory card. This isn't much of a concern if you plan to buy the 128GB or the 256GB variant. But if you plan to get the 64GB variant, you might want to couple that with an external memory card. And when you do that, you'd have to sacrifice a nano SIM slot.
Whoosh goes the dual VoLTE advantage.
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Pricing and Availability
The Asus Zenfone 5z is priced at Rs.29,999 ($437) for the 6GB / 64GB variant. The 8GB / 128 GB and the 8GB / 256GB variants are priced at Rs 32,999 ($480) and Rs. 36,999 ($538) respectively. This device is a Flipkart exclusive in India and will go on sale starting 9th July in India.
Finding a perfect phone is like finding Shangri La — the wait is going to be a long one. In a similar tone, the Zenfone 5Z is by no means perfect. It isn't water resistant or waterproof and doesn't have optical zoom, among others.
However, for the price tag, the good outshines the bad, at least for now. The sharp display, an OIS-powered rear camera and more importantly, a new clutter-less ZEN UI and a powerful Snapdragon 845, all combine to make it a good value proposition.
So, should you buy the new Zenfone 5Z? If you can live with the LCD display, then why not.