Make way for this OnePlus 6 fighter

The Asus ZenFone 5Z is one of the most awaited flagship smartphones of 2018. First showcased at MWC 2018, will it be worth considering when it comes to India? We find out.

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Asus’ ZenFone range entered its fifth iteration at the MWC 2018. It comprised of three devices – ZenFone 5, ZenFone 5 Lite, and ZenFone 5Z. Of these, the most interesting device was the ZenFone 5Z. Its powerful internals, AI features, and the notched display were some factors that helped it stand out. While it was not launched at the MWC this year, a future date was provided for its launch. This past Friday (June 15, 2018) the phone was launched in Japan for a price of 75,384 Japanese Yen (approx Rs 46,500 per current exchange rate) However, the phone’s price in India starts from Rs 29,999. Is the Asus ZenFone 5Z that good to have price tag that high?

Specifications Asus ZenFone 5Z
Price Rs 29,999/Rs 32,999/Rs 36,999
Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with Adreno 630 GPU
RAM 4GB/6GB/8GB
Display IPS LCD, 6.2-inch, FullHD+ (2246x1080p) resolution and 19:9 aspect ratio
Internal Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB (expandable up to 2TB with microSD card)
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo with ZenUI 5.0 skin
Rear Camera 12-megapixel + 8-megapixel
Front Camera 8-megapixel
Battery 3300mAh with fast charging
Dimensions 153mm x 75.65mm x 7.7mm
NFC Yes
Fingerprint Scanner Rear-mounted
Water/Dust resistance N/A

What’s new about the Asus ZenFone 5Z?

The Asus ZenFone 5Z is the company’s flagship smartphone and sits atop the ZenFone 5 lineup. This phone is a dual-SIM unit and has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip with Adreno 630 GPU. It has three RAM and storage variants – 4GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB, and 8GB/256GB. There is a dedicated microSD card slot on the phone to expand storage up to 2TB. The phone has an IPS LCD display measuring 6.2 inches with Full HD+ (2246x1080p) resolution and 19:9 aspect ratio. This gives it a screen-to-body ratio of 90 per cent. The phone comes with Android 8.0 Oreo skinned with Asus’ Zen UI 5.0 skin.

Asus-ZenFone-5Z-2

The ZenFone 5Z has a dual rear-camera setup, comprising of a 12-megapixel lens, one (main one) with f/1.8 aperture, PDAF and OIS, and the secondary being a 8-megapixel 120-degree wide-angle lens. The front camera carries an 8-megapixel lens with f/2.0 aperture, and 84-degree field of view. Both cameras get real-time beautification features. The connectivity options on the phone include 4G VoLTE, Wi-fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS/A-GPS, FM Radio, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is a fingerprint scanner on the back of this phone and it is powered by a 3300mAh battery with fast charging. The 6GB/128GB variant of the phone went on sale in Japan in two colour options – Space Silver and Shiny Black.

Asus-ZenFone-5Z-1

Some of the standout features on the Asus ZenFone 5Z include AI features with its camera and battery. In the battery department, the phone uses AI to adjust its rate of charging to slow down battery ageing. The cameras use AI scene detection to match a photo to one of its 16 scene types and adjust the camera settings accordingly. It also gets a real-time Portrait mode (fancy way of saying Portrait mode). AI also helps users organise their photos on the ZenFone 5Z easier by grouping them according to their scene types or by using facial recognition.

Asus-ZenFone-5Z

The Zenimoji feature makes use of Augmented Reality to create emojis (like Animoji) and these can be used in video chats, live-streams, and text chats. The phone also joins the ranks of the select devices that get dual speakers with Hi-Res and DTS Headphone: X certifications. In short, it is a lot of phone for its price. However, it has got the looks too. The small notch up front with a thin chin give it a unique identity. Moreover, the metal side rails make it look classy.

Asus-ZenFone-5Z-3

The vertically-stacked cameras at the back with fingerprint sensor in the centre should keep the camera setup clean and fingerprint reader reachable. The right spine gets power button and volume rocker. The bottom gets the speaker grille, USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Asus ZenFone 5Z measures 153mm (6.02 inches) in length, 75.65mm 2.98 inches) in width, and 7.7mm (0.30 inches) in height. It weighs 165g (5.82 ounces).

Is the Asus ZenFone 5Z worth consideration?

If it comes to India for the same price as it retails for in Japan, it will make for a pretty compelling purchase proposition. Unlike other phones that look glossy, it looks premium and understated. It has premium looks to go with top-of-the-line hardware. Its camera may have earned a score of 90 from DxO Mark but even that is nothing to scoff at. The only problem is that it will not receive software updates as fast as a Pixel 2. However, neither does any other device like the U12+ or the Galaxy S9. There’s a lingering feeling though that it will come for lesser price than what it retails for in Japan. And that will just make it even more irresistible.

Asus ZenFone 5Z – Synopsis

  • Priced at 75,384 Japanese Yen (approx Rs 46,500 at current exchange rate)
  • Sports an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and Adreno 630 GPU
  • Three RAM variants available – 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB
  • Three internal storage variants available – 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB (all have expansion of up to 2TB)
  • Runs on Android 8 Oreo skinned with ZenUI
  • Has an IPS LCD display measuring 6.2 inches with FullHD+ (2246x1080p) resolution and 19:9 aspect ratio
  • Dual rear camera setup consists of a 12-megapixel and an 8-megapixel sensor, one with PDAF and OIS (primary) and the other being a wide-angle lens (secondary)
  • Front camera has an 8-megapixel lens
  • Cameras get AI enhancements and beautification features
  • Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C, Wi-fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou
  • Powered by a 3300mAh battery with AI features and fast charging support
  • Among the few phones to have dual speakers on board

 

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