Gadget Reviews

REVIEW| Asus ZenFone 5Z

Things are looking good for Asus this year. Their newly released phones has been successful in the local market with the release of the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and the different variations of the ZenFone 5. Their flagship model, the ZenFone 5Z is a promising premium phone and has received a pretty good standing among users from different walks of life. It’s pretty much a beefed up ZenFone 5 with a better processor, higher amount of RAM and internal storage.

This phone also boasts of  AI software features which adjusts hardware resources where it’s needed to improve the overall user experience. Let’s see what the ZenFone 5Z can offer differently from the rest of the ZenFone line up.

Aesthetics

Similar to the regular ZenFone 5, the ZenFone 5Z also has a notch on top of the screen that houses the 8MP camera with an aperture of f/2.0, the earpiece, sensors and notification LED.

The ZenFone 5Z is using a  6.2-inch Full HD+ display that’s using the 19:9 aspect ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. The display itself is sharp and there are no problem with it’s viewing angles. The colors reproduction is pretty good as as the blacks are deep and the colors really stand out. This phone has a color temperature sensor on the camera itself so that it will adjust the display based on the ambient light.

Looking at the back of the phone, you will see the signature Zen Circle design and the whole body of the phone is between 2.5D glass and a metal frame. On the back you also have  have the dual camera setup, LED flash and a fingerprint scanner.

On the left you will find the hybrid SIM slot, the power/lock button, and the volume buttons on the right.

On the bottom you have the USB Type-C port, loudspeaker, microphone, and an 3.5mm audio jack.

The design of this phone looks really good and the rounded edges feels really great on the hand. Although the all-glass body makes this phone a fingerprint magnet.  As per usual, this model comes with it’s own jelly case for protection and to help with the fingerprint situation.

Performance

Our Asus Zenfone 5Z review unit is using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

The user experience of this phone is pretty smooth and it was able to eat through just about anything we threw at it. It can even definitely play existing high-end mobile games without any problems.

The AI Boost option also helps if you want to allocate more of the phone’s resources for gaming or even other applications.This can be toggled very quickly in the shortcut menu and to give it a test, I used the Antutu Benchmark to see if it makes any difference.

So the phone scored 270740 and 272134 points with and without AI Boost respectively.

Camera

 

The Asus ZenFone 5Z has a dual camera setup: a 12MP and 8MP on the rear, and another 8MP in front. The main camera has an aperture of f/1.8 while the secondary camera serves as a wide-angle camera.

The AI-feature comes in pretty handy as it assists in scene detection, photo-learning, real-time portrait and real-time beautification.  The camera UI is pretty basic but importantly, you have access to “pro” controls where you can adjust the aperture, ISO, and use manual focus, etc.

Just like the ZenFone 5, the ZenFone 5Z takes great photos and can be a very good shooter with it’s pro controls. You can check out some of the shots taken below.

Battery life experience

Packed 3,300mAh battery, the battery life proved to be reliable as this phone has been my daily driver right after I reviewed the ZenFone 5. Depends on your usage, the phone can last an entire day with majority connected to LTE with relatively constant social media use, Spotify, and video playback.

The phone also has the PowerMaster which you can manage different power consumption profiles. The AI Smart Charging is also a handy feature which activates fast charging during the day and turns it off for slow overnight charging when you are asleep.

Conclusion

Although there is no actual noticeable difference from the ZenFone 5, a phone of this calibre sure does offer a lot for its price including a beefy hardware configuration and the user experience it brings.

This is basically the ZenFone 5 on steroids, packed with a high performance Snapdragon 845 and 6GB of ram. The ZenFone 5 was good enough, but with the ZenFone 5Z, you don’t have to worry about running out of memory and you phone slowing down while opening multiple applications at the same time. Similar software features such as  decent battery management, AI software features, and an excellent reliable camera are definitely there but I was also surprised that the fingerprint scanner and face recognition security features works quite well. Performance-wise, the ZenFone 5Z is more superior in terms of computing power than it’s little brother, the ZenFone 5.

 

Ira James
Editor-in-chief | Tech Journalist | AMD Ryzen and AOC Gaming influencer | PC Hardware Enthusiast |

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