Is the ASUS ZenFone 5z still worth buying?

With the latest trends in high priced phones, it is nice to have affordable options like the ASUS ZenFone 5z with its flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Despite the high-end Android flagships being controlled by Samsung, there has been a curious middle ground between budget and top-tier devices. The affordable area has been overtaken by OnePlus, Xiaomi and ASUS.

DESIGN

First look at the ASUS ZenFone 5z, a lot has mistaken this phone for it for the iPhone X. Even when it was initially unveiled during the MWC earlier this year, there have been questions circling why Android phone companies are embracing the notch.

For starters, the notch – which is embedded into the 6.2-inch display- is slightly smaller. Added to that, there is a noticeable bezel at the bottom of the screen. Going over to the rear of the phone, you’d instantly see the fingerprint sensor smack in the middle of the back end. The dual camera sensor also sits at the top-left while the flash module is just below that.

The bottom edge lies the USB Type-C port and a headphone jack, while the right part comprised of the power button and volume buttons just above it. With the ASUS ZenFone 5z’s concentric design at the back, it definitely gives it a premium look along with the glass front and back.

Performance

There has been a number of phones in the market that has equipped their devices with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon processor as the ASUS ZenFone 5z but there have definitely been compromises.  The Asus Zenfone 5Z is backed by an ample 6GB of RAM. The ASUS ZenFone 5z definitely did not disappoint.

This is a blazing fast smartphone as the benchmark results suggest:

  • 3D Mark Slingshot Extreme

 

  • GeekBench 4 CPU
  • AnTuTu 3DBench

 

Software and User Interface

The ASUS ZenFone 5z runs the Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and we are hoping it would soon be upgradeable to the Android 9.0 Pie. Additionally, it runs the ZenUI 5.0 and has been scaled down compared to previous versions. Although, there are still quite a few apps that don’t prove to be useful like Mobile Manager and Selfie Master.

ASUS has integrated a few useful features into their ZenUi like the Twin Apps for those with multiple social media accounts and the addition of blocking notifications and alerts on the Game Genie while playing games.

During testing, applications tend to crash but we were not able to point out whether it is an app issue or because of the ASUS Software itself. Nevertheless, the Zenfone 5Z is packed with powerful hardware, but the ZenUI still feels a bit sluggish but significantly less than the previous models.

Camera

The camera has been an important part of our smartphones. With flagship phones getting better and better cameras, this has become one of the main highlights where the gap has been felt between a PHP 50,000 phone and something that is half the price.

The main camera is equipped with Sony’s flagship IMX363 sensor with image stabilizers. The colour it gave was definitely satisfactory, particularly outdoors in good lighting.

The details captured were vibrant and the colour correction worked perfectly. We were definitely impressed with the low-light performance of the ZenFone 5z with its capability of snapping shots in an instant.

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Details are captured in all their glory, and the HDR really kicks in on some shots to show the complex light in the sky contrasting with glinting waves in the sea. The colour correction also works well, as most shots captured the natural colours we were seeing.

Just a slight set back would be the low-light shots. You must try to keep still, or you’ll get blurring, but photos in dark environments are better than we expected.

 

Verdict:

The ASUS ZenFone 5z is definitely one of the phones that has no compromises when it comes to hardware. We can’t say the same for their software though. Nevertheless, we believe that the ASUS ZenFone 5z has a well-rounded device which serves both the performance for gamers and photographers. The glass design is an added bonus which gives it a better edge compared to others with the Snapdragon 845 at this price range or lower.

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