After launching the remarkable Zenfone Max Pro M1, Asus launched the feature-rich and yet affordable premium smartphone Zenfone 5Z in India on 4 July 2018.
The new Zenfone 5Z comes with top-of-the-line Qualcomm processor assisted by Artificial Intelligence (AI) system on board and the company also claims the device's camera is intuitive enough to understand the various type of scenes and automatically optimises the settings to take a good picture. It also boasts long-lasting battery, sumptuous RAM, storage capacity, vibrant LCD display and a fine build quality.
Asus Zenfone 5Z Hands-on: First impression
I had the privilege of the getting my hands on the Asus Zenfone 5Z for almost a week before the launch. Here's my initial impression of the Android flagship.
Design and Display:
It's really hard not to ignore the fact that the Zenfone 5Z looks similar to the Apple iPhone X, but on the brighter side, the notch on the top is small and accommodates more icons. Also, there is a secondary bar with additional notification icons, in addition to an option to even out the notch by blacking the screen on either side of the notch.
On the back, thankfully Asus has brought back my all-time favourite concentric glass design (for a smartphone) similar to the Zenfone 3 and also it has fingerprint sensor on the back, which I believe is still the best way to unlock the phone compared to facial recognition system, as the latter fails to recognise in the low-light condition. On the other hand, the former will function at all times and has low False Rejection Ratio (FRR).
Though most of the brands going for the OLED, Zenfone 5Z features LCD panel on the front. Yet, it's bright, vibrant and I didn't feel any strain while watching YouTube videos even in the low-light condition thanks to blue light filter feature.
The Zenfone 5Z comes with Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor, Qualcomm's latest and most powerful smartphone chipset to date. It is backed by 6GB/8GB RAM and 64GB/128Gb/256GB storage.
Asus phone also boasts AI system that helps to prioritize resources for most important apps so that the device runs efficiently and also battery lasts longer.
In the brief time, I have spent with Zenfone 5Z has been amazingly fast; all the apps loaded quickly and there was no sign of lag-ness whatsoever.
I have to give credit to Asus for taking our feedback positively last year and we saw it taking shape with the cleansing of unnecessary apps in the Android Oreo update for previous generation Zenfone mobiles and this time too, the Zenfone 5Z comes with a very little number of pre-loaded apps. This has not only helped to create more storage space but also maker user-interface simpler.
Besides the exceptional build quality and processor, another highlight of the Zenfone 5Z is its camera. Asus phone took some exceptional photos but I will reserve the final judgment after testing the camera limits under various light conditions.
For those unaware, It boasts 12MP+8MP dual-camera with super 0.03 second Tri-tech autofocus, dual-tone LED flash and Artificial Intelligence(AI)-powered photography system with AI Scene Detection in 16 types: food, sky, green field, plant, ocean, sunset, snow, flower, stage, dog, cat, people, text, tripod, QR code, night view, AI photo learning for grouping albums, Real-time Portrait, real-time Beautification and more. Additionally, it boasts Pixel 3 Master system with Super Resolution (48MP) image taking ability and more.
On the front too, it houses equally impressive 8MP sensor with F2.0 aperture, OV8856 sensor, 83-degree wide-angle lens, PixelMaster camera modes: Auto (with Night HDR and Portrait), Beauty, GIF, Animation and eight various filters.
Asus Zenfone 5Z comes packed with a 3,300mAh battery, which is more than enough to keep the phone running for a whole day under mixed usage. Unlike Apple, which used to throttle the processor's speed, to slow down the chemical degradation of the battery in the iPhones; Asus has incorporated AI-based smart charging capability, which the company says extends battery power retention expectancy for several years.
I will be sharing more insights about the Zenfone 5Z battery performance in a couple of days.
Asus Zenfone 5Z is a good phone and unarguably the most cost-effective premium phone in the market. I have to say, with such ridiculously low pricing, Asus has itself a winner in Zenfone 5Z.
I have strong inkling that the Zenfone 5Z will not only turn the things around the Asus brand for good in India but also spell trouble on popular brands such as OnePlus, Motorola, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and its subsidiary Honor.
Stay tuned. I will be bringing the full review of the Zenfone 5Z this weekend.
Asus Zenfone 5Z price and launch offers:
Asus Zenfone 5Z will be available exclusively available on Flipkart and come in three options --6GB RAM +64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM+256GB storage-- for Rs 29,999, 32,999 and Rs 36,999 from 9 July onwards.
As part of the launch offer, Asus is giving Rs 3,000 instant cash back for ICICI debit/credit card holders, No Cost EMI offer with prices starting Rs 3,000 per month and 100GB extra data for Reliance Jio.
Additionally, Flipkart is offering Rs 499 Complete Damage Protection, which entitles users the door-step pick-up service and device swap in the service center.
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