“ASUS ZenFone 5Z is currently the most affordable smartphone in India that is powered by Snapdragon 845 SoC”

ASUS on Wednesday launched its ZenFone 5Z smartphone in India. The new flagship from the company comes with impressive hardware at a reasonable price. Just like some of the other Android handset makers, ASUS has opted for notched display design on the 5Z that aims to offer an immersive viewing experience by including a cut-out on the screen that houses the front camera, proximity sensor, and earpiece. We got to spend some time with the handset ahead of the official launch and to give you a better perspective about the new product, here are our first impressions.

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Talking about the unboxing experience first, the ZenFone 5Z retail box comes with wired earphones, some additional ear tips, a wall charger, a USB type-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, a TPU case, and standard documentation.

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Coming to the handset itself, as it usually happens in the tech industry, smartphone manufacturers don’t take long before catching up with the latest design trends. The ZenFone 5Z comes with two of the most popular design choices that can be found on almost all flagship smartphones we’ve seen lately, i.e. a glass back and thin bezels. The handset features a notch design, much like the iPhone X, albeit with a smaller cut-out. There is a fingerprint sensor, conveniently placed in the middle at the back. The dual camera setup, with the LED flash right below the two vertically-placed lenses, is located on the top-left at the rear.

asus_zenfone_5z1The power key, as well as volume rocker, are present on the right side of the handset and the left spine houses the SIM card tray. Reaching out to these buttons is fairly easy, even while using the handset with one hand. The USB type-C charging port, speaker grille, and the 3.5mm audio jack are all present on the bottom of the smartphone. While the phone sits nicely in one hand and doesn’t feel bulky, reaching the screen corners can prove to be tricky, which is true for most large screen phones in the current market. With the glass back, the ZenFone 5Z proves itself to be a fingerprint magnet but comes across as a premium device right away. You can look at the design closely via the design gallery embedded below:

Moving on to the display, the ASUS ZenFone 5Z packs a 6.2-inch FHD+ (2,246 x 1,080 pixels) LCD display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. In our time with the handset, we found the display quality offered by the ZenFone 5Z to be impressive and the viewing angles to be good. The colours don’t look oversaturated or washed out.

asus_zenfone_5z_design4Coming to the software, the handset runs Android 8.0 Oreo-based ZenUI 5.0 out of the box. Thankfully, the smartphone doesn’t come with much bloatware and only has few Google apps pre-installed. Moving to the hardware, we have the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 SoC, coupled with Adreno 630 GPU and up to 8GB of RAM, powering the handset. Our review unit comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage.

We found the UI on the ZenFone 5Z to be fairly clean and did not face any stutter or lag issues while navigating through the platform.

asus_zenfone_5z7Jumping on to the optics, the new ASUS smartphone features a dual rear camera setup, consisting of a 12MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture, and an 8MP secondary sensor with f/2.2 aperture. At the front, you get an 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture. Both front and rear camera setups offer depth effect as well as a wide-angle view of the subject. We found the quality of images taken by both camera setups to be fairly impressive but as we could not test the handset in different scenarios, we will reserve our judgement for our full review.

asus_zenfone_5z_design7The handset houses a 3,300mAh battery, which comes with support for artificial intelligence-powered fast charging technology. The pricing for ZenFone 5Z starts from Rs 29,999 in India and the handset will be competing against smartphones like the Honor 10 (review) and OnePlus 6 (review) in this price range. Interestingly, with the announced pricing, ZenFone 5Z is currently the most affordable smartphone in India that is powered by Snapdragon 845 SoC. As these are our initial impressions of the handset, stay tuned in to our website for the detailed review.

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