The high-end market is practically saturated. Is there room for one more? ASUS Taiwanese think so, and this Zenfone 5Z is your bet for this 2018. What does this top of the range offer us that we cannot find in other smartphones that are already on the street and performing at a good level?
In today's review we take a look at the ASUS Zenfone 5Z, a premium terminal that stands out for its excellent value for money and a performance capable of overcoming the most demanding tasks.
ASUS Zenfone 5Z in review: good performance and good design, but with some light and dark
The 5Z is a good phone. There's no doubt. The problem is that it is difficult to differentiate between both mobile phones with notch, infinite screen and crystallized housing. For this Zenfone to shine with its own light it needs to offer something more, and the manufacturer has decided to play the AI card as the star function. Something that, on the other hand, doesn't seem like anything to write home about ... at least for now.
Design and display
The ASUS Zenfone 5Z presents a 6.2 ”screen with Full HD + resolution (2260 x 1080p), 402ppi and 550 nits of brightness. A good screen that, without reaching the levels of an AMOLED in terms of brightness, colors and contrast, offers more than satisfactory results.
At the design level, we have a phone very similar to the Xiaomi Mi 8 or the OnePlus 6. A lightweight device, with 2.5D curved edges and a glass case which is a magnet for fingerprints and dust - but hey, the latter is inevitable in any phone of this type, of course.
Among the characteristics of the screen, to highlight the "smart display" modeThanks to which, the system is able to detect when we have the phone in hand, and thus, it does not turn off the screen.
This Zenfone 5Z has dimensions of 15.30 x 7.57 x 0.79 cm and a weight of only 155 grams. Available in black and silver colors.
Power and performance
We delve into the best aspect of the new ASUS terminal: its performance. The terminal has SoC Snapdragon 845 Octa Core at 2.8GHz, 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM -although there is also an 8GB version-, 64GB of internal storage space –With 128GB and 256GB variants- and Android 8.0 Oreo with ZenUI 5.0 layer. All this with a slot to insert a micro SD in case you need more space.
For practical purposes, this pack gives us a benchmarking result in Antutu of 274,499 points. It is clear that having the best chipset on the market and a more than generous RAM memory could not provide a very different experience than expected. The apps go like a shot, there's no lag, and the games perform in excellent condition, even when it comes to heavy games.
Speaking of games, this phone includes what ASUS calls the “Game Genie”, A tool that once activated, blocks all kinds of alerts and interruptions while we play games.
Among other additional functionalities, there is the possibility of clone apps, something very practical if we want to use two WhatsApp accounts at the same time or we use several accounts within the same social network.
We may also make use of ASUS 'own cloud service, and 100GB of free space on Google Drive. All this without forgetting the ZeniMojis, the company's 3D emojis.
As far as AI is concerned, from what we have seen on the Internet, it is not that it is a decisive factor in order to improve the performance of the terminal. We understand that it is there, but at least for the moment it is not that it makes any notable difference.
In short, a powerful, effective device with several pluses that improve the usability and enjoyment of the user in general.
Camera and battery
Now, yes, we come to delicate ground. The double rear camera incorporates 2 lenses: a 12MP IMX363 with f / 1.8 and 1.4µm manufactured by Sony. AND a second 8MP lens with f / 2.0 aperture. The selfie camera also mounts an 8MP lens with f / 2.0 on the front.
Is this a bad camera? Not much less: thanks to the AI, the camera is able to differentiate 16 different scenarios (people, food, dogs, cats, sunsets, skies, night, etc.) to improve the image and obtain the best possible results.
The problem is that ASUS is selling the AI of the camera as the main feature of the 5Z, and the truth: the photos as such, do not reach the same level as other top of the range of the competition. It is a good camera, but it falls short of being an excellent camera.
The battery, meanwhile, has a good thing and another bad. It has a 3300mAh battery, which unfortunately runs out quite quickly (about 4 hours of screen time). In return, its fast charging function is really effective, and in a short time we can have the mobile up and running again.
The ASUS Zenfone 5Z also stands out in the sound section. It has quality stereo speakers with which we can reach levels of up to 100 decibels and a triple microphone with noise cancellation. By the way, the mobile also includes the ZenEar Pro headphones.
In terms of connectivity, the device has Bluetooth 5.0, USB type C, 3.5mm jack, rear fingerprint detector, Dual SIM, WiFi 802.11ac, 2 × 2 MIMO, WiFi Direct and LTE Cat 18.
Price and availability
Currently we can get the ASUS ZenFone 5Z at a price of € 484.40, about $ 559.99, on sites like GearBest or AliExpress.
In short, we are facing a top of the range whose maximum is its performance, but which is halfway when it comes to exploiting other factors such as the camera or autonomy. However, the sound is good, the screen is decent, and it has an updated design and an interesting pack of features. The best, without a doubt, its price.
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