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Review 4 min read 3 comments

ZenFone 5Z: the cheapest way to get Snapdragon 845

The Asus ZenFone 5Z could be a really exciting insider tip! The new smartphone from the Taiwanese manufacturer is well-equipped, looks great and comes with top-of-the-line features, but costs considerably less than the competition. The sister model, the ZenFone 5, also has a lot to offer. One problem, however, is the date for the start of sales.

ASUS Zenfone 5 design and build quality

It has long been clear that Asus can build great hardware. The 4-series ZenFones look great, as do the brand's ultrabooks. The new ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5Z smartphones presented by Asus at Mobile World Congress 2018 are no exception. The front and back are covered with curved glass, which has an almost velvety coating, and you won’t have to worry as much about getting your smartphone dirty with fingerprints, as this material is less susceptible to this than most glass smartphones. The aluminum frame blends seamlessly into the design, and both models are completely identical in appearance.

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The devices don't differ much in appearance / © AndroidPIT

You couldn’t get more display

For a smartphone with a 6.2-inch display, the ZenFone 5/5Z is fairly compact. The screen covers around 90 percent of the display due to the ultra thin bezels. The edge beneath the display is the thickest, to make room for the loudspeakers, headphone jack, USB Type C port. Upstairs, Asus followed Apple with the iPhone X-style notch, This is not only trendy, but also saves space. The screen has Quad-HD resolution and is in 18:9 format.

With Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845, the Asus ZenFone 5Z has the most powerful mobile chip on board, and also features Qualcomm's AI engine. The less expensive ZenFone 5 packs the Snapdragon 636, which also uses the AI functions. Asus makes use of artificial intelligence in its camera software, where it is automatically able to recognize the image content in the photo gallery, and also optimize game performance.

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The screen covers 90 percent of the screen / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Gamers should probably opt for the ZenFone 5, because this not only has the Snapdragon 845, but also 8GB of RAM: twice as much as the other model. The internal memory is 128 or 64GB. The phone also holds a solution if you’re worried about overheating from heavy use, with four 0.06mm thick carbon fiber cooling pads that reduce the heat from the Snapdragon 845.

More light, better photos

The dual camera sensor (with 12- or 8-MP) on the back of the phone is a new feature, too. The Sony IMX363 should work well, especially in low light conditions, capturing five times more light than its predecessor. This makes low light HDR possible. In the second lens, Asus uses a wide-angle lens with a 120-degree viewing angle, and also worth mentioning, is its 8MP front-facing camera.

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8 megapixel front-facing camera / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Asus delivers the two ZenFones with Android 8 Oreo and its own Zen UI. It is still quite colorful, but slimmed down, runs fast and can be adapted visually. Asus isn’t part of the Android One program: the Taiwanese company sticks to its specially adapted Android. Asus intend to release an update for Android 9 devices. The hybrid slot of the Asus ZenFone 5/5Z supports either a second LTE SIM or a microSD memory card up to 2TB.

Final verdict

At first sight, the Asus phones look promising. They look great, are well-equipped and have a very attractive price considering the software and performance. The Zenfone 5Z in particular has a lot of potential to become a hit. But, Asus could be making a mistake by waiting until July to launch it, as by then, it won’t seem so exciting. This doesn't make the ZenFone 5Z any less interesting, but it might harm its success once it hits the market, which is a shame.

What do you think of the new Zenfone? Will you be waiting until July to get your hands on one?

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3 comments

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  • July puts you in spitting distance of an Apple launch and people will wait.
    It better have Verizon compatibility or you just don't get market share.
    Even Essential knows you need Verizon compatibility.


  • July is A HUGE mistake.
    I don't get it.

    Announce your phones when they are a few weeks from delivery and you have a market.

    July? I've already bought everything and am waiting for the New apples, the OnePlus Tsb the Huawei Mates....Vernee, Doogee, Nubia, Lenovo... All of which are by then, 2019 looking.....

    It's a big mistake.


  • How can this be able to compete with top brands with the July release date,Asus seems to have done well getting the snapdragon 845 chips,but if they want to compete more globally, they need to speed up the release date of there phones

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