ASUS ZenFone 5z Unboxing, Hands-on Review : First Impressions – Promise Fulfilled

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We unbox the budget flagship from the Taiwanese company

ASUS made us a promise back in MWC about their 2018 phone lineup, a promise to go back to their “empowering luxury” roots that made the ZenFone 2 family so popular. After pricing gaffes of the past generations, ASUS desperately needed to get the pricing right for their newest batch of phones.

And boy, did they deliver.

After the stellar launch of the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5q, we’re finally getting our hands on the company’s top tier ZenFone 5z. With a price of Php 29,995, it’s cheaper than the supposed flagship killer, the OnePlus 6. ASUS has fulfilled its promise to its fans in a fantastic fashion as far as pricing goes, but is the phone any good?

Asus Zenfone 5Z Specs
  • AI-powered Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB of storage
  • 6.2-inch Full HD+IPS display, 18.7:9 aspect ratio, 2246×1080 resolution, DCI-P3 wide color gamut
  • 12-megapixel main rear camera, Sony IMX363 sensor, f/1.8 aperture, Night HDR, OIS, EIS, PDAF, RAW capture
  • 8-megapixel secondary rear camera, 120-degree wide angle view
  • 8-megapixel, f/2.0 front camera
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Facial Recognition
  • USB Type-C port
  • 3300mAh battery with BoostMaster and Smart Charging
  • Android Oreo with ZenUI 5.0

Packaging and contents:

The ZenFone 5z retails in an identical box as the ZenFone 5 – there’s just the 5z moniker on the outside that tells customers they bought the highest-end version of the ZenFone 5 family.

Inside the box you’ll see the phone, a silicone case, headphones, USB charger and a USB Type-C cable.

Initial impressions: looks exactly like the ZenFone 5, but with more powah

If you’ve already seen a ZenFone 5 in the flesh, then you’ve already seen a ZenFone 5z too. The two phones are 100% identical on the outside, so you’ll be hard pressed to determine which one is which from the outside.

The phone sports the same awesome looking glass front and back. The two cameras are located on the upper left side, and are stacked vertically. The camera configuration for the ZenFone 5z is the same as the regular ZenFone 5, so theoretically the phone will deliver roughly the same image quality.

The ZenFone 5z also has the same notched 6.2-inch full HD Super IPS panel that’s on the regular ZF5, with Corning Gorilla Glass protection.

While the choice to go with the same chassis might bum out some since there’s no discernable exterior difference in design to the lower-spec version, that’s probably the reason why the 5z’s price is so low. Since ASUS can use many of the same components used on both phones, the price of putting together both devices are now much, much cheaper.

What’s really different is in the inside: the ZenFone 5z has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. That processor is the same one used on more expensive smartphones currently availabe in the market, and is the fastest available today.

To put that in perspective, the ZenFone 5z cheaper than the flagships of Huawei, LG, Samsung and Sony, and is cheaper than the supposed flagship killer, the OnePlus 6. The only other budget flagship that beats it with the same processor is Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2s, and even then the ZenFone 5z has more storage than Xiaomi and OnePlus’ offering.

Despite having the same hardware as its rivals, the ASUS ZenFone 5z manages to deliver a higher AnTuTu score than its peers, scoring 266042. Obviously synthetic benchmarks are not the final word when it comes to performance, but it’s something to keep in mind when testing phones.

It seems then that ASUS has made good on its promise to go back to its roots, empowering luxury for people who want a device with a great spec sheet at a price most can realistically afford. We’ll be taking the ZenFone 5z with us as we go out and about in Vietnam in a week, so check back for photo samples and our final word then.

The ZenFone 5z is now open for preorder until June 17, with pre-orders pre-orders bundled with a JBL T450 headset, a ZenPower Slim 3000 power bank, and a clear case.




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