ASUS Zenfone 5Z First Impressions: Zen is back!

AUS Zenfone 5Z Rear View

ASUS is a brand that had the early mover advantage in the smartphone market in India. They were the first the bring in phones with good camera capabilities and with 4GB RAM in the market. They have ventured into the affordable flagship zone this year with the Zenfone 5Z. I have had this phone for some time and here are my first impressions

Aside from the fact that it looks a lot like the iPhone X, the ZenFone 5Z is very definitely designed to impress, using premium materials and evidently cutting-edge craftsmanship. Its very noticeable edge-to-edge 2.5D-curved screen merges imperceptibly with the delicate body, giving ZenFone 5Z a beautiful seamless appearance and a luxurious feel. This is in line with the way most top end android flagships look today.

At the heart of ZenFone 5Z is the flagship Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 Mobile Platform and Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine, which combine a very smooth app and AI performance with noticeably longer battery life. The company claims that the ZenFone 5Z is engineered to run cool even when running lots of demanding apps, and there’s plenty of extra power on tap if you need it. It also features all the latest and greatest connectivity options for maximum convenience wherever you are. I will be putting it through the grind in the detailed review coming soon.

Zenfone 5Z bottom

The Zenfone 5Z has a good and immersive screen.This large screen with a notch is totally immersive and supports the cinema-grade DCI-P3 color space, making photos, videos, movies and games look better and very realistic while giving them a rich sheen. Its AI technology ensures that images always look their best, and it’s even smart enough to keep the screen turned on when you’re looking at it! Nifty and Comfortable.

There is evidently a lot of thought that has gone into the camera and photography department. ASUS says that the intelligent dual-camera system in ZenFone 5Z thinks for you, with advanced AI features that can seemingly anticipate your needs and adapt to your preferences, so you can concentrate on the subject, not the camera, and get perfect results every time. ZenFone 5Z  brings embedded AI into mobile photography, giving you a simpler, smarter way to capture and share every magic moment. The camera is capable of “seeing” what you are focusing on, understanding what it is and then adjusting settings to give you optimal results when you click the picture.

ASUS Zenfone 5Z Front View

 With a highly light sensitive main camera, a wide-angle second rear camera, and a capable front facing camera, whatever the subject — expansive landscapes, sunny beaches, atmospheric night shots, family portraits or selfies. The key difference here is the fact that the second camera is not there just for the bokeh effect and actually takes wide angle shots that get more coverage for you. The switch is a manual toggle and the results are very visible. I will be trying this feature out in detail in the full review. I will also try imaging with and without AI support to see what value it adds

There is AI even in the battery charging department of the device, equipped with the ASUS BoostMaster technology, the AI makes charging incredibly fast! ZenFone 5Z introduces AI-powered intelligent charging that maximizes your battery’s lifespan and provides total protection. It does this by dynamically adjusting the charging rate, which slows down the battery ageing process. ZenFone 5Z really is loaded with a lot of AI for you! Let us see how it does when put to the test.

Zenfone 5Z Side View

Another feature of the AI is the phone’s ability to be constantly adjusting the ringtone volume depending on where you are a nuisance, so ZenFone 5Z has AI Ringtone that intelligently adapts the ringer volume to suit the ambient noise level. When you’re somewhere noisy, it increases the volume, and when it’s quiet — such as on your bedside table at night — it reduces the volume so it won’t disturb you. Its smart AI-powered call features let ZenFone 5Z adapt itself to your environment, so you’ll always enjoy crystal-clear call quality and recordings. Practical and Useful.

Audio on smartphones is all too often an afterthought, but ASUS claims that it is not the case on ZenFone 5Z. With their dedicated audio engineering team making sure of that, using powerful hardware, AI-enhanced software and state-of-the-art audio quality that will give your ears a treat, whatever you’re listening to.

The pricing quite literally takes the cake on this phone. This is a Flipkart exclusive. Here is the pricing for the variants

6GB/64GB  : Rs 29,999
8GB/128GB: Rs 32,999
8GB/256GB: Rs 36,999

Very clearly ASUS is taking aim at the OnePlus 6 and it looks like Zen is back! More in the full review.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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