Asus Zenfone 5Z First Impressions: The True OnePlus 6 Competitor?

On: July 4, 2018

The Asus Zenfone 5Z was launched during MWC 2018 event earlier this year. It was launched alongside two other devices in the same series, the Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 5 Lite. The 5Z is a flagship phone though, bearing top of the line specs but is priced at a meager Rs. 29,999 for the starting variant. This positions it in the same price range as that of the OnePlus 6. The phone launched today in India as a Flipkart exclusive but we got to try our hands on the device over the last couple of days. Here’s our first impressions of the new Zenfone 5Z.

The Asus Zenfone 5Z looks quite appealing in terms of design. It has a glass back which justifies the glossy finish. Underneath, a glossy concentric-circle pattern gives it a premium look and resembles closely with the back covers of some Asus laptops. The phone is available in Meteor Silver and Midnight Blue, both of which blend well with the overall design.


The Asus flagship rocks a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display with a notch on the top. You get an option to hide the notch too, which works well. The Super IPS+ display seems pretty decent and there are software optimizations to make the most of the notch. You also get a Corning Gorilla Glass on the top for additional screen protection.  

We received the device two weeks prior to the launch and the camera still had some work going on Asus’ side. We have been told that there’ll be a software update for the same so we’re waiting for that before giving our opinion on it. In terms of technicalities, it comes with a 12MP + 8MP dual setup on the rear and an 8-megapixel camera on the front. Going by the latest camera update to the Zenfone Max Pro M1 and how it drastically improved its performance, it seems very likely the Zenfone 5Z will be offered a similar update before it goes on sale. Our Full Review will cover the camera performance thoroughly so wait for that.

Being a flagship device, it comes with a flagship processor too. The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, the same chipset that is in the 2018 flagships, OnePlus 6 and Samsung Galaxy S9. In terms of RAM and storage, there are three different variants of the phone, 4GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB. It also supports microSD card up to 2TB. Additionally, you get 100GB free space on Google Drive for 1 year.

The Zenfone 5Z comes with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box layered with Zen UI 5. A delightful change that I noticed this time is that there is very little bloatware in Asus’ custom UI. The overall software seems pretty impressive, there are various nifty features that come in handy. A lot of them are labelled AI features which work quite well. We’ll cover all of this in detail in our full review which will be out in a few days.

The device comes with a 3300mAh battery unit and supports fast charging. We’ll let you know its battery performance once we use it for a few more days. In terms of connectivity, it has got all the basic array of options including USB Type-C, a 3.5mm headphone jack, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 & 5GHz, 802.11ac WiFi with 2×2 MIMO (DL 866Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi direct and NFC.

Asus has priced it very aggressively as the phone starts from Rs. 29,999. At this price point, it can be a serious competitor to the OnePlus 6. We’ll put out our final verdict in the Full Review soon, stay tuned.

Aditya Mohanty

Previously co-founded a startup called WordKrowd, an online literature platform, which explains his love for writing and reading. Thinks about startups and technologies all day long, thus got himself to Pricebaba for a stint in writing. Stories, both fictional and real excite him. Other close recipients of love from him include good movies and good food.