Asus Zenfone 5Z Review 4

Asus Zenfone 5Z Review – Is It Really a Budget Flagship Killer?

OS & Battery

For those who have heard that Asus customized Android UI called as ‘ZenUI 5.0’ isn’t as good as MIUI 10 and EMUI 8, I think you should think again. I saw that many of the famous tech blogs such as Digitaltrends, AndroidAuthority and others complaining about how heavy the OS is with plenty of extra apps and AI overloaded. Well, I agree that most manufacturers are overhyping the AI thing along with the cheap marketing tactics, however, there are some AI features such as AI scene detection and AI optimization that works pretty well. However, the rest of the apps such as Mobile Manager and Selfie Master are simply extras. Well, keeping extras won’t hurt you, or will it?

If you want to judge the price difference between Asus Zenfone 5Z and iPhone X, the OS is where you should look at.

Asus used to be a prime example of a crashed, bugged, and sluggish UI. However, everything has been changed since ZenUI 4.0 arrived. The latest ZenUI 5.0 based on Android 8.0 (out of the box) is attractive and smooth. Indeed, Asus has some overloaded AI things which don’t make any sense. However, I don’t mind these things and never rate an OS on such thing, neither Asus advertises its phones on such features. I look for the practical use, and the UI is responsive and fun to use with real AI features like AI optimization, AI camera modes, and so on. The AI ringtone is useful since it automatically adjusts your phone’s ringtone according to the level of noise in your surroundings.

Asus Zenfone 5Z Review 18

A few things that slightly ruined the viewing experience of the UI was the battery icon placed too close to the time on the top right, a really annoying pop-up of Page marker (can be disabled from settings).

Getting into details, there’s an app called the Twin App (I hope Asus hasn’t inspired it from Twin Towers). This allows the user to run two accounts at the same time on social apps such as Facebook. Another is the BeautyLive option similar to beauty mode 2.0 which widens your eyes, whiten skin tones and so on.

A great security feature added is the face recognition. It works effortlessly when there’s adequate light. It isn’t as accurate as that of Mi 8 or iPhone X. However, because the front selfie shooter isn’t that great, the face recognition never works in low-light. With the new update, one can simply use it without even pressing the power button to see the lock screen. I hope they fix the face recognition in some upcoming updates.

Asus is slightly slow in terms of Android security updates. Even after 6 months of its release, it’s still running on Android 8.0 with security patch of June, while most phones have jumped to Android 8.1 and some like Huawei have even tested the Android 9.0 P Beta Version. Asus promises to provide the Android 9.0 update but I’m pretty doubtful when it will actually release.

Moving to the last aspect of Asus Zenfone 5Z review, the phone is powered by a 3300mAh battery which is quite average. One might think that with that capacity, the phone can’t pass an entire day on a single charge. However, that’s not the case. I was able to use the phone from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm with average use on a single charge. At the end of the day, it still had 10 – 15% battery remaining. My average use included regular internet surfing, 1-hour gameplay, a few calls some being 20 minutes long, and 2 hours of music listening.

PCMark Battery Life Test (To Check Battery Life)
Intro: Intro: PCMark Life Test is a test to check the battery life of a smartphone/tablet. It utilizes every hardware and feature of the phone and takes the max power out of battery. We did it on 100% brightness, WiFi turned on,  and low volume.

Asus Zenfone 5Z Review - Battery Test

With the 3200 mAh battery, the battery life crosses nine hours. The Max Pro M1 crossed 11 hours with 5000mAh battery. This achievement makes it possible for moderate users to use it for one day on a single charge without any problems. Thanks to the 10nm process and well optimized AI OS, even a moderate battery capacity can run for that long.

Since it’s running on SD 845, we have the fast charging feature with us. The fifth-gen of Asus supports QC 3.0 while the latest being QC 4.0 supported by only 5 to 6 phones till now. Another great highlight is the AI charging which has become popular in Android phones.

Continued to page 7 (Conclusion):