Our CzytelniaK Miłosz would like to present you his opinion about the smartphone ASUS Zenfone 5Z (ZS620KL), which he has been using for a long time. Is Zenfone 5Z a smartphone worth recommending? You will find the answer in the review prepared by the Zenfone 5Z owner.
Important Note: The following material is not a redaction test, but a review written by a mainstream CzytelniaKa, Miłosz. The post published does not represent the opinion of techManiaK.pl. But a beautiful box! – with these words, my girlfriend greeted "my world" with my new ASUS Zenfone 5Z (ZS620KL) . After 3 very successful years, I changed from Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML) to a new Zenek. Due to the fact that I have not seen the review of the new flagship company in the Taiwanese company in the pages of gsmManiaKa, with the consent of the editor-in-chief Szymon, I decided to share my feelings with maniaKitchen readers. I invite you to read. With the change of the phone I wore a good few months and I was guided by several conditions that the new equipment must meet. First of all the price – I do not belong to people who have an unlimited budget, so this criterion played a significant role. The upper limit – PLN 2,200 . The possibility of expanding the built-in memory was next in the queue. I take a lot of photos and download a lot of applications, so the phone in which I would have to rely only on the space provided by the manufacturer was off at the start. The third most important feature I paid attention to was the camera. Due to almost the end of 2018, in this aspect I had a large field to choose from. Considering all the pros and cons of specific models of various companies , Zenfone 5Z fell out . He does not regret his decision in the slightest.
ASUS ZenFone 5Z – specifications:
- System: Android Oreo,
- Display: 6.2 ", Full HD + (2246 x 1080), 19: 9, IPS,
- SoC: Snapdragon 845 from Adreno 630,
- RAM: 6 GB,
- Memory: 64 GB, microSD,
- Camera: 8 MP,
- Camera: 12 MP, standard, Sony IMX363, f / 1.8, 24mm, 1 / 2.55 ", 1.4μm, OIS + 5 MP, wide-angle (120 degrees), f / 2.0, 12mm, 1/4", 1.12μm,
- Modules and ports: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 + 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS with GLONASS, Dual SIM, fingerprint reader, face recognition, USB type C 2.0 , NFC, 3.5 mm jack connector, stereo speakers, DTS, Hi-Res, (192kHz / 24-bit), FM radio,
- Battery: 3300 mAh, fast charging,
- Dimensions: 153 x 75.65 x 7.85 mm, 155 g.
So as you can see from the ASUS specification creating your latest phone did not save on components. The newest Snapdragon at that time, 6 GB, Adreno 630, NFC – what more could you want?
Execution at a very high level
I deliberately did not write "the highest level" because after the first few minutes with the new phone, two things threw me in the eye. First, a SIM card tray and a memory card. In itself, it is not anything special, just like a lot. What I did not like decidedly is the material from which the side of the tray is made. The first time I took it out of the phone, I had the impression that plastic (this kind of impression makes this material) will break away from the rest . She is attached too gently and say that she does not say anything. If the whole frame around the phone looks good and does not give the impression of a badly made, then you can not say the same about the tray.The second thing I noticed is the volume keys and the switch. They give the impression of being solidly made, but their embedding could be a bit more fitting . Easy to feel delicate looseness. It does not affect the comfort of using the whole phone, but it could be done better. In addition, I would give more space between them, because it happened more than once that instead of muting the sound I blocked the screen. So much for the visual aspects of Zenek that caught my eye in this negative light. I have no reservations about the rest of the housing. Both the front and back cover glass 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass and the whole looks very elegant. However, it has not been specified which generation is this glass. As everyone knows, glass has one big weakness – fingerprints. The ASUS flagship is simply addicted to them. After 5 minutes of fun, I was inspired and wrote a short rhyme:
On the front of the glass, on the back of the glass. Fingerprints behind. That ho-ho
Speaking quite seriously, this is not something you can not stand up to on a daily basis and rubbing against a blouse or pants helps (for a moment). However, it is best to fight one of the contents of the box in the fight against the tracks on the case. But about that in a moment.Concluding with the look of the phone, the front of the device is 90% (information from the ASUS website) is a 6.2 "screen with a note inspired by the jubilee phone from Apple. The back is a dual camera – the main with a resolution of 12 MP and a wide angle of 8 MP, the illuminating light (the arrangement of cameras also strongly refers to the iPhone X) and a fingerprint reader located in the middle around which a characteristic pattern is created. There is also room for the ASUS logo. At the bottom is a sticker with the number IMEI, which I did not dare to take off.
The contents of the box
At this point, ASUS gained my liking even more. Next to the charger supporting fast charging or headphones, there is one more thing in the box – the case. Ordinary silicone, clear case. Not everyone will use it all the time, but the very beginning will be how it found. It lies perfectly, protects everything that has to protect and prevents the accumulation of traces of our fingerprint on the back of the casing. Saying that it protects what it has to protect, I do not mean just the case. The device on the back is slightly protruding and using without any protection involves scratches, which sooner or later will appear on the back of the device.
Screen? I have no objections
Made in 19: 9 proportions and the characteristic indentation of the Zenfonie 5Z screen works really well. In everyday use I did not have any problems with it – the content is sharp and clear , the edges of the fonts are not ragged. It's hard to compare the screen to other models, such as Galaxy S9 or Huawei P20 Pro, because I did not have the opportunity to use them, but I dare say that it is made at a very high level. This is particularly evident when browsing factory wallpapers that show the panel's capabilities.I also had no difficulty using the phone outside, everything was always visible, with more or less sun. Due to the current time of the year, I did not have the opportunity to test it on very sunny days, but I assume that with a high brightness of the screen it will not be a problem . The minimum screen brightness is sufficient for reading in the Egyptian darkness. There is also an option on the board to turn on the blue light filter, which still has a little effect on the comfort of using Zenfone in the dark.
Notch – what notch?
Being at the screen, I can not fail to mention the way the speaker for conversations or a selfie camera is placed. ASUS decided to get inspiration (again) from the iPhone X and instead of trying to fit the screen between two symmetrical beams, he put on a notch otherwise called notch . This solution has both supporters and opponents – judging by the opinions of mania, there are more members of the second group here. However, I speak with full responsibility and awareness – I like indenting in the screen . Even very much. Yes, I said this 🙂 First, thanks to the fact that the notification icons are on both sides of the cutout, below is more screen on which the content is displayed. I do not take it as a waste of space. Notifications and so are at the top, it is impossible to display, for example, text here, because there is a charge indicator or an hour – they have to go somewhere anyway. If they were lower then they would occupy a space dedicated to content. That's how I see it. If I offend someone here, I'm sorry but I really do not understand clinging to "monobrwii," as some people define indentation. However strange this may sound, but most of the time spent with Zenfone 5Z, I often focused on how little I focus on noticing the indentation. In some applications on both sides the screen turns slightly gray, which slightly masks the indentation and is less noticeable. However, it is not always active, eg when browsing websites or writing text messages. The only situation in which notch "beat his eyes" is the PKS bus, where the darkness prevailed and the notch was clearly visible on the white screen background.While testing and thinking about the pros and cons, for and against the indentation, I thought: "If you are too indented when using the phone, maybe what you do on the phone is too boring?" – but that's just my opinion. Stubborn opponents of this solution remain system masking , which you can see below. As for me, I definitely do not like it for one reason – it disturbs the symmetry of the screen. The screen is nicely rounded at the bottom, the top is almost invisible at the top and looks almost like a right angle. Ending the topic of the notch – inside it ASUS put a selfie camera, proximity sensor and speaker for talks and a notification diode, which is hidden in the speaker. In my opinion, this is a very interesting solution. In the settings we have the option of turning off the diode if someone turns out to be unnecessary.
System: ZenUI 5.0
Zenfone 5Z out of the box works on Android Oreo 8.0 with ZenUI overlay 5.0 . Security is from October 5, so quite decently for a flagship. In a little over a month of contact with the phone I got 2 system updates. I did not live to see Android 9.0 for now, but it is supposed to change in early 2019. If the phone on the Oreo version will continue to work as smoothly as this month, I am in no hurry to the Pie version . On ASUS phones, we find a ZenUI overlay . I have heard many opinions that it is overloaded with unnecessary applications, it is too colorful and extensive. It is a fact that there are a lot of options for personalizing the appearance of the device, like the appearance of the icons or the way of scrolling the screen, but it is not invasive. You have to bury it in the settings, but if the box version will suit you, you do not have to worry about the complexity of ZenUI, everything is well hidden. The whole is very well optimized and the phone works very smoothly . I have not experienced the slightest cuts in the phone, both in the application work or moving around the system itself. I noticed a temporary cut in the OLX application, but I assume that the fault lies on the side of the app itself, because it also appeared on the previous phone. It's also praiseworthy that ASUS has reduced the number of pre-installed applications that could not be uninstalled. In the latest version there are literally a few, such as Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Google package. The rest can be optionally downloaded from the Play store. It's nice that the manufacturer gave the opportunity to choose the user, not forcing to use their applications, as was the case in earlier smartphones from a Taiwanese manufacturer. Zenfone 5Z in the tested version has 64 GB of built-in memory, and about 49 GB for the user. It can be increased with the use of a memory card, but it is associated with the abandonment of the dual SIM, which is hybrid. The phone is equipped with NFC and Bluetooth version 5.0, so the use of contactless and wireless headphones is the most possible. I did not have this opportunity to test it, because I am a supporter of both traditional headphones on the cable and plastic cards. The phone has 2 connectors. We will listen to music through 3.5 mm jack . The sound quality on the headphones is good. I would not describe it as outstanding, but I also have nothing to cling to. The sound reproduced through the loudspeakers is loud and resonant, even at a higher volume, you will not hear any crackling or "suffocating" of the speakers. ASUS also offers an audio wizard, in which we can choose several ready sound settings (normal, Pop, Rock and Vocal) and Custom mode, in which we have full freedom of settings. When the battery level approaches 0%, we will charge it via USB input C. We will do it very quickly, because fast charging works sensational . Charging the phone from about 2% takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. When charging, the phone does not get too hot. I would describe it as "pleasantly warm." The battery has a capacity of 3300 mAh and lasts for the whole day of using the phone . Going to work, I have an active data package all the time. I use quite a lot at work from the phone. These are mainly SMS, Messenger, Internet and social media. For over a month of using Zenek, it never happened that the battery did not keep up until the end of the day. Returning home is the state indicated about 30% and I started from 90 – 95%. Although on paper the capacity of the cell does not knock on your knees, so in everyday use it is very good. Of course you need to consider the way you use your phone. I do not belong to people who are addicted to video content from YouTube, nor do I play games (except for Pokemon GO, but it is not a game that eats the battery remarkably). Therefore, people using the phone mainly as a gaming device may not be 100% satisfied with their work time, because then the percentage of battery decreases faster.
Zenfone 5Z can be unlocked in several ways. The traditional method is the lock button on the right side of the device and the password or pattern. In addition, we can also choose a line reader for the device and face scanning. Let's start with the reader. You can assign up to 5 prints to it. I do not conceal that at the beginning I had problems with him . The reader did not recognize the saved imprint, which resulted in my irritation and continued blockage on the screen. After a few moments it turned out that it is not my reader's fault. I just had to learn how to use it and put a finger on it – it works right away . All you need is a quick (but necessarily accurate) brush to unlock the screen. It lasts very shortly. It has not happened that the imprint has not been recognized correctly. I noticed that in case when my hands are slightly damp, the reader had a problem to work. An additional function of the reader is the possibility of ejecting and storing the notification bar by sliding your finger up and down. Considering the 6.2 "screen, this is a useful feature. Another way is face scanning , which is new to ASUS phones. After activating the "lift to check" option, the screen activates after lifting the device and unlocks the screen when a saved face is detected. I would like to remind you that I did not deal with other phones in which this option is available, hence I can not say that this is the fastest or slowest of the available solutions, compared to the actions of the competition. However, I am happy with the speed of action . It takes about a second for the eye. In good lighting conditions, the front camera, which serves this purpose, recognizes the face immediately, is not mistaken or needs to be put straight in front of our face. The situation is different when there are fewer or fewer lights. When you are indoors or outside in the evening, you need more time and a shorter distance from the face so that the camera can work as it should. When there is no light at all (I tested in a closed bathroom) – well, Zenfone fell on the mat and finished on the blades. Even the sliding of the screen to the tip of the nose did not help.
Zenfone 5Z has everything that a flagship should have: Snapdragon 845, 6 GB RAM, Adreno 630 – in short, what other devices from the same shelf. How does the smartphone work every day? Superbly. For over a month with Zenek at my side, I have thrown away concepts such as "lags" or "cuts" from my vocabulary . The device operates very smoothly and reacts instantly to all commands, quickly loading applications and even faster switching between them. Speaking of applications kept in RAM, I am very impressed . In the Chrome browser, I have an average of 10-12 cards open, in addition to "social media hanging" in the background, the camera, gallery and the rest of the applications that can be found on my phone. I do not tend to close them after I finish using one of them. When I return to them after a long time, I start using the moment I left it. It was very rare that the app was loaded completely from scratch, but if it did, it happened in the blink of an eye. When promoting the new model, ASUS emphasized the use of AI in several aspects , including performance. When I turned on the Benchmark application, there was immediately information that AI Acceleration, because this is the name of this function, is not enabled. Evidently the phone detects applications testing the capabilities of the phone and wants to conquer the result. So I ran the test twice, once without turning on the AI Acceleration and once using it. Here are the results: As you can see the difference is not very significant. When it comes to performance in Benchmark Zenfone 5Z did quite well and reached 265 068 thousand. without support by AI. During the test with the option enabled, the result was not significantly better and amounted to 269 586 thousand. This will not significantly affect the comfort of using Zenek. Below is a comparison chart with other phones tested in Benchmark. My phone has reached the 7th position. Interestingly, on site 8 is the same model. Zenfone 5Z has overtaken such models as Pocophone F1, Mi Mix 2S and both Galaxy S9 and 9+ models. The full result can be seen in the screenshot below: Because I am not a fan of mobile games, I had to download several titles from the Play store to check the performance. While playing Asphalt 8: Airborne and Asphalt 9: Legends, the smallest problems with the animations in the game did not appear, even with longer games. A slight increase in temperature was felt, as in the case of charging, but it did not give any reason to worry that the phone would start to prune or worse – it would explode;)
Aparaty – We Love photo ?
Both in the 4th and 5th generation, the ASUS team put a special emphasis on photographic capabilities . It is not different this time. The slogan is We Love Photo and I must admit that it came out almost perfectly. At the beginning, let's start with numbers and then go to my experience with cameras. ZenFone 5Z has been equipped with a double camera. The sensor in the main ring is a well-known Sony IMX363 unit. The camera has 12 MP and f / 1.8 light . The matrix size is 1 / 2.55 "and the single pixel has a size of 1.4 μm. Dual Pixel PDAF technology has been used there, which is supposed to catch focus in 0.03 seconds and I have to say that it comes out really sensational, of course in good lighting conditions. We also find OIS and EIS, which translates into even better quality of photos. During the day, photos from the main camera come out sensational . They are very sharp, the colors are not distorted or somehow overclocked. Artificial Intelligence is also used when taking pictures. In addition to the fact that the phone recognizes different sceneries, I did not notice any other effect on improving the quality of photographs of the objects being photographed. As for the scenery, ASUS claimed that their new phone would recognize them 16 (such as: people, food, dog, cat, sunset, sky, ocean, etc). How does it look like every day? When you take a picture in the upper right corner of the frame appears an icon suggesting what object we have in front of you. Unless I noticed problems with recognizing such objects as a dog or a tree, when the picture was taken, where most of the frame was occupied by white clouds, the phone suggested that it was snow. Hence, I assume that the recognition of the scenery is mainly based on the color of the object being photographed. I invite you to the photo gallery: I have no objections to photos taken from the main camera . The colors, sharpness and speed of setting it do not cause the slightest complaints. Pictures taken in the evening are getting a little worse. The number of details decreases, while the focus setting is similar. Here are the effects: Zenfone 5Z it is equipped with two lenses. The second one has fewer megapixels and there are only 8. Its main purpose is wide-angle photography . This angle is 120 degrees and, without a doubt, you can see the difference between the main and the additional camera. Below you can see the difference between the lenses, I took pictures in both good and inferior lighting conditions, which will show the difference between the two units. And unfortunately I can not praise ASUS in this place the aspect of We Love Photo. The wide-angle lens could have been made much better . Photographs made with this matrix will definitely not be suitable for framing, rather to admire the overall view without looking at the details. When it comes to the approximation of such a shot, one statement is pressed to my lips: the charm spells close up. I hope that with the next updates it will be somehow improved. Both rear lenses have one more application and this is taking pictures with a blurry background effect. I do not have any serious reservations about these photos. The background is beautifully blurred, the focus is focused in the foreground. Unless we touch the phone at the last minute, this photo will come out very well. Examples can be found below: Not in every situation the bokeh effect will work 100% perfectly. As an example, I give pictures that I made at Akcent Zoo in Bialystok for a deer who did not mind being a model. The camera evidently focused on the face of the creature, treating its antlers as part of the background, making the effect less impressive. Look yourself: The consolation is the fact that not every day we will be photographing someone with horns or other such beautification;) Concluding the topic of the main cameras, we also have a Mode Pro , which is very extensive and with its application, we can change almost every parameter of the photo, such as white balance and exposure length. The camera application itself is kept in a simple style. By moving your finger from the right edge of the screen, we will open built-in filters, while on the other hand we will bring out the previously mentioned Pro Mode and such options as Beauty, Large Resolution or Panorama. Zenfone 5Z supports movie recording up to a maximum of 4K (3840×2160). The default is FHD quality (1920×1080). Recordings in this quality look good, you can not see jumps in sharpness or changes in lighting . I do not usually record videos with my phone, so I did not check the quality at home, I recorded only two examples of movies. One in default quality and the other in 4K: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmJhjYLE7OU https://youtu.be/u-bErcy2_kg
In addition to the additional application which is unlocking with the face, the front camera can of course be used to capture special moments using selfies. The matrix has 8 megapixels and light f.2 / 0 . The photos come out on a really decent level. The colors are not distorted, the focus is set very quickly. Effects of the camera: As you probably noticed, the pictures can also be taken with the bokeh effect , which due to the lack of the second lens is programmed. In this case it can be different, as in the case of the main camera. Usually Zenfone has no problem distinguishing what is to be in the foreground and what is to be blurred and the effects may be liked. However, it is impossible not to notice that sometimes the contour of the face is slightly blurred. In my opinion, it is not so bothersome to disqualify this camera from the place. I think that the issue of updating will be able to do it. There is one more thing that you can use the front camera – ZeniMoji. There is a function that appeared with the debut of the iPhone X. I played with this function for a moment, and I do not really know how to speak about it. I do not see its use every day. The effect in my opinion is quite average, so forgive me for describing this neglect. Those willing to know YouTube videos with this feature;)
Summary – advantages and disadvantages
I have been using ASUS ZenFone 5Z for a long time . Most of the pluses and minuses I have already noticed. I will start with the latter. What hurts me most is the quality of the wide-angle camera . In this aspect, the We Love Photo slogan is quite weak, not to say bad. Poor photo quality, much less detail compared to the main lens and very poor photos when we do not have good lighting. It is a pity, because this manufacturer can afford more. The other minus is the lack of a built-in music player. We have, of course, Google Music and in the Play store we can pick up in various applications, but somehow this lack of pain hurts me. Certainly, some consider the disadvantage / minus the lack of wireless charging. I personally do not mind, and the use of a charger on a cable is not very burdensome, especially that it takes very quickly. And waterproof – because of the current time of the year I would feel much safer knowing that more rain or snow would not harm my Zenek. So much for equipment and functions where it could be better. there is also one thing that I noticed in Zenfonie 5Z and Zenfon 2, which I used for the previous 3 years. Namely, it is a speaker for conversations, or rather its embedding. It is located in a slight depression and quite heavily collects all kinds of dirt that are found in most pants pockets. You can easily remove them, but it is a bit of a pain and if the speaker was on par with the surface of the screen it would be perfect.Fortunately, this phone has many more pluses . Smoothness and speed of action, very good photos from the main camera, good music quality, screen brightness, battery life – long to exchange. Of course, you could do them a little better, for example by increasing the battery capacity, but you must also remember that we are talking about the phone at a price much lower than the flagship of other manufacturers, which in terms of processor and RAM calmly match them. Is this a perfect phone? No. Am I happy with it? Yes, 100% . From the moment I bought it, I never regretted my decision and I would stretch my hand just for this model. A few deficiencies that can be found in it definitely outweighs the Zenfone 5Z overall and looking at this model from a larger perspective is definitely worth considering. If there is something in my text that I omitted or wanted, to mention more, I would be happy to answer any question .