Hands-On: ASUS ZenFone 5Z Smartphone - MWC 2018

Today ASUS officially unveiled three new smartphones at Mobile World Congress to carry on the ZenFone lineup, including the ZenFone 5, the ZenFone 5Q, and finally the ZenFone 5Z, which is essentially the flagship product with the most powerful specs, coming with the top-tier GPU, high-quality camera sensors, a big screen, and plenty of memory for storage and RAM. Just like with the ZenFone 5, the ZenFone 5Z is packed with intelligent features both in the software and performance of the device, as ASUS seeks to make the user experience with it not only more user-friendly but also more intuitive.

First and foremost, the ZenFone 5Z is powered by hardware that is equipped to handle the A.I. features which makes it that much better. It’s running with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU which is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage space, all which help the device compute things faster and run multiple apps. In regards to the A.I. features, specifically ASUS has loaded in intelligent cameras which offer up things like A.I. scene detection. With this, users can open up the camera and whatever it is they’re taking a picture of will be analyzed by the main camera sensor and then the camera will attempt to match the subject in the photo with the most appropriate scene type. Beyond this, the camera also features real-time portrait mode, real-time beautification mode, and a pro mode so the camera will be fairly well-rounded whether the user is a beginner in smartphone photography or someone who has developed a little more skill with taking pictures.

All of those camera features are backed by a Sony IMX363 image sensor with an f/1.8 wide-aperture and a secondary wide-angle camera sensor which offers a 120-degree field of view. Aside from the camera features the ZenFone 5Z also has other notable traits that will make it compelling phone for consumers, especially at the $499 price tag that ASUS is looking to charge for it, not the least of which is the large, 6.2-inch Full HD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. This gives the phone a 90-percent screen-to-body ratio according to ASUS and will make it a perfect device for playing games and watching video, which will be further enhanced by the immersive audio that ASUS has integrated into the device. The phone has two built-in stereo speakers which support 24-bit audio files, and in the box the user will get a pair of premium earbuds which ASUS says will support hi-res audio as well as DTS Headphone:X for 7.1 channel surround-sound when the headphones are plugged in and being used.

ASUS is even getting in on the animated avatars with its own set of them, referring to them as ZeniMoji, which will allow users to animate the avatars using their own face, just like with Samsung and Apple’s versions of the feature. The ZenFone 5Z will come running on Android 8.0 Oreo which means it’ll have up to date software, along with features like the picture-in-picture. It’s also coming in two different colors when it launches, which will Midnight Blue and Meteor Silver, and though ASUS hasn’t yet released any availability information in terms of the launch date, it will be coming to the U.S. at the above-mentioned $499 price tag so it won’t be too expensive compared to flagships like the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. Though there may be some differences between the ZenFone 5Z and Samsung's flagships, those who are a little more price-conscious but don't want to forfeit too much in the specs and features department will want to consider what ASUS has to offer here.

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