In recent years, OnePlus has been the strongest smartphone vendor in the affordable premium smartphone market in India. There was a time recently when the company faced almost no competition in the ₹30,000-and-above price segment. Last year, the OnePlus 5T was better than most of its alternatives in the price range. This year, however, both Honor and Asus have arrived in the affordable flagship segment. In particular, the Asus ZenFone 5Z aims to one-up OnePlus in the affordable flagship segment, as the phone has competitive specifications while managing to significantly undercut the OnePlus 6 in terms of pricing.
The Asus ZenFone 5Z was announced back at Mobile World Congress in February. It arrived in India on July 4 in three variants: 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. At launch, the top-end 8GB RAM/256GB storage variant was not available, and Asus stated that it would be available soon. Now, the variant is available on Flipkart.
Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (4x Kryo 385 Gold cores clocked at 2.8GHz and 4x Kryo 385 Silver cores clocked at 1.8GHz); Adreno 630 GPU
RAM and storage
8GB of RAM with 256GB UFS 2.1 storage; hybrid microSD card slot
3300mAh; Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (9V/2A)
6.2-inch Full HD+ (2246×1080) Super IPS+ LCD with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio, 550 nits brightness, 96% NTSC gamut, supports DCI-P3, Auto Color Temperature, 402 PPI
Hi-Res audio 192kHz/24-bit standard
DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound for headphone support
Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-C port, dual nano SIM slots (nano SIM + nano SIM/microSD), 3.5mm headphone jack
WCDMA: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/6/8/19
FDD-LTE: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/26/28/29/30/32
TDD-LTE: Bands 34/38/39/40/41
LTE Cat13 UL up to 150Mbps / Cat18 DL 5CA 4×4 MIMO up to 1.2Gbps
12MP primary camera with Sony IMX363 sensor, 1/2.55″ sensor size, 1.4μm pixels, f/1.8 aperture, 24mm focal length, 83-degree field-of-view, four-axis OIS
8MP wide-angle camera with OmniVision 8856 sensor, 1/4″ sensor size, 1.12μm pixels, 120-degree field-of-view, 12mm focal length
Video recording up to 4K at 60fps, three-axis electronic image stabilization (EIS)
8MP with f/2.0 aperture, 24mm focal length, 84-degree field-of-view
Asus states that a free pick-up and drop service option is available to all Asus ZenFone 5Z customers during warranty period. Asus service centers will also offer standby handset facility.
Flipkart is also offering complete mobile protection worth ₹2,299 at a discounted price of ₹99. A tempered glass screen protector and case are being offered for ₹229 each.
In terms of offers, Jio users recharging with ₹198 and ₹299 plans will get ₹2,2000 cashback in the form of instant credit of 44 vouchers of ₹50 each which can be redeemed upon subsequent charges in the MyJio app. 100GB “additional data” will be offered, and the fine print of this offer is that users will get 10GB 4G additional data voucher per recharge for the first 10 recharges.
The top-end 8GB RAM/256GB storage variant of the Asus ZenFone 5Z costs ₹36,999 ($538), which makes it significantly cheaper than the 8GB/256GB variant of the OnePlus 6 (which is available for ₹43,999). The 6GB/64GB and the 6GB/128GB variants are available for ₹29,999 ($437) and ₹32,999 ($480) respectively—making the ZenFone 5Z the cheapest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845-powered flagship available in India. The phone is exclusively available on Flipkart.