The Asus ZenFone 5Z is an affordable flagship smartphone that aims to compete with the OnePlus 6. It was announced back at Mobile World Congress in February, and launched in a few markets in June. It arrived in India in July. Asus aimed to undercut its competitors with respect to pricing in the affordable flagship segment, and the company succeeded in doing that as the ZenFone 5Z’s base 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant costs ₹29,999 ($438). This makes it the cheapest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845-powered flagship in India, undercutting even the OnePlus 6 by ₹5,000.
In India, the phone received its first major update at the time of launch, with the update changelog mentioning improved camera performance, July security patches, and bug fixes. Now, Asus is rolling out a major camera-focused update for the Asus ZenFone 5Z. The update brings the ability to capture in RAW. RAW gives more control to the user as compared to processed JPEG images, so users can use it for manual post-processing in apps such as Photoshop. It’s probable to expect the RAW images to have a much higher file size than JPEG photos, though.
The ZenFone 5Z’s update also brings panorama mode. Panorama is a standard photo mode on most Android devices, so it’s surprising to see Asus roll out the feature in an update instead of having it pre-loaded from the beginning. Regardless, it’s good to see it being added. Asus didn’t reveal details regarding the resolution of panorama photos.
More interestingly, the update improves camera performance across the board. In terms of camera specifications, the Asus ZenFone 5Z has a dual rear camera setup, with a 12MP primary camera paired with an 8MP wide-angle camera. It can record 4K video at 60fps.
The update’s changelog mentions improved sharpness, improved auto focus functionality, improved auto exposure, improved HDR, improved slow motion quality and file size in 720p, and improved video quality as well. Users can now switch EIS on/off, and the flash can be used in Pro mode. The audio quality in video recording has been boosted to 192kbps bitrate.
Finally, the update brings improved Wi-Fi stability and other bug fixes. The full changelog can be noted below:
Enable RAW file support
Enable Panorama feature
Add on/off button for EIS
Enable flash feature in Pro mode
Filters upgraded to Real Time Filters
Improve HDR functionality
Improve camera stability
Improve auto exposure
Improve photo sharpness
Improve auto focus functionality
Improve slow motion quality and file size(720p)
Boost audio quality in video to 192kbps bitrate
Improve general Video quality
Improve WiFi stability
Other Bug Fixes
It’s worth noting that the OnePlus 6—which is the Asus ZenFone 5Z’s primary competitor—
. In terms of pricing, the starting 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant costs ₹29,999 ($438), while the 6GB RAM/128GB storage and 8GB RAM/256GB storage variants cost ₹32,999 ($482) and ₹36,999 ($540) respectively.
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