New Delhi: Asus’ new flagship ZenFone 5Z starts at 29,999 and is competing with the likes of Honor V10 ( 29,999) and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 ( 27,999), while the top-of-the-line variant, which costs 36,999, competes with the OnePlus 6 ( 34,999 onwards) and Moto Z2 Force ( 34,999).

Design: The ZenFone 5Z has a glass back design, but there is no wireless charging. While this lends the phone a touch of class, it also makes it vulnerable to smudges. The rounded edges and the phone’s narrow (75.7mm) and light form factor (165g) make it handy and reassuring to hold.

The front panel includes the iPhone X-like cut-out, also known as the notch, at the top of the screen and a thin bezel at the bottom. By default, the space around the notch shows the time, signal strength and battery status. During video playback and gaming, it blends in with the main screen.

Display: The 6.2-inch display has a 2,246x1,080p resolution. While it’s not in the same league in terms of richness as the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S9 or LG V30+, it is comfortably at par with immediate rivals such as OnePlus 6. Colours look bright and makes watching movies, games enjoyable.

Performance: Powered by Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 octa-core chipset with the latest Adreno 630 graphics and up to 8GB RAM, the ZenFone 5Z was able to wade through most tasks and games with the same grace as a OnePlus 6 or any other premium smartphone. The phone packs in a 3,300mAh battery, which was able to eke out a full day’s back-up on modest use.

Software: The ZenFone 5Z runs Android 8.0 (Oreo) with a new-look Zen user interface (UI), which feels a lot smoother. There are significant design changes in it as well. The app drawer button is replaced with the swipe-up gesture on the lines of stock Android, while the drop-down panel with the shortcut buttons look bare. There are fewer preloaded apps on the phone.

Camera: The phone’s talking point is the AI-enhanced dual camera system, which can analyse the subject in front of the camera and automatically optimize the settings for best results. Colours look rich without feeling oversaturated, while photos look crisp and are at par with the OnePlus 6.

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