“With its specs and pricing, the ZenFone 5Z seems to be putting up a strong fight against the OnePlus 6. But can it win?”

While the OnePlus 6 (review) has been enjoying an enviable position in the affordable flagship segment, ASUS’ ZenFone 5Z (first impressions) aims to challenge its dominance. Launched in India today, the 5Z brings similar features as the OnePlus 6 – Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 8GB RAM, up to 256GB storage, and notch display, among other things. So, the question arises which is a better buy. Let’s go deeper to find out how the ZenFone 5Z stacks up against the OnePlus 6.

Design and display

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Both the ZenFone 5Z and OnePlus 6 offer glass-sandwich designs. But that’s where the similarity ends. While ASUS’ handset features a blocky design and is available in classic blue and grey hues, the OP6 has curved edges at the back and can be purchased in a variety of colours and even textures. While you can buy the phone’s base model in glossy Mirror Black, you can also go for the higher-end variants, including Midnight Black and Silk White (both of which feature a matte finish), as well as a bright red Edition.

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The ASUS ZenFone 5Z sports a large, 6.2-inch IPS LCD Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18.7:9 and a notch on the top. The OnePlus 6 on the other hand, ships with a slightly larger 6.28-inch FHD+ screen with a cut-out up top. However, OnePlus’ smartphone features a Super AMOLED panel, which offers vibrant colours. Both the phones also give users the liberty to disable the notch from the settings.

Hardware and software

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Both the ASUS ZenFone 5Z and the OnePlus 6 utilise Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC, which comes with Adreno 630 graphics. The handsets are available in three variants – 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage and the top-of-the-line models with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Thanks to the powerful hardware on both phones, apps open in a jiffy, multitasking is smooth, and gaming is an enjoyable affair as well. 

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The dual-SIM Asus ZenFone 5Z runs Android 8.0 Oreo-based ZenUI 5.0. The new ZenUI 5.0 cuts down on bloatware, and offers interesting AI capabilities, making it the most refined custom skin from the Taiwanese brand. Some of the artificial intelligence features that will catch your attention are AI Ringtone, which ensures that the handset’s ringtone volume levels are as per the surroundings, and AI Charging, which prolongs the life of the device’s battery by keeping overcharging in check. In contrast, OnePlus offers a near-stock version of Android with its phone, dubbed Oxygen OS v5.3. The OP6 however, does have an advantage as far as OS updates are concerned. Apart from the fact that the Android P beta is available for the mobile, the brand has also promised Android updates for two years and security updates for three years. 

Cameras and battery

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The Zenfone 5Z features a dual-lens system with a 12-megapixel primary f/1.8 sensor, and an 8-megapixel secondary shooter with a f/2.2 aperture sensor. For selfies, there is an 8-megapixel sensor at the front which comes with f/2.0 aperture. In comparison, the OnePlus 6 flaunts 16MP and 20MP sensors at the rear. The front camera also seems to be better than ASUS’ offering, as it’s rated at 16MP. Both smartphones offer portrait mode with both the rear and front cameras, but the 5Z gets an edge with its secondary wide-angle camera, allowing users to capture a wider frame. 

Both the OnePlus 6 and ASUS ZenFone 5Z come with 3,300mAh batteries supported by Dash Charging and ASUS BoostMaster fast charging, respectively.

Closing thoughts

To mount a solid challenge against the OnePlus 6, ASUS has priced the ZenFone 5Z aggressively. The base variant of the 5Z is priced at Rs 29,999, while the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model carries a price tag of Rs 32,999. The top-end variant comes with a sticker price of Rs 36,999. In comparison, the same variants of the OP6 will set you back by Rs 34,999, Rs 39,999 and Rs 43,999, respectively. While ASUS’ smartphone seems to be losing in the imaging department as far as pure specs are concerned, the handset matches OnePlus’ offering in all other aspects, with its pricing acting as the icing on the cake. Furthermore, ASUS is even bundling a complete mobile protection plan with the phone at a discounted rate of Rs 499, and offering a cashback of Rs 3,000 to ICICI debit and credit cardholders, which seems to tilt the balance in the favour of the ZenFone 5Z. In a nutshell, the ASUS ZenFone 5Z looks set to give the OnePlus 6 a run for its money.