Asus Zenfone 5z review

GSMArena team, 01 September 2018.

Camera

The ZenFone 5z has a dual camera system on the back that consists of a 12MP primary camera with 24mm equivalent lens and an 8MP secondary camera with 12mm equivalent wide-angle lens. On the front is an 8MP sensor with f2.0 aperture.

Asus Zenfone 5z review

The camera app is generally well designed and easy to use, but some of the buttons can be a bit too small and fiddly. In terms of features, the Camera app is surprisingly on the more conservative side compared to some of the other phone camera apps out there, sticking to the important and useful stuff rather than the gimmicks.

Camera app - Asus Zenfone 5z review Camera app - Asus Zenfone 5z review Camera app - Asus Zenfone 5z review Camera app - Asus Zenfone 5z review
Camera app

The image quality from the 12MP primary camera is decent but also somewhat unremarkable. The colors are generally accurate but the white balance tends to be a touch cooler at times. The contrast also tends to be a bit flat. The level of detail in the images is also on the lower side, a byproduct of the aggressive noise reduction.

Daylight samples - f/1.8, ISO 35, 1/4082s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Daylight samples - f/1.8, ISO 35, 1/1538s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Daylight samples - f/1.8, ISO 44, 1/1368s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
Daylight samples - f/1.8, ISO 42, 1/1733s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Daylight samples - f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/351s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Daylight samples - f/1.8, ISO 43, 1/100s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
Daylight samples

What is especially poor is the dynamic range, which really struggles in high contrast situations. It tends to preserve highlights at the cost of shadows, which are often darker than on competing devices. The HDR mode helps tremendously and is required more often on this phone than on others.

HDR Off - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/407s - Asus Zenfone 5z review HDR On - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/395s - Asus Zenfone 5z review HDR On - f/1.8, ISO 36, 1/1838s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
HDR On - f/1.8, ISO 36, 1/1786s - Asus Zenfone 5z review HDR On - f/1.8, ISO 44, 1/653s - Asus Zenfone 5z review HDR On - f/1.8, ISO 43, 1/653s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
HDR Off HDR On

Low light performance is respectable, if not exemplary. The images are still a bit soft but the colors are good, and the images are well exposed.

Lowlight samples - f/1.8, ISO 280, 1/14s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Lowlight samples - f/1.8, ISO 310, 1/17s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
Lowlight samples - f/1.8, ISO 44, 1/50s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Lowlight samples - f/1.8, ISO 112, 1/20s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
Lowlight samples

Comparing the performance of the main 12MP camera to some of its rivals further illustrates ZenFone 5z's weakness in this department. Compared to the Poco F1, OnePlus 6 and the Huawei Nova 3, the ZenFone 5z images were the softest of the bunch, had the dullest contrast and the narrowest dynamic range. Even the cheaper Poco F1 often bested the 5z with better overall image quality. The OnePlus 6 was the best of the bunch here while the Nova 3 had the usual Huawei over-processed images that occasionally looked worse than the ZenFone 5z images.

ZenFone 5z - f/1.8, ISO 36, 1/1838s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Poco F1 - f/1.9, ISO 100, 1/1614s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
OnePlus 6 - f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/2000s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Nova 3 - f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/847s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
ZenFone 5z Poco F1 OnePlus 6 Nova 3

ZenFone 5z - f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/351s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Poco F1 - f/1.9, ISO 100, 1/304s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
OnePlus 6 - f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/333s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Nova 3 - f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/187s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
ZenFone 5z Poco F1 OnePlus 6 Nova 3

ZenFone 5z - f/1.8, ISO 44, 1/50s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Poco F1 - f/1.9, ISO 324, 1/100s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
OnePlus 6 - f/1.7, ISO 200, 1/100s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Nova 3 - f/1.8, ISO 160, 1/50s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
ZenFone 5z Poco F1 OnePlus 6 Nova 3

ZenFone 5z - f/1.8, ISO 112, 1/20s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Poco F1 - f/1.9, ISO 371, 1/25s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
OnePlus 6 - f/1.7, ISO 500, 1/20s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Nova 3 - f/1.8, ISO 100, 1/-1s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
ZenFone 5z Poco F1 OnePlus 6 Nova 3

But the ace in the pack for the ZenFone 5z is the secondary camera. Unlike all the other phones here, the ZenFone 5z has a wide-angle secondary camera, which offers a completely different perspective and is significantly more useful than the depth sensors on the Poco F1 and the OnePlus 6 or the monochrome camera on the Nova 3. Image quality, admittedly, is weak, with even softer images, more noise, and significantly worse dynamic range. However, it's still a great option to have and can result in some fantastic shots depending upon the situation.

Camera sample - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/634s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Camera sample - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/878s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Camera sample - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/178s - Asus Zenfone 5z review
Camera sample - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/672s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Camera sample - f/2.2, ISO 31, 1/50s - Asus Zenfone 5z review Camera sample - f/1.8, ISO 45, 1/693s - Asus Zenfone 5z review

In terms of video quality, the main 12MP sensor can capture video at up to 4K at 60fps without EIS or at 30fps with EIS. Both 30fps and 60fps videos looked quite good, with the 60fps offering a wider field of view at the cost of increased shakiness. The 60fps videos were a bit choppy, however, and we noticed some stuttering during playback.

The 8MP wide-angle camera can record videos in 1080p at 30fps. Unfortunately, the EIS crops the video significantly, at which point it doesn't look especially wide. The quality also isn't very good, and the videos look soft and noisy.

Reader comments

Does Asus Zenfone 5z got 4gb ram? and if there is, was it the same SD 845? thanks

  • Thinq

You can consider the LG G7/G7+. Good IPS screen, super wide angle camera and SD845 chipsets.

  • Liebexxx

I've been using Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL for 3 years now, and the battery's quality is still great. I can use my phone for 20 straight hours without turning off my mobile data (business requirement) 😅. I've even dropped it countless of time...