Our Opinion

The Asus Zenfone 5Z (6GB RAM, 64GB) is a slightly better phone, but the Nokia 8.1 (4GB RAM, 64GB) is significantly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? Depends on how much your want to spend!

Asus Zenfone 5Z (6GB RAM, 64GB)  Nokia 8.1 (4GB RAM, 64GB) 
Asus Zenfone 5Z Nokia 7.1 Plus
Buy Now  not available currently Buy
Excellence Score
37.2
33.5
Value for Money Score
51.9
66.0
Price ₹ 29,999 onwards ₹ 16,856 onwards
Launch Date (India) Jul, 2018 Dec, 2018
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.0 Oreo, Upgradeable to Android 10Low likelihood of getting updated to next Android version Android 9.0 Pie, Upgradeable to Android 10Expected update to next Android versionAndroid One series
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.2 inches 6.18 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2246 pixels (~ 402 pixels per inch) 1080x2244 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass
Display Type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features Super IPS+, Bluelight filter, Smart Screen On FullView Display, IPS LCD
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.7 GHz 2.2 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Qualcomm Snapdragon 845Ranked #14 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Qualcomm Snapdragon 710Ranked #42 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Adreno 630 Adreno 616
RAM 6 GB 4 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
5G
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 12MP + 8MP 13MP + 12MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features 12MP: F/1.8 Aperture; 24mm Focal Length; 1/2.55" Sensor Size; 1.4µm Pixel Size, 8MP: F/2.0 Aperture; 12mm Focal Length; 1/4" Sensor Size; 1.12µm Pixel Size, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) 12MP: F/1.8 Aperture; 1/2.55" Sensor Size; 1.4µm Pixel Size; Dual Pixel PDAF; OIS, Zeiss Optics, Panorama, HDR
Secondary Camera 8.0MP 20MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture, 24mm Focal Length, 1/4" Sensor Size, 1.12µm Pixel Size, Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), Full HD Video Rec. F/2.0 Aperture, 0.9µm Pixel Size
Internal Memory 64 GB 64 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 2 TB Yes, up to 400 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot) GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot)
Thickness 7.7 mmMedium 7.9 mmMedium
Weight 165 gmMedium 180 gmMedium
Width 75.7 mmOk for one-handed use 75.8 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 3300 mAh 3500 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes Yes
Included Fast Charger Yes, 18.0W Fast Charger Yes
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features NFC; Stereo Speakers; Noise Filtration; DTS Headphone X; Hi-Res Audio; Google Drive: 100GB free space (1 year) NFC; Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Beautiful, elegant, glass & metal design, with a 'notch' screen - quite similar to the iPhone X - and arguably the most beautifully designed phone in this price bracket
  • The power button and the volume rocker on the right have just the right amount of tactile give, and also the mid-frame has a smooth matte finish that ups both the premium quotient as well as the in-hand feel - the ZenFone 5Z feels like an expensive phone that isn't expensive at all
  • Build quality is rock solid too - the phone has considerable heft but not unbearably so - you'll feel the phone in your hands but you won't find it taking the better of you - it's just the right proportion
  • It's very pocketable too - boasting of an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 90 per cent - the phone is almost border-less, barring a notch up-top and a chin portion at the bottom
  • The tall, modern, 19:9 display is absolutely gorgeous - it can get really bright and produces rich and vibrant colours that look pleasing to the eyes - it has great viewing angles as well - again, this is arguably the best display in this price bracket, even better than the OnePlus 6, especially in terms of colour accuracy
  • Asus's ZenUI is a huge improvement over its previous, bloated versions - it's now much lighter and smoother, and adds tons of useful AI frameworks to make the core Android experience much better - the cameras use AI for scene detection and better shots, the battery uses AI to optimize charging, the processor uses AI to boost specific apps/games, and the display uses AI to remain on when you are looking at it!
  • Asus also makes probably the best use of the 'bunny ears' on the sides of the notch of any Android phone so far - the implementation is well thought-out - the bunny ears in the case of the ZenFone 5Z are interactive - they don't bombard you with icons and notifications - instead, everything is neatly arranged and there's even a tap to view more option - tapping on either side of the notch takes you to a small sub-head that gives you an expanded view of all the incoming notifications, without having you to pull them down all the way through - it's these little details in the software that really add to the experience of using the Zenfone 5Z
  • The hardware on the Zenfone 5Z is as top-end as it gets - it is the cheapest phone in India right now with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood - in short, it will fly through anything you throw at it - and will be as fast as other flagships (OnePlus, Galaxy S9 etc)
  • Very good dual camera system at the rear - arguably the best at this price point, competing virtually head-to-head with the OnePlus 6, and and not too much behind the best of the best like the Pixel 2 - photos clicked with it in good lighting come out well, with lots of detail and colours which are mostly true to source - dynamic range is also spot-on - the ZenFone 5Z is also capable of taking some good shots in tricky and low light conditions - the phone also comes with an in-built night mode that ups the detail (even further) and leads to brighter photos at the cost of resolution (4-megapixel)
  • Thanks to the 4-axis OIS, shake is minimal (or altogether absent) in videos and the 4K clips shot with the phone also look fantastic - the phone further comes with a 3 mic system that results in fairly crisp audio recording as well
  • The secondary 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor on the rear performs its job really well too - it gives you both a pretty amazing portrait mode, and a wide-angle shot option
  • The phone's front 8MP shooter is decent too (though not exceptional like the rear camera setup) - it takes some good selfies in good light
  • The stereo speakers can get really loud, and the phone also supports High-Resolution audio via compatible wired and wireless headphones
  • Good battery life - the 3300mAh battery inside the ZenFone 5Z is similar to the OnePlus 6 - you will comfortably get a day of use
  • It even charges as fast as OnePlus' excellent Dash charger - you can top it off in some one hour fifteen minutes using the bundled 18W Qualcomm Quick Charger 3.0 charger
  • On the whole, the Asus ZenFone 5Z is the first (and only) phone in the market right now that should make OnePlus nervous, and will give some very serious competition to the excellent OnePlus 6 - it is arguably a bit better than the OnePlus 6 in a couple of areas (overall looks, speakers), and arguably a bit behind in a couple (software, water resistance), but overall, these 2 phones are pretty much neck-and-neck - which is saying something since the Zenfone 5z is significantly cheaper!
  • In recent times, HMD has launched some exquisite smartphones this year that all exude style and class - the Nokia 8.1 is no different - it's an elegantly designed device that comes with a glass and metal design - the front and back of the Nokia 8.1 get 2.5D Gorilla Glass protection - and the glass subtly curves on the edges and seamlessly blends into the aluminium frame
  • The frame itself is a solid Series 6000 aluminium with diamond cut, chiseled edges
  • Overall, the Nokia 8.1 is built like a tank - and the material quality as well as the fit and finish are excellent - every part of it feels completely solid, right down to the thick metal SIM tray and the power and volume buttons - the body doesn't twist or flex even slightly
  • Excellent, vivid, sharp, tall display with HDR10-support - which means you can stream HDR content on supported platforms like Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube - and you will get some pretty amazing colour reproduction
  • Being an Android One device, you get simple, clean stock Android similar to Pixel devices, along with a promise for Android updates for at least 2 years - there is also basically zero bloatware
  • Slick, butter smooth performance with the new Snapdragon 710, that's just a notch below the Snapdragon 800 series flagships - in real-life use, you will only be able to notice any difference from flagships in the most high-end games
  • Very good dual camera setup on the rear - take some very good images, especially in daylight conditions - you will get very good detail and vibrant colours - the camera is also quick to lock focus and fun to use - live Bokeh shots too come out looking great
  • Videos are crisp and sharp too, again especially so in daylight - and optical image stabilisation definitely makes a difference
  • The front camera is pretty good too, in all sort of lighting conditions, and has a good portrait mode as well
  • Overall, the camera experience on the Nokia 8.1 is right up there with the very best in this price bracket
  • Good speaker - sound through the single mono speaker is very loud, and is not too harsh or tinny
  • Good battery life with a 3500mAh battery - you will comfortably get a day of use and more
  • Fast charging support
  • The Nokia 8.1 is undoubtedly a strong new choice in the mid-range - it does not rely on gimmicks or fads to try and woo you - at its core, this is a phone that focuses on the essentials and delivers a great camera, good performance, excellent battery life and an absolutely clean build of Android with a promise of long-term support - for people who are looking for an uncluttered software experience and fast updates, the Nokia 8.1 will be an excellent, reliable choice
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • The shutter speed on the camera could have been slightly better - it's decent but not the best - it can sometimes get in the way when you're looking to take a quick shot, or clicking a moving subject
  • The display notch is quite wide
  • Low light performance from the rear cameras, for both stills and videos, is decent, but could have been a little bit better
Expert Reviews
  1. One of the most underappreciated phones around...an excellent all-round package
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. A device you won’t regret buying
    phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Asus has hit the ball right out of the park
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Exceptional value for money
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Makes the OnePlus 6 look like an expensive flagship in comparison
    digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. The ‘flagship killer’ killer
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. Will surely send jitters to premium market leaders
    ibtimes.co.in in-depth Read Review »
  8. A compelling alternative to the OnePlus 6
    androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. What makes it stand out from the crowd is the AI-centric features
    themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. digitaltrends.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  14. hindustantimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. tomsguide.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  17. firstpost.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  19. deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
  20. business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  21. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  22. bgr.in hands-on Read Review »
  23. alphr.com hands-on Read Review »
  24. expertreviews.co.uk hands-on Read Review »
  1. Solid mid-range device
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. There is a lot to like about the Nokia 8.1, but most of the things that give it its appeal can also be found in phones that cost much less
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. This is a phone that focusses on the essentials...offers tremendous value-for-money
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Gets almost everything right...In case you prefer brand trust and software over the latest tech and powerful hardware, then the Nokia 8.1 is the kind of device you would like in your pocket
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. A true Android flagship killer... Nokia is ending the year on a bang
    news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. A marvellous mid-range smartphone
    expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  7. A great phone that nails the fundamentals
    androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. As close to a flagship phone as it gets...And to top it off, HMD has priced the Nokia 8.1 at an incredibly competitive price
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  9. trustedreviews.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  11. themobileindian.com hands-on Read Review »
User Reviews
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
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