With the Asus Zenfone 5Z going on sale today on Flipkart, a strong challenge has been mounted to the dominance of OnePlus over the sub-Rs 40,000 price bracket. Not only is the new Asus Zenfone 5Z more affordable than the OnePlus 6, it sports similar specifications and design as well. And with this, people are asking one very important question: Is it time to consider an option other than the OnePlus 6 in this segment?
We’ve compared the three best phones in the segment for smartphones up to Rs 40,000, and here we’ll try to answer your questions as to whether the Asus Zenfone 5Z and Honor 10 offer strong competition to the OnePlus 6. With this, you’ll be able to make a wiser decision as to whether or not you should look beyond the OnePlus 6 for your next smartphone.
Asus Zenfone 5Z vs OnePlus 6 vs Honor 10: Pricing and variants
The biggest advantage in the Asus Zenfone 5Z’s favor is its price tag. The smartphone from Asus is the most affordable one on offer in this comparison, priced at Rs 29,999 for the 6GB RAM / 64GB storage version. The Honor 10 is priced at Rs 32,999, while the OnePlus 6 starts at Rs 34,999. The price advantage is the primary reason why the Asus Zenfone 5Z is worth considering over the competition.
The Zenfone 5Z is also expected to have variants with 6GB of RAM / 128GB storage and 8GB RAM / 256GB storage, which will be launched at later dates. The Honor 10 has a single variant on sale with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the OnePlus 6 is available in three variants: 6GB/64GB, 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB. Naturally, if you’re looking at more storage, for the time being the Honor 10 or OnePlus 6 would be better bets.
Winner: Asus Zenfone 5Z
Asus Zenfone 5Z Vs OnePlus 6 Vs Honor 10: Screen
All three devices on offer have full-HD+ resolution screens, although the sizes vary on all. The OnePlus 6 has the largest screen on offer at 6.28 inches across, while the Asus Zenfone 5Z sports a marginally smaller 6.2-inch screen and the Honor 10 comes with a 5.84-inch screen. All three phones have a notched display and a narrow chin area at the bottom.
The display technology on the Asus Zenfone 5Z and Honor 10 is IPS LCD, while the OnePlus 6 offers a higher-end AMOLED screen. There are many arguments for and against both screen technologies; AMOLED is considered superior for its better black levels, colors and energy efficiency, while IPS LCD achieves stronger peak brightness.
Winner: OnePlus 6
Asus Zenfone 5Z Vs OnePlus 6 Vs Honor 10: Performance
The backbone of any smartphone is its System-on-Chip, and the Asus Zenfone 5Z and OnePlus 6 are both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, currently considered the best mobile SoC today. The Honor 10 runs on parent company Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC, which is widely considered to be on par with last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset.
All three phones on offer start with 6GB of RAM on their base variants, with the OnePlus 6 and Asus also offering 8GB of RAM on higher variants. For the time being, only OnePlus has the 8GB variants on sale. On synthetic benchmark tests, the OnePlus 6 scores the highest thanks to its combination of efficient software, chipset and 8GB of RAM. The Asus Zenfone 5Z isn’t far behind, with comparable scores and performance on the whole. So if performance is your key criteria for choosing, you’ll likely see similar results from both phones, but the OnePlus 6 does have a slight edge over the Asus Zenfone 5Z.
Winner: OnePlus 6
Asus Zenfone 5Z Vs OnePlus 6 Vs Honor 10: Design
All three phones do have their own distinct design philosophies, but what is common to all three is the basic design language – a metal frame with a glass back. Additionally, the OnePlus 6 comes in four different color options: mirror black, midnight black, silk white and red. In comparison, the Honor 10 comes in two variants – midnight black and phantom blue – while the Asus Zenfone 5Z is currently available in midnight blue and meteor silver color options.
At the front, the Asus and OnePlus smartphones have screens that stretch nearly entirely from the top to the bottom, with just narrow strips of non-screen space at the bottom. The Honor 10 looks a bit more awkward in comparison, as it sports a fingerprint sensor at the front and therefore has a thicker chin than its competition. However, the Honor smartphone comes in a phantom blue color option that is by far the most attractive of the available options on any of the three phones.
Asus Zenfone 5Z Vs OnePlus 6 Vs Honor 10: Software and battery
All three phones on offer come with Android Oreo out of the box, although the Asus Zenfone 5Z sports Android 8.0 as compared to Android 8.1 on the OnePlus 6 and Honor 10. All three sport their own manufacturer-developed UIs, with OxygenOS on OnePlus, ZenUI on Asus and EMUI on Honor. The former two are dual-layered user interfaces with separate app drawers, while the latter gives you the option to choose between a single-layered and dual-layered interface.
WATCH: Asus Zenfone 5Z First Look
When it comes to software updates, OnePlus has the most impressive track record among the three manufacturers here. The company has been on top of its game since the OnePlus 3 when it comes to updates, and the OnePlus 6 has already received multiple OTA updates adding features and bug fixes in less than two months since launch. While it’s too early to comment on the level of software support for Asus and Honor, the OnePlus 6 wins purely on its proven record thus far.
When it comes to battery life, all three smartphones offer a similar level of efficiency. In the case of the OnePlus 6 and Asus Zenfone 5Z, this has a lot to do with the efficiency of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. Depending on your usage, you can get a full day of use on a single charge fairly easily. Even with intense use such as gaming or video editing on the phone and more screen-on time, battery drain is gradual and efficient.
Charging is quickest on the OnePlus 6, thanks to the excellent Dash Charge standard. The Asus Zenfone 5Z uses the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 standard, which isn’t quite as fast but has the advantage of more universal use through a wider range of chargers. The Honor 10 also uses Huawei’s proprietary standard, and is the least speedy of the three phones to charge. The OnePlus 6 can top up in just over an hour, while the Zenfone 5Z takes marginally longer and the Honor 10 takes about 90-100 minutes for a full charge.
Asus Zenfone 5Z Vs OnePlus 6 Vs Honor 10: Camera
All three phones on offer come with dual-camera setups at the rear, and a single-camera setup on the front. Purely on megapixel count, the Honor 10 takes the crown, with a 16-megapixel + 24-megapixel setup at the back and 24-megapixel shooter at the front. The camera comes with true-monochrome shooting, 2X lossless zoom and depth-effect photography. It also features AI built into the camera system, which allows the phone to use artificial intelligence to take improved pictures.
The OnePlus 6 features a 16-megapixel + 20-megapixel setup with depth-effect and 2X lossless zoom, and a 16-megapixel front camera. Interestingly, the OnePlus 6 allows up to 480fps slow-motion video as one of its signature camera features. The Asus Zenfone 5Z features a 12-megapixel + 8-megapixel rear-camera setup, and an 8-megapixel front camera. The rear camera setup allows wide-angle photography and depth-effect for portrait shots, and also features an AI mode. When it comes to performance, the Honor 10 offers the best photography experience, while the OnePlus 6 and Asus Zenfone 5Z offer decent experiences as well.
Winner: Honor 10
Verdict: Which one should you buy?
The answer to this question entirely depends on what you’re looking for in a smartphone, and what you’re willing to spend on your new phone. If you’re looking at the best value offering, the Asus Zenfone 5Z definitely fits the bill. You get nearly the same levels of performance, battery life and camera quality, along with similar storage and RAM configurations, at a price that is significantly lower.
However, if you’re looking for the best when it comes to any specific parameters, either the OnePlus 6 or Honor 10 will be better for you. The OnePlus 6 excels on performance and software, and is the only brand on offer with a proven track record and assurances of regular software updates. The Honor 10 has what is arguably the best camera here, and is debatably the best looking and most compact phone among the three. If you’ve bought any of these three phones, do let us know what made you choose your phone in the comments.