Custom ROM development for the ASUS ZenFone 5Z kicks off with unofficial LineageOS 16, Resurrection Remix, Pixel Experience, and more
The Asus ZenFone 5Z was launched at MWC 2018 as Asus’s flagship product for 2018. Featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, the ZenFone 5Z went on to compete against the likes of the OnePlus 6 as a value flagship. For a starting price of ₹29,999 (~$435) in India, the ZenFone 6 provided an excellent alternative to those who did not wished to opt for the more expensive OnePlus flagship. The device went on to receive its Android Pie update in Jan 2019, bringing it up to par with other flagships that were launched in 2018.
Even in 2019, the Asus ZenFone 5Z presents itself as a decent option. The Snapdragon 845 continues to be a very good processor, getting second place only because of the release of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and 855 Plus. Asus has also just announced a permanent price cut for the ZenFone 5Z, with the 6GB+128GB variant now retailing for ₹24,999 (~$362) and the 8GB+256GB variant retailing for ₹28,999 (~$420). You can get other newer flagships at comparable prices, but if you are looking for a close-to-stock Android experience, the ZenFone 5Z can be one of your options.
As far as custom third-party development goes, the Asus ZenFone 5Z could not compare to the OnePlus 6, unfortunately. Despite the age of the device, the pace of development for the phone was less than stellar. The phone’s bootloader could be unlocked very early in its release cycle, so the lack of development cannot be explained by any reason other than lack of developer interest. But now, a breakthrough in custom ROM development with regards to a persistent RIL and data bug has allowed the developer community to bring over so many more custom ROMs to the device. You can now find many unofficial releases of popular custom ROMs available for this device.
Third-party development work for the ZenFone 5Z now includes:
- Unofficial TWRP
- Unofficial LineageOS 16
- Unofficial Resurrection Remix
- Unofficial Pixel Experience
- Unofficial crDroid
- Official Bliss
- Unofficial Havoc-OS
- Unofficial BootleggersROM
- Unofficial Evolution-X
Custom kernels are not yet available for the phone. The same situation persists with Google Camera ports, though users have reported varying levels of success by simply using the Google Camera port available for the Asus ZenFone 6, despite the difference in hardware. With development work picking up, we are excited to see what comes next for this capable device.