The Asus Zenfone 5Z packs plenty of tempting features into an enticingly affordable package, but some of its capabilities are less than obvious. The Zen UI (user interface) that sits atop Android isn’t always the most intuitive, so we’ve drafted this guide to help you to unlock its best secrets. These are our top Asus Zenfone 5Z tips and tricks.
Before we get started, you should consider grabbing yourself some protection – check out the best Asus Zenfone 5Z cases for suggestions.
How to hide the notch
We’re not big fans of the notch trend, but the extra real estate can prove handy for connectivity icons and battery status. If it really bugs you, Asus has included the option to hide it, rendering the notch black so it doesn’t stand out as much, though it does still house the same icons.
To turn it off, go to Settings > Display and toggle Hide notch on. Sadly, it doesn’t do anything to fix the crammed-together time and battery icon at the top right.
How to customize your home screen
You can tap and hold on any empty portion of home screen to access the customization options, just like with any other Android device, but Asus gives you a lot of options to play with. In addition to Wallpapers and Widgets, you can tap Edit Home Screen to change things like Icon alignment and Scroll effects.
There’s also a Preferences option that enables you to configure AppLock, Hide apps, and tweak more settings in the Home screen option. We always toggle off Add icon to home screen, but there are lots of other options in there.
How to take a screenshot
If you want to capture an error or a high score in a game, you can snap a screenshot in the usual Android way: Press and hold the Power and Volume down keys at the same time.
Asus has also included a second option in Settings > Advanced > Screenshot that lets you tap and hold the Recent apps key to capture your screen. You can also turn off the accompanying sound and notification in here if you want to and switch between JPEG and PNG file formats.
How to use Twin Apps
If you have a couple of accounts for the same app, like maybe a personal Facebook or Twitter account and a work one, then Asus allows you to open both at the same time with Twin Apps. You’ll find it in Settings > Advanced and it supports Facebook, LinkedIn, Messenger, Play Games, Twitter, and YouTube.
How to use A.I. features
Asus has packed plenty of A.I. smarts into the Zenfone 5Z, but not all of it is switched on by default. Dip into Settings > Advanced > A.I. features and you’ll find a list with toggles. You can tap on each option to learn more about what it does. Our favorite is the A.I. charging option, which is designed to learn how you like to charge your phone and top it off at the optimal time for battery health. That means it might charge slowly overnight and only hit maximum just before your usual wakeup time, but charge at full speed when you plug in for a top-up during the day.
How to use ZeniMoji
If you like the idea of being a cute owl or cat, or perhaps a cartoonish person, then you might want to play around with ZeniMoji. It’s the Asus answer to Apple’s Animoji or Samsung’s AR Emoji, but you may be wondering how to find it. Open the Selfie Master app in the app drawer and you’ll see the ZeniMoji option at the bottom right.
You can select your character along the bottom and record videos or use it in an app. Facebook Messenger is the default but tap the three dots at the top right and you can hit Select app and switch to Google Duo. The ZeniMoji icon should also pop up during video calls and livestreams, but you can tweak things in Settings > Advanced > ZeniMoji.
Asus also gives you the option to apply a beauty filter in real time for video streaming or video calls. It’s called BeautyLive and it’s also in the Selfie Master app and in Settings > Advanced.
How to use hardware keys for the camera
If you open the camera app and tap the gear icon to access the settings, then you can scroll down to find two handy options: Set volume key as with Shutter or Zoom as the options, and Instant Camera, which lets you double click the volume key to launch the camera.
How to use the fingerprint sensor to check notifications
This is a handy option if you only have one free hand. Go to Settings > Advanced > Fingerprint gesture and toggle it on and you can swipe down with your finger on the fingerprint sensor to pull down the notification shade and see your latest notifications. You can also swipe down again to expand your quick settings or swipe up to close it.
How to use gestures
The Asus ZenUI has support for all sorts of gestures such as double tapping the screen to turn it on and off, placing the phone facedown to mute it, and drawing different letters on the screen to launch different apps. You’ll find all these options buried in Settings > Advanced > ZenMotion.
If you scroll down to the letter gestures, which work on a dark screen to quick-launch apps, you can toggle them on and off individually, but you can also tap to change the apps that get launched by each letter.
How to schedule the blue light filter
Too much blue light at bedtime can make it more difficult to fall asleep, so if you like to browse in bed, you should turn on the blue light filter. There’s a quick setting toggle for it in the notification shade, but we prefer to schedule it to turn on and off automatically. To find it, go to Settings > Display and scroll down to the bottom to tap on Splendid.
You can tweak the Blue light filter with a slider and you can toggle on Turn on as scheduled, then tap on it to specify hours or set it to come on at sunset.
How to tailor the audio
Our last tip is about taking full advantage of the audio in the Zenfone 5Z. If you look in Settings > Sound & vibration and scroll to the bottom, you’ll find AudioWizard. You can switch between profiles for Rock and Pop, but you can also select Custom and then tap in the middle to create your own equalizer settings. There’s an option to Play music preview, but be warned that it plays a rather cheesy song about Asus.
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