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Asus Zenfone 6 Hands-on review

For the Zenfone 6, Asus didn’t wish to make a telephone that’s the similar as all of the others. Nevertheless it hasn’t simply include a brand new glance, Asus has additionally approached the core era in some way that’s other from everybody else. The end result is not just some of the fascinating Asus telephones shortly, but in addition some of the flexible.

Virtual Traits visited Asus in Taipei, Taiwan, to take a detailed take a look at how the Zenfone 6 used to be advanced, and to get an early hands-on with the brand new telephone. Simply forward of the release in Valencia, Spain, a last evaluate type used to be positioned in my palms, able for an in-depth glance earlier than our ultimate evaluate verdict.


The Zenfone 6 used to be conceived round 4 ideas: A large-screen viewing enjoy, lengthy battery lifestyles, speedy and easy efficiency, and photographic creativity. Lofty objectives, however hardly ever distinctive. Then again, Asus has delivered on them in some strange tactics. To succeed in the big-screen view and the creatively enabling digicam, it has constructed an excellent motorized flip-around digicam, so the 19:five.nine facet ratio display doesn’t have a notch or a hollow punch. It will get its efficiency from a Snapdragon 855, and for the lengthy battery lifestyles, the Zenfone 6 has a large five,000mAh mobile inside of.

That’s the biggest battery in any flagship smartphone nowadays, however does that make it the thickest and heaviest flagship nowadays? It’s for sure thick at nine.1mm, however at 190 grams, it’s slightly mild in comparison to its competitors. The telephone’s 3-d, curved Gorilla Glass three rear blends into the steel chassis, whilst the Gorilla Glass 6 over the display sticks out of the frame. This method mask the dimensions of the telephone each visually and while you dangle it.

If, like me, you admired the individuality of the Asus ROG Telephone, the Zenfone 6 additionally has its personal id, whilst being extra usable each day than the gaming telephone.

Turn-around digicam

The motorized flip-around digicam machine is the function everybody will speak about. To facilitate the notch-free display, Asus has made its personal interpretation of the pop-up motorized digicam. From the again of the telephone, the dual-lens cam looks as if some other, however to take selfies, it flips excessive of the telephone. Virtually the entirety you’ll be able to do with the rear digicam, you’ll be able to do for selfies too.

The motorized flip-around digicam machine is the function everybody will speak about.

A Sony IMX586 48-megapixel digicam sensor is the superstar of the Zenfone 6’s lens array, and it’s joined through a 13-megapixel ultra-wide lens, all wrapped up inside of a perfectly advanced module fabricated from extremely sturdy, super-lightweight liquid steel. How advanced? There are 13 gears inside of turning in the torque had to turn the digicam round. In a typical pop-up digicam, there are normally handiest 5 gears. The tiny module additionally has 17 energy cables and 32 sign cables, that have all been wrapped up inside of a unmarried 2mm-thick cable. That’s earlier than you depend the gravity sensor, the gyro, the corridor sensor, and the digicam sensors.

Liquid steel used to be selected for sturdiness, because it’s 4 instances extra resilient than stainless-steel, and the mechanical motion has been examined to 15,000 cycles. It’s in reality artful, too. For instance, it really works with the proximity sensor so it received’t by chance open or shut when it’s towards the facet of your face — useful should you’ve were given lengthy hair and don’t need it stuck within the mechanism — and the gyro mechanically flips the digicam closed when it senses the telephone is being dropped. Asus has tested greater than 100 other situations to make the digicam machine user-friendly and now not only a gimmick.

What’s it like? The usage of it’s such a lot a laugh. Sure, a laugh. The rotation strikes thru 180-degrees, and you’ll be able to prevent it at any level through the usage of an on-screen slider and even the amount keys. We like the automated landscape mode, the place the digicam itself strikes to seize the scene, slightly than you following instructions at the display. It even tracks motion, so you’ll be able to apply a topic at the transfer with out continually being taken with gazing the viewfinder. After all, Asus has added its personal pop-up digicam regulate overlay so you’ll be able to use the function in apps like Instagram and Twitter.

To this point, only some dozen check pictures in, the digicam hasn’t inspired in the way in which I was hoping.

It’s quirky, a laugh, strange, and in actuality serves a goal. It’s completely other from some other pop-up digicam, because it gives inventive alternatives you don’t get from a unmarried pop-up digicam on telephones just like the OnePlus 7 Professional. It’s in reality reasonably mad, however obviously conceived and engineered through those that know how to make mad options helpful, and that’s an extraordinary aggregate within the smartphone international.

These types of options shall be for not anything if the standard isn’t there. To this point, only some dozen check pictures in, the digicam hasn’t inspired in the way in which I was hoping. Photos are slightly washed out, and shortage the pop many will be expecting to peer, even on a vivid and sunny day. The HDR+ works neatly although, particularly for selfies. Oddly, I favored the selfies I took greater than the pictures when the digicam is going through the again. Landscape pictures will also be huge and nearly unusable on account of it, whilst the portrait mode has adjustable blur whilst taking the shot, and edge popularity is first rate however now not outstanding. There’s a great opportunity that enhancements will come, because the ROG Telephone’s digicam is a sturdy performer, and the 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor is able to taking nice pictures too.

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Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

There are every other downsides to the digicam. It doesn’t come with optical symbol stabilization, handiest digital stabilization, for the reason that further weight would have enormously affected the dimensions and weight of the motorized module. Face release is onboard, nevertheless it’s now not automated — you must slide up the display to make it paintings, which is slower and no more handy than different techniques. It’s early days for the Zenfone 6 and its tool, and our exams are handiest simply beginning.

Construct and sturdiness

Inside of a couple of hours of starting to use the Zenfone 6, the rattle brought about through the digicam module as the telephone vibrated started to bother me. I understand it’s the digicam module, as a result of while you dangle it down, the telephone vibrates generally. It doesn’t flap about, nevertheless it clearly doesn’t take a seat towards the frame tightly sufficient when now not flipped over.

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Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

The motion when it does turn round is very mechanical — in that you’ll be able to pay attention or even really feel the gears operating. When activating it within the digicam app, it’s a easy, properly dampened movement. If you happen to slide the digicam view button up and down, you’ll be able to regulate the digicam’s attitude your self, or even the velocity of the motion. It feels rather well engineered.

It’s Gorilla Glass three at the again of the Zenfone 6, and I controlled to crack the rear panel when taking pictures. It fell backwards on a stand onto a picket floor, which I might now not generally be expecting to damage a telephone. It’s completely imaginable the early model we have now for evaluate can have suffered in transit. The telephone may be slippery to carry, even within the provided hard-cover case. After all, there is not any IP score. Asus says it’s safe towards rain and common damp prerequisites, however now not from taking a dip. The Zenfone 6 might finally end up being a mild little factor.

Tool and display

ZenUI is historical past, and as an alternative comes a blank, nearly Pixel-like Android enjoy. Deep inside of are a large number of velocity enhancements, from clearing apps to reminiscence control, or even a sooner preliminary release time. The paintings has paid off — it’s fast, fluid, and there aren’t any frustrating slowdowns when switching between more than one apps.

ZenUI is historical past, and as an alternative comes a blank, nearly Pixel-like Android enjoy

The straightforward Android enjoy manner you have got a slide-up app tray, a slide-down notification display, and Google Assistant to the left of the house display. App icons are constantly designed, the design is pleasantly coherent, and there are just a few pre-installed Asus apps. It’s a large step ahead in gaining mainstream enchantment for the Zenfone 6.

A Sensible Key at the facet calls Google Assistant, and will also be remapped to hold out different purposes too. It’s set close to the highest of the telephone’s facet, so that you received’t mistake it for the sleep/wake key. The notch-less, 6.Four-inch LCD display has a Complete HD+ answer, and despite the fact that Asus calls it NanoEdge, the bezels are equivalent in thickness to an Apple iPhone XR or a Galaxy S10e. It additionally has a moderately higher chin. It’s just right high quality, however I pass over an always-on AMOLED display, and it isn’t very vivid when seen out of doors in daylight.

Safety, battery, and specs

Asus went to a couple duration to give an explanation for to Virtual Traits why it has made positive selections at the Zenfone 6. It has a rear fingerprint sensor and now not an in-display sensor as a result of it might have made becoming within the massive battery and a three.5mm headphone port not possible. The rear sensor is a tried-and-tested approach of securing a smartphone and it’s speedy and dependable right here; nevertheless it doesn’t stay alongside of the most recent design developments. Some might to find the Zenfone 6 seems to be dated on account of it.

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Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

There’s no wi-fi charging as it affects the lifestyles span of the battery through the years, which may be the explanation it doesn’t have charging sooner than 18W. Asus opted for a higher-capacity battery as a substitute, reducing down the want to recharge so frequently, or so temporarily. We’re nonetheless the usage of the telephone, and can not touch upon utilization instances but. Indicators are just right although, and at the first complete day of use, the Virtual Wellbeing app presentations three hours, eight mins of use over a 12-hour length, with 51% battery nonetheless ultimate.

The Zenfone 6 embodies the entirety that’s nice about smartphones in 2019

No such compromises were made at the specs. The Snapdragon 855 processor is inside of with 8GB of RAM and as much as 256GB of space for storing. Asus labored challenging to revamp the PCB, making a two-piece board, so it could possibly are compatible in a triple-slot SIM tray with room for 2 SIM playing cards and a MicroSD card as neatly. That is very welcome, and extra preferable than having to make a choice from garage and a 2d SIM. The telephone has been speedy and easy thus far, and we don’t be expecting to come back throughout any state of affairs the place it lacks energy.

After all, Asus has made up our minds towards launching dozens of various Zenfone 6 fashions. There is probably not a midrange or an entry-level model of the telephone. If you need a Zenfone 6, this would be the handiest selection. It’s an overly good determination, and avoids complicated you with more than one fashions with only some variations.


The Zenfone 6 embodies the entirety that’s nice about smartphones in 2019. It doesn’t apply developments set through Apple and Samsung, it doesn’t simply undertake the options different producers have  selected, and it doesn’t repeat errors that experience harm Zenfone fashions prior to now. Asus has taken a step again, comfortable, and thought of what it must do to compete this yr. The Zenfone 6 is the end result, and it is going its personal means in an overly particular model.

Is that path a luck? It’s nonetheless early to cross whole judgement; however first impressions are very sure in regards to the efficiency, battery, and tool. The display isn’t as stunning as some others, because of it being an LCD slightly than an AMOLED, and we have now some considerations over sturdiness. The flip-over digicam isn’t a gimmick and does include some fascinating options.

The telephone seems with the intention to dangle its personal, even amongst this yr’s critical festival,  however so much goes to rely at the worth, which isn’t identified on the time of writing. Asus says it’ll price lower than the $900 ROG telephone, which is able to stay the corporate’s flagship. To make sure the correct quantity of consideration, it should want to fit the $750 OnePlus 7 Professional. We’ll replace right here once we know extra, and you’ll be able to be expecting a complete evaluate within the close to long run.

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