ASUS Zenfone 6 Product Review
Back to Feb’19 in MWC, ASUS posted a two-page advertisement in the MWC official magazine. Most Zen fans are waiting for the launch event on 16-May in Spain. Now, we finally have ASUS Zenfone 6 with a crazy camera trick in a very innovative way and it’s the best phone under 500 so far.
Product: ASUS Zenfone 6(2019)
Camera: 48MP, f/1.79 + 13MP ultra wide (125 degree FOV)
Display: 6.4-inch FHD+ LCD
Price: USD$599 ↑
Appearance & Design
Considering Zenfone 5 was basically a clone of iPhone X, the new model just launched is thinking outside the box.
With a flip camera, it is able to eliminate the top bezel entirely which makes the display 6.4-inch 19.5 : 9 aspect ratio.
Although there is still a small bezel on the bottom, it should be the less bezel phone that ASUS had created so far.
ASUS changed a lot of designs on Zenfone 6, and there is no more signature concentric-circle design seen this year.
ASUS had implemented a new logo design on the back with a low-profile style. For me, ASUS is not like a regular refresh their Zenfone product line in 2019, it’s like a head-to-toe reboot!
Did I even mention ASUS Zenfone 6 have a headphone jack? I think lots of people also want it back in 2019. Nicely done, ASUS!
(ASUS Zenfone 6’s main specifications!)
Crazy Camera Tricks
The flip camera in ASUS Zenfone 6 has comfortably set a new benchmark for how the cameras in a smartphone could be handled. With the flip camera, ASUS finally made it a bezel-less on the top.
I believe it’s a good solution for a top bezel-less phone comparing a black bar or a hole-punch dot on screen for better user experience.
The flip camera could let you stop the camera’s rotation at any point. Yes, literally. I’ve been tried to use it for a few days and it’s pretty good.
At the first few days on hands, it feels a bit bizarre and strange, but you get used to it when you always take amazing photos with high quality.
The function of “Free-angle” also allows you for video, automatic vertical and horizontal panoramas. It could be used for taking pictures of buildings and mountains.
Some people might wonder how long the flip camera will last since its stepper motor built with a liquid metal gearbox? ASUS mentioned it could last at least 5 years, but it still sounds very vulnerable.
There are also some functions that I don’t really like, such as motion tracking could let the flip camera shoots the moving objects with ease, it’s not really my type of thing.
Or when you drop the camera from 1m-1.25m height, the camera will sense itself is dropping and flipping back to the original space to protect itself. Sounds…not very exciting for me.
(ASUS Zenfone 6’s rotating camera is super-powerful!)
Battery & ZenUI
Comparing the latest flagships, ASUS will definitely top the list as the longest-lasting battery in Snapdragon 855 competitors.
ASUS mentioned they heard what power users’ need this time and make the phone to fulfill their demands which are very obviously smart.
Now, you could use Zenfone 6(2019) 2 days of “none stop use” with 21 hours Wi-Fi web browsing and 33.2 hours of talk time. Doesn’t it sound crazily user-friendly?
For Zen UI, ASUS used to stuff their own apps by default and make it very ugly and messy.
This year, Zenfone 6 looks surprisingly nice and neat with a nearly stock Android. It’s way much better than the previous generations.
There is a google assistant button on the right, the software could be controlled by setting up press once, twice, or press & hold in the smart key setting which seems that every flagship this year might also have this button.
Asus is keeping the price the same: the base model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage starts at USD$600, the same as the less powerful ZenFone 5.
Comparing to the price starts from $750 for ASUS’s most obvious competitor – OnePlus 7 Pro, it could save you $150 indeed.
In the era of the lowest price for flagships start from USD$999, USD$600 seems very appealing and second to none.
(ASUS zenfone 6’s price starts from 499 euro!)
The prestige DXO mark gives ASUS Zenfone 6 98 scorings which makes it the top on the SELFIE competition, but it seems ASUS doesn’t want the score for the main camera although we all know it’s the same set.
Let’s see the details more about the performance for the flip camera:
(photo credit : dxomark)
According to DXOMARK, they have concluded the Pros and Cons as below:
- Good detail and efficient noise reduction on faces
- Accurate and repeatable autofocus at all shooting distances
- Pleasant skin tones white balance in most conditions
- Accurate depth estimation in bokeh mode
- Generally accurate target exposure on faces
- Shallow depth of field for group selfies
- Occasional exposure instabilities
- Red-eye artifacts in flash mode
- Unreliable activation of bokeh effect in low light
- Good detail on faces in all conditions
- Low noise levels on faces in bright light and indoor conditions
- Accurate face exposure
- Decent stabilization
- Shallow depth of field for group selfies
- Occasionally unstable autofocus
- Occasional frame skipping
- Occasional exposure instabilities and stepping
- Fine chroma and luminance noise in low light
(ASUS Zenfone 6’s launch event in Spain!)
Special edition in the 30th Anniversary of ASUS
For ASUS’s 30th anniversary, they also launched a special edition of Zenfone 6 with their signature concentric circle design and the most powerful specifications.
They provides 30-month warranty for this edition of Zenfone 6 and they mentioned it’s the perfect illustration of beauty and strength.
(ASUS creates a new edition of zenfone 6 for its 30th anniversary!)
I also want to share some downsides that I recognize that ASUS zenfone 6 has.
The first, the display. It’s only LCD not OLED.
When you tried to use many flagship phones with OLED, this is noticeably easy to be found. LCD is not a terrible screen but an inferior one, and it doesn’t have the excellent color contrast and temperature as an OLED screen does.
The second, the camera doesn’t have OIS which means you would get a blurred photo quite often when your hands are shaking and cannot hold them still.
I think most senior users have this kind of problem, so this is really a downside for them. Although ASUS gets a super-night-scenes function in the software update to solve this, I still think Zenfone 6 should have OIS.
The third, there is a lag for the flip camera. When you switch to selfie mode, it takes about 1.5 – 2 seconds to pop up.
So, if you want to use the face unlock, you need to wait for the camera to flip up and unlock then flip back down. The whole process might take 5 seconds to finish.
The fourth, there is still no screen fingerprint unlock, but you still could use the old fingerprint unlock on the back of Zenfone 6.
ASUS mentioned this is based on the survey from their power users, and they look more ground to earth for something practical.
To conclude the above, ASUS Zenfone 6 created a new style of a flagship in the USD$600 range. They used to have good hardware and ruin it with terrible software.
Finally, I felt lots of surprise with what I saw today no matter the design changes, notchless screen, and a flip camera.
If you are interested in the phones around the USD$600 range, I could say Zenfone 6 is very competitive to its Snapdragon 855 peers.
And I also think if you are looking for a phone with a headphone jack and a big battery, Zenfone actually would be a choice for you!
I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about the Zenfone 6 or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below.
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