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Asus Zenfone 6 First Impressions: Taking the motorized camera to another level

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Old 05-16-2019, 07:25 PM
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Default Asus Zenfone 6 First Impressions: Taking the motorized camera to another level

Asus has just unveiled the*Asus Zenfone 6*at a launch event in Valencia. The Taiwanese smartphone maker and electronics giant has priced the Zenfone 6 starting from 499 Euro which is about Rs 39,000 for the base model with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage all the way up to 599 Euro which is about Rs 47,000 for the top-end variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. The 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage variant is priced at*559 Euro which amounts to about Rs 43,900. The smartphone will go on sale starting from May 25, 2019, in two colors including the Midnight Black, and Twilight Silver.

Inspecting the hardware specifications and the pricing of the Asus Zenfone 6, it looks like the company is aiming to take on its competition in the mid-premium segment with the likes of recently announced and teased, OnePlus 7, Xiaomi Redmi K20, and more. Just before launch,*Asus invited us to a briefing where we got some time to play around with the device, and here are our first impressions of the new Asus Zenfone 6.

Out of the box Motorized camera on Asus Zenfone 6

Before we talk about the hardware details about the device, let’s jump in the first thing that everyone will notice as soon as they take this phone out of the box or even see someone else use in the crowd, it the design. Specifically, the crazy flip-up camera design that is something unique in the world of pop-up motorized cameras, punch holes, notches or even slider mechanisms. The company has managed to do a great job in differentiating itself even from the recently launched Samsung Galaxy A70 which employs similar hardware magic.

The glass back and front design along with metal frames will give you a strong throw-back to the design of the Asus ROG Phone in terms of the almost brushed metal look. Taking a look at the design, you get the power ****on, volume rocker and a new custom hardware key on the right side of the smartphone. Because of the help of the flip camera mechanism, there is no notch or distraction on top of the display while the bottom comes with a slightly thick chin. The back of the Asus Zenfone showcases a curved finish along with a dedicated fingerprint scanner below the camera.

Moving back to the flip camera mechanism, it is still interesting to see how the company pulled it off with the help of about 13 different gears to make sure that the motorized mechanism is precise, and smooth at the same time. In fact, one can also control the motor with the help of volume up or down to take vertical or horizontal panoramas or achieve some that smooth pans in the video mode. This provides users with some interesting perspectives to work with, both while capturing images as well as videos. The fact that the selfie duties are fulfilled by the same 48-megapixel camera ensures that the front camera quality is best in the class.

Asus Zenfone 6 hardware specifications and that 5,000mAh battery

The Asus Zenfone 6 comes with a 6.4-inch IPS LCD panel with FHD+ resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio and Gorilla Glass 6 protection in the front. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC along with up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB internal storage. As noted in the launch post, the Asus Zenfone 6 will come in three different storage and RAM variants. The base model will come with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, the second combination will sport 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage and the third will feature 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage.

Talking about the specifications of the dual-camera setup, we get a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.79 aperture and a 13-megapixel secondary sensor with a 125-degree ultra-wide angle lens. Asus has also added a laser-assisted autofocus mechanism along with a Dual LED flash unit to improve the camera package. Looking at other aspects of the specifications, Asus has also added two dual 5-magnet stereo speakers along with a Dual NxP smart amps, dual mics, and a 3.5mm audio socket.

In addition to all this, the Zenfone 6 also comes with a dedicated smart key on the right side of the device that users can customize according to their choice in the software. Buyers will also get the usual connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0, 3.5mm audio socket, GPS, NFC, FM Radio, USB Type-C, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a triple shot where the first two slots are for VoLTE 4G-enabled nano-SIMs and the third one is for a dedicated microSD card slot with a capacity of up to 1TB cards.

Another key aspect that I want to highlight here is the 5,000mAh battery along with 18W QuickCharge 4.0 support. This is important because the smartphone does not seem to pack a lot of weight for the capacity of the battery that is sports. In fact, the overall weight of the device is somewhat generous given the flip camera module and the 5,000mAh battery. Last but not least, the device comes with Android 9 Pie-based neat stock Android, Zen UI 6 that we will discuss in the next section.

ZenUI 6: Stock enough to probably shock you

Asus is launching the next version of its in-house Android-based skin, the Asus ZenUI 6 with the launch of Asus Zenfone 6. However, the first time you boot to the home screen, you will be surprised to see the drastic changes that the company has done in ZenUI 6. First off, it is based on the stock Android interface. Yes, you head it right that an Android smartphone maker has evolved its skin to focus on stock Android and that is not OnePlus or an Android One-powered smartphone.

It almost seems like Asus took some pages from the playbook of OnePlus to focus on stock Android interface and then add some additional tweaks that don’t get in the way. The company also added that this transformation is based on the feedback that it received after Asus launched its Asus Zenfone Max M1 and Zenfone Lite L1 last year with stock Android. Regardless of the inspiration to move in this direction, I was left quite impressed by the overall responsive UI and lack of bloatware in general.*The device will also come with support for Android Q Beta in the coming weeks. Asus also guaranteed that the device will get up to Android R update when it is out.

First Impressions

With limited time with the smartphone, I must say that I was impressed by what I saw in terms of the hardware design, internal specification, and the software. It is also good to see a smartphone maker take note of the user interface and then make sweeping changes on that feedback to make changes that are good for everyone. Given that the time that I spent with the Asus Zenfone 6 was limited, I would not be able to say how it will fair in the market against the likes of upcoming OnePlus 7 and the Xiaomi Redmi K20. But, the package that I saw, has surely peaked my interest.


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