Asus Zenfone 6 review

GSMArena team, 28 May 2019.

Introduction

What constitutes a high-end phone tailored for power users and, ideally, one that's also affordable? Asus is keen to show us with the Zenfone 6 and it doesn't hurt that after all the practical considerations the phone ended up having a super-cool rotating camera.

It's a dual camera assembly mounted on a motorized rig that flips 180 degrees to take selfies - Asus has unimaginatively dubbed it Flip Camera. The actual modules are a Quad Bayer 48MP primary one and a 13MP ultra wide - so no telephoto. But on the flip (ahem...) side you'd be getting primary-camera-grade selfies, ultra wide ones too, plus some of the highest quality selfie videos on the market.

The display appears to be the sole compromise in the specsheet - in a segment dominated by OLEDs, the Zenfone 6 comes with an LCD. LCDs aren't inherently bad, however, and we'll see how this one performs.

Asus Zenfone 6 review

Performance is key for power users, so there's the Snapdragon 855 in charge of things. Those folks also have large collections of whatever, so Asus made sure to include a dedicated microSD slot. And since they're constantly on their phones, the 6 has one of the biggest batteries around at 5,000mAh.

Asus Zenfone 6 ZS630KL specs

  • Body: Aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass back, 159.1x75.4x9.2mm, 190g; Midnight Black and Twilight Silver color schemes.
  • Display: 6.4" IPS LCD, 1080x2340px, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 403ppi, Gorilla Glass 6.
  • Camera: Motorized rotating dual camera assembly. Main module: 48MP, 1/2.0" SONY IMX586 Quad Bayer sensor, f/1.79 aperture, 79-degree FOV (26mm equiv. focal length), laser/PDAF. Ultra wide module: 13MP, f/2.4 aperture, 125-degree FOV (11mm equiv. focal length), fixed focus. Dual LED flash.
  • Video recording: Up to 4K 2160p@60fps with EIS on the main cam, up to 4K@30fps with EIS on the ultra wide, slow-motion up to 1080p@240fps or 720p@480fps (only on the main cam).
  • OS/Software: Android 9.0 Pie, ZenUI 6.
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855 (7nm): octa-core CPU (1x2.8GHz & 3x2.4GHz Kryo Gold & 4x1.7GHz Kryo 485 Silver); Adreno 640 GPU.
  • Memory: Up to 8GB RAM, up to 256GB UFS 2.1 storage, dedicated microSD card slot.
  • Battery: 5,000mAh capacity, 18W QuickCharge 4.0 fast charging, 10W reverse charging.
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A, 6-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.18 (1.2Gbps/150Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac/ax MU-MIMO; GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0; FM radio. USB Type-C, 3.5mm jack.
  • Misc: Rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor, stereo speakers.

There are certain things you won't find on the Zenfone 6 for one reason or another. Wireless charging, for example, would have pushed an already less than svelte phone into 'too thick' territory, while a proprietary super-fast charging tech like Oppo's or Huawei's would have meant a smaller battery or, again, an increase in thickness. And then, the lack of an IP rating is hardly a surprise given the moving bits, but then even the entirely static and more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro isn't officially IP-rated either.

Admittedly this next one is the definition of nitpicking, but wouldn't it have been great if the Zenfone 6 had an infrared emitter? Some power users can surely come up with uses for that.

Asus Zenfone 6 unboxing

The Zenfone 6 ships in a large black box with a glowing outline of the phone on top with a large '6' inside it. Asus has also stamped the 'Flip Camera' logo on one of the sides in addition to the brand logo and the 'Zenfone 6' inscriptions.

Asus Zenfone 6 review

After you remove the lid, you're greeted by a gray cardboard sleeve with another instance of the 'Flip Camera' logo. Inside the sleeve you'll find a clear hard plastic bumper case with just the right cutouts to allow the camera to rotate freely.

The phone itself is underneath and after dispensing with another layer of cardboard you reveal the accessories. You'd be getting a QuickCharge 4 adapter, quite a chunky unit, rated at 9V/2A and 5V/2A. It's got a USB-A out and there's a USB-A-to-C cable to go with it. Additionally, Asus bundles a set of in-ear headphones and a handful of different tips.

Reader comments

Definitely a much more premium phone compared to Xiaomi Pocophone F1. Undoubtedly my choice for affordable flagship.

  • Anonymous

One of the excellent feature in Zenfone 2 was PC link, is it still there in 6? The bad thing in 2 was only one SIM use mobile dad's, hopefully this corrected now.

  • Casedy

My Zenfone 3 still work very well till now after the last update.