Its first handling of the smartphone took place in Valencia, Spain, in the wake of the press conference of the Taiwanese brand, where all the European high-tech press had been entrusted.
Design & hardware
Powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor and 6 or 8 GB of RAM (depending on version), the Asus ZenFone 6 is equipped with6.4 inch Full HD + IPS screen… without the slightest notch or slider. Its dimensions are 15.9 x 7.54 x 0.92 cm for a weight of 190 grams. It is thicker than its competitors (we think of the Xiaomi Mi 9) but its battery is also more substantial (see below).
The smartphone has a triple SIM + microSD slot (up to 2 TB!) and above all a 3.5 mm jack socket… On the fingerprint sensor side, it is not under the screen but on the back and it is a classic fingerprint sensor. A reactive and proven system. Incidentally, it has a 5000 mAh battery! Suffice to say that its autonomy is very good, we will have the opportunity to come back to this below.
On the photo side, the ZenFone 6 innovates: a double photo module is there … and it is rotatable. Composed of a main sensor of 48 Mpx (the famous Sony IMX586) and an ultra wide angle sensor of 13 Mpx, it is used both as rear and front camera, thanks to its pivoting function ” Flip Camera “Up to 180 degrees. More than just a toy, it really changes the way you think about photos and videos.
Screen & performance
Let it be said, an AMOLED screen would have been more appreciable on this ZenFone 6 but it must be admitted that the IPS panel is very bright, even in direct sunlight, and well calibrated. This screen, which represents almost 92% of the device, is also protected by Gorilla Glass 6.
There is an option to display the time on the screen during standby, it may be practical, but it remains less convincing and relevant than on an AMOLED screen.
What about performance? It’s simply a monster of power, like all smartphones finally equipped with a Snapdragon 855. You will be able to run all games, including the most demanding ones like PUBG Mobile, with the graphics pushed to the maximum. Not to mention flawless smoothness, no matter what game or application you’re going to launch.
Note that the smartphone can quickly rise in temperature when it is heavily used, but this feeling does not usually last long, the heat quickly dissipating.
Do you like the interface of Google Pixels or simply Android stock? You will then love ZenUI, largely based on Android Pie (security update dated April 1, 2019), which brings some interesting features at the same time.
Among them, we find the dark mode (available in Display> System color scheme), buttons to boost the AI (or rather have access to the full power of the device) and to record the screen (in video).
We appreciate the personalization of the small “Smart Key” button (located above Volume +), used for the Google Assistant by default, but which can be fully configurable (one press, two presses and long press).
This is definitely the innovation of this ZenFone 6: its rotary camera (or Flip Camera). Beyond impressing all his friends, this double pivoting photo module is really interesting: it opens up all the possibilities, whether in photo or video!
Indeed, it will also be possible to take a photo of the landscape like the sky, a selfie in 48 MP or group (with the ultra wide angle sensor) … and the same thing on video, and this, up to 4K @ 60 fps (and the quality is there). Selfies are also particularly successful, especially with the 48 Mpx main sensor. It’s clearly one of the best smartphones in this domain.
The ultra wide angle sensor leaves me more puzzled. The photos lack detail, the distortion and the noise are a little too present.
In low light, it is largely perfectible. It will often be necessary to repeat it several times to have a beautiful night photo, without camera shake. The night mode is interesting, the photos are clearly more balanced and realistic, but the shooting is a bit long.
Finally, it should be noted that this rotating photo module supports 100,000 “flips” (or rollovers) according to Asus, which makes an average of 28 selfies per day for 5 years. It seems a lot but as long as we use facial recognition, that we play regularly with the camera … But I can confirm that the smartphone is robust, to use it for a few weeks (there is still a noise when rotating the camera).
With a 5000 mAh battery, the ZenFone 6 is a monster of autonomy. In any case on paper, we can hold 2 days of intensive use according to Asus. And much more in normal use.
This is confirmed without problem on a daily basis. I often happened to have between 50 and 60% of remaining battery at the end of the evening, while having largely used the smartphone all day with GPS, social networks, photos, synchronization with mobile data …
Then the autonomy will also and above all depend on the different display and energy saving options chosen. For my part, I had activated the clock in standby mode. I very often set the screen brightness to 95-100% to have the best experience in direct sunlight.
I don’t dare imagine the autonomy that the ZenFone 6 could have had with an AMOLED screen… The dark mode and the clock in standby mode in particular consume much more energy with an LCD screen. In terms of recharging, allow more than 2 hours to recharge it from 0 to 100%. It remains very honest given the capacity of the battery.
My opinion on the Asus ZenFone 6
Innovative, very complete and well finished,Asus ZenFone 6 is almost perfect. We will necessarily appreciate its rotary camera, its large battery, its stereo speakers, its triple SIM + microSD slot and its screen without border or notch.
His camera is perfectible, especially with the ultra wide angle sensor or in low light. It lacks an AMOLED screen, but we will forgive it given its price.
But the price / quality ratio remains excellent, it competes directly with the Xiaomi Mi 9 in particular. The latter has no microSD port, no jack but it has fast wireless charging … and a notch. There will be something for everyone, it will depend on everyone’s criteria, but this new Asus smartphone is clearly attractive!
The Asus ZenFone 6 is sold € 499 (6 GB / 64 GB version) and € 559 (6 GB / 128 GB version). The 8 GB / 256 GB version will be available in mid-June for € 599. For the moment, the smartphone is only available in black and on the Asus Store or at FNAC / Darty. The silver color (Twilight Silver) will arrive during the third quarter.