Asus Asus Zenfone 6

Asus Zenfone 6 review: An absolute steal

The primary article I ever wrote was concerning the launch of the Asus Zenfone 2. It had an unimaginable 4GB of RAM and price just $299 — a completely insane worth at the time for that a lot reminiscence!

Four years later, Asus has preserved this heritage of flagship specs at a mid-range worth. While other manufacturers have began charging greater than $1,000 for their units, Asus has managed to keep its costs low while offering a number of the greatest hardware available on the market.

This is Android Authority’s Asus Zenfone 6 evaluation.

About this evaluate: While scripting this evaluation, I used an Asus Zenfone 6 provided by the producer over a interval of 11 days in the U.S. and Taiwan. I used the Black mannequin with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, operating ZenUI 6 on the April 1st, 2019 security patch.

Present Extra

Asus Zenfone 6 evaluate: The large image

The Asus Zenfone 6 is the company’s newest reasonably priced flagship. It doesn’t sport fairly as aggressive a glance as the gamer-focused Asus ROG telephone, however it still seems to be premium sufficient to get attention from a wide variety of people.

If a headphone jack, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 48MP flip digital camera, microSD card enlargement, and dedicated fast actions button aren’t sufficient to get you interested by this gadget, perhaps the worth is. Asus is providing this telephone for simply $499, seating it firmly between the Pixel 3a and OnePlus 7 Pro. In a approach, it gives one of the best of both worlds.

Asus managed to marry flagship specs with mid-ranged pricing.

There are a few features lacking from this gadget which will annoy a number of shoppers, but I personally felt they have been high-quality to omit at this worth point. Wi-fi charging and water resistance are the large offenders, but most mid-range units don’t have these options so I give it a cross.

What’s in the box

  • 18W charging brick
  • White USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Clear protective case
  • Asus earphones

The Asus Zenfone 6 comes with an 18W charging brick, a USB-A to USB-C cable, a pair of white Asus earbuds, and a tender protecting case. The case has a cutout near the again for the new flip-up digital camera. The earbuds are tuned by 1MORE and truly sound respectable. If you want to take higher advantage of the headphone jack although, you will get even better audio quality for just a bit of extra cash.

Design

Asus Zenfone 6 body face down on table

  • 190g
  • 159.1 x 75.44 x 9.1mm
  • No notch
  • Ambient mild sensor
  • Dual-SIM tray
  • Headphone jack
  • Flip-up digital camera
  • Fast actions button
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint reader
  • MicroSD card slot

The Zenfone 6 has a clean design that may attraction to most any shopper. It’s not almost as gamer-focused as the ROG telephone from Asus, but the robotic-looking flip digital camera and blue accents give it a barely more aggressive look than telephones just like the Pixel 3.

The body of this system is manufactured from Gorilla Glass, and it sports an aluminum body across the rim. It feels hefty and premium within the hand, a lot so that initially I assumed it was truly made wholly of metallic. Unfortunately, there isn’t any wi-fi charging on this gadget, so it might as properly have been manufactured from metallic.

This telephone comes with a healthy number of ports and buttons. On the appropriate aspect of the gadget, you’ll find a power button with a pleasant blue accent to match the Asus emblem on the again, volume rockers, and a devoted quick motion button. This button defaults to Google Assistant, however you’ll be able to change it to do quite a lot of things like take a screenshot, open the digital camera, or change the sound mode.

Customizable buttons will all the time be met with reward from us right here at AA.

There aren’t any physical buttons on the left aspect of the telephone, but you can see a dual-SIM tray with a slot for expandable storage. The underside of the system homes a headphone jack, USB-C port, and a speaker grill.

Asus Zenfone 6 camera module macro

The again of the telephone houses a rear-mounted fingerprint reader and a dual digital camera array. This digital camera system is among the highlights of the gadget. It bodily flips around the prime of the telephone, which allowed Asus to maintain the display free of cutouts and notches. We’ll get extra into this later, however simply know this distinctive digital camera array is certain to turn some heads.

This system doesn’t have an official IP score for water and mud resistance, but that’s not shocking. Any telephone with shifting elements is extraordinarily exhausting to make water-proof, and the flip-up digital camera on the Zenfone 6 is its Achilles’ heel in this case.

Display

Asus Zenfone 6 - screen upright

  • 6.Four-inch IPS LCD display
  • 2,340 x 1,080 resolution, 403ppi
  • 19.5:9 facet ratio
  • Gorilla Glass 6

In all probability probably the most obtrusive difficulty with the Asus Zenfone 6 is its LCD display. Most high-end smartphones (and even some mid-ranged ones) use OLED panels for deeper blacks, higher battery life, and features like always-on display. While an OLED display allows individual pixels to be illuminated, LCD know-how requires the complete display to be lit, draining extra battery and decreasing dynamic vary.

I sorely missed OLED whereas using this system.

The opposite challenge with this display is brightness. It maxes out at 600 nits, and I needed to hold the Zenfone 6 on most brightness throughout my time with it. It’s troublesome to see the display outside, and I often solely should maintain my phones at around half brightness each day.

Those issues thought-about, the quality of this panel is excellent, in multiple respects. It has 100 % DCP-I3 coverage, which means it may possibly show that complete colour area, and the panel is manufactured from Gorilla Glass 6. It must be more shatter resistant than phones with older Gorilla Glass variations.

The display isn’t obstructed by any type of notch. This telephone uses a flip-up digital camera and the result is a full-screen show. There’s still a noticeable chin at the backside of the show, nevertheless it’s not as huge as the chin on the Pixel three.

Asus Zenfone 6 back here shot 2

Efficiency

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • Octa-core
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 6GB or 8GB of RAM
  • 64GB or 256GB of storage
  • MicroSD expandable storage

Given the specs the Zenfone 6 is sporting, it’s no surprise that it absolutely flies. I saw no stuttering or lag during my time with the system. The light-weight software program experience helps hold the gadget feeling fast, and the 6GB or 8GB of RAM lets you multitask without forcing any apps out of memory.

This telephone gets scorching beneath a heavy load. Whereas operating benchmarks, the Zenfone 6 acquired warmer than most glass-back units, and it even stopped charging on account of overheating. Gaming would doubtless get this telephone quite scorching, so you might need to take a break every so often.

The Asus Zenfone 6 did very properly in benchmarks. In AnTuTu, it scores around 370,000 points, even beating out the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. 3DMark saw a slightly decrease score than the S10 Plus at round 5,500 points, and Geekbench 4 gave the Zenfone the slightest edge over the S10 in single-core efficiency, whereas simply barely falling behind within the multi-core check.

When you actually need one of the best performance, you’ll be able to allow AI Increase Mode, although I don’t advocate it. It will drain the battery even quicker than it already does.

Battery

Asus Zenfone 6 flipped Camera on table

  • 5,000mAh
  • Qualcomm Quick cost 4.zero (18W)
  • No wi-fi charging

Despite the 5,000mAh battery, the battery life of the Zenfone 6 was not more than average. I notched about six and a half hours of screen-on time, which is respectable, however compared to the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus or Huawei P30 Pro this seemed a bit low. I was capable of make it to the top of the day on one cost, however you possible gained’t get two full days as we saw on the Huawei P30 Professional.

An enormous problem with this telephone appears to be a high-level of standby drain. I went to mattress one night time with 26 % remaining and woke up to a lifeless gadget. Most phones have fairly good standby battery life, so it’s a bit unusual to see this system drain so fast.  The Zenfone 6 also takes a while to cost up. It helps 18W wired charging, however the sheer capacity of the battery makes it take longer to prime up than most units. I’d wish to see Asus develop its own fast cost know-how, especially when using a battery this massive.

Digital camera

Asus Zenfone 6 camera macro

  • Flip digital camera
  • Commonplace: 48MP, f/1.79
  • Extensive: 13MP ultra-wide
  • Pixel-binned pictures at 12MP

We should always observe that a software program replace was just lately launched that is meant to update the digital camera performance. Sadly, our unit was unable to put in the update for an unknown purpose. We’re presently making an attempt to resolve this and can replace our Zenfone 6 assessment with new pictures as soon as that is fastened.

The Asus Zenfone 6 is using the 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor for the primary digital camera, and a 13MP sensor for the wide-angle digital camera. This isn’t distinctive for units this yr — almost every high-end smartphone has leaned on this high-res sensor to get sharp photographs. The really distinctive part about this digital camera is the way it doubles as a selfie shooter.

Most manufacturers use either a pop-up digital camera or punch gap design to realize a full-screen display, however Asus thought outdoors the box and developed a digital camera that physically flips across the prime of the telephone. This brings the pliability of the 48MP and wide-angle rear shooters face-to-face with the proprietor for max selfies.

Asus Zenfone 6 camera side angle

The flip-up digital camera can swing around a full 180 levels, allowing you to take photographs at any angle in-between. While this won’t appear that useful, it allows a few fascinating features like automated panorama mode or object monitoring. The previous permits the consumer to face nonetheless whereas the telephone takes a panorama image, and the latter uses contrast-detect object monitoring to swivel the digital camera and comply with a subject around a scene. While not everyone will use these features, they’re pretty cool to have regardless.

When it comes to precise image quality, the Zenfone 6 performs admirably. Dynamic vary is strong however not too washed out, and sharpness is sort of good. It doesn’t appear to be Asus put that much effort into tuning this digital camera, however typically that’s an excellent factor. I’d favor a more muted image to something oversaturated or oversharpened.

Asus Zenfone 6 sample image - Color 2

That being stated, this telephone seemed to have a problem with brighter reds. Within the picture of flowers above, you possibly can see the gadget had hassle processing the purple channel. It’s potential this will probably be fastened in an upcoming software program replace, however we wouldn’t hold our breath.

Low-light pictures have been fairly good and didn’t present as much noise as we anticipated. The system struggled in more extreme low-light conditions, however its long-exposure mode helped get extra mild out of a dark scene.

Portrait mode on this telephone can also be excellent. The Zenfone 6 does an incredible job of eradicating the subject from the background, while nonetheless retaining a pure look t the blurred background. I did notice a bit an excessive amount of pores and skin smoothing on portrait mode pictures, nevertheless it’s not horrible.

Software

The Asus Zenfone 6 runs ZenUI 6, which is an entire refresh from its beforehand terrible software program. The brand new skin is light-weight, with just a few software additions on prime of “stock” Android 9 Pie.

Asus has included a devoted display recorder, AI Increase for intense usage periods, and even an FM Radio. The only questionable app you’ll discover on this telephone at startup is the Asus Knowledge Switch app, which continues to be helpful for once you need to transfer knowledge between units.

General we’re really glad to see the change to an easier interface. Asus units have previously been stacked with apps and providers no one uses, so it’s good to see a UI that provides the consumer more control over what’s on their gadget.

Audio

  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • NXP TFA9874 sensible amp
  • Dual audio system

The Asus Zenfone 6 includes a dual-speaker setup. There’s one speaker in the bottom edge of the telephone and one other doubling as an earpiece in the prime bezel. The speakers sound respectable but lack bass like many smartphones presently out there.

Asus Zenfone 6 - audio ports

The telephone is utilizing a sensible amplifier, which is meant to maintain the sound from getting distorted at high volumes. This is principally true. While different units get tinny past a certain volume, the Zenfone 6 sounds relatively clear. If in case you have the telephone the wrong way up although, the digital camera will start to rattle around the 50 % volume mark. When you’re listening to music we’d recommend holding the telephone face up.

The headphone jack is a pleasant shock.

Fairly surprisingly, this gadget includes a headphone jack. Many producers have moved away from wired audio, however Asus has embraced it in its previous couple of handsets. Audio quality from a headphone jack will all the time be superior to Bluetooth, and the pliability of analog audio can also be appreciated.

In case you want to go wi-fi, the Asus Zenfone 6 helps Bluetooth 5 with the excessive constancy aptX HD, LDAC, and HWA codecs.

To take full benefit of the wide selection of audio choices from this system, be sure to take a look at the Greatest Headphones of 2019 listing over at SoundGuys.

Asus Zenfone 6 specs

Asus Zenfone 6Display6.4-inch IPS LCD
FHD+ decision
19.5:9 ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 6ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855GPUQualcomm Adreno 640RAM6GB / 8GB
LPDDR4XStorage64GB / 256GB
UFS 2.1
Expandable with microSD card (up to 2TB)Battery5,000mAh battery
Quick Cost 4.0 at 18WCamerasMain:
48MP Sony IMX586 sensor
f/1.79 aperture
0.8μm / 1.6μm pixels
1/20-inch
Twin LED flash
4K 60fps video with EIS (front and back)

Secondary:
13MP ultra-wide sensor

Connectivity802.11a/b/g/n/ac
2x2MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
GPS (Twin bands, L1+L5)
GLONASS(L1)
BDS(B1)
GALILEO (Twin bands, E1+E5a)
QZSS (Dual bands, L1+L5)SIMDual nano-SIM
MicroSD card (up to 2TB)Operating SystemAndroid 9 PieAudioDual audio system
NXP TFA9874 sensible amp
Bundled earphones
three.5mm headphone jackDimensions159.1 x 75.44 x 9.1mm (largest model)
190gColoursMidnight Black, Twilight Silver
Corning Gorilla Glass three for again glass

Asus Zenfone 6 - closer back of device

Worth for cash

  • Asus Zenfone 6: 6GB RAM, 64GB ROM — 499 euro / $499
  • Asus Zenfone 6: 6GB RAM, 128GB ROM — 559 euro
  • Asus Zenfone 6: 8GB RAM, 256GB ROM — 599 euro

Beginning at simply 499 euro, the Asus Zenfone 6 is an aggressively priced gadget. It undercuts the base model OnePlus 7 Pro by 200 euro with almost the same core specs — and it features a headphone jack in addition.

Conversely, the OnePlus 7 Pro features a greater, higher display, an arguably higher UI, quicker storage, and a telephoto lens. When you want wired audio, wide-angle selfies, expandable storage, and a devoted fast action button, though, it’s arduous to beat the Zenfone 6.

This telephone sits firmly between the Pixel 3a and OnePlus 7 Pro.

If you want to spend a little less, you will get the Google Pixel 3a for $399. The 3a beats out the Zenfone in display quality and picture quality, however the consumer interfaces are very comparable, and the fast actions button on the Zenfone 6 is arguably more versatile than the Pixel 3a’s Lively Edge. For the extra $100 you’re additionally getting expandable storage, a glass construct, and a much bigger battery.

Asus Zenfone 6 - In use

While the base mannequin Zenfone 6 is officially priced at $499, Asus has declined to reveal U.S. pricing for the higher-tier models. In case you’re in Europe, you will get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for 559 euro, or 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for 599 euro.

Simply this week, Asus additionally announced a particular 30th-anniversary Zenfone 6, full of 12GB of RAM, 512GB storage, and a 30-month warranty. We don’t know any pricing particulars on this system, but it’s going to little question be very expensive.

Asus Zenfone 6 - Back of device upright

Asus Zenfone 6 assessment: The verdict

For $499, the Asus Zenfone 6 is an absolute steal. Many flagships costing $1,000 or extra don’t supply the number of features found in the Zenfone 6. Moreover, the new consumer interface makes this telephone a pleasure to make use of.

The Zenfone 6 might not have wireless charging or an official water resistance certification, nevertheless it does have many issues that folks care about, and even more features energy users will recognize. The headphone jack, expandable storage, notification LED, and fast actions toggle are all nice extras. These features sit on a robust basis set by the Snapdragon 855 processor and wholesome dose of RAM. It’s onerous not to advocate this system on the worth.

That’s all for our Asus Zenfone 6 assessment. Are you interested by shopping for one? Let us know down under!