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Asus 6z Review – Pure love!

Powered by the Snapdragon 855 and an innovative flip-camera

8.5
Pure love

When I first saw the renders of the Asus’ flagship phone coming with the Flip Camera technology, it reminded me of the early Oppo phones and wasn’t exactly positive about it. Moreover, the 2018’s Asus flagship phone, the Zenfone 5Z wasn’t that appealing or did the company’s consistent mediocrity in the Camera department. And then, I used this phone for a period of 15-days. Everything changed.

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Asus 6z i.e Asus Zenfone 6 Review

Firstly, the Asus Zenfone 6 is called the Asus 6Z in India due to some issues with a mobile manufacturer named Zen. We got a review unit ( Midnight Black colored variant, 8GB RAM and 256GB Storage) from Asus 🧡 like always and we’re gonna be unbiased as always. I used this as my primary device for 15 days.

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Scratches on the box, not my fault 😜

In the box

  • Asus 6Z Handset
  • 5V-2A, 9V-2A, 18W Charger Adapter
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • 3.5mm In-The-Ear Hi-Res Earphones
  • Transparent Hard Plastic Case
  • Warranty Info and other papers with SIM ejector pin.

Specifications

  • Model: Asus 6Z – Asus Zenfone 6 – ZS630KL
  • Dimensions: 159.1mmx75.44mmx8.4 – 9.1mm – 190 grams
  • Display: 16.26cm(6.4) Full HD+ (2340×1080) IPS display
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Octa Core 2.8 GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 640
  • RAM and Storage: 8GB RAM and 256GB Internal Storage, Expandable Storage upto 2 TB
  • Camera: FlipCamera Technology with 48MP + 12MP Ultra-wide
  • Flash: Dual LED Flash
  • OS: Android Pie 9, new ASUS UI
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Other: UFS2.1, Triple-Slot SIM Tray, FM Radio, Dual VoLTE, DTS.

Design and Display

It has a glass sandwich design and a metal frame around just like its predecessor Zenfone 5z out of which the front comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass 6. To the back, we have the fingerprint sensor just below the flip-camera. The back of the phone definitely looks like a smooth metal instead of glass and the blue-ish colored Asus branding looks cool. It has the charging port, headphone jack, and speakers to the bottom and SIM ejector slot to the left side of the phone, just like all other Asus phones. Apart from all these traditional layouts, it has three buttons (technically four) to the right which are a Smart button, Volume rockers, and the Power button with a blue-ish border. It doesn’t sport a dedicated front-camera. Uses the same rear-camera which flips to the front when needed. This “flip-camera” technology evades the use of notch-display or pop-up cameras. The experience of using this phone’s full-display is just amazing.

I just loved using the full-display so much that I felt getting back to my older phone a lot weird. Though the display is not AMOLED ( just for cost-cutting ASUS?) which looks like a bummer at this price point on paper, its Full HD+ IPS Display is something different from normal displays. Not sure if its some software optimization but anyone who isn’t aware of the spec sheet can mistake its display for an AMOLED. Though it looks good for your daily usage, it’s a fact that AMOLED displays are advantageous over others, be it the experience or the battery saving features.

It has giant 5000 mAh battery, which makes a phone a little heavier but the proper weight distribution doesn’t make feel much. Being a flagship phone for Asus, apart from the lack of AMOLED display, it also lacks an IP Rating which isn’t much relevant at this price point anyway. Except for the flip camera, the phone build looks sturdy enough. Though Asus claims flip-camera can withstand 100,000 flips and whole Flipcamera hardware is made up of liquid metal, it still feels sensitive to use it thanks to its mechanical sounds everytime it flips. During any event of accidental fall when the camera is flipped on, the 6Z detects the fall and retracts automatically to avoid any damage.

Camera

The Flipcamera that’s made up of a dual camera and a flash combo, the primary camera is a Sony flagship IMX 586 48MP sensor and secondary camera is a 13MP ultra-wide camera. As mentioned earlier, the phone’s signature feature – the flip camera technology makes the setup work as both front and rear cameras. It has a Dual LED Flash and has EIS (Electrical Image Stabilization) for videos.

Talking about my overall experience of snapping photos on this device, it is a LOT BETTER than any Asus phone I ever used (technically most of them).

The very first day I got this device, I was excited just like anybody to use the flip camera. Quickly took a selfie and it has Auto HDR+ Enhanced mode enabled. It was awful. Firstly, Asus’ saves non-mirror images which we are not used to. We see mirror images of our selfies usually. Apart from that, the HDR+ Enhanced mode white painted my face and added more detailing and clarity. I totally recommend to turn off the Auto HDR+ Enhanced mode, never found it useful. Later after I made a few such settings, I totally enjoyed clicking selfies with this one. By far, this is my favorite front cameras. Of course, the use of hardware is a clear advantage here.

Photos shot on rear cameras are great. Nothing so exceptional, yet the use of ultra-wide lens instead of the telephoto lens is praiseworthy. The focusing is just great and amazing while shooting photos of objects or flowers, never needed to use the portrait mode at all. The ultra-wide camera doesn’t perform great in low-light conditions. The Night mode in the phone is good, nowhere close to Google NightSight though. Photos shot using the flash can be simply ignored, completely underwhelming. Though Asus doesn’t promote its Cameras features, it detects scenes (shows it on the screen with an icon) and optimizes colors according to it. I saw a few modes like tripod and flowers.

If you love taking panoramas, this one is the best for you. It can shoot vertical and horizontal panoramic shots using the flipcamera. It rotates to create a 180-degree panorama. Panoramas in Indoor or low-light conditions don’t look that good.

I shot many videos using the phone using the 4K 30FPS setting and I loved it. Its focusing is quick and fast. The EIS does its job. It enhances brightness a little, so misses the naturality in Indoor conditions sometimes.

However, there are little glitches here and there in the Camera. It takes a while to detect multiple people when taking a group selfie and doesn’t completely focus them. I’ll talk more about the Camera and it’s software in the later sections.

Software

It comes with ZenUI on top of Android Pie. Almost zero bloatware and near-stock Android experience. Out of 256GB, 240GB is available and it has following preloaded apps i.e

Asus Data Transfer, Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Chrome, Clock, Contacts, Drive, Duo, Facebook, File Manager, Gallery, Gmail, Google, Google Pay (NFC), Instagram, Maps, Messages, Messages, Messenger, Phone, Photos, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Settings, Sounds Recorder, Weather and YouTube.

There’s nothing much to talk about the software part, it’s blazing fast and clutter-free. Though it has a really great experience it is just not perfect yet. Here are a few issues I came across.

Issues

  • Recent Apps / App-switching button doesn’t show the recent apps. This issue was fixed in a later update.
  • After a few days of usage, the stereo speakers didn’t work as expected. It suddenly turned into mono output, the speaker on the earpiece side of the phone didn’t work. A reboot fixed this issue.
  • While playing PUBG MOBILE, just removed my headphone jack and re-inserted. Headphones stopped working. Couldn’t attend calls as well. A reboot fixed the issue.
  • After shooting videos in landscape mode for a few minutes, when flipped the front-cam to shoot selfies, it did not respond. Says “Camera cannot flip”. A reboot fixed the issue.
  • Time-zones in the Clock app have issues. Never knew Indian time-zone covers UAE!

I believe these issues can be fixed by Asus in the later updates.

One of Asus’ feature I loved is the Audio Wizard App with DTS sound enhancement. When this feature is turned on, the audio output of from headphones is just amazing. If your headphones support Hi-res audio, it is more of an added advantage for listening to hi-res audios.

There are other features like Gamegenie, which I did bot use personally. But it’s features like macro, live-streaming, etc. will satisfy mobile gamers.

On a whole, software side of the 6Z has a few issues but still the clutter-free Pure Android experience is something that will make you stick.

Performance

Having the Snapdragon 855 in the house, this makes the phone a part of the flagship mobile family. Coupled with Adreno 640, there is nothing to nit-pick in the performance part of the 6z. I played PUBG MOBILE with the highest configuration available and I loved the experience. It smooth and incredibly fast. But, the phone heats up after a few minutes. It’s noticeably hot and I hope Asus can fix this issue.

Did not notice any hiccups while using the device and you won’t be disappointed in the terms of performance.

I felt the fingerprint sensor was slow initially but after the later updates, it was improved. However, I believe it is not the fastest. The face-unlock using the flip-camera is fine and do not recommend to use it unless you want to waste the life of the flipcamera motor.

Battery

Battery life is always Asus’ forte. With 5000mAh battery along with the mighty Snapdragon 855, it manages to get excellent battery life. Even for a power user like me, the 6Z lasted for a day and a half. With an average of 7 hours of screen-on-time, no matter how bad you can use, you can still make the 6Z one last for a day on a single charge.

The 18W charger is good, takes around 2 hours to completely charge the phone.

Miscellaneous

It has NFC, Triple Slot (Dual SIM + SD Card) and the customizable smart key over the power button are all praise-worthy additions by Asus. The Smart key by default turns on Google Assistant, you can map it to any other functionality as you want to.

Value for money

Presently, the 6GB RAM + 64 GB Memory variant of Asus 6Z is available on Flipkart for Rs. 31,999/- and the 8+256GB variant at Rs. 39,999. Taking just the base variant into the picture, the Redmi K20 Pro which priced below it and the OnePlus 7 priced just above it are the obvious competitors with really good reputation for their brands. However, just considering 6Z at this price point will be more value for money if the 128GB Memory variant is launched at this price. Not only that other brands are offering the higher memory variants at this price, but also for someone who invests up to Rs.30K on a mobile will be expecting more storage.

Finally,

Asus Zenfone 6 or the Asus 6Z is an incredible mobile especially for photography, gaming and of course an all-rounder. I totally loved using the 6z and enjoyed using it. Though the lack of an in-display fingerprint sensor and the AMOLED display is a bummer at the price, the pure Android experience, humongous battery and the amazing flip-camera is something don’t see on any other phone. I hope the issues or bugs will be fixed by Asus very soon as they are very prompt in giving updates. If you don’t consider it’s competition, (especially in India) this one is an easy pick.

But with the very competitive pricing by Xiaomi and almost the same configuration, the K20 Pro seems to be a better deal. However, if a higher memory variant was available to compete at the same price the Asus 6Z can be an easier choice thanks to its clutter-free Android experience and better front-cameras over the K20 Pro. Oh yeah, it has an SD card slot and you can use it just for the sake of memory but I’d like to have things as a whole package.

Asus 6z - Asus Zenfone 6 review
Camera8.5
Software8
Battery10
Value for money7
Design and DIsplay9
8.5
Pure love