ASUS 6Z was launched in India a few months back which is the globally launched Zenfone 6 and the company has to settle for the ASUS 6Z moniker in India thanks to some legal issues with Zenfone branding. ASUS 6Z offers consumers a unique design to achieve a notchless display by using a flip camera design that lets you use the same dual camera sensors for the front and back.
Asus 6Z Review details
We at AndroidPure used Asus 6z for more than a week as our primary device with two SIMs with full-time mobile data. This Asus 6Z review is based on our experience in that one week with the device. Keep in mind that we have used the 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM variant. Check out our Asus 6z review to find out if it lives up to the hype and whether it’s a serious contender as a mid-range flagship device.
ASUS 6Z specs
- Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+ (2340 × 1080 pixels), Corning Gorilla Glass 6, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 92% screen to body ratio, 600 nits brightness, 100% DCI P3 Color Gamut
- Operating System: Android 9 Pie with Zen UI, Stock like (Android Q + Android R updates guaranteed)
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core @2.84GHz
- GPU: Adreno 640
- Memory: 6GB/8GB/12GB RAM
- Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB + dedicated microSD card slot
- Battery: 5000mAh, Quick Charge 4 + 10W Reverse Charging
- Dual Flip Cameras: 48MP Sony IMX 586, 1.6µm Pixel Size, PDAF, Laser auto-focus + 13MP 125° Ultra-Wide angle lens, LED Flash, EIS, 4K 60fps
- Connectivity: Dual Nano SIM, 3.5 mm headphone jack, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz + 5GHz, 2×2 MIMO, Wi-Fi Direct
- Misc: Notification LED, Fingerprint scanner, Stereo Speakers, Smart Key
- Colours: Midnight Black, Twilight Silver
Design and Build Quality
Coming to design and build quality, Asus has managed to keep the phone slim in spite of a big 5,000 mAh battery inside without getting rid of the 3.5mm audio jack along with offering USB Type-C port at the bottom. The 6.4-inch display without any notch, protected with Gorilla glass is big yet feel compact thanks to 19.5:9 aspect ratio offering 92% screen to body ratio. The box includes a case, 18W charger, USB Type-C cable, an Asus ZenEars Pro headset and a SIM eject pin. There is a dedicated smart key on the side along with other buttons, that can be customised with single-press, double-press, and long-press functions.
Performance and Software
Thanks to the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 along with 6GB of RAM, you won’t face any issue when it comes to performance and usage was completely lag-free irrespective of what you throw at it. The Antutu Benchmark produced a score of 364,113 which is usually the kind of score for a flagship device and reflected in the performance. We managed to play games like PUBG under highest graphics mode without any issues such as frame drops, random crashes or any significant heating.
The phone runs on Android 9.0 based ZenUI which is almost like stock Android and you will not notice that it’s ZenUI unless you go looking for it. There is almost no bloatware compared to earlier Asus devices except for Facebook, Google Duo and Instagram. The ZenUI offers some additional features such as Battery Saving Modes, Twin Apps and loads of gestures (need to enable in settings though). There is a dedicated smart key on the phone that can be used either for invoking Google Assistant or customised to perform other actions. You can also lock apps with your fingerprint or face.
There is a face unlock feature which is quite fast if you consider the fact that the flip camera module first needs to get activated to use face unlock. Yet obviously it’s not as fast as it should be thanks to the time taken by the flip camera to activate. The conventional fingerprint on the rear panel, unfortunately, is slower than we expected and Asus probably need to fix it with some OTA update.
The flip camera is the unique USP of Asus 6z and Asus has done a lot of work to make it possible. The flip camera module offers a unique design that lets you use the same dual camera sensors of 48MP Sony IMX 586 with 13MP 125° Ultra-Wide angle lens for both the normal (rear camera shots) and Selfie shots. This also makes it the best selfie camera sensors that you can get at the moment across all the smartphones available. The camera module is quite sturdy backed by engineering. But yes, you can be worried about dirt getting in the module.
It offers dual-LED flash, laser autofocus, and three-axis electronic image stabilisation (EIS) but no optical image stabilisation (OIS). The primary sensor supports an HDR+ Enhanced mode and AI scene detection. When it comes to Video recording, the primary sensor can record up to 4K 60fps and 4K 30fps with the secondary sensor.
Talking about the flip module, it is a good engineering feat if you look at the module closely. Even though the motor produces a small sound while rotating, you won’t notice it after using it for a few days. Using the volume rocker buttons, you can control the exact rotation and take some great shots which are not possible with a normal camera in other devices. The best example is the Panorama shots which is on the next level as you don’t need to rotate the camera manually and is done automatically, producing some excellent panorama shots. To be honest, I have never managed to get a good panorama shot before using Asus 6z and with this device, I took numerous panorama shots which were perfect.
Coming to the camera performance, the phone produced some great shots. Usually, under normal daylight conditions, it produced shots with good details having good colour reproduction and details with good control over the focus. Yet it faltered when we tried taking some super macro shots and there were focussing issues. The portrait mode produced some great shots with good depth of field images. The camera by default uses the 12MP mode for the primary sensor and not the 48MP mode. Also, during the 48MP mode, the HDR/HDR+ feature is not available and the shots taken came with details missing. Probably, a lot of work needs to be done unless we start getting some true 48MP shots. This applies to all the devices having the Sony IMX586 sensor that we have tested so far.
The wide-angle camera obviously produced not so great shots compared with the primary sensor and came with fewer details.
Check out the camera samples below to find out how it fares. Also, keep in mind that these are not the full resolution images but the resized version of all the actual images (Blame it on heavy size of all the actual images shot on the phone).
Even though the new Asus 6Z is backed by a 5,000mAh battery and runs on near-stock Android, We were not too impressed with battery life performance in spite of 5,000mAh battery. We did manage to get the phone to last for almost 1.5 days with heavy usage but we expected it to last a bit longer. Under normal or average usage, it did last easily for one full day (24 hrs) and the next day, but it needed to be charged again at the end of the second day. We did manage to get a screen on time ranging for 5 hours to 7.0 hours depending on the usage which is great if you consider the flagship devices. There are few battery-saving modes inbuilt in the ZenUI which when enabled does offer you much better battery life at the cost of some compromise on the performance.
Probably we can blame it on the flagship processor i.e. Snapdragon 855 along with 6.4-inch Full HD+display that needs more power than a normal mid-range smartphone. Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 support was a boon and you will never need to worry about the battery as it comes with 18W adapter that can charge from zero to ~70% in an hour.
Asus has managed to offer a unique flip camera design along with a notchless display that makes it possible to use the same camera sensor for both front and back producing excellent selfies and panorama shots. It is a great device if you are not scared with the flip camera module and offers a great camera, good battery life and performance. Yet, the competition is fierce in this price segment with devices such as Redmi K20 Pro that is priced a bit lower and OnePlus 7, which offer similar kind of performance. Please share your thoughts on what you feel about our Asus 6Z review?