ASUS ZenFone 6 review: a practical flagship

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The new ASUS ZenFone 6 surprises with an unusual swivel camera and delights with an impressive 5000 mAh battery. And he retained the audio jack, stereo speakers and has a triple slot for SIM and memory card. Before us is the most practical flagship of 2019? Check if this is so.

ASUS ZenFone 6

Unusual camera

The ZenFone 6 photo module is interestingly arranged: a flash is located vertically between the two lenses. An association with an owl comes to mind – and does not let go of the entire test. The swivel unit only enhances this impression. The solution is original, but it allowed to get rid of the notch for the selfie camera in the display. In addition, for most smartphones, the front sensor is inferior in quality to the main ones – but not for the new ASUS. Thanks to the rotary module, self-portrait lovers can take the highest quality pictures.

Unlocking the face with the camera is present, however, its implementation cannot be called comfortable. First you need to activate the screen, then slide your finger over it, and only then the camera unit will turn to recognize the owner. The process is long and multi-stage. It’s easier to use the fingerprint scanner on the back.

ASUS ZenFone 6

The device came to a test with a pre-sale version of the firmware, but already managed to get a software update that affected the camera. During the presentation of ASUS ZenFone 6, many noticed that 4K video is limited to 2 minutes. After the update, the time increased: 5 minutes for recording videos in 4K at 60 fps, and 10 for clips of ultra-high definition with a frequency of 30 frames per second.

ASUS ZenFone 6
Advantages of the ASUS ZenFone 6 camera interface: convenient positioning of elements and full manual mode

The gadget’s camera is represented by two modules: a 48-megapixel main one with an aperture of f / 1.79 and an ultra-wide-angle one, which boasts an impressive viewing angle of 125 °. Since advanced focusing technology is used, sharpness is induced almost instantly. Another plus: HDR + Enhanced mode, familiar to users of the GCam application. It greatly expands the dynamic range of images.

The tilt angle of the PTZ camera is easy to change to any convenient in the shooting process. This feature is useful for creating unusual angles, as in the examples below:

A swivel module and a wide-angle camera allow you to shoot from interesting angles, and HDR + extends the dynamic range
Shooting from asphalt is not difficult to use for photographing people, but because of the distortion of proportions, you should do this with caution
Mac fans will appreciate turning the camera to the desired angle using the volume keys – it’s more convenient to choose a shooting point than on any other phone

With good lighting, the gadget produces pictures with the right colors and good detail. It is worth noting the work of software: even without an additional lens, it is easy to take frames with blurring the background, and HDR + Enhanced will help out in contrasting light. In the dark, the flagship camera surrenders faster than many competitors. The situation is partially saved by a special night mode. The ASUS ZenFone 6 automation has a common drawback: it shoots with accurate color reproduction and sufficient clarity, but the level of digital noise is often higher than we would like. The wide-angle lens is inferior in quality to the main lens, but the 125 ° capture angle is well suited for photographing architecture and art experiments. Another device shoots macro perfectly.

The smartphone allows you to make good quality macro. Due to the active HDR +, the frame was bright and detailed
Daylight shot. The quality is good, the colors are right
HDR + fully reveals itself at dusk: it was possible to convey not only the saturated colors of sunset, but also to maintain quality in conditions of a fall in general illumination
The background blur is purely software, but it works well in public
The wide-angle lens has lower quality than the main camera, but with it you can capture many objects in the frame
An example of a shot on the main camera of ASUS ZenFone 6. The color rendition is correct, but the shadows and small details are worked out roughly
The same angle, shot with a wide-angle lens. The building fit in the frame almost entirely. Drop in sharpness with the naked eye
The picture was taken indoors on the main camera
Indoor shot example, wide-angle module
The skyscrapers of Moscow City have good detail, the shades of the sunset sky are correctly conveyed
A shot on a wide-angle lens looks interesting, the whole environment fit in the frame. Of the minuses – a noticeable decrease in detail and dynamic range
In difficult shooting conditions, camera automation tends to overestimate exposure: details are clearly visible, but there is a bit too much noise in the frame
If there is enough light, the pictures are of good quality and with the right color balance
The smartphone offers rich opportunities for portrait mode beauty. For example, you can not only soften the texture of the skin, but also lighten it
It’s not easy to find fault with the quality of self-portraits, because the main one acts as a selfie camera. Appearance decoration and background blur are activated in this image.
A wide-angle module is also available for selfies. The frame fits even a large company. Travelers will also like it – it’s easier to take pictures against the backdrop of attractions
At night, the smartphone is not easy: the lack of optical stabilization and the tendency of automation to overestimated ISO are affecting. The picture is lighter than it is, but there is a lot of digital noise.
Saves the night mode: the same angle, the same time, but the photo looks noticeably better than the previous one
The wide-angle lens can no longer cope with the night scenario: the sky is noisy, the sharpness and detail are lost
An example of using night mode on the main camera. Sharpness is a little excessive, but small details and inscriptions are clearly distinguishable

An example of recording 4K video at a frequency of 30 frames per second. The quality is good even indoors. Volume keys allow you to rotate the camera unit without moving the mobile phone. The chip is comfortable, sorry, the movement lacks smoothness – this is noticeable in the commercials.

Software stabilization works great in 4K with 60 fps, there is almost no jolting on the go.

There is never much autonomy

The impressive 5000 mAh battery is a significant advantage over the competition. On the other hand, an IPS matrix is installed, which on average consumes more power than OLED. But even with it, the device demonstrates excellent test results. Continuous scrolling of the video at 50% of the screen brightness lasted 19 and a half hours: the result is better than many of the flagships of this year. In games, the charge also goes away slowly, and in everyday use it is worth counting on two days of work without memory. It is customary to see such autonomy in budget devices with large batteries. For top models, this is the exception rather than the rule.

ASUS ZenFone 6

A large battery needs to be recharged longer. Perhaps this is the reason for ASUS to refuse wireless charging: to recharge 5000 mAh in this way, you will have to spend too much time. But with a complete adapter, full “recharge”, thanks to support for the Quick Charge 4.0 standard, takes only 2 hours and 10 minutes. Not as fast as other flagships, but you need to look for a socket less often.

All signs of a national flagship

New ASUS can be called one of the most practical flagships of recent times. Even despite the original camera mechanism, the reliability of which will be shown only by long-term operation. The smartphone is equipped with almost everything that has deprived buyers of top-end devices in recent years. There is an FM radio, which is rarely found in the middle peasants today. Stereo speakers are installed and the audio jack is saved – music lovers will appreciate it. No messing around with adapters or changing your favorite headphones. The sound is high-quality and surround, with a decent volume margin and good detail, as befits a gadget of this class. And when you are about to insert a SIM card into the device, you find another nice bonus: ZenFone 6 is equipped with a separate slot for two SIM and a memory card.

ASUS ZenFone 6

The mobile phone turned out massive: the case thickness is 9.1 mm, which is much more than the previous generation ZenFone. Weight is also serious – 190 grams. However, you forgive a lot for a smartphone, remembering about the capacity of the battery installed inside. An additional Smart Key button is located on the right side of the device. It is multitasking: you can call the Google Assistant or use it to take pictures after starting the camera. It is convenient, although the key is located slightly higher than we would like.

Another striking difference from other flagships: instead of AMOLED, an IPS screen with a resolution of Full HD + and a diagonal of 6.4 “is used. Of the minuses, we note not the highest contrast – this is especially noticeable in bright sunlight. There was also no place for the Always on Display chip There are also advantages to this solution: the color rendition is correct, you won’t have to feel discomfort due to the flicker characteristic of OLED panels, the display has an excellent oleophobic coating, and gloved control is turned on through the settings, which will be relevant in winter. ASUS ZenFone 6 is one of the few gih top-end smartphones for those who prefer the good old IPS with all its features.

ASUS ZenFone 6

Speed and power without compromise

The device is powered by the eight-core Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm’s most productive chipset to date. The test sample that came to us was equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory. It is expected that with this filling ZenFone 6 turned out to be one of the fastest and most powerful devices on the market. Benchmark results confirm this. AnTuTu even put the new product in first place among Android gadgets.

ASUS ZenFone 6

There are no questions with games either. During prolonged battles, the case heats up. However, a decrease in the speed of operation was not noticed. We talked about performance in a separate article .

Impressive and proprietary shell ZenUI 6 – lightweight, smooth and devoid of a bunch of pre-installed applications. Once the hallmark of the ZenFone family was considered an overloaded and heavyweight branded launcher, but in the past generation it was made friendly. And the current ZenUI 6 is as close as possible to the stock Android OS. Software like Facebook is easy to remove, the animation does not slow down, the interface is devoid of variegation and frills. Supporters of a clean system should like it.

ASUS ZenFone 6
ASUS ZenUI 6 signature shell design: simple, convenient and no frills


IPS, 6.4 “, Full HD +, 19.5: 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
8 GB
128 GB
48 MP (IMX 586, f / 1.79) + 13 MP (viewing angle 125 °)
5000 mAh
camera swivel module, capacious battery with support for quick charging Quick Charge 4.0, NFC, audio jack

Test results

385 358
3537 single-core
11,278 multi-core
up to 19.5 hours of video playback
ASUS ZenFone 6


While manufacturers compete on how to beautifully present and sell the next set of compromises at a higher price, ASUS just made ZenFone 6 – the most practical flagship of 2019. A capacious battery, a top filling, a triple slot for a SIM and a memory card, an audio jack, an IPS screen – you cannot find such a combination now. A rotary camera unit expands the possibilities for taking photos and videos. There were some minuses. The smartphone is quite voluminous and weighty. Not everyone will also like that IPS screen, not AMOLED. But this does not prevent the novelty from fighting for the title of “national flagship” .

recommended price
at the time of publication
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