Asus 6Z review: Good mix of camera innovation and power

Last week, Taiwanese consumer electronics major Asus unveiled the new flagship phone Asus 6Z in India.

The new Asus 6Z is the successor of the cost-effective flagship phone Zenfone 5Z. The has the company has incorporated a boatload of improvements in terms of design and internal hardware particularly the innovative camera in the new phone, and yet amazingly kept the price almost the same as the predecessor.

Having said that, India is a highly competitive smartphone market and Asus has its work cut out. Asus 6Z is locking horns with popular OnePlus 7 Pro, Oppo Reno 10X Zoom and even the powerful Apple iPhone XR, which recently got a massive price cut.

Prior to the launch, I had the opportunity to test the Asus 6Z and here's what I feel about the new marquee Android phone.

Design, build quality and display:
As I said in the first impression of the device, the company has done a marvelous job with Asus 6Z's design language. It has incorporated a motorised camera on the back, which can work both as a primary rear camera and also a selfie shooter, by flipping up with just a tap of an on-screen button.

Though it comes off as gimmicky, Asus 6Z makes full use of the flipping feature. It is the only phone which can take panoramic photos both vertical and horizontal. Furthermore, the motorised camera with motion tracking sensor can follow the subject and keep it at the center, at all time, to record video, which no other phone can boast off.

Asus 6Z back-side; picture credit: DH Photo/Rohit KVN

The proximity sensor is well tuned with the camera so that if it senses the phone is dropping, it intuitively retracts the camera back to its original position. When I tried manually holding on to the camera module while switching to rear-view mode, it just gave up. The motor is not that powerful and is quite understandable given the form factor. But, I was happy to note, it worked fine despite me trying to override the flip camera's movement. [Note of caution: Please do not intentionally physically touch and fidget with the flip-camera].

Asus 6Z's flip camera module; picture credit: DH Photo/Rohit KVN

Thanks to the new design, Asus 6Z offers a true full view display. It sports a 6.46-inch full HD+ NanoEdge IPS LCD screen and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6 shield. It comes with HDR 10 support, 600 nits brightness and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. I had a good time watching high-resolution videos on multimedia streaming apps and also playing graphics-intense games on it.

Asus 6Z houses Snapdragon 855 (with Adreno 640 GPU), Qualcomm's latest and most powerful chipset to date. It was all smooth working on the phone, be it app loading, switching between multiple apps, operating camera such as taking snaps, 4K video recording, and other power-intense stuff.

And, while playing graphics-intense Asphalt 9, Asus 6Z didn't show the slightest hint of lag-ness at any point of time. On Geekbench 4, it scored a healthy 3,479 and 11,083 points on single-core and multi-core tests.

Asphalt 9 game on Asus 6Z; picture credit: DH Photo/Rohit KVN

Even the ZenUI-based Android Pie interface is clutter-free and I had no issue finding a feature in the settings. It is very close to stock Android and there are some really good value-added features to boost the performance, stop battery draining and more. It is slated to get Android Q later this year and is certain to get the Android R in 2020.

Smart key on Asus 6Z; picture credit: DH Photo/Rohit KVN

What impressed me most is the smart button on the right side at the top. It can be customisable to offer multiple functionalities depending on the number of taps (maximum three). It makes so much easy to operate the phone.


Sample image captured via Asus 6Z camera; picture credit: DH Photo/Rohit KVN

As I have already written about the versatility of the flipping camera in the design segment, I will jump straight to the picture quality of the Asus 6Z camera. It takes quite a good sharp images under normal outdoor conditions. It retains natural colours of the flowers and even in the shadows, the details are captured and that impressed me a lot.

Sample image captured via Asus 6Z camera; picture credit: DH Photo/Rohit KVN

In the low-lit environment too, Asus 6Z  captures decent quality photos on par with rival brands in the same price segment.

Sample image captured via Asus 6Z camera; picture credit: DH Photo/Rohit KVN

As far as the selfies are concerned, Asus 6Z takes outstanding pictures and with customisable beauty features, you can adjust skin tone and do other stuff to make it more appealing to share them on social media channels. It is also capable of accommodating more people in a group selfies compared to other branded phones.

Sample image captured via Asus 6Z camera; picture credit: DH Photo/Rohit KVN

It comes with a 48MP with 1 /2-inch Sony IMX586 sensor, dual LED Flash, F1.79 aperture, 1, 0.8μm pixel size, Laser AF, Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), 13MPwith 125-degree ultra-wide lens, F2.4 aperture.

Battery life:
Asus 6Z houses a 5,000mAh battery, which no phone can match in flagship phone segment. With Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset onboard, Asus 6Z consistently offered one and half days of battery life. 
I played Asphalt 9 series gaming with Wi-Fi connection for 20 minutes and it lost only one-percent and that shows how power efficient the phone is. Asus 6Z has the best battery life among all the rivals in the market.

Final thoughts:

Asus Zenfone 5Z was one most under-rated flagship in 2015. It had latest and powerful hardware with affordable pricing and to me, the Zenfone 5Z was deservedly the true flagship killer phone compared to others last year. And now, its successor Asus 6Z has gone several notches up in terms of hardware and design and yet costs almost the same as the predecessor.

There is a handful of phones in the market with a motorised pop-up camera, but none can offer a unique experience as the Asus 6Z does. It makes the best use of the rotating camera to get finest vertical panoramic images, which no rival can boast off. And also, motion tracking is just genius.

It also has the most powerful processor for the Android phone and is backed by a massive cell, that can offer you two days of battery life under mixed usage. 
Asus 6Z has everything a flagship phone should have, if not more and it doesn't cost you a bomb. 

Asus 6Z comes in three variants-- 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM +128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 256GB storage-- for Rs 31,999, Rs 34,999, and Rs 39,999, respectively on Flipkart.

Exceptionally versatile camera
Powerful processor
It has the best battery life among all the rivals in the market
Clutter-free interface
Three dedicated slots, two for the SIMs and one for the microSD card
In the motion tracking video recording session, the motor sound is a bit annoying. This is not a deal breaker at all, as this can be fixed with a software update.

Key specifications of Asus 6Z:
Display: 6.46-inch full HD+ NanoEdge IPS LCD with HDR 10 support, 600 nits brightness, 19.5:9 aspect ratio with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 shield

OS: Android 9 Pie

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (1 x 2.84GHz Kryo 485 + 3 x 2.42GHz Kryo 485 + 4x 1.80GHz Kryo 485) with Adreno 640 GPU

RAM (LPDDR4X) + Storage (UFS 2.1): 6GB RAM + 64GB storage/6GB RAM + 128GB storage/ 8GB RAM + 256GB storage

Primary camera: 48MP with 1 /2-inch Sony IMX586 sensor, dual LED Flash, F1.79 aperture, 1, 0.8μm pixel size, Laser AF, Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), 13MPwith 125-degree ultra-wide lens, F2.4 aperture.

Battery: 5,000mAh with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4

Add-ons:  Dual-SIM slots (SIM 1 + SIM 2), dedicated microSD card (+ 1TB storage), Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (dual-band: 2.4GHz & 5GHz), 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type C port, FM radio, two microphones, 5-magnet stereo speaker, dual NXP TFA9874 smartamp and GPS/GLONASS. 

Dimensions & weight:159.1 x 75.4 x 9.2 mm & 190g

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