Asus Zenfone 6 hands-on: Camera innovation at its best

Asus Zenfone 6 hands-on: Camera innovation at its best

Taiwanese consumer electronics major Asus launched the new flagship phone Zenfone 6 on May 16.
Prior to the launch, Deccan Herald was invited to attend the pre-launch product briefing and I was allowed to play with it for a brief time and here's my initial impression on Asus Zenfone 6.
Asus Zenfone 6 flaunts true all-display screen with slim bezels on all sides and as you can see the cover picture, it has no notch in the front panel. 
So, where is the front camera? Well, Asus' ingenious engineers have incorporated a motorised flip camera, which makes the back-facing primary camera to flip up, to turn in to a selfie camera. With this, the Zenfone 6 owners are assured of high-quality images in whichever side they point the camera.

Asus Zenfone 6 comes with the dual 48MP flip camera; Picture credit: Rohit KVN/DH News Service

Though this technique has been used in a handful of phones in the past, the new Zenfone 6 is special in two aspects. One, the flip camera module is enclosed in the hardest metal used in a phone, which can sustain falls. Secondly, the company has incorporated smart sensors, which can intuitively sense that the phone is falling and retract to its original position.

I tried dropping the Zenfone 6 with selfie camera mode on at least from 1.5-to-1.0 meters above ground and it successfully retracted every time.

Asus Zenfone 6 flip camera in action;  Picture credit: Rohit KVN/DH News Service

As for the camera photo quality is concerned, the Zenfone 6 takes really nice quality pictures in bright sunny light, the controlled light environment in a room and even in the shadows, there was enough details captured. But, I couldn't check out how good it takes in the night. We'll know soon enough when it comes for the review to our office ahead of the launch in India.

Another interesting aspect of the flip camera is that it can sense the movement of the subject and automatically track him/her and follow up to 180-degree Field-of-View (FOV) while they walk during video recording. This works best when the stationary phone is placed horizontally on a tripod. It can also take panoramic view images both vertically and horizontally with less effort. It has a 270-degree FOV.

Asus Zenfone 6; Picture credit: Rohit KVN/DH News Service

Camera specs: 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.

Coming back to the display, Zenfone 6 sports a  6.46-inch Full HD+ NanoEdge IPS LCD panel with 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 600 nits brightness, HDR10 support and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6 shield. As said before, the company managed to utilize maximum space for functional display and has a 92-percent screen-to-body ratio. Users will have a good time watching high-resolution videos on the big screen.

Asus Zenfone 6 camera picture sample taken under controlled light condition;  Picture credit: Rohit KVN/DH News Service

On the back, it comes with metal shell with fingerprint sensor and glass on top which exudes premium feel and also the review unit midnight black looks classy. The only qualm is that it is a fingerprint magnet. 

Under-the-hood, it comes packed with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core, 6GB/8GB RAM (LPDDR4X), 64GB/128GB/256GB storage (UFS 2.1), Android Pie OS and a massive 5,000mAh battery, which can last close to two days under mixed usage. It also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.

Asus Zenfone 6 camera picture sample taken under indoor light condition;  Picture credit: Rohit KVN/DH News Service

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

Other stipulated features include three dedicated slots-- SIM 1 (nano)+ SIM 1 (nano) +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

The ASUS Zenfone 6 will be offered initially in select markets in three variants-- 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 256GB storage--for €499 (approx. $558 / Rs 39,120), €559( roughly $625 / Rs 43,823) and €599 (close to $669 / Rs 46,959), respectively. It will available in two colour options -- Midnight Black and Twilight Silver.

As of now, there is no official word on when Asus Zenfone 6 will be launched in India, but most likely to happen in a month. Stay tuned. 

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