ASUS ZenFone 6 Hands-On, First Impressions
Officially launched a week ago, the ASUS ZenFone 6 (2019) is the company’s latest flagship smartphone that features an all-new camera mechanism. Now that we’re here in Taiwan, we had the opportunity to take look at this beautiful device along with the company’s 30th-anniversary phone variant. At the end of the day, it did not disappoint my expectations so let’s talk about it in detail on how it initially fared.
Comparing the 2019 version of the ZenFone 6 to its 2014 model, you’ll know that ASUS has come a long way in terms of designing their smartphones. Even the 2018 ZenFone 5 series is no match for this device’s new and more premium look. At the front panel, you’ll see an all-screen design that looks refreshing, given that the notched smartphones took the world by storm in 2018.
You’ll also notice that the device doesn’t have a front camera, but we’ll talk more about this in a bit. At the back, it looks very different from last year’s flagship ZenFone 5Z smartphone, however, this type of design resembles more of the ROG Phone due to its bright-colored logo at the middle.
The device has a 6.4-inch nano-edge IPS FHD+ display which looks pretty sexy thanks to its very slim bezels. The call speaker placed above the screen is somewhat the trend nowadays which seemed awkward at first but over time, I got used to it already.
Looking to the right will show you the usual power button – volume rocker pairing while above them is the smart key button that allows users to immediately access Google’s voice assistant by default. However, you can change how it functions in the Settings so it’s a pretty convenient button to use. Overall, all of them are clicky and feels good whenever I press them, but, the smart key placed way above the device made it awkward for me to reach it when holding the phone with only one hand.
The lone SIM tray sits on the left side, housing the dual-nano SIM card slots and a dedicated microSD card slot. I like how ASUS didn’t forget or intentionally remove the dedicated expandable storage which is mostly my minor issue with flagship smartphones.
At the top, you’ll see a component that seems to be movable in the middle while beside it is an antenna band and a noise-canceling microphone. That part is actually the 48MP + 13MP dual cameras that ASUS calls the Flip Cameras because aside from it being a rear camera, it also serves as your selfie shooter. This innovation isn’t actually new anymore as the Samsung Galaxy A80 that launched last month also has this feature. Their difference, however, is that the ZenFone 6 comes with more functions and use such as motion tracking and adjustable angles which is very useful if you want more convenience in shooting photos.
The bottom part has the typical components such as 3.5mm audio port, USB Type-C port, and main microphone. Two things worth mentioning here is that there’s a single antenna band located at the left part while this phone has stereo speakers with Audio Wizard, Hi-Res audio 192kHz/24-bit, and DTS:X Ultra support.
It’s somehow weird to see that the ZenFone 6 still comes with a physical rear fingerprint scanner because other flagship smartphones’ biometrics setup now uses in-display sensors. Regardless, the rectangular shaped scanner has a silver-colored matte design, making it stand out aside from the bright logo below.
As part of ASUS’ 30th anniversary, the company released the ZenFone 6 Edition 30 which comes with a very similar design as the ZenFone 5Z as the logo has been reverted back to its usual design. A cool-looking icon of ASUS’s 30th anniversary can also be found just below the logo, which looked like the Star Trek symbol at first glance — no offense, ASUS.
Overall, I really dig the ZenFone 6’s new look and design thanks to its all-screen setup and premium glass back with a bright-colored text embedded at the middle. At 190 grams, the device is relatively heavy, however, I didn’t feel much weight when holding it. I could have been used to carrying heavy smartphones but this one didn’t really have any discomfort in my hand. The only issue I have is that the glass back is a fingerprint mark and smudge magnet which is really annoying to clean every now and then.
Powering the ZenFone 6 is the latest chipset from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 855 and it’s paired with 6GB, 8GB, and 12GB (Edition 30) RAM variants, ZenUI 6 based on Android 9 Pie operating system, and 5,000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 technology. This may be a minor concern but given that it’s 2019 already, It’s a bummer to see that this phone doesn’t have reverse charging or even wireless charging. However, I am confident that this device will perform very well and execute any tasks such as multi-tasking, browsing, file transferring, and gaming with ease. With that said, I can’t wait to take it for a full spin so stay tuned for my full review in the coming days!
ASUS ZenFone 6 (ZS630KL) specs:
- 6.4-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ All-screen nano-edge IPS display @2340 x 1080px
- Corning Gorilla Glass 6
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 2.84GHz octa-core CPU
- Adreno 640 GPU
- 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X RAM
- 12GB (Edition 30) RAM
- 64GB/128GB/256GB UFS 2.1 storage
- 256GB (Edition 30) RAM
- expandable up to 2TB via micro SD card slot (dedicated)
- Dual-SIM slot
- 48MP f/1.79 Sony IMX586 PDAF + 13MP ultra-wide (125-degree) dual flip cameras w/ Laser autofocus, Dual LED flash, 90-degree flip support
- Macro mode, HDR+, Super Night mode, Portrait, Slow Motion (up to 480fps), Time Lapse, Pro Mode, Auto Panorama
- 4K 60fps video recording w/ EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization)
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 2×2 MIMO
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Dual 4G LTE Cat. 13
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS (Dual bands, L1+L5), GLONASS (G1), BDS (B1), GALILEO (Dual bands, E1+E5a), QZSS (Dual bands, L1+L5)
- USB Type-C
- Face Unlock
- Fingerprint scanner (rear-mounted)
- 3.5mm audio port
- Smart Key button
- Stereo Speakers, Audio Wizard, DTS:X Ultra
- 5-magnet speaker with dual NXP TFA9874
- Hi-Res audio 192kHz/24-bit
- FM Radio
- ZenUI 6 (Android 9 Pie)
- 5,000mAh battery w/ Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0 technology
- Midnight Black, Twilight Silver
- 159.1 x 75.44 x 8.4-9.1mm
Here are the prices of each variant:
- 6GB + 64GB – EUR 499 (~PHP 29,305)
- 6GB + 128GB – EUR 559 (~PHP 32,828)
- 8GB + 256GB – EUR 599 (~PHP 35,177)
- 12GB + 512GB (Edition 30) – No price yet