The Asus ZenFone 6 has formally been introduced, and the place the ZenFone 5 was mainly only a boring iPhone X clone, the brand new mannequin is considering means exterior the field, eliminating the highest bezel fully due to a very wild rotating digicam.
I imply, simply have a look at this factor:
The entire telephone additionally represents a shift in course for Asus, which appears decided to carve out its personal area of interest within the telephone area as an alternative of chasing Apple or Samsung, a minimum of from a design perspective. So, as an alternative of an ugly black bar or bizarre hole-punch dot on the high of your telephone, the entire entrance of the ZenFone 6 is only a seamless expanse of display screen, which is fairly nice to take a look at, though there may be nonetheless a small bezel on the underside.
More importantly, Asus is retaining the value the identical: the bottom mannequin with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage begins at $499, the identical because the much less highly effective ZenFone 5.
As for the digicam, I’ve been capable of strive it out for a couple of days, and it’s really fairly good. The flipping digicam could seem weird at first, particularly with the wacky sound results that Asus has set by default (don’t fear, you possibly can flip it off, though the motor itself provides off its personal whirring noise), nevertheless it’s really a wise answer to the bezel subject. It’s an analogous ethos to Samsung’s Galaxy A80 — why put a second worse digicam array on the entrance once you’ve already obtained a much better one on the again of the telephone?
Asus affords two lenses: a 48-megapixel foremost digicam and a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens that can be utilized each for group selfies and wide-angle pictures (due to that flip system). Asus has put a ton of engineering into the digicam, which makes use of a custom-made stepper motor to rotate the lenses round 180 levels, letting it work as both a front-facing or rear digicam as wanted. The digicam housing is made out of liquid steel for improved sturdiness, though given the variety of transferring elements right here, there may be nonetheless some concern that issues may go mistaken finally. For its half, Asus does have an automatic system that can rotate the lens again if it detects that you just’ve dropped the telephone, however you need to nonetheless in all probability keep away from doing that.
There are additionally some intelligent additions that contain the rotating digicam. You can take panorama pictures (both vertical or horizontal) by simply holding the telephone and letting the digicam rotate round, and there’s a motion-tracking mode for video that enables the digicam to maneuver to maintain a topic within the body. Asus additionally will allow you to modify the angle of the digicam manually, letting you shoot with the lens at any level on the arc of rotation (in case you wished to take footage of the ceiling, I suppose?).
Asus plans to promote three configurations of the ZenFone 6 mannequin, beginning at a 6GB RAM / 64GB storage choice for €499 (about $557). The firm is promising two higher-specced choices, too, topping out at 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
But regardless of the midrange value, the specs are on par with most Android flagships: there’s a Snapdragon 855 processor, a Gorilla Glass 6 and aluminum physique, an enormous 5,000mAh battery, and the aforementioned bezel-less show and flipping cameras. There’s even a 3.5mm headphone jack! The two huge absences are wi-fi charging or water resistance, which appear to have been lower to hit that low value level.
On the software program aspect, Asus has mercifully lower down most of its personal customization, for what it calls an “enhanced” model of inventory Android, which is significantly better than Asus’ makes an attempt over time. There’s additionally a devoted “smart key” that defaults to Google Assistant, however may be remapped to activate don’t disturb mode, take a display screen shot, open the digicam, and extra.
Asus has but to announce an actual launch date or value for the ZenFone 6 within the US, nevertheless it ought to arrive someday within the coming weeks. And when it does, between the inventive design, high-end specs, and low value level, it may very well be a reasonably fascinating addition to the Android market when it does.