Asus have been upping their game since the launch of the ZenFone series and it is back with a bang with the all-new 6Z. Yes, this is the successor of ZenFone 5 but due to a legal dispute with Zen mobiles, it’ll be called Asus 6Z in India.
Asus has been in the budget premium smartphone game for quite a long now with the last one being the ZenFone 5 which was a tough competition for OnePlus 5T. The Asus 6Z is a beast of a phone and we will look at it in-depth right now.
The Asus 6Z starts at a mere INR 31,999 which is the 6GB RAM|64GB Storage variant, then comes the 6GB RAM|128GB Storage variant at INR 34,999 and lastly the 8GB RAM|256GB Storage variant at INR 40,000. As of now, it is only available in black color.
6Z comes in a stylish black box with the phone branding which includes a clear case with a cut-out for the flip camera, 18W charging brick with a Type-C cable, a pair of Asus earbuds which has become very rare these days, a sim ejector tool, user manual and the device itself.
Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box:
– Asus 6Z handset
– 18W charging brick
– Type-C cable
– Clear case with a cut-out for the flip camera
– Asus earbuds
– SIM ejector tool
Let’s see what the device packs in:
– Display: 6.40-inch IPS LCD Full HD+, 19:5:9 ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 6
– CPU & GPU: Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640
– RAM & Storage: 6GB/8GB, 64GB/128GB/256GB (Expandable upto 2TB with SD card)
– Rear Camera: 48MP F1.7 OIS+EIS, 13MP Ultra-wide sensor
– Selfie Camera: Same as above, as it flips to become the front camera
– Battery: 5000mAh capacity with quick charge 4.0 at 18W
– Security: Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
The Asus 6Z is designed to please the mind of all the generations. It has an infinity display with very slight bezels on the sides and a small chin at the bottom but there is no notch to be seen anywhere on the screen. The speaker grill for the earpiece is tiny to avoid any bezels.
Asus 6Z is made of glass, the back is Gorilla Glass 3 and the front is Gorilla Glass 6 being the latest. There is a speaker grill at the bottom with primary mic beside it, then there is the Type-C jack for charging then the 3.5mm headphone jack.
At the top, there is the secondary mic and nothing else. On one side, there is the SIM tray and on the other side, it houses the power button, volume rockers and a dedicated quick action button which can be used to do a number of things. Overall the device gives a premium look with the blue accents on the back and on the power button.
The customizable button defaults to Google Assistant and can be changed to take a screen-shot, open the camera, or change the sound-mode like the slider button on OnePlus but not exactly the same.
There’s merely one thing about the display that is odd is that it is an LCD display whereas all the other mid-range smartphones are using either AMOLED or OLED displays to get better black, brighter screen and longer screen on time which is not possible in an LCD display.
The brightness goes till only 600 nits, which isn’t the best when using the device outside as it requires more brightness in the sun.
Although due to the design it might be neglected that it only LCD display as the edges are rounded and the screen is bezel-less with no notches and a small LED notification light is also provided on the top corner without compromising the full-screen experience.
With the snapdragon 855 powering the 6Z backed up by mammoth RAM (6/8 GB) there is no point where it feels like that it needs more power. The device performs multitasking with ease and is great all through the day. No lag can be seen on the screen and there is a huge plus point in not having the notch is that the videos can be watched without the interruption of a lit dot on the top.
Unlike OnePlus, it also comes with its own boost mode “AI boost mode” which can be enabled automatically if the device thinks that the app requires more graphic power. It usually switches on while playing games like PUBG, which runs as smooth as on any other high-end phone. On paper, it is better than OnePlus 7 pro its main rival but while using, it doesn’t seem much of a difference.
Asus 6z runs on Android 9 with a layer of its own overlay UI. Asus still calls its Android software overlay ZenUI, but it’s way different to what it used to be a few generations ago. It has been stripped down considerably and now looks and functions pretty much just like stock Android 9.
Thankfully the lock screen is free of ads and curated content. The phone UI might look plain, but there are loads of customization options waiting to be discovered. For the home screen alone, you can ditch the app drawer, change the icon grid density, download new icon packs, lock apps with your fingerprint or face, and way more.
We really liked the ability to replace Android’s default notification dots with a notification count or an unread message count.
You can run two instances of several social and messaging apps; lock apps with a PIN, fingerprint or face; give the app switcher button a long-press function, and swap the navigation bar for either of two different gesture schemes. There are loads of gestures that you can set up, including taps and gestures that work with the phone in standby.
The Smart Key on the side can be customized with single-press, double-press, and long-press functions. By default, these call up Google Assistant, show contextual information, and let you press-to-talk to give it voice commands quickly (called walkie talkie mode). You can swap any or all of these functions for useful system-wide shortcuts such as taking a screenshot or activating DND.
There’re loads more to discover within the Settings app including screen recorder controls, a manual camera module retraction tool, OptiFlex which claims to speed up app launches by keeping them in RAM, and Game Genie, a game mode with the usual optimizations plus social media and streaming integrations.
There’s minimal bloatware other than Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, which can be removed. The few first-party apps that Asus does include — such as a voice recorder, calculator, and file manager — seemed pretty useful to us, but your mileage may vary.
If you don’t like them, you are out of luck as they cannot be uninstalled and can only be disabled. With that said, none of the apps spammed us with ads or promotional notifications, which seemed like a welcome change.
The main feature of this premium device is the dual-camera set-up. The rotating module contains a primary 48-megapixel camera, which is unsurprisingly built around the popular Sony IMX586 sensor. It delivers 12-megapixel images by default, using four pixels as one to maximize the amount of light captured.
This camera has an f/1.79 aperture. The secondary camera has a 13-megapixel sensor with a 125-degree field of view and automatic distortion correction.
Since this phone has no separate front-facing camera(s), you can take selfies at the same quality and with all the same settings you’d get when taking photos with the rear cameras. It also has a dual-LED flash, laser autofocus, and three-axis electronic image stabilization.
The primary camera supports an HDR+ Enhanced mode as well as AI scene detection. Video recording goes up to 4K 60fps with the main camera and 4K 30fps with the secondary one.
The camera assembly flips 180 degrees to become the front camera that way you get equally good selfies as well as wide-angle shot with the front-facing cameras.
The camera assembly can be controlled through volume buttons to set the angle according to your needs. It can also be used to take vertical panorama which is first in class and does make it easier for one to take panoramas as the camera does all the work and the clicks are pretty good. The module can also be rotated while shooting videos to maintain stability as well.
The photo quality is undoubtedly great and there is minimum to none graining in daylight pictures, but as for the night pictures the quality is not at all up to the mark which I am sure should get better with time.
Another option while taking videos is that motion tracking. If an object is selected then the camera will move accordingly with the movement of that object while the person does not need to move.
The 6z comes with a massive battery of 5,000mAh which in case of normal usage can last up to 15 hours easily and as for heavy usage, the screen on time can be 8 hours. It also uses algorithm-based battery optimization and that with time increase the time your battery lasts. It comes with 18W charger and supports quick charge 4.0 technology. Takes about 1 hour 20 mins to get fully charged.
The sound experience is also pretty good. The two speakers are not equally balanced but the sound is very loud and there’s minimal distortion. The bundled headset feels a little flimsy but it’s actually excellent in terms of sound quality. The Asus 6Z also supports high-res audio playback and DTS Headphone:X virtual 7.1 surround sound.
– Epic battery life which is massive at 5,000 mAh.
– Performance matches more expensive Android flagships.
– Innovative camera setup.
– Dedicated SD card slot; expandable up to 2TB.
– Having a huge battery adds to the weight.
– Although it’s amazing, it could have an AMOLED display instead of IPS LCD.
– The camera is mechanical which can create problems due to dust or water although Asus claims 1,00,000 times up and down of the mechanism.
– The motors in the camera do make a lot of noise which might get irritating.
To sum up all the things, this is one of the best phones by Asus as of now, the ZenFone 5 was a great device and 6Z does offer way more than its predecessor and doesn’t disappoint at all. The uniqueness of the device can be visually seen with the mechanical camera and a true full edge to edge experience the device has to offer. The main focus of the 6Z was its flip camera and for sure it is creating news with it. It can be moved with the volume rockers for adjusting the angle of the camera to get perfect seamless shots and the videos it takes is amazing as well.
With it having a flip camera, it also gives an opportunity to have a wide-angle selfie which for the Indian market is pretty good as people love clicking selfies. At a starting price of INR 31,999, it is a bang of a deal as 6Gigs of RAM is sufficient of users having medium usage and the device does have dedicated SD card slot which can go up to 2TB which is extremely amazing.