From thick bezels on all four sides of the screen to a completely borderless display, this evolution happened pretty quickly. While it started with a notch display, there are devices with pop-up camera modules and even a laser-cut hole in the display. Asus thought out-of-the-box and has completely done away with the front camera module. In fact, the dual rear camera setup can also handle selfies. To accomplish this, instead of placing the camera in the phone’s chassis, Asus opted for a motorized liquid metal mechanism that flips open 180 degrees for selfies and even when used for face unlock.
The Asuz 6z had a nice look and feel. The 6.4-inch bezel-less screen is clear and protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 6. Asus has used the Gorilla Glass 3 on the back and the rest of the chassis is metal. This is not a slim phone thanks to the motorized camera module and the 5000 mAh battery on board. In addition to regular customers, including fingerprint scanner on the back, there is a Smart Key on the right panel that can be pressed once for Google Assistant, twice for personal updates and hold to use Google Assistant Walkie-Talkie style. The volume control is placed on the right edge between the smart key and the power button. SIM tray is on the left panel while the Type-C charging port, speaker grill and audio port are on the bottom.
The only camera setup on the Asus 6z is the one with a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 main sensor and a 13-megapixel 125-degree ultrawide sensor. But images are captured at 12MP resolution by default, as it uses four pixels as one for capturing more light. All images taken on this phone, including selfies, are taken with this camera module itself. As soon as I click on the camera switch icon for the selfie, the camera flips open 180 degrees. It is a camera with a stepper motor. I was able to adjust the angle of the camera module by swiping up and down on the camera toggle icon in the app. This is useful when taking photos of tall buildings such as the Eiffel Tower. What impressed me the most was taking panoramic photos. While taking a panorama, the camera module moved automatically instead of moving the phone. It worked well for both horizontal and vertical panoramas. However, the coverage is not as good as that for panoramas taken on the iPhone. The photos taken with the dual camera setup were quite impressive in daylight, but there was some noise when used indoors or in a low-light environment. Different from the regular photo mode and selife mode, the 6z has motion tracking, slo-mo, time-lapse and night mode on board.
When I used the 6z for taking selfies, I was skeptical about damaging the module in case of accidental drop. Fortunately, there is a fall detection mechanism built into the 6z that instantly returns the camera to its default position, even if it detects a slight fall.
Clean UI, performance
The Asuz 6z is not on the Android One program, but the user interface comes very close to it. Fortunately, Asus has done away with most of the bloatware and unnecessary applications that hindered the past experience. The only set of pre-installed apps, aside from the Google apps and services, are Asus Data Transfer, Facebook, Instagram, and Gallery, just to name a few.
This may be a budget flagship, but it has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor on board. My review unit had 256 GB of internal storage with 8 GB of RAM. The performance was top class. Whether you’re surfing the web, playing games, streaming videos, handling emails and documentation, or using the innovative flip camera, there was no sign of lag or lag. The fingerprint scanner on the back is quick to unlock, as is the face unlock where the camera flips over, unlocks the phone and returns to its position.
Thanks to the motorized camera module, the battery drains quickly. Asus has considered the same when designing this phone, adding a 5000 mAh battery on board. This easily lasted over a day with still 30 percent juice on a single charge.
Asus 6z is known as Zenfone 6 in international markets. It had to rename the device to 6z after the Delhi Supreme Court banned the company from using ‘Zen’ or ‘Zenfone’ or similar brands on its products in India.
The new flagship from Taiwan-based Asus is quite an attractive device. It has just the right set of high-end specifications backed by impressive performance. It puts up a tough fight against the much-popular OnePlus 7 and is one of the most aggressively priced mid-budget flagship devices.
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