Asus is not following the crowd with its newest smartphone, the Zenfone 6, which differs from the majority of flagship phones due to a clever motorized camera that sees the rear lenses also used for selfies, plus a massive 5,000mAh battery, and some strong technical specifications, too.
It’s the motorized camera module that will grab all the attention at first. The dual-lens array consists of a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 lens and a 13-megapixel wide-angle secondary lens, housed in a module which flips over from the back on to the top of the phone, ready to take great selfies. The module itself is fully geared, and can be stopped in any position, and even used to take automatic panorama shots. Asus has built in a tool so the unique module can be used to full effect in other camera apps like Instagram.
The use of the flip camera module means the screen does not have a notch in it. Instead, the almost bezel-less IPS LCD screen measures 6.4 inches and provides a 92% screen-to-body ratio. It’s covered in Gorilla Glass 6 for protection, but because of the camera system, the Zenfone 6 is not water resistant and doesn’t have an IP rating.
Asus has taken the rare decision to put a big 5,000mAh battery inside the Zenfone 6, which far exceeds capacity seen in other flagship smartphones out there, and is expected to return two days of use. It powers the Snapdragon 855 processor and 8GB of RAM, plus there is a hybrid SIM tray with space for two SIM cards and a MicroSD card too.
The operating system is Android 9.0 Pie, but with a new version of ZenUI over the top that very closely resembles the version of Android on the Pixel phones. Asus has added a few tweaks though, including a system-wide dark mode, and a special Smart Key on the side of the phone to interact with Google Assistant.
Unusual, fun, and definitely different to most other high-end smartphones out there, the Asus Zenfone 6 is available to buy in Europe now and the price starts at around $560. The phone will be released in the U.S. shortly.