Asus’ ZenFone 6 has top-notch specs and no notch, thanks to a flip-top camera

The Asus ZenFone 6 has been officially announced, and where the ZenFone 5 was basically a boring iPhone X clone, the new model is thinking outside the box, eliminating the top frame completely thanks to a completely wild rotating camera. 19659002] I mean, just look at this:



The whole phone also represents a change in the direction of Asus, which seems determined to carve out space in the phone instead of chasing Apple or Samsung, at least from a design perspective. Therefore, instead of an unsightly black bar or a strange hole drilled into the top of your phone, the entire front of the ZenFone 6 is just a perfect extension of the screen, which is quite large to see, although there is still a small bevel at the bottom.

More importantly, Asus keeps the price the same: the base model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage starts at $ 499, as does the less powerful ZenFone 5.


As for the camera, I could try it for a few days and it's pretty good. The camera that turns around may seem strange at first, especially with the strange sound effects that Asus has set by default (do not worry, you can turn it off, although the engine itself emits its own buzz), but it's actually a smart device. Solution to the bevel problem. It's a similar spirit to the Samsung Galaxy A80: why put a camera matrix a second worse on the front when you already have a much better on the back of the phone?

Asus offers two lenses: a 48-megapixel main camera and a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens that can be used for both group selfies and wide-angle shots (thanks to that spin system). Asus has incorporated a ton of engineering into the camera, which uses a custom stepper motor to rotate the lenses around 180 degrees, allowing it to function as a front or rear camera as needed. The housing of the camera is made of liquid metal to improve durability, although given the amount of moving parts here, there is still concern that things may go wrong over time. For its part, Asus has an automated system that will spin the lens back if it detects that the phone has fallen, but you should probably avoid doing so.


There are also some smart additions that involve the rotating camera. You can take panoramic shots (either vertical or horizontal) simply by holding the phone and letting the camera rotate, and there is a motion tracking mode for the video that allows the camera to move to keep the subject in the frame. Asus will also allow you to adjust the angle of the camera manually, allowing you to shoot with the lens at any point of the arc of rotation (in case you want to take pictures of the ceiling, I suppose).

Asus plans to sell three configurations of the ZenFone 6 model, from a storage option of 6GB RAM / 64GB for € 499 (approximately $ 557). The company also promises two options of greater specification, in addition to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

But despite the mid-range price, the specifications are on par with most Android flagships: there is a Snapdragon 855 processor, a Gorilla Glass 6 and an aluminum body, a massive 5,000 mAh battery , and the aforementioned screen without bevel and cameras with flip. There's even a 3.5mm headphone jack! The two big absences are wireless charging or water resistance, which seem to have been reduced to reach that low price.


As far as software is concerned, Asus has thankfully reduced most of its customization, so it calls it "Improved" Android stock version, which is much better than Asus' attempts over the years. There's also a dedicated "smart key" that uses Google Assistant by default, but it can be reassigned to enable do not disturb mode, take a screenshot, open the camera and more.

Asus still has to announce an exact release date or price for the ZenFone 6 in the US, but it should come at some point in the next few weeks, and when it does, between the creative design, the high-end specifications and the low price, it could be a pretty interesting addition for the Android market when it does.