When I first got the opportunity to review the Zenfone 6 I decided to take up on the offer. Mainly because the fact that the only Asus product I owned and used was a 2012 Nexus 7. Remembering how good a device that I had high expectations for the Zenfone 6.
- Great battery life
- Great performance
- Brilliant camera
- No IP rating
- Questionable longevity of the camera module
Thanks to Asus for sending me the device out to review. They haven’t had any input into the review. They will only see this review.
As usual, I’ll get the specs out the way first.
- Snapdragon 855
- 6GB RAM
- 128GB Storage
- 6.4inch 1080×2340 pixels
- Android 9.0 (Pie), ZenUI 6
- 5000 mAh battery
- 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 13 MP, f/2.4, 11mm (ultrawide)
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 5.0
- USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
- Fingerprint scanner
When it comes to the unboxing, the Zenfone has a pretty common unboxing experience. Lifting the lid reveals a little cardboard box which houses all of the paperwork and various product stickers and a clear hardshell case.
Pulling that out of the way you’ll find the device itself. The first thing you’ll notice is the weight of the device. Pulling the little cover reveals the USB Type C cable and wall plug.
When it comes to the Z6 it again follows the trends of most phones on the market. Starting on the bottom of the device you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack, Type C port, microphone and the speaker. Up the left hand of the device you power button, volume rocker and a programmable button, which is something I never came to use. Heading to the right side you’ll find nothing but the SIM tray and micro SD card tray.
Round back you’ll find the camera assembly with a fingerprint scanner below it. Finally, around the front, you just find the display and the speaker above it.
When it comes to the camera you have the choice of the two wide and ultra-wide camera. Which can be used as a rear of front-facing camera thanks to the fact that it is is on a mechanical mechanism. As someone who is still using a Samsung Galaxy S8 that doesn’t have an ultra-wide camera, the fact I find myself going, dam I wished I had an ultrawide. I also found myself forgetting that I had one with me and spent most of my time just using the normal wide camera.
But sure enough, the Zenfone took some pretty good photos. Sure a few of them looked like they have a slight colour wash to them, but then again that’s nothing that a quick touch up in something like Snapseed won’t fix. To me, this is not an issue since that’s what I find myself doing with my S8. When it’s a clear sunny day, the camera really does shine. Personally, with these pictures I wouldn’t even throw them into Snapseed.
Coming to the video I can say that it looks pretty much how looked when I took clips. Filming on the wide-angle lens allows you to see plenty of what you are trying to film. Unlike most phones when you hit record it doesn’t zoom in. For the average user, the camera is more than capable enough.
In general use cases, the Z6 has no issues whatsoever. At no point did the phone ever hang during casual hours spent browsing through social media, endless hours of streaming and taking photos and videos. One of the things I did pick up on was when it came to the camera being flipped around. On one occasion it did refuse to flip up. However after a quick force close and reopen of the camera app all was resolved. My concern with not only the Z6, but any phone with a moving camera assembly, is the longevity of it. I noticed that there was a bit of play in the mechanism too. Whilst there is a button in the button shortcuts that allows you retract the unit, it’s still a bit off-putting for me that a new phone has this amount of play in it.
Battery & Benchmarks & Performance
When it comes to battery life the Z6 is packing a 5,000mAh which I can honestly say that this thing is an absolute tank. Initially I was just charging the device at the end of my night (I would say the end of my day, but I work nights). I was finishing with 30% mark but after I stopped doing that and just started charging it when it got low I was getting well over a days charge out of it. Now my workload is pretty light since it mostly involves streaming music, podcasts and video but even still my S8 would struggle. Even then it would say I’d have quite a bit of time left.
I then decided to try and hound the device with Call Of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9 and again I managed 14 hours of hard usage. At no point in any of the games did the device struggle.
I also decided to run GeekBench. On it’s single core test it scored 744 and multicore it scored 2715. Then in the compute test it scored 2215. Proving that the Z6 is no slouch.
To round it all nicely the Zenfone 6 is not a good looking device but has the hardware to go with it. The enormous 5000mAh battery means that you don’t find yourself struggling through the day. Pack in the Snapdragon 855 and you got the power to run even the most high-end mobile games with no hiccups whatsoever. It is safe to say that this is a flagship device and you can see where the £519 price tag comes from. Sure I have my doubts about the longevity of the camera assembly but that is something that I have with any moving parts. The other thing that lets it down is the fact that there is no IP rating.
Being someone who mounts their phone to their handlebars on their motorcycle this is a feature that I find myself needing. Also being 2019 I’d expect every flagship device to have.