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Asus 6Z review: A great all-rounder in the premium segment

The flagship device comes with top of the line hardware — Snapdragon 855, 6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage and a 5,000mAh battery.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 24, 2019, 12.32 PM IST
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The 6Z features a unique motorised flip camera module, which means it uses the same two cameras for everything.
The 6Z features a unique motorised flip camera module, which means it uses the same two cameras for everything.
Price: Rs 31,999 (6/64GB), Rs 34,999 (6/128GB)
Rating: ****

Specifications: 6.39-inch FHD+ NanoEdge display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage (expandable, dedicated microSD slot), 48MP f1.8 + 13MP ultra wide motorised flip up dual camera, dual SIM slots, stereo speakers, dual band WiFi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, USB Type-C, 5,000mAh battery, Android 9.0, 190 grams

Pros: Gorgeous glass design, beautiful bezelless display, fantastic performance, great camera results, unique motorised flip camera, dedicated microSD slot, headphone jack, large battery with fast charge support, loud stereo speakers, customisable hardware smart key

Cons: Camera lacks OIS, slow processing time for portrait shots, camera module picks up scratches fast, vibration motor not up to the mark, back glass susceptible to scratches, no wireless charging, no official water resistance

Asus has is trying to gain market share in the mid-range (Zenfone Max Pro M1, Pro M2) and premium segment. Last year, they launched the Zenfone 5Z which competed with OnePlus 6T. Now it’s time for Asus 6Z — a direct competitor to the OnePlus 7 but at a slightly lower price.

The 6Z (the company has dropped the Zenfone name due to an ongoing lawsuit) looks and feels every bit the premium smartphone. It has a glass metal sandwich design with Gorilla Glass 6 up front and Gorilla Glass 3 on the back. The difference between these is apparent because the rear glass picks up scratches within just a week. There is a clear hard case included in the box though. We loved the hand feel of the device — the curved back panel fits well in the palm and the fingerprint scanner is ergonomically placed. On the right side you get the power, volume and an additional hardware key. This key can be customised to launch different things.

A physical key to launch frequently used apps is a handy feature. We also give it two thumbs up for the beautiful design.

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The camera manages to capture images with crisp details, rich colours and excellent dynamic range.

Next comes the 6.39-inch NanoEdge display that complements the design well. Asus has delivered a beautiful no notch screen (slim bezels, thin chin) which is a joy to use for all sorts of content as well as gaming. That being said, we feel some corners have been cut by using an LCD instead of AMOLED. It’s not a bad screen at all though: colours, contrast, sharpness and viewing angles are all on point! Brightness levels could have been a tad bit better though.

Camera is the other highlight of the device. The 6Z features a unique motorised flip camera module, which means it uses the same two cameras for everything. The module uses a stepper motor and the good thing is that its controllable, which means you can stop the camera at any angle. It also helps capture panoramas: the module moves smoothly and there is no need for you to move the camera for the perfect Panorama shot. It’s great to see Asus doing something different to stand out from the crowd. Trouble with this camera is that a lot of dust accumulates under the module and this could be a point of failure in the long run. The other issue is that the camera module protrudes a fair bit from the back panel and we saw several scratches on it after a week of use without a case.

In terms of sensors, it uses the popular 48MP IMX 586 sensor with phase detection and laser autofocus plus a 13MP ultra wide sensor. The lack of OIS is a big disappointment at this price. Thankfully, the camera manages to deliver great results be it daylight or lowlight. Images have crisp details, rich colours and excellent dynamic range. Portrait shots were amazing with excellent edge detection and good amount of bokeh effect. However, the camera took between 3-4 seconds to process the portrait shot which is odd — you have to wait till the processing is done before you can take the next shot. For low light there is a dedicated Super Night mode which helps get brighter images. Details are not as crisp but the images are good enough for social media. For video recording, it can capture 4K video at 60fps and also comes with a handy motion tracking feature which is great for shooting moving subjects like a baby or your pet without losing focus.

Being a flagship smartphone, you get top of the line hardware — Snapdragon 855, 6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage and a massive 5,000mAh battery. As expected, there was no issue running any app and games ran in highest graphic setting without a hitch. Battery life was fantastic — we regularly got close to two days on a single charge. There is also support for fast charging and an 18W charger is included in the box. Also, you get reverse charge option — you can charge other devices with an OTG cable/adapter.

On the software front, Asus 6Z comes with Android 9.0 and a nearly stock interface. There are a few handy additions in the software such as full system dark mode, screen recorder, AI boost, twin apps and game genie. Special mention to the new private listening feature using which you can interact with Google Assistant with the in-ear speaker instead of the loudspeaker — great when you are in a crowded place or when you don’t want everyone around to listen to answer to your queries from the assistant.

Not only has Asus managed to price the 6Z at a competitive price, they have also managed to fill it to the brim with features. It has features that a lot of flagship phones don’t (headphone jack, LED notification, dual SIM slot, dedicated microSD slot, stereo speakers, FM radio) and this is a big advantage for the 6Z.

However, there are a few things we didn’t like. First up is the weak vibration motor. We missed incoming calls on several occasions because of this. Next, there is no water resistance. Third, there is no clarity regarding security updates. At the time of review in July, the 6Z was still running the April security patch.

There are a lot of things that Asus gets right with 6Z making it a great all-rounder in the premium segment. The direct competition is obviously the OnePlus 7 which gives you an oled display, in-display fingerprint scanner and a zippy UI which gets regular updates.


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