The $500 ASUS Zenfone 6 is more exciting than the OnePlus 7 Pro


This week’s news was dominated by the OnePlus 7 Pro launch, but the new ASUS Zenfone 6 is actually a much more exciting device for those who are interested in a budget-friendly flagship smartphone. While ASUS still isn’t a big player in the Android smartphone space, the company’s been putting in a lot of hard work to appeal the Android enthusiasts by delivering incredibly powerful devices while also stripping down the software to give users a near-stock experience.

The new ASUS Zenfone 6 takes things two steps further, throwing in high-end main cameras with a flip-up mechanism which allows them to double as the front-facing cameras and by giving it a $500 sticker price. Since the new OnePlus 7 Pro is selling for $670, you might think that the Zenfone 6 has made a few compromises, but it really hasn’t. It packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM and 64G of storage, a 5,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0 support, dual-SIM plus microSD card support, and a 6.4-inch FHD+ display which stretches from edge-to-edge since there’s no front-facing camera to contend with. ASUS even found room to throw in a 3.5mm headphone and dual speakers as well.

For the camera setup, the Zenfone 6 is using the new 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor which is paired with an f/1.8 lens and a second 13MP sensor which is paired with an ultra-wide lens which gives you a 125-degree field of view. This combination is becoming pretty common these days, but since ASUS has incorporated the two camera sensors into a flip-up mechanism, this gives the Zenfone 6 a unique advantage when taking selfies since most devices use much smaller sensors for front-facing cameras which result in pretty bad images. The inclusion of the wide-angle lens also means that the Zenfone 6 will be able to replicate the selfie experience of the Pixel 3 which we absolutely adore. 

At launch, the device will be running on a stripped-down version of Android Pie, but the phone will be taking part in the Android Q Beta program and the company is planning to update the software to Android Q shortly after the official release in Q3.

To keep the price point of the Zenfone 6 in check, ASUS did have to omit wireless charging and an official IP dust and water resistance rating, but OnePlus has done the same on its new 7 Pro and no one seems to care. The company also opted for a standard capacitive fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, but we’re honestly perfectly happy with that choice.

The official retail launch date for the phone has yet to be set, but we’ve been told that you should be able to purchase the ASUS Zenfone 6 before we get into the second half of the year. Let us know your thoughts on this new device and unique form factor with its flip-up camera module. How do you think the ASUS Zenfone 6 compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro?

Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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