Asus ditches the notch with a ‘flip’ camera on the Zenfone 6

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2019 07:13 PM

TAIPEI, Taiwan—Asus’ new flagship phone has an all-screen front, and the best selfie camera on any smartphone right now, according to a website that reviews photography equipment. 

The Taiwanese tech giant unveiled its flagship Zenfone 6, more than a week ahead of Taiwan’s Computex trade show. The Zenfone 6 drew long lines of tech journalists who were eager to see its “Flip Camera.” 

While Chinese rivals Oppo and Vivo slide and hide the front camera when it’s not in use, Asus made one of the more interesting solutions to the riddle of designing an all-screen smartphone while keeping the all-important selfie shooter. 

The Zenfone 6 doesn’t have a dedicated camera in front for selfies. Instead, its main camera module at the back flips outward to face the user when selfie mode is activated. 

This eliminates the need for a camera notch in front, which means the Zenfone’s 6.4-inch display is all screen. At the same time, this rotation of the camera module allows the same powerful photography hardware used to capture landscapes and sports for self-portraits.

The main module houses two cameras — a 48-megapixel shooter with an f1.8 lens and 26-mm focal length; and a 13MP shooter with an f2.4 aperture and a very wide 11-mm focal length. 

Asus’ new flagship also captures 4K video at 30 frames per second by default and full HD video at 240 fps. The tilt of the Zenfone 6’s Flip Cam can also be manually adjusted, which makes it easier for users to take shots and footage from different angles. 

Because of these features, photography website DxOMark gave the Zenfone 6 a selfie score of 98, the highest for any phone on the market right now. 

Asus also put top-of-the-line specs on its new flagship. The Zenfone 6 uses the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset with Adreno graphics, up to 8GB of memory, and up to 256GB of storage. 

The build quality is also excellent, with Gorilla Glass 6 on front and brushed metal at the back. 

The company seems to have also taken a cue from its line of Zenfone Max mid-tier phones that cater to people who want bigger batteries. The Zenfone 6 has a pretty big 5000 mAh battery. In comparison, most other flagships use 3,800 to 4,300 mAh batteries. 

Audiophiles who have already invested in high-end headphones will also be glad to know that the Zenfone 6 comes with a standard 3.5mm audio jack.

Asus did not say when the Zenfone 6 will be available in the Philippines or how much it would cost. 

A limited edition Zenfone 6 with 12GB of memory and 512GB of storage will also go on sale to mark Asus’ 30th anniversary.

The Zenfone 6 enters a brutally competitive smartphone market that, according to industry tracker IDC, has also declined 6.6 percent in the first quarter of the year.