The ASUS ZenFone 6 shoots 48MP selfies with no front camera and has a full frontal LCD with no bezel

May 16, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

The ASUS ZenFone 6 shoots 48MP selfies with no front camera and has a full frontal LCD with no bezel

May 16, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Maximising the front screen space on smartphones has been the goal of manufacturers for a while now. Starting with the iPhone X and its notch, other manufacturers followed suit. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Since then, manufacturers have been trying to come up with other ways to do it, ditching the notch completely.

The notch was almost a necessity, in a way, due to the front camera found in smartphones. The only real way to get rid of the notch is to get rid of the front camera, and that’s what ASUS has done with the newly announced ZenFone 6. It just has a 48-megapixel main camera and 13-megapixel secondary camera on the rear. You can still shoot selfies, though, because it flips up.

The launch event is still going on as I write this, so this is an article in progress as more information is announced. If you want to watch for yourself, here you go.

Update: The launch event has completed, but I’ll leave it embedded in case you want to watch the replay in full.

YouTube video

Other companies have tried to solve the screen space issue in the last year or two. Oppo, for example, introduced a retracting camera that slid up and down from the top of the phone. But ASUS’ solution seems much more logical to me.

For a start, there are fewer cameras to worry about, freeing up a little more space inside the phone for other goodies – like expanding the battery to 5,000mAh capacity. But having the rear camera flip to the front also means that you can get the same high resolution, dynamic range and quality that we expect from a rear smartphone camera these days. I know from my ZenFone 5, the rear cameras are much better quality than the front one.

So, that rear camera, at least the main one, will be a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor, with a 13-megapixel 125° super wide angle secondary camera. That 48-megapixel camera is gyro stabilised and supports 4K UHD (3840×2160) at up to 60 frames per second with 1080p at up to 240 frames per second.

The fingerprint scanner is also on the back, and like the ZenFone 5 (and not a certain other manufacturer’s phones) it’s a respectable distance from the cameras, so you shouldn’t accidentally cover those lenses in fingerprints.

Moving around to the front of the phone, as there’s no front camera, offers us a 6.4″ display with no bezel, a 92% screen-to-body ratio and a resolution of 2340×1080. It’s a 600nit IPS capacitive touchscreen LCD display offering 100% DCI-P3 and HDR10 colour and dynamic range.

Inside, the ASUS ZenFone 6 is powered by a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 running Android 9.0 (Pie) and ZenUI 6, with either 64 or 128GB storage and 6GB RAM or 256GB storage and 8GB ram – which will likely depend on the region you’re in.

Another development over the ZenFone 5 is that while the 5 is indeed a dual sim phone, the second sim card slot pulled double duty. You could either pop in a second sim and keep your phone on two networks or you could use that second slot for a microSD card, increasing your phone’s storage capacity. The ZenFone 6 has a triple slot tray, allowing for two sim cards and a microSD card at the same time. No more compromise.

The microSD card slot, according to the spec sheet I saw, says that it supports cards up to 1TB in capacity, although my ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 4 both list support for cards up to 2TB. Either way, it should support the new 1TB SanDisk Extreme A2 microSD cards that went on sale today.

A release date hasn’t been announced yet, but prices have – at least for Europe.

  • ASUS ZenFone 6 64GB/6GB RAM – €499
  • ASUS ZenFone 6 128GB/6GB RAM – €549
  • ASUS ZenFone 6 256GB / 8GB RAM – €599

You can see the complete specs and find out more on the ASUS website.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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8 responses to “The ASUS ZenFone 6 shoots 48MP selfies with no front camera and has a full frontal LCD with no bezel”

  1. Blake Barnhill Avatar
    Blake Barnhill

    batteries no diffrrent from zenfone 4max which i currently have an the camera quality is crap compared to whats on samsung galaxies

    1. Martin Roth Avatar
      Martin Roth

      I’m an iPhone user since Gen1 and even the iPhone cameras are a disgrace compared to the Galaxy 9 and 10.

    2. Blake Barnhill Avatar
      Blake Barnhill

      i had the s7 and 8+ before downgrading majorly to the zenfone4max i have now

    3. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      So, why did you switch? You’re comparing a low end entry level model vs a high end flagship.

      The “Max” bit in its name only referred to the battery life. Performance and features were cut back in order to achieve that. The ZenFone 4 was a more powerful and capable phone with better cameras than the ZenFone 4 Max, too. :)

    4. Blake Barnhill Avatar
      Blake Barnhill

      job loss so couldnt fund the monthly lease payment

  2. dsp4 Avatar
    dsp4

    Actually a great idea, and the price is palatable.

  3. Joe De Diego Avatar
    Joe De Diego

    Sony used to have rotating cameras on its cellphones, this is just the same old thing being rehashed.

    1. Frank Nazario Avatar
      Frank Nazario

      “rehashed” with a 48 megapixel setup and much better processing power … very nice :)