Notches, hole-punches, but Asus baulks all smartphone selfie-camera trends we’ve grown oh-so-tired of. Instead, Asus uses a flipping mechanism to solve the issue that so many smartphones have gone to great lengths to resolve.
Flipping cameras are a practical solution for cameras – they allow the main camera units to be used for front- and rear-facing shoots. But they aren’t a new thing, with Oppo notably utilising this concept on its N series of smartphones.
Revealed at an event in Taipei ahead of its launch in Valencia, Spain, the Asus Zenfone 6 packs the full monty of incredible features expected from flagship devices in 2019. A huge screen, powerful processing, high-quality cameras, and – Asus’ speciality – battery life. We’ve seen the true potential of Asus in the mobile arena with the ROG Phone last year, and the Zenfone 6 continues on this trajectory.
On the front, the Zenfone 6 lacks any notches, divots or cut-outs. Instead, a 6.4-inch NanoEdge LCD screen delivers content in Full HD+ resolution. Powered on, the Zenfone 6 departs from notorious ZenUI, with a clean, almost stock Android aesthetic about it.
To deliver this fully-screen experience, Asus utilized a flipping mechanism to rotate the rear-facing cameras to a front-facing orientation. The camera array consists of a Sony IMX586 48-megapixel shooter, along with a 13-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera. This assembly tips vertically upwards on a mechanism of 13 gears, 17 power cables and 32 signal cables. This has been tested for durability to 15,000 cycles.
The flipping mechanism will work in conjunction with various sensors to ensure a safe, durable experience. For example, it will not actuate if the proximity sensors sense an object nearby, to prevent hairs being caught in the mechanism; the camera will also automatically flip closed when a drop is detected.
This 180-degree flipping motion also enables automatic panorama mode, and a motion-tracking feature that moves the camera automatically. Users can also control the degree of rotation with an on-screen slider and the volume keys.
The device is powered by a massive 5,000mAh battery, which explains its rather thick form factor at 9.1mm. There is no wireless charging, nor is there charging higher than 18W.
A 3.5mm audio jack still features on the phone, although Asus had to sacrifice an in-screen fingerprint reader to acommodate it and the larger battery, instead opting for a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
The Zenfone 6 is powered by the top-tier Snapdragon 855 processor, and packs 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of memory. It fits two SIM cards and a MicroSD card concurrently.