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Asus Zenfone 6 review

Andrew Williams

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Asus Zenfone 6
  • Asus Zenfone 6
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  • Asus Zenfone 6
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  • Asus Zenfone 6
  • Asus Zenfone 6
  • Asus Zenfone 6
  • Asus Zenfone 6
  • Asus Zenfone 6
  • Asus Zenfone 6

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Giant screen great for video and gaming
  • Decent performance
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Relatively low-res, slightly soft screen
  • Not small… obviously
  • No 4G

Key Features

  • 6-inch 1,280 x 720 pixel IPS screen
  • 16GB storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2GHz Intel Atom Z2580 CPU
  • Manufacturer: Asus
  • Review Price: £249.00

First reviewed 16th September, 2014

What is the Asus Zenfone 6?

Sporting a 6-inch screen, the Asus Zenfone 6 is the largest model in Asus’s new range of Zenfones – a set of handsets out to bring Asus phones to a mainstream audience. This rather marked step up in price from the Zenfone 5 will get you a bigger screen, and both a better processor and camera.

Although the diminutive Zenfone 4 was a big disappointment we are big fans of the Zenfone 5, and it’s great value from just £119 SIM-free. The Zenfone 6 is a trickier proposition as its increased size introduces some usability issues, and at £250 without 4G it’s a pretty hefty investment. But it’s ultimately a solid phone, and a good deal if you don’t mind having a brand on your phone that your friends might turn their noses up at.

SEE ALSO: Best Cheap Mobile Phones

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Asus Zenfone 6 – Design

Packing a 6-inch screen, the Asus Zenfone 6 was always going to be a handful – You can’t build a phone with a 6-inch screen and make it small.

As the score suggests, we quite like the Zenfone 6. Unless you have gigantic hands though the size is something you need to take in to account before buying. In order to hold the handset in one hand you need to grasp it at the very edges of your fingertips, leaving little space to manoeuvre it unless you bring your second hand into the equation.

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To limit the difficulties that arise from having such a large screen Asus could have trimmed the screen bezels down further, much like in the LG G3. Given its relatively recent beginnings in the mobile industry it’s difficult to be too harsh with Asus here, but sure enough the Zenfone 6 is sporting a width almost 6mm greater than the Galaxy Note 4. Yes, that phone has a slightly smaller 5.7-inch screen, but it’s one of the few genuinely desirable big-screen alternatives available.

Aside from the largely inescapable size issues (The Zenfone 6 also tops the scales at a rather hefty 196g) the Asus Zenfone 6 design is mostly a complete success. The look isn’t showy but has just enough little Asus inflections here to give the phone something bordering on an identity.

SEE ALSO: Best Android Phones

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You get a shiny bit of metal below the screen bearing a neat-looking finish of concentric circles - an Asus signature - a small Asus logo on back and front, and a simple, curved plastic rear.

In the Zenfone 5 we complained that the hardware soft keys looked a bit toy-like, a bit too large. However – strangely enough – they’re actually a bit smaller in this larger phone, giving them a more refined and sophisticated look.

The Zenfone 6’s design is not dynamic or particularly different. But from a company whose previous ‘phones’ like the Padfone 2 have been as ‘out there’ as the professor from Back to the Future, that’s no bad thing.

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We should also note that Asus has put some clear thought into making the Zenfone 6 as usable as it can be. Where in the Zenfone 5 the power button sits above the volume rocker, here it’s below, keeping it within reach of your thumb. It’s hardly a eureka moment, but it’s reassuring.

Build quality of the Zenfone 6 is commendable, even though the whole rear of the phone is a fairly standard moulded piece of plastic. It feels tough, there are no wide seams or creaky bits and the front of the phone is covered with Gorilla Glass 3.

This is the kind of toughened glass used in a great many high-end phones, and means you don’t really need a screen protector unless you really want to sell it on in perfect condition in a year or so. It’s highly scratch-resistant, and while it’s used in quite a lot of lower-cost phones these days – even the Motorola Moto E – it’s good to see Asus managed to fit such a large pane of the stuff into the budget.

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As well as looking and feeling really rather good, the Zenfone 6 is also a bit more flexible than an obvious rival on price, if not size: the Nexus 5. There’s a microSD card slot under that back cover, which is a great addition in a phone that really should be used as a little video buddy. If that isn't one of your primary considerations, why not get something smaller?

There are 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions of the Zenfone 6 in existence, but the one we get in the UK at present has 16GB. There’s no 4G option at the moment, though. Given the £249 price, this is an issue.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Fawad Raza

February 14, 2014, 12:04 pm

Hi,
Thanks, I am after a 6 inch Android tablet which will mainly be a e-reader, but want to go for Android tablets so I am not bound to Kindle alone. This is more of a Phablet so not what I was looking for. Thanks again for nice look into this.
Regards.

sharingan08 .

December 25, 2014, 3:59 pm

Actually Zenfone 6's battery sucks. I purchased Zenfone 6 yesterday and having problems with battery
charging time because it is takes 5 hours to charge it to full! I used
the original ASUS cable and wall charger also I've tried updating to the
latest firmware. I'm currently on Kit Kat 4.4.2.

Simon Garrad

January 16, 2015, 8:23 am

I bought an ASUS Zenfone 6 and after 2 weeks it began heating up like crazy, so hot I couldn't touch the camera lens! I brought it for repair and they said it wasn't covered by warranty! The heat had melted some glue that was on a sticker inside it and it looked like water damage. I managed to convince them and they repaired it. 2 weeks later I got it back, reset to factory settings. I set it all back up again only to find that the camera couldn't record videos longer than 5 seconds!

I tried to comment on Google Play on the camera app's page but it said that the app was not compatible with my device! I contacted ASUS about it and they said to factory reset my phone again! Because the internet is so slow at the moment where I live I decided to wait until it was repaired so I could quickly download my apps after the reset.

Then there was an update for the camera app that made it compatible again. Today there was another update for the camera app and this one got the video recording working again, but deleted 99% of the photos from the camera folder on my SD card!!!!! 100s of photos from a trip in Southeast Asia and from an old phone gone.

Buying this phone was 200 dollars of mistake.

Arundhati Roy

February 18, 2015, 9:32 am

I shelled around Rs 17,000 on this phone although the features and performance of this phone far exceeds the value provided at its price. The USP of this phone is its battery life which last longer than most of the phones available in the market. That’s the exact reason I brought this phone. Even if you have a phone with great graphics quality and its battery doesn’t last a day it would be a big turn off for me. Zenfone 6 battery lasts over a day even when I watch videos, do Wifi Browsing, play games and use it for calls. The 13MP camera is another great feature of this phone. I am obsessed with my phone.

Guest

April 4, 2015, 8:42 pm

I have used this phone a lot while I travel and I will say that it has been the best travel companion I ever had. Its battery last longer than most phones and the video playback quality makes me feel at home while I travel. I have captured a lot of my good memories with this phone.

anandan

December 18, 2015, 8:35 am

Zenfone 6 of Asus is a third rate phone. No one should buy this No service It get heated up and battery get discharged....No one should buy.

Buy the time tested system only not this

anandan

December 18, 2015, 8:37 am

I too agree. this is a third rate set and third rate service..

anandan

December 18, 2015, 8:38 am

this is a third rate set....You are lucky thats a;ll

anandan

December 18, 2015, 8:38 am

This is a third rate set. It get heated up and batter get dischaged. no service

FrozenStiff

February 19, 2016, 2:18 pm

Maybe you were just unlucky. One bad experience does not rate a bad review. I don't have one but I'm looking at getting one. For the price and a year warranty? Hells yes!

Worm

March 25, 2016, 12:11 am

I seldom use and charge only every 2-3 days since day 1 (8 months old). There are less than 10 external apps and all data, wifi, bluetooth always off with phone signal always strong (spare phone always at home). Recently my zenfone battery had expanded and caused the screen to be pop up because it is a design fault. The battery is installed in such a way that you have to send in to the service department to replace them. The costs is more than the phone itself. If your case like battery expanded, then it will cost you a bomb. This is a crap phone, cheap but bad quality like those China branded phones. All zenfones designs up to now are the same, no matter which model. If you email the service dept, they will say no idea on everything and you will have to send in to repair by a senior engineer. This also tells you that senior means high cost repairs. As compared to all the 6 Samsung smartphones I had, Asus battery need 2X frequency to charge. All the samsung, apple phones batteries last more than 2 years with heavy to medium usages and withstand 2X standby compared to this zenfone. Few samsung phones battery even exceeded 3 years life with medium usage.

anandan

April 26, 2016, 3:19 pm

Even now I say this is a third rate set. You should never buy. No good service, no proper reply. after paying 20000 i amm struggling. One day i will throw this in the Arabian sea

FrozenStiff

April 28, 2016, 11:10 am

Even now I say this. You were just unlucky. Thats all. One day I shall take pictures of the Salton Sea with it and enjoy.

anandan

April 29, 2016, 4:23 am

If you are paid for it then you can support them. Otherwise this is a third rate stuff with third rate support. Once I gave them for repair it took more than 15 days to return. they were telling spares not available. I told them in the present world with in 3 days you can get any spares from any where in the world. 2nd time them were confused about the alidity of the guarantee.
I still say this set can be used as a immerssion heater as it heated up very fast.
As I said earlier I will throw this in the arabian sea shortly

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