The Zenfone 6, the largest phone yet in the Asus phone series, boasts some impressive figures. It has a 6-inch 1,280 x 720 pixel IPS screen with great possibilities for gaming and media consumption, has a fantastic battery life considering the activities preferred by the device and has a sleek, black design which matches the Asus brand image.
Asus have forsaken using the traditional ARM based Soc in preference for the less used intel Atom processor. This is the second handset we’ve tried that runs on the Atom (the previous being the Orange San Diego a couple of years ago) and we have to say, we are impressed by the performance in both processor hungry apps and battery.
Impressions start fantastically when you feast your eyes upon the box. A sleek, stylish design favouring a monochromic colour scheme shows off a scaled down image of the device with the default screen. It’s simple, yet effective, and really shows off once more the stylistic choice that an Asus device can be. The sleeve has an ‘intel Inside’ sticker on the top right corner, a main selling point of the device which makes it much more effective a tool for media consumption. When you pull out the main containing area of the box (The monochrome design makes up a sleeve) you are instantly greeted by the device itself, a tactic used by Samsung and effectively deployed here to show off what is actually a quite sleek design.
Almost entirely black, with a chrome ‘Asus’ logo, the phone gives off a superb first impression. Being a 6-inch phone, there is a preconceived notion that the device will be large in the hand. It definitely can’t be used in one hand, but the smooth surface of the back makes it very comfortable to sit in the palm of the hand. The phone has buttons on the right hand side for activating the device, mainly two volume controls and one power button.
The trio of stereotypical icons are used on the bottom of the phone to give a feel of normality, which is a nice touch. The ‘back’ button, ‘home’ button and ‘list’ button are present. When turning on the screen, you are greeted with a background deliberately made to show off the lovely resolution of the device, which works magnificently. The colours really pop out, and it’s a shame that this colour wasn’t emphasised on the monochromic design of the box. One of the main selling points for the phone is the resolution for gaming and watching videos, so the fact that the design is so downplayed on the box is interesting, but not necessarily bad. The stylish design of the box still puts it far above some of is competitors.
Although the Zenfone has a relatively high res 13mp rear camera, zooming in when taking a picture lead to some very grainy, dull pictures with little to know texture. The normal zoom is perfectly fine, but I would suggest it is serviceable. If you’re looking for a phone with an excellent camera, I’d suggest looking towards the Nokia devices for a more solid overall performance. Aside from this, the camera produces some lovely non zoomed shots from the ‘pixel master’ camera.
A point that I can thoroughly drive home, however, is the incredible nature of the media consumption. Videos are crisp and clear, making Netflix and Youtube a joy to watch. The larger nature of the screen gave me plenty of freedom to use it in a variety of places, such as the bed, sofa, desk and most importantly, toilet. The games are a testament to the intel chip inside the device, and the excellent quality of Asus’ track record with game playing devices. This coupled with the freedom of the Google Play store provides some incredible possibilities. You can emulate many old consoles, such as Gameboys, Nintendo Entertainment Systems and more with the store, so it can act for many as a handheld gaming device. Although one detraction from this is the sub-par speaker system, this can be combated by any good pair of headphones. When out and about, this is the perfect device, whether playing the older games or even some of the more challenging games on the store, such as the recently released “Spiderman Unlimited”.
For £250, you’re unlikely to find a phone that handles the simpler things in life so well. The device has a superb range of possibilities when it comes to videos, games, music and more. Although it lacks some more basic functionalities, such as 4G, it becomes apparent that this phone is built to make your usage a much more pleasurable, visually satisfying experience. And it works.