While most of the media attention in India has been on the OnePlus 7 launched last week, another new flagship set to be launched soon, appears equally, if not more, promising. It’s the Asus Zenfone 6. This top-end smartphone by the Taiwanese company gets a notchless display, Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, 5000mAh battery with quick-charging ability, and a unique rotating flip camera.
Companies keep innovating to achieve the maximum display area on a smartphone, but on the top of the screen you just cannot escape the notch—the black void that houses a speaker, the front camera and certain sensors. You can, however, reduce its size.
Apple iPhone X has a noticeable notch. Huawei and OnePlus phones have a slightly wider notch. Some other phones have a water-drop notch—which is minimalistic and only houses the selfie camera. And then some companies, such as Oppo and Vivo, use motorised selfie cameras that, when not in use, are hidden inside the body.
Asus has found a unique way to do away with the space for the front camera, by using a rotating module that rotates upwards from the backside to the front, allowing the Zenfone 6 to have an edge-to-edge screen. So the rear camera also works as the front camera—and there is no need for either a notch or a punch-hole (like in the Samsung S10+) to house the front camera.
Asus calls it the world’s first controllable motorised camera system. It comprises a 48 mega-pixel main camera with IMX856 flagship Sony sensor, and the secondary camera is the ultrawide 13 mega-pixel.
Now, any motorised system has its limitations—moving parts tend to wear out over time, and their life can be further shortened by dust and grime—but Asus claims that this system has been tested to last over a lakh rotations, easily lasting a few years of average phone usage.
Other camera features include Super Night Mode for shooting in low-light conditions and Motion Tracking for shooting videos of moving objects without having to manually turn the camera towards the object. The flip camera senses the object, and as the object moves, the camera changes angles so that the object remains in the centre of the frame.
To be launched in a few days, we expect the Zenfone 6 will be priced in the `30,000-40,000 range.