Mobiles & Tablets

Is bigger always better?

Updated on: Nov 05, 2014
BL06_Zenfon600_2.jpg

BL06_Zenfon600_2.jpg

BL06_Zenfon600_1.jpg

BL06_Zenfon600_1.jpg

We find out what living with the Asus Zenfone 6 feels like.

Asus made a rather grand entry in the Indian smartphone market with three devices, the most noticeable (and appreciated) one being the Zenfone 5. Until Motorala bettered its Moto G with the second generation, the Asus Zenfone 5 was one device which could be called a worthy opponent for the first gen Moto G. And even now, thanks to lower prices on e-retail websites, we would still recommend the Zenfone 5 to users who want lag-free performance, good design and durability on a budget.

So is a bigger version of the same phone, which is essentially right up the phablet segment, but at a killer price tag, good enough to whet our big-screen appetite?

Design and build

In terms of design, the Zenfone 6 looks just like the Zenfone 5. Except, obviously, for the fact that it comes with a 6-inch IPS panel instead of 5.

But the most important thing to look for in a smartphone that’s this big is the ergonomics. And that, we are pleased to say, Asus has gotten right. The phone comes with a curved back and relatively slim edges, so one-handed usage gets a very comfy hold. The build is that of matte plastic which helps give a more solid grip. The buttons too are placed on one side in such a way that reachability is never a problem.

Sure, the bezels above and below the screen could have been a bit slimmer, maybe as much as the side bezels are, but then the height isn’t really much of an issue unless you ride a motorcycle with the phone in your jeans’ pocket. Otherwise, the build quality is sturdy and with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the fascia, you don’t have to worry much about scratches.

Specs and performance

On the inside, the Zenfone 6 carries more or less the same components as the Zenfone 5. It comes with the same 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core processor with 2GB of RAM, and the performance is quite impressive. Using it for everyday smartphone purposes is a breeze. But it does show some lag while playing heavy games such as Asphalt 8.

And the disappointment pops up in form of the screen resolution – we’re happy with the brightness and display angles, but on a 6-inch screen, we would have loved to see a 1080p resolution, instead of the 720p one. After all, the point of a big-screened smartphone is a great viewing experience. Thankfully, the speakers are pretty good.

The camera isn’t too great either. The 13MP rear shooter has standard daylight results, but low-light images are too disappointing. The images are noisy, blurred and lack details. The single-LED flash also doesn’t help too much as it tends to reduce the colour temperature a lot. The 3,300mAh battery, however, is great. We could squeeze out a day and a half on our standard usage patterns, which we follow on all smartphones.

The biggest bummer, however, is that there are no compelling dedicated phablet features on the Zenfone 6. We tried out the one feature that Asus has talked about, that is using any pencil or pen as a stylus, but it usually has lags and the angle needs to be spot on, otherwise it doesn’t work that efficiently.

Verdict

If you love big screens, and would like a dual-SIM phone at a budget, the Zenfone 6 does make a strong case for consideration. The battery is great and so is the performance. Only, you shouldn’t be too particular about resolution. Also, we would have loved it if Asus had packed in some more phablet features for productivity. The harmony, that it says the phone creates between productivity and entertainment, doesn’t sound that good.

₹16,999

Love – Build and ergonomics; Battery

Hate – Camera; Display resolution

Published on November 25, 2017

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