ASUS ZenFone 6 debuts with new 48MP Flip Camera

In pictures: Wacky ZenFone 6 designs left on ASUS's cutting room floor

The ASUS ZenFone 6 shoots 48MP selfies with no front camera and has a full frontal LCD with no bezel

Phones have gotten really weird, and today's launch of the Asus ZenFone 6 is no exception.

The fingerprint scanner is also on the back, and like the ZenFone 5 (and not a certain other manufacturer's phones) it's a respectable distance from the cameras, so you shouldn't accidentally cover those lenses in fingerprints.

The flip-up hardware acts as both the front and rear cameras.

One of the most fascinating prototype designs shows a removable, rotating module that would plug into the top of the phone, housing the camera and an OLED strip for showing signal data, time and other info. The smartphone thanks to its affordable pricing is set to compete with the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, rather than more premium flagships from Samsung and Apple. Otherwise, the bezels are pretty slim and Gorilla Glass 6 should provide ample protection from scratches. You also get stereo speakers, and praise be, a headphone jack and a notification LED. Other standout-specs of the ZenFone 6 are its; 6.4-inch edge-to-edge display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, a 5,000mAh battery, and the starting price of €499. The Asus ZenFone 6 wants to fix that, but Asus hasn't chosen a timid design for this new top-of-the-line mobile - the ZenFone 6 has a motorised flip camera, letting the main sensor take both "standard" and selfie photos, and video. That's all powered again by premier Qualcomm silicon - in this case, the brand new Snapdragon 855 system-on-chip.

The Zenfone 6 packs a huge 5000mAh battery which supports Quick Charge 4.0 via 18w fast charging adapter.

It also includes USB Type C, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 AC (Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth version 5.0 and Global Positioning System. However, when you invoke the front-facing camera, the entire camera assembly flips forward and sticks out from the top enabling it to capture selfies.

The most exciting feature, though, is the camera. It takes 12-megapixel photos by default, using a quad bayer array to exploit the extra pixels to improve dynamic range and image fidelity. I'll be able to make a better assessment once I've spent more time with the phone with its final firmware. This convenience also means that you don't need to precariously perch your phone on some object.

The flipping camera is made of "liquid metal" and automatically retracts if it detects a fall and has been tested to over 100,000 continuous flips.

Looking at the specs, we see the ASUS ZenFone 6 can rival the newly announced OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro that only have 3700mAh and 4000mAh batteries.

Amusingly, ASUS also makes a point about its software, which it claims to be nearly close to vanilla Android.

ASUS also confirmed that it was participating in the Android Beta Program and promised that Android Q and Android R - the two next versions of Android - will be coming to the device.

There's an accented power on/off button on the right edge along with volume rockers and a smart key.

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