Asus ZenFone 6 hands-on

Nothing quite says 2014 when even budget devices start getting all comfy over in 'true' phablet zone, and the Asus ZenFone 6 is a perfect example. Slated for a release with a price tag of $199, this 6-incher is one big phone. Part of the aforementioned all new budget line of the Taiwanese manufacturer, the ZenFone 6 actually offers pretty high value for money, and that sure is its main weapon. We were at CES2014 when Asus introduced the new handset, and we got some quick one-on-one time. Here's what we found out.


The ZenFone 6 is the most 'premium' phone in Asus' new budget line, but it's definitely not because of its exterior. Don't get us wrong, as we already mentioned in our ZenFone 5 hands-on, we found ourselves appreciating the simplistic, but effective styling of the new series, and yet it's basically the exact same phone, just in different sizes. Regardless, we once again fell for the friendly touch of the soft-touch plastic on the rear of the ZenFone 6, though, admittedly, it's much less ergonomic due to its sheer size. On the plus side, Asus hasn't gone mental with the size of the bezels, and this actually is a fairly compact crack at the 6-inch format, especially considering the smartphone's price. Like the rest of the family, the ZenFone 6 is offered in a range of colors -- black, white, red and yellow -- plus, a number of stylish-looking covers. In all, Asus seems to be counting on extra sales of accessories in order to spice up what are likely some pretty low profit margins.


As you can imagine, the 6-inch display on the ZenFone 6 is its main highlight. We're looking at an IPS panel, which is always welcome, though its 720x1280 pixel resolution may prove a tad too low and blurry for a select few. Truthfully, a ppi of about 245 is certainly nothing to despair at -- it's still sufficiently sharp. Anyway, the inherent advantages of IPS panels are all present with the ZenFone 6 -- color reproduction is decent, and we don't have to constantly re-adjust our viewing angle in order to enjoy the screen.


The ZenFone 6 runs on Asus' new, proprietary ZenUI skin on top of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. ZenUI is Asus' idea of a simplified, easy-to-use interface, and we're mostly sold on the skin, at least for now. It's fairly neat, without needless bloat, though still appears fairly functional, at least from our cursory examination. Lastly, the Taiwan-based company has already promised that all ZenFone devices can expect an update to the newest Android 4.4 KitKat -- a major commitment -- one that customers will hold the company to.

Processor and memory

As the 'Intel inside' logo on the rear of the ZenFone 6 suggests, there's a 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 chip fitted inside. That one is from the now older generation of mobile Intel chipsets, though it proved capable enough to power through the UI without any visible stutters. 

In terms of memory, we've got 1GB of RAM on-board, though the size of the internal storage remains unknown at this point. In any case, we do know that there's a microSD slot available, good for up to 64GB on top of whatever Asus has seen fit to install (likely 4GB or 8GB).


The Asus ZenFone 6 carries the most potent shooter of all new ZenFone devices. We're talking a nicely-sounding 13-megapixel rear snapper with AutoFocus and an LED flash. Asus had little else to share about the camera hardware itself, though it did take the opportunity to play up its PixelMate camera software. PixelMate is supposed to come in handy, especially in low-light situations, though we'd prefer to wait this one out and judge for ourselves once and when we get our hands on the phone.

As per usual, there's a 2-megapixel camera at the front, good for video calls, but little else.


At $199, this is one heck of a device, especially for those that are after large-screened devices. We obviously weren't able to thoroughly test out the capabilities of the Asus ZenFone 6, though it goes without saying that this should prove to be one heck of a multimedia hog. Depending on where Asus markets these, demand could prove quite diverse -- Aian markets are considerably more receptive of the giant form-factor, whereas the western hemisphere is mostly happy with their 5-incher.

Related phones

ZenFone 6
  • Display 6.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Intel Atom, Dual-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(28h 3G talk time)



1. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

I hope this phone come to my country.

2. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I always wanted a giant HTC One V....

3. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

I can't choose between Mate2 and this :(

6. hurrycanger

Posts: 1773; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

the Mate 2 seems to be really good. I just don't know the price yet. If the Mate 2 is over $300, I would personally pick this Zen 6. It's quite a deal.

4. alextheZowner

Posts: 33; Member since: Jan 01, 2014

Wow 199$ and I thought it couldn't get any better then the Moto G.

7. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Just wait for the reviews. Just because it's bigger doesn't mean it'll be better than the Moto G. I have a Note 3 and a Moto G so I'm not some large phone hater. Honestly I'm amazed with how much I love the Moto G overall. It really is a great phone.

11. alextheZowner

Posts: 33; Member since: Jan 01, 2014

Is it really a good phone because I was thinking of getting one my current phone is a blackberry Z10 I went from Samsung galaxy SIII to this. I love Samsung phones but I just couldn't go with the S4 since I heard about the S5. I wanted to try something new so I went with this Z10 and it's an awesome phone the keyboard takes it all haha. The thing is that I miss a big screen phone the Z10 feels to small being at 4.3" and for 199$ for a 6" I'm sold I feel like if I went for the Moto G it will still feel small and I'm fond of big screen phones. Believe me if I wouldn't have waiting for CES I would be waiting on a moto g.

13. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

The Moto G is an EXCELLENT phone. However now I'm getting bitten by the huge cheap phone bug. I'm very strongly considering selling my Moto G and buying one of these Zenfone 6's when they come out.

5. alextheZowner

Posts: 33; Member since: Jan 01, 2014

I'm definitely waiting on this any idea on the release date.

8. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Is the bottom of the front real metal/aluminum or a faux look?

9. affandi

Posts: 85; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

Thick bezel and 720p, dead on arrival.

12. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

720p screen is not the problem but 1Gb RAM is.

14. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I don't think this phone will be DOA because the price point is insanely low. Could you imagine if they offered a GPE version of this for $199 and AT&T bands through the Play Store? OMG they'd sell a ton of these.

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