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The Asus ZenFone 6 Is A $500 Flagship With Snapdragon 855 And A Swivel Camera

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It's hard to stand out from the pack when everyone is practically doing the same thing.

This is probably why Asus decided to put something on its latest flagship not commonly found on most top-tier entries on the market right now.

The ZenFone 6 bears the usual suspects of a flagship-tier device: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip, aa nearly bezel-less display, up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to 256 GB of onboard storage that's expandable via a microSD card.

However, it costs far less than flagships go for these days at $500 against other manufacturers' $1,000+ price points. However, the price alone isn't what makes this phone special. The camera is also a highlight here, because unlike on most phones, it rotates to the front in selfie mode, then retracts on the back when shooting normally.

ZenFone 6 Camera

This solves two problems: selfies will always look extra great because they're taken with the main camera, and, unlike the just-announced OnePlus 7 Pro, there's no need for a separate popup module for selfies apart from the main sensors — it's all integrated, appears when needed, then hides when not.

Although some might consider it a gimmicky feature, it's still something not usually found on phones of this price range. For Asus, this is a shift in strategy. Whereas the ZenFone 5, as The Verge notes, was merely a blatant copycat of the iPhone X, the ZenFone 6 shows Asus thinking outside the box this time around. It needs to. The company seems determined to snatch its own niche in the mobile market instead of following the footsteps of either Samsung or Apple, at least in terms of design.

ZenFone 6 Specs And Price

The base model features 6 Gb of RAM and 64 GB of storage for $499, severely undercutting phones in the same price range without the latest Snapdragon chip. The thing that'll separate this phone from the rest, of course, is the camera. According to The Verge, the shooting capabilities are "actually pretty good." The flip cam, specifically, feels weird only at first but then stops feeling so the more it's used.

Asus put two lenses on this phone: a 48-megapixel main camera, and a 13-megapixel one for wide-angle shots, which can be used for taking selfies with a large group thanks to the flip mechanism. Alas, this still means there are moving parts underneath the phone, which could be a cause for concern since moving parts potentially break. To combat this, Asus developed an automated system that rotates back the lens if it detects the phone is dropped.

As for the software, Asus says the ZenFone 6 runs on what it calls is an "enhanced" version of stock Android, which is no small thing for Asus considering it's been one of the worst sinners when it comes to bloatware.

Other features include a dedicated key that defaults to Google Assistant, though it can be remapped to trigger some other functions. Asus has yet to announce a release date in the United States, but it should arrive over the next few weeks.

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