What would happen if ASUS were to try & create the Pocophone F1's spiritual successor / competitor? The answer is simply the Zenfone 6 / 6z / I01WD.
The Zenfone 6 will be referred to as the 6z.
The 6z feels like your everyday premium device - glass sandwich, heavy.
The top section houses the secondary mic, as well as a glance at that flippy camera.
USB-C charging port, speaker, headphone jack, & primary mic on the bottom corner,with the headphone jack at bottom-left corner. The jack's position isn't the best, but at least it's there.
Left section houses the volume & power buttons, as well as a "Smart" key that won't be used all that often (or at all).
Right section is home to the dual SIM + microSD tray. One thing to note is that the tray's attachment point is facing the back.
The front section merely holds the 6.4' 19.5:9 LCD & an earpiece grill at the top.
The back holds the cameras & fingerprint scanner. Said camera, which also takes a good chunk of the top portion, can flip forward for selfies (read : voluntary face surrendering) & also houses the earpiece / top speaker.
The 6z can also use screen protectors from Redmi K20 / Mi 9T (and their "pro" variants), as well as Mi Mix 3.
JerryRigEverything durability test video
The 6z has a bottom loudspeaker + earpiece stereo combo & a headphone jack.
The speaker quality is slightly better than the F1 (less highs), but also slightly quieter. As usual, the earpiece is somewhat drowned out by the loudspeaker.
If you have flashed a custom kernel (or enabled outdoor mode on stock OS), the speaker's sound changes. It's louder & bassier, at the cost of essentially removing nearly all presence the earpiece could offer.
The headphone jack quality is kinda passable. Loudness wise, it's in the "average" territory.
The 6.4' 19.5:9 LCD is one of the better LCD displays around. No notch, no punch hole, just some slight bezels & somewhat thicker bottom bezel bordering the good-looking display. There is some uneven backlighting on the bottom, though it's not as serious as the F1.
Bootloader unlock requires the latest UnlockTool from ASUS. It is a step forward from the Pocophone, as it doesn't require any kind of account. However, it has some flaws, such as:
Repair difficulty on the 6z is in line with most glass-backed PDAs, ignoring the stacked motherboards & camera + earpiece module combo & the back glass that's very hard to safely remove without damaging something, such as the button ribbon cable & the back glass itself. As a matter of fact, I lucked out on not cutting the button ribbon, despite the back glass getting utterly destroyed as I finally opened it up - the adhesive there is tougher than the one on V30.
Inside, everything seems modular, although once we reach the camera + earpiece, things get a bit dubious, as the camera + earpiece module doesn't use common connectors, & in some cases, such as JerryRigEverything's, the camera stops working after a reassembly. The USB-C port & the headphone jack is on the same board, forcing a replacement of both if either stops working.
JerryRigEverything's teardown video | PBKreviews' teardown video
Custom ROM availability on the 6z is pretty much none, save for OmniROM , with its last build being an unofficial GApps-infested A12 build. As for the kernel, Kirisakura was the last known holdout, with its last update in 20/2/2021.
Here are the horrible ones:
However, the 6z has a silver lining between these issues:
As much as I would like to not make any battery life claims, I am so impressed with the 6z's that I feel like I have to.
Had ASUS delayed the Zenfone 6 a bit & did some quality fixes while they're at it (improved QC, more motherboard testing, etc.), I'd give the 6z a truly glowing recommendation. They may have done this already, but there's no evading the fact that there's a 6z with faulty motherboard out there. So, if you really want to get the 6z (despite my recommendations against it of course), get them new & safeguarded with a warranty, test them for a while on stock ROM & locked bootloader for a while (in most cases, this allows you to keep the warranty, at the cost of privacy), in case any issues appear (so that you can hopefully take advantage of the warranty & get the 6z repaired / replaced for free at the very least), & flash it to your desires once you know that your 6z is mostly trouble-free (at this point, your warranty's over, but, assuming you have a problem-free 6z, this probably won't be an issue).
However, at this point, the 6z is pretty much dead in the water, with zero new development aside from OmniROM. So... if you have any lingering doubts about the 6z, don't bother getting it.Back to top