Gear

ASUS Zenfone 6 flips smartphone camera design on its head

The latest smartphone from ASUS has some innovative new thinking when it comes to camera design. At first sight, the Zenfone 6 appears to simply feature a dual lens camera on the back(http://), but that’s only half the story. With a press of the device’s Smart Key and the voice command ‘Take a Selfie’ the same camera flips 180° to be front facing. And this isn’t its only party trick.

mlpw9nwsemjt15juzeva.jpg

The Zenfone 6’s camera is motorised so it can be front or back facing

Conventional smartphone camera design features a higher quality camera on the back and an inferior device on the front, but the Zenfone 6’s dual camera set up can be used both ways. That means you get to use the 48 megapixel main camera in either direction. The second camera captures a 13 megapixel image with a 125° field of view – equivalent to 11mm on a 35mm camera – and the two can be combined to give both a high quality and a wide view.

Those doubting the durability of the motorised mechanism will be reassured to hear that it’s made from amorphous alloy (liquid metal), which can be bent out of shape and still return to its original form, plus it’s claimed to be four times stronger and 20% lighter than stainless steel. ASUS says the 13-gear motor that flips the camera in just one second is good for at least 100,000 flips – the equivalent of taking 28 selfies a day for five years – and it also features a gyro sensor, which automatically retracts the camera if the device senses that it has been dropped.

n2exoqtky27qs4g9ux5p.jpg

The Android smartphone is available in black and silver finishes

The flip camera also has a free angle mode if you want to shoot with the camera held low or high, an assisted panorama function where it pans across the scene and can also be set to 90°, which should come in handy for candid street shots. The 90° options means it can also be placed on a flat surface such as a table or bench so there’s no need for a tripod.

The full range of camera and video functions are available irrespective of which way the camera is facing, including 4K video at 60P; a first for a smartphone. Even more impressive is the fact that this resolution is available with electronic image stabilisation, which is sure to prove popular with vloggers looking for the best possible image quality. Storage isn’t an issue as the Zenfone 6 has three cards slots, including one that supports microSD cards up to 2TB.

czyxtddqc8djgl2ghip7.jpg

ASUS’s Marcel Campos presented the camera’s capabilities at the launch

Naturally, the Zenfone 6 isn’t just about taking great images and video, it’s a highly capable Android smartphone too, with a 6.4-inch IPS screen, a 2.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU and a 5000mAh battery that’s claimed to deliver two days non-stop use.

Check out the full launch video below:

Relive the full Zenfone 6 launch in Valencia