Asus may be a household name in laptops and PCs, but its journey in smartphones has been rocky at best. The company has been a victim of overcrowding that the Indian smartphone market faces.

In many ways, the Asus 6Z is an effort at standing out and gaining the consumer’s attention. It sports almost every high-end spec that you can think of, and has a flip-up camera that literally screams for attention. People are bound to take notice of you every time you unlock it using face recognition or open the camera to take photos.

The Asus 6Z also sports the Snapdragon 855 chipset, the fastest mobile processor you can find today. It’s sufficiently fast for daily use, but there’s a noticeable difference in speed against a OnePlus 7. That’s because OnePlus’ software is better optimized.

In terms of speed, the 6Z is comparable to the OnePlus 7 and Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro (its major competitors). The OnePlus 7 is the smoothest phone to use on a day-to-day basis, but the other two don’t leave much room for complaints either.

That said, while the Asus 6Z has the most striking camera module among the three, it is also distinctly the weakest. It can click good photos in daylight and well-lit conditions, but struggles in low light. The wide angle camera is almost useless in low light settings, while the primary camera often struggles to deal with yellow or fluorescent lighting.

Your photos will be social media-ready, but the OnePlus 7 and Redmi K20 Pro will both click better pictures.

Asus also needs to work on how seamlessly the camera can move. The flip up camera module allows some very interesting use-cases. For instance, you can use the volume keys to pan the camera while shooting video, it can also lock-on to the subject and pan automatically, and so on.

These are indeed very useful and interesting features, except when you have to do them manually. The camera moves using the volume keys or the touchscreen camera flip button, and neither is a particularly seamless process. It’s difficult to get used to it, and easy to give up on.

The fact that this element of the camera isn’t seamless is disappointing because the features Asus has added are things many would find handy. For instance, the automatic panning feature will be perfect for influencers and YouTubers who shoot videos with phones. The camera can be set up on a tripod and it will move with the subject. Similarly, the 6Z can use the camera’s ability to move and shoot 360 degree panoramas—implying that the person shooting the photo can be part of it.

Essentially, while Asus’ flip-up camera module is an interesting addition to smartphones, the 6Z also shows that the feature needs polish. On its part, Asus also needs to modify its camera algorithms.

When Asus launched this phone, it was going up against the OnePlus 7 alone. However, Xiaomi has since entered its Redmi K20 Pro into the market. And, as with the Redmi, the Asus 6Z is an able alternative to the OnePlus 7. In fact, it’s best suited for those who find the Redmi K20 Pro too plain, or want their phone to be one of a kind (at least for now), with a flip-up camera.

The 8/256GB variant of this phone may be too expensive for some, but the 6/64GB variant is priced well, so as to provide the right value. If your budget is not constrained to below 30,000, the 6Z is worth a shot.

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