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Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG Smartphone Review

Michael Moser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 10/25/2014

Design for a small price. This was Asus' goal for the Zenfone 6, a 6-inch phablet with HD resolution, bright IPS touchscreen, a powerful Intel Atom dual-core SoC, as well as 16 GB flash storage for a fair price of 279 Euros (~$353, RRP). The combination looks promising.

For the original German review, see here.

Asus already sells a couple of smartphones, and some of them in the lower price range, where it is not so easy to attract attention. Because of this, the developers from Asus tried to make the Zenfone 6 unique, which was a success. The phablet is available in the four colors of red, black, gold and white, and has already obtained the prestigious Red Dot Design award. But the manufacturer also includes powerful components: Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core processor clocked at 2.0 GHz, 2 GB of memory, and integrated PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU – this suggests a decent performance. Furthermore, you get 16 GB of internal storage, a microSD slot for cards with up to 64 GB, as well as an IPS+ display with HD resolution.

This means the Asus Zenfone 6 is a direct competitor for the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6Acer Liquid S1HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab, and Huawei Ascend Mate.

Case

Asus Zenfone 6: Sturdy and well-built.
Asus Zenfone 6: Sturdy and well-built.

The detachable back cover of the Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG is made of matte red polycarbonate. The rest of the case is made of black plastic, and the display is covered with sturdy Gorilla Glass 3. The matte plastic at the back makes the smartphone very easy to hold, and thanks to the slight curve at the back, it also feels very good in the hand and does not really attract fingerprints. With a thickness of 9.9 mm (~0.39 inches), and a weight of 200 grams (~7 ounces), the Zenfone 6 is not really compact enough for a smartphone, but it is still decent for a 6-inch phablet. This impression is also supported by the comparison with its rivals. Our review sample is well-built, and has even gaps. Our pressure test does not result in creaking sounds, and the twisting is still acceptable. We also liked the volume rocker and the power button that are made of ribbed aluminum. Only drawback: The back cover is very firm, which increases the stability of the case, but it is also pretty tough to remove.

166.9 mm / 6.57 inch 84.3 mm / 3.32 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 200 g0.4409 lbs164.8 mm / 6.49 inch 88.8 mm / 3.5 inch 10.3 mm / 0.4055 inch 214 g0.4718 lbs165.1 mm / 6.5 inch 83.2 mm / 3.28 inch 8.98 mm / 0.3535 inch 160 g0.3527 lbs163.5 mm / 6.44 inch 85.7 mm / 3.37 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 200 g0.4409 lbs163 mm / 6.42 inch 83 mm / 3.27 inch 9.6 mm / 0.378 inch 195 g0.4299 lbs

Connectivity

Asus equips the Zenfone 6 A600CG with a frugal Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core processor clocked at 2.0 GHz as well as the integrated PowerVR SGX544MP2 and 2 GB of memory. The internal flash storage has a capacity of 16 GB with around 12 GB for the user. The internal storage can be expanded with microSD cards up to a capacity of  64 GB. Asus also includes 5 GB of its own web storage. The App2SD feature works with the majority of apps. The two micro SIM slots support 3G/UMTS. Unfortunately LTE is not included, even though other rivals in this price range offer 4G functionality. The micro SIM slots as well as the microSD slot are behind the detachable back cover. The mandatory micro USB 2.0 slot, and the 3.5 mm stereo jack are obviously available as well. The physical power button and volume rocker work reliably and have a convenient position.

Top: Stereo jack, microphone
Top: Stereo jack, microphone
Left side: Indentation to open the case
Left side: Indentation to open the case
Bottom: Microphone, micro USB
Bottom: Microphone, micro USB
Right side: Volume rocker, power button
Right side: Volume rocker, power button
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Software

The operating system of the Zenfone 6 is Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. An update to the current Android 4.4 KitKat is already announced and should be available shortly after the launch. The operating system was once again adjusted by Asus with its ZenUI. This allows an intuitive handling, and a nice user interface. Important functions like the WLAN and GPS settings, Bluetooth or energy-saving features, as well as intelligent applications like a universal messaging app or a simple storage manager confirm this. Asus also installs some useful apps such as Google Chrome, Kindle from Amazon, Facebook or the usual Google package, and there is hardly any annoying bloatware.

GPS Test
GPS Test

Communication & GPS 

Our review unit supports wireless networks according to WLAN 802.11b/g/n, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR. Mobile web browsing is fast enough thanks to UMTS/3G.

The wireless signal is very good, the Asus Zenfone 6 was able to maintain a stable connection to the router from a distance of around 10 meters (~33 ft), and through several walls. Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and the dual-SIM functionality ensure flexibility on the road. Our review unit also supports quad-band UMTS (850/900/1900/2100 MHz) with HSPA+ and maximum transfer rates (download/upload) of 42 Mbps/5.76 Mbps. The A-GPS module works just as reliably, and quickly connects with a couple of satellites in the app GPS Test. Our navigation comparison with the Garmin Edge 500 shows a decent performance for the Zenfone 6. There are only some deviations in more complex areas like the forest section or the winding track, but the overall difference compared to the professional device is very small.

Asus Zenfone 6 Complete
Asus Zenfone 6 Complete
Asus Zenfone 6 Bridge
Asus Zenfone 6 Bridge
Asus Zenfone 6 Forest
Asus Zenfone 6 Forest
Garmin Edge 500 Complete
Garmin Edge 500 Complete
Garmin Edge 500 Bridge
Garmin Edge 500 Bridge
Garmin Edge 500 Forest
Garmin Edge 500 Forest
Phone App
Phone App
SmartDial
SmartDial

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

The phone app was slightly adjusted and scores with a good multi-SIM integration. The user gets numerous settings for every SIM card, which means you can, for example, use different SIM cards for private and business calls or use an additional less expensive data plan. The sound and voice quality during calls was very good in our review, which is also confirmed by the call recipient. The hands-free feature is loud enough to enable conversation in noisier environments.

Cameras & Multimedia

The Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG has a main camera with 13.0 megapixels including auto-focus and LED flash, as well as a 2 megapixels webcam. The main camera records videos with 1080p/30fps. While the camera at the back can reproduce decent sharpness and good colors in good lighting conditions, we are pretty disappointed with the front camera. Despite the comparatively high resolution, the pictures are blurry and the colors are distorted. At least the main camera does a decent job in a direct comparison.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories

As well as the standard accessories like the modular power adaptor with a USB cable, a quick-start guide, and some warranty information, the box of the Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG also contains a decent in-ear headset with several adaptors. Asus also offers optional accessories like the Asus View Flip Cover with view on important information on the screen for around 30 Euros (~$38) in the colors white, black and red.

Warranty

Asus offers a 24-month warranty for the Zenfone 6 A600CG.

Input Devices & Handling

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode

The smartphone quickly executes any inputs, it does not matter if you use the three Android soft-touch buttons at the bottom of the display, or the capacitive touchscreen. The automatic screen rotation reacts quickly too. The IPS+ screen enables precise control of applications and menus. The virtual QWERTZ keyboard occupies around 50% of the display in portrait mode, and around two thirds in landscape mode. This means you would not see a whole lot from the actual display content, however, the typing is pretty comfortable.

Display

Asus Zenfone 6: IPS+ display with 1280 x 720 pixels
Asus Zenfone 6: IPS+ display with 1280 x 720 pixels

The 6-inch display has the HD resolution of 1280x800 pixels, which is on par with the competition, only the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 uses a Full HD screen. The picture is satisfactory with high sharpness and rich colors. An average brightness of 359.7 cd/m² is sufficient for almost every scenario. Still, the rivals are clearly ahead with 412 up to 470 cd/m². The maximum value of 385 cd/m² of our review sample does not break any records, either.

333
cd/m²
359
cd/m²
375
cd/m²
346
cd/m²
372
cd/m²
385
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
363
cd/m²
368
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 385 cd/m² Average: 359.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 372 cd/m²
Contrast: 845:1 (Black: 0.44 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.7 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 5.97 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.94

With a pretty even brightness distribution of 86%, the Asus Zenfone 6 is on par with its rivals. However, our review sample can surpass the majority of competitors with a contrast of 845:1 and a black value of 0.44 cd/m². Only the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 is superior.

Our CalMAN measurements show a clear deviation of blue and red in the Color Management, the DeltaE of 5.7 is slightly raised. Color Management and Color Checker also reveal a slightly too low color brightness, which is indicated by the refresh colors in the Target column. Overall, the color accuracy is decent. The grayscale reveals a visible blue cast, starting at the center scale. Both the gamma of 2.94 and the DeltaE of 5.97 are slightly raised, but actually not far away from the ideal values. The average color temperature of 7,286 K is not as close to the ideal value of 6,500 K. Still: These deviations are not visible during everyday use, the color representation of the display is very good – especially when you consider the low price of the device.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Color Management
Color Management
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
Grayscale
Grayscale

Maximum 385 cd/m² are indeed bright enough for outdoor use, but the highly reflective Gorilla Glass 3-surface  throws a small spanner in the works. Outdoor use is possible if direct exposure to light can be avoided.

Thanks to the IPS+ HD technology, the display offers very wide viewing angles. We can only see small deviations with very extreme and impractical angles.

Outdoors under direct sunlight...
Outdoors under direct sunlight...
...and in the shade.
...and in the shade.
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Asus uses a frugal Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core processor clocked at 2.0 GHz for the Zenfone 6 A600CG. The PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU is integrated into the SoC. The team is supported by a generous 2 GB of memory. This SoC is still a very fast chip and always provides sufficient performance, so current apps should not be a problem.

This is also confirmed by our synthetic benchmarks: The Asus Zenfone 6 achieves excellent results in the majority of benchmarks and can leave the competition behind. This is noticeable in 3DMark 2013 in particular, where the review sample has an advantage of up to 64% (HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab). AnTuTu v5 and BaseMark OS II even show that the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 falls slightly behind. The advantage is not as big in Geekbench 3, the sibling Fonepad Note FHD 6 is once again close. However, the Huawei Ascend Mate can manage a clear advantage in GFXBench 2.7, but the other rivals are still left behind.

The storage test AndroBench 3 shows that the flash storage of the Asus Zenfone 6 is very fast and can, except for the 4K tests, surpass the rivals.

3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
10877 Points ∼13%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
10809 Points ∼13% -1%
Acer Liquid S1
10309 Points ∼12% -5%
Acer Liquid S1
10309 Points ∼12% -5%
Acer Liquid S1
10309 Points ∼12% -5%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
6748 Points ∼8% -38%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
6665 Points ∼1%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
6595 Points ∼1% -1%
Acer Liquid S1
2640 Points ∼0% -60%
Acer Liquid S1
2640 Points ∼0% -60%
Acer Liquid S1
2640 Points ∼0% -60%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
2373 Points ∼0% -64%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
7293 Points ∼3%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
7221 Points ∼3% -1%
Acer Liquid S1
3163 Points ∼1% -57%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
2772 Points ∼1% -62%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
25966 Points ∼26%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
24200 Points ∼24% -7%
BaseMark OS II - Overall (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
447 Points ∼5%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
431 Points ∼5% -4%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
1314 Points ∼4%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
1291 Points ∼4% -2%
Acer Liquid S1
1425 Points ∼5% +8%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
944 Points ∼3% -28%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
560 Points ∼12%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
544 Points ∼11% -3%
Acer Liquid S1
398 Points ∼8% -29%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
298 Points ∼6% -47%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
9.2 fps ∼0%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
8.9 fps ∼0% -3%
Acer Liquid S1
3.4 fps ∼0% -63%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
0 fps ∼0% -100%
Huawei Ascend Mate
22 fps ∼0% +139%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
15.9 fps ∼0%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
9.2 fps ∼0% -42%
Acer Liquid S1
5.9 fps ∼0% -63%
Huawei Ascend Mate
35 fps ∼1% +120%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
0.73 MB/s ∼0%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
0.98 MB/s ∼0% +34%
Acer Liquid S1
0.32 MB/s ∼0% -56%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
1 MB/s ∼0% +37%
Huawei Ascend Mate
0.5 MB/s ∼0% -32%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
10.23 MB/s ∼6%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
10.31 MB/s ∼6% +1%
Acer Liquid S1
12.2 MB/s ∼7% +19%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
9.09 MB/s ∼5% -11%
Huawei Ascend Mate
6.75 MB/s ∼4% -34%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
19.2 MB/s ∼5%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
13.74 MB/s ∼4% -28%
Acer Liquid S1
8.18 MB/s ∼2% -57%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
11.54 MB/s ∼3% -40%
Huawei Ascend Mate
7.43 MB/s ∼2% -61%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
70.27 MB/s ∼8%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
69.6 MB/s ∼8% -1%
Acer Liquid S1
49.05 MB/s ∼5% -30%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
44.6 MB/s ∼5% -37%
Huawei Ascend Mate
35.25 MB/s ∼4% -50%

Legend

 
Asus Zenfone 6 Intel Atom Z2580, PowerVR SGX544MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G) Intel Atom Z2580, PowerVR SGX544MP2, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Acer Liquid S1 Mediatek MT6589, PowerVR SGX544, 8 GB SSD
 
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab Marvell PXA1088, Vivante GC1000+ Dual-Core, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Ascend Mate HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620, Vivante GC4000, 8 GB SSD

The browser-based benchmarks with the Android browser are not really great within the comparison. While the review sample is faster than the Acer Liquid S1 and the Huawei Ascend Mate in the older Google V8 Ver.7 and faster than the HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab in Octane V2, it is clearly beaten in the other tests. Sun spider 1.0 and Kraken 1.1 in particular do not determine a good performance for the Asus Zenfone 6. However, the situation changes once again in the benchmarks Vellamo 3.0 and WebXPRT 2013, and the review unit can surpass all the rivals, only the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 can keep up. We recommend you use the significantly faster Google Chrome browser to improve the everyday performanceweb browsing will be much more enjoyable.

Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
2904 Points ∼15%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
3857 Points ∼20% +33%
Acer Liquid S1
1555 Points ∼8% -46%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1502 Points ∼8% -48%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
2822 Points ∼6%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
1027 Points ∼2% -64%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
11767.4 ms * ∼20%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
10624.5 ms * ∼18% +10%
Acer Liquid S1
15546.6 ms * ∼26% -32%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
26683.7 ms * ∼45% -127%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
836.8 ms * ∼9%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
857.1 ms * ∼9% -2%
Acer Liquid S1
1138.1 ms * ∼12% -36%
HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab
1747.3 ms * ∼19% -109%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1610.3 ms * ∼18% -92%
Vellamo 3.x
Metal (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
922 Points ∼25%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
900 Points ∼24% -2%
Multicore Beta (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
1149 Points ∼26%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
1230 Points ∼27% +7%
Browser (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
2151 Points ∼28%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
1834 Points ∼24% -15%
WebXPRT 2013 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 6
244 Points ∼11%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG (K00G)
236 Points ∼10% -3%
Acer Liquid S1
165 Points ∼7% -32%

* ... smaller is better

Gaming Performance

The PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU is integrated into the SoC and proves satisfactory with a high 3D performance. Even complex Android titles like Dead Trigger 2 or Trials: Frontier run smoothly. Controlling games with the touchscreen and the position sensor, as well as accelerometer is very precise and quick. Full HD videos are no problem for the hardware, either.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Trials: Frontier
Trials: Frontier
Full HD video: Django Unchained Trailer
Full HD video: Django Unchained Trailer

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures are never inconvenient during everyday useIdling results in 29 °C (~84.2 °F) on average and we can measure up to 30.5 °C (~86.6 °F) at the top – not even lukewarm. Continuous maximum load results in surface temperatures of 36 °C (~96.8 °F) with the maximum temperature of 42.5 °C (~108.5) in the area around the SoC. The power adaptor reaches 41.3 °C (~106.34 °F) under load, and therefore should not be covered by any objects.

Max. Load
 39.1 °C
102 F
34.7 °C
94 F
34.1 °C
93 F
 
 42 °C
108 F
36.6 °C
98 F
35.3 °C
96 F
 
 39.7 °C
103 F
34.8 °C
95 F
33.6 °C
92 F
 
Maximum: 42 °C = 108 F
Average: 36.7 °C = 98 F
33.1 °C
92 F
35.3 °C
96 F
41.3 °C
106 F
32.7 °C
91 F
33.9 °C
93 F
42.5 °C
109 F
33.3 °C
92 F
35.6 °C
96 F
39.9 °C
104 F
Maximum: 42.5 °C = 109 F
Average: 36.4 °C = 98 F
Power Supply (max.)  41.3 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 23 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.7 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.5 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.4 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

The speaker is at the back of the review sample and produces a good sound with a high maximum volume. As is typical for this class of products, you can hear clear deficits like emphasis on the high tones with higher volumes. The 3.5 mm stereo jack is effective with a low signal noise, as well as a high maximum volume.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the Asus Zenfone 6 is pretty low with values between 0.7 and 2.5 Watts while idling and 4.2 up to 6.4 Watts under load. A direct comparison shows that the HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab and the Acer Liquid S1 consume much less, the Huawei Ascend Mate on the other hand, consumes quite a lot.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.7 / 1.3 / 2.5 Watt
Load midlight 4.2 / 6.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG has a 3,300 mAh battery, which unfortunately cannot be removed. According to the manufacturer, the battery provides a runtime of up to 398 hours in 3G standby. The SoC is comparatively frugal, but the IPS panel consumes a lot of power.

Still, our review sample can manage decent results in our battery runtime tests – even in comparison with the rivals. Maximum load with the app Stability Test and maximum brightness, results in 3 hours and 16 minutes, which is only ahead of the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 (3,200 mAh) within our comparison. The other rivals like the Acer Liquid S1 (2,400 mAh), or the HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab (3,000 mAh) are more frugal and manage slightly longer runtimes. The Huawei Ascend Mate does not last much longer, either, despite its huge 4,050 mAh battery.

Our more realistic WLAN test with an adjusted brightness of 60% (150 cd/m²) is finished after 8 hours and 38 minutes on the phablet, which is a good result. The Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 runs for another hour, and the Huawei Ascend Mate easily gets the top spot with a runtime of 12:04 hours.

The maximum runtime of the Asus Zenfone 6 is around 15 hours. The communication modules are deactivated (WLAN active) in this scenario, and we use the minimum display brightness as well as the energy-saving mode. The competition cannot maintain the advantage, the Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 manages almost an identical runtime. Only the marathon runner Huawei Ascend Mate surpasses all the rivals with an impressive runtime of 23:22 hours. 

Our review sample repeatedly stopped the video runtime test with the app Video Looper and the Full HD movie Big Buck Bunny. We have no explanation for this behavior.

All in all, the battery of the Asus Zenfone 6 should easily last a day with an adjusted display brightness.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 04min
WiFi Surfing
8h 38min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 16min

Verdict

In Review: Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG
In Review: Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG

With a huge display size of 6 inches and the powerful hardware, the Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG is a really enjoyable phablet. It has a classy and sturdy case, with a good build quality. The IPS+ display also offers wide viewing angles as well as good colors. The large memory of 2 GB ensures smooth multitasking. The handling of the phablet is never a problem with the precise and quick touchscreen. Around 12 GB of the internal storage plus up to 64 GB via microSD and 5 GB web storage – this means you can store all important files and multimedia contents on your phone. Thanks to the well-implemented dual-SIM feature and good communication modules, the smartphone is very flexible all over the world and quickly locates your position with the precise GPS module. This flexibility is supported by the enduring battery , which is a good thing since you cannot replace it. The main camera of the Zenfone 6 takes decent pictures that look nice on the bright and sharp screen, even though the latter does not support the Full HD resolution. That the quality of selfies is not as good, is not a huge drawback, just like the fact that the update to the current Android 4.4 KitKat is not yet available. The device is very fast, even with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and the handling is very intuitive thanks to ZenUI. If you are looking for a flexible device with a large display and powerful components, then we can recommend the Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG. All in all, the mainstream phablet is a satisfactory device with a very appealing price-performance ratio.

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In Review: Asus ZenFone 6 A600CG. Test model courtesy of Asus.
In Review: Asus ZenFone 6 A600CG. Test model courtesy of Asus.

Specifications

Asus Zenfone 6 (Zenfone Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
, LPDDR2
Display
6 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel, capacitive, IPS+, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with dirt-repellant coating, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 12.3 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: microSDXC (up to 64 GB), Sensors: GPS, GLONASS & AGPS, Position sensor, Proximity sensor, Compass, Micro-SIM
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0+ EDR + A2DP, GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), UMTS quad-band (850/900/1900/2100 MHz); standards: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+; Transfer rates (download/upload): 42Mbps/5.76Mbps (UMTS)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.9 x 166.9 x 84.3 ( = 0.39 x 6.57 x 3.32 in)
Battery
Lithium-Polymer, 3,300 mAh, integrated, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 28 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 398 h
Operating System
Android 4.3
Camera
Webcam: Main camera: 13.0 MP, AF, LED flash, videos @1080p/30fps; front camera: 2.0 MP
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, Google Chrome Browser, IE Browser, Amazon Kindle, Google software package, SuperNote, flashlight, Video Studio, Youtube and many more, 24 Months Warranty, Video playback: MPEG4 up to 1080p Video recordings: MPEG4, H.264, H.264 1080p Video Encode and Decode @ 30fps, Ogg, 3GPAudio Playback: MP3, 3GP, AAC, AAC+
Weight
200 g ( = 7.05 oz / 0.44 pounds), Power Supply: 35 g ( = 1.23 oz / 0.08 pounds)
Price
300 Euro

 

In review: The Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG,...
In review: The Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG,...
...a real phablet
...a real phablet
The IPS+ display with the HD resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
The IPS+ display with the HD resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
The nice design was the inspiration for the name, ...
The nice design was the inspiration for the name, ...
... which is similar to the Zenbook notebook series
... which is similar to the Zenbook notebook series
Attention for details: The physical buttons are made of aluminum and follow the Zendesign as well.
Attention for details: The physical buttons are made of aluminum and follow the Zendesign as well.
The back cover is matte and rubberized, which is very convenient for the hand.
The back cover is matte and rubberized, which is very convenient for the hand.
The display is protected by scratch-proof Gorilla Glass 3 and the rest of the case is also very sturdy.
The display is protected by scratch-proof Gorilla Glass 3 and the rest of the case is also very sturdy.
Reflections of the glossy panel are a problem under direct light.
Reflections of the glossy panel are a problem under direct light.
The quality of the webcam is disappointing, ...
The quality of the webcam is disappointing, ...
...the main camera on the other hand takes decent pictures.
...the main camera on the other hand takes decent pictures.
CPU-Z reveals an Intel Atom CPU from the Saltwell-series.
CPU-Z reveals an Intel Atom CPU from the Saltwell-series.
The back cover can be...
The back cover can be...
...removed, but it is very firm.
...removed, but it is very firm.
The indentation to open the case is a bit small and can ruin your fingernail in combination with the firm fixation.
The indentation to open the case is a bit small and can ruin your fingernail in combination with the firm fixation.
The detached cover reveals more connectivity options.
The detached cover reveals more connectivity options.
The dual-SIM slots...
The dual-SIM slots...
...use micro-SIM cards, both slots support 3G.
...use micro-SIM cards, both slots support 3G.
You can also use microSD cards with up to 64 GB.
You can also use microSD cards with up to 64 GB.
The speaker sounds decent, but the wide grille wouldn't have been necessary.
The speaker sounds decent, but the wide grille wouldn't have been necessary.
The speaker itself isn't this wide.
The speaker itself isn't this wide.
Lost opportunity: The battery is unfortunately integrated and cannot be replaced.
Lost opportunity: The battery is unfortunately integrated and cannot be replaced.
The back leaves a very sophisticated impression and...
The back leaves a very sophisticated impression and...
...is, besides the Cherry Red of our review unit, also available in black, gold and white.
...is, besides the Cherry Red of our review unit, also available in black, gold and white.

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Links

Compare Prices

Pros

+IPS+ display with wide viewing angles and good colors
+Precise touchscreen
+Powerful SoC and GPU + large amount of memory
+Big flash storage + microSD extension
+Dual-SIM feature
+Enduring battery
+WLAN and telephone signal
+Voice and sound quality
+GPS reliable and pretty accurate
+Picture quality of the main camera
+Low temperature development
+Noble design
+Good build quality
+Sturdy case with Gorilla Glass 3
+Detachable and grippy back cover
+Provided in-ear headset with different adaptors
 

Cons

-Integrated battery
-No Full HD resolution
-Back cover is very firm and hard to remove
-Luminance could be higher within the comparison
-Currently only Android 4.3 JB
-Disappointing front camera

Shortcut

What we like

The combination of a nice design and the powerful components.

What we'd like to see

LTE and better cameras.

What surprises us

That Asus only uses powerful Intel SoCs in this price range.

The competition

Acer Liquid S1

Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6

HP Slate 6 6000en VoiceTab

Huawei Ascend Mate

Rating

Asus Zenfone 6 - 10/15/2014 v4(old)
Michael Moser

Chassis
83%
Keyboard
68 / 75 → 91%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
48 / 60 → 80%
Weight
88%
Battery
91%
Display
83%
Games Performance
56 / 63 → 89%
Application Performance
33 / 70 → 47%
Temperature
86%
Noise
100%
Audio
59 / 91 → 65%
Camera
65%
Average
73%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Asus Zenfone 6 A600CG Smartphone Review
Michael Moser, 2014-10-25 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.