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DxOMark | The Asus Zenfone 6 shows that hardware is increasingly counting for less

The Asus Zenfone 6 uses a rotating camera setup. (Source: DxOMark)
The Asus Zenfone 6 uses a rotating camera setup. (Source: DxOMark)
The all-new Asus Zenfone 6 recently made its over to DxOMark and was judged to be the best selfie camera phone in the world. That sounds great on paper, and without any context, but we find ourselves very unimpressed.
Ricci Rox,
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Asus recently released its latest flagship, the Asus Zenfone 6, as a direct successor to last year's well-received Asus Zenfone 5Z. The Zenfone 6 has earned mostly positive reviews for its extremely competitive price and overall package. Most notable, though, is its camera setup.

The Zenfone 6 uses a rotating dual camera setup that doubles up as both a rear camera and a selfie camera. The Samsung Galaxy A80 was unveiled with similar tech a short while ago, but the Zenfone 6 will beat it to store shelves. The result of this design is obvious: Excellent selfie camera performance.

It's no surprise, then, that DxOMark has crowned the Zenfone 6 as the best selfie phone on the planet. It has a heavy advantage, since it uses its main cameras as a selfie setup too. It's not the first phone to do this. The Nubia X and Vivo Nex Dual Display have also used designs that utilize the rear camera as a selfie camera of sorts, but only the Zenfone 6 and A80 have used this particular design in recent times. 

The Zenfone 6 earned an overall score of 98. Considering the hardware advantage, that score is a bit disappointing, in fact. The next best phone on DxOMark's list is the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, and it has a score of...97. More interestingly, the S10 5G and the Zenfone 6 have the same photo score of 101. It's in the video category that the Zenfone 6 takes the slight edge with a score of 93 as opposed to the S10 5G's score of 90.

This juxtaposition, more than anything, highlights the importance of software. The Zenfone 6 uses a 48 MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture and 1/2″ sensor size. The S10 5G's selfie camera is a 10 MP 1/3" sensor with f/1.9 aperture. That's quite the significant edge on the hardware side, but the S10 5G manages to fight back with its vastly superior image processing. 

Of course, this isn't news. The Google Pixel phones have used mid-range 12 MP sensors to devastating effect due to the company's class-leading image processing. Hardware remains useful, though. Huawei, in particular, has used hardware to match and, perhaps, even surpass Google. But in this age of nigh-parity in camera hardware, software is king, and OEMs must keep that in mind. 

Breakdown of the Asus Zenfone 6's selfie review.
Breakdown of the Asus Zenfone 6's selfie review.
Breakdown of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G's selfie review.
Breakdown of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G's selfie review.

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Ricci Rox
Ricci Rox - Senior Tech Writer - 1889 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I like tech, simple as. Half the time, you can catch me writing snarky sales copy. The rest of the time, I'm either keeping readers abreast with the latest happenings in the mobile tech world or watching football. I worked as both a journo and freelance content writer for a couple of years before joining the Notebookcheck team in 2017. Feel free to shoot me some questions on Twitter or Reddit if it so tickles thine fancy.
contact me via: @riccirox, LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 05 > The Asus Zenfone 6 shows that hardware is increasingly counting for less
Ricci Rox, 2019-05-28 (Update: 2019-05-28)