Asus sent us a sample of their new ZenFone series smartphones, which is made up of three Android 4.3 smartphones running Intel’s Clovertrail platform. Watch Nicole Scott unbox the larger 6 inch model, the Asus ZenFone 6 phablet, giving us her first impressions of one of the more affordable and attractive phablets to hit the streets this year.
We recently looked at the Xiaomi Redmi Note, which has to be one of the best value phablets to have arrived in our hands recently. Today we find ourselves once again looking at an affordable, larger handset with the Asus ZenFone 6 which runs Google Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on a dual-core Intel Z2580 Atom processor. Let’s see how the Zenfone 6 shapes up, taking a detailed look at the device specifications.
Asus ZenFone 6: Full Specifications
• 6 Inch IPS Display
• 720 x 1280 (245 ppi)
• Dual-core Intel Z2580 Atom (2.0GHz)
• 2GB DDR2 RAM
• 16GB / 32GB Storage
• MicroSD up to 64GB
• 13MP Rear Camera
• 2MP Front camera
• WLAN 802.11 b/g/n
• Bluetooth 4.0
• GSM/GPRS/EDGE & WCDMA/HSPA+
• Dual Micro SIM
• 166.9mm x 84.3mm x 5.5-9.9mm
• 196 grams
• 3,300 mAh Battery
• Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (Upgradable to 4.4)
• Black, White, Red, Blue and Yellow color options
The Rise of the Phablet
Looking at Asus’ ZenFone 6, we can see once again that the larger devices are now gaining in acceptance. The phablet form factor market has quickly grown in size with more and more consumers adapting to a larger 6 inch handset for their main phone device. In fact you could probably point to a general trend in the industry, where devices sizes have crept up, reaching a point where a 5 inch display is now considered the sweet spot for mainstream flagship smartphone devices.
Compare the gradual and incremental increase in screen sizes from a major player like Samsung; the Galaxy S2 in 2011 clocked in at 4.3 inches, the Galaxy S3 in 2012 stretched its feet to 4.8 inches. By 2013 we were treated to the Samsung Galaxy S4 at a full 5 inches, while this years’ flagship the Galaxy S5 pushed out a touch further to a 5.1 inch display. Make no doubt about it, screen sizes are undoubtedly getting larger.
Smartphone and tablet vendors have begun to realize that there is a growing segment of their potential customer base that feel ready to start using a device with a screen in the region of 5.5 to 6 inches. The reaction has been that pretty much every vendor now has at least one larger device in their catalog, making the phablet space a much more interesting and competitive one.
All three ZenFone models run on Intel’s Clovertrail platform which involves dual 32-bit cores clocked up to 2.0GHz backed by a PowerVR graphics processor from Imagination Technologies. You can compare Intel’s performance with Qualcomm and MediaTek in a benchmark comparison we did yesterday.
The Asus ZenFone 6 comes to market in a choice of five colors – Charcoal Black, Pearl White, Cherry Red, Sky Blue and Solar Yellow. The target retail price is a very competitive $200. It will be very interesting to see if Asus and Intel can gain traction into the smartphone market with the ZenFone line-up in the coming months.