The Asus Zenfone 6’s flip-up camera is currently the best selfie camera phone, but it is butt ugly. There; I said it. Someone had to. Don’t get me wrong: I love the concept behind it. But in a world in which smartphone design is moving towards more elegance, this flip-up camera that looks like an owl is damn ugly.
The flip-up camera houses a 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor coupled with a 13 MP ultra-wide camera. There is an LED flash in the picture too. In normal mode, just point the camera at your subject and shoot. When you switch to selfie mode, the camera flips up to face forward, ready to assist you with your Insta glam life.
It is a beautiful solution: killing otwo birds with one stone. Or rather, killing two shots with one camera. Or..oh; you get the picture. I love the concept. So, why am I ranting about how ugly it is?
Asus Zenfone 6 is the best selfie camera phone
First, the result of using one camera for both front and rear photography is that you get a great selfie camera – one that could potentially wipe out the competition. Having a camera that flips up to switch the rear camera and point it forward means you get the same quality of photos for both regular pictures and selfies. It is a superb concept. I love it.
And just as expected, the Asus Zenfone 6’s selfie camera now sits at the top of DxOMark’s ratings . Yes; I know. DxOMark ratings are not flawless or Gospel. I agree. But they are what we have for now. Until someone else comes up with another smartphone camera testing and ranking system, DxOMark is the best thing available for use. So, till then, DxOMark it is.
So, while the Asus Zenfone 6 takes great selfies and barely edges out the Galaxy S10 5G and S10 Plus, this camera falls short of the best of the best. Its 98 score sits far below the 112 score of the top smartphone cameras, pushing it down as far as 10th place on the main camera chart.
But that is not what this article is about.
This is a butt ugly flip-up camera
You have seen official images above, but let’s have a look at a proper photo of the flip-up camera in use. Take a look at this:
What does it remind you of? I don’t know about you, but it looks like an Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) version of an owl. Ugly-fugly. Eeerie even. Imagine this blinking at you in the dark of night and you might be forgiven for wondering whether zombies, or any other undead creatures, have not been let loose on the earth.
I know: I watch too many scary movies. Actually, I used to. I’m retired now. Just give me a good comedy or thriller these days and I am good.
But back to the Asus Zenfone 6, the phone looks more elegant from the front when the camera is tucked away. I still get that owlish look though:
OPPO N1’s swivel camera is a much more elegant solution. Yes; it also looks like something from Star Wars, but at least, that eerie owlish look isn’t there.
Samsung’s Galaxy A80 is still the most elegant option I have seen:
Asus gets top marks for thinking outside the box and finding a solution to the display notch issue, but this is less elegant than the notch. It is less elegant than OPPO’s motorized pop-up camera. I believe it can be done better.
Hopefully, the Asus Zenfone 6 is only the first in this direction and the manufacturer will refine the camera mechanism and give us something a little more refined. No; scratch that. Not a little. Much more. In the meantime, all hail the best selfie camera phone of 2019. At least, for now, having beaten back the Samsung A80.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.