The leading smartphone brand in the budget-flagship segment of the market has changed focus this year with the introduction of their premium smartphone, the OnePlus 7 Pro. This decision, while not having entirely opened up the segment, has definitely made a hole in it and Asus with their Zenfone 6 looks to be trying to fill it.
For a price tag in the $500 neighbourhood, the Zenfone 6 brings you everything that we’ve come to expect from a budget flagship and more. A Snapdragon 855 tied in with an Adreno 640, 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of onboard storage along with a 5000mAH battery that should last you well over a day is what the Zenfone is decked with.
On the other side of the hardware, an LCD with support for HDR-10 and a wide colour gamut, a ‘rotating’ camera module with two sensors – a 48MP primary sensor and a 13MP wide angled lens is also present.
In India, the Zenfone 6 will be known as the Asus 6Z because of the recent trademark infringement case that the company is fighting.
Zenfone 6’s place in the market
In the Indian market, the Zenfone is expected to sell at a price of around Rs.30,000 which is in line with its direct competition, the OnePlus 7, which starts at Rs.33,000 (roughly $470).
OnePlus with their motto of ‘Never Settle’ at its base is a company that focussed on bringing features from more expensive flagships to a phone whose cost would not hurt the pockets of its many buyers. Asus, on the other hand, is a company that just floated around in the market with their Zenfone line of phones until the budget and budget-flagship smartphone categories boomed because of companies like Motorola, Xiaomi and OnePlus.
The introduction of the Zenfone 5Z was the beginning of Asus’ venture in the budget-flagship market, but this was masked by the wildly successful OnePlus 6 and at this point OnePlus surely didn’t have a smartphone vying for market space in the premium-flagship segment which would overshadow its other smartphones. The Zenfone 6 is Asus’ next attempt at the budget-flagship market and it surely offers excellent value for its price and with no OnePlus 7 in the international markets it is definitely set for high sales, provided its camera module (which is now motorized) holds up, and their software which has been simplified doesn’t disappoint people. As of now, it has been well received by reviewers and everything that its camera module can do is a feature that people are coming to appreciate.
Now, talking about the Indian market specifically, the Zenfone 6 or rather the 6Z has an uphill battle at hand. The start or maybe even the end of this will be decided by the pricing that Asus announces at the launch event on the 19th of June. The presence of the OnePlus 7 is sure to be a deterrent but Asus seems to have picked up on OnePlus’ mantra as they are bringing features like a full-view bezel-less display along with a large battery at an affordable price which can be very compelling for some people.
Will Asus replace OnePlus?
Coming to the main topic at hand, in the international markets where the OnePlus 7 is not available the Zenfone 6 is sure to turn heads but in the markets where it is available only an Asus fanatic would pick up a Zenfone 6.OnePlus started their venture with the tag of being a flagship killer and built up a reputation amongst the public which Asus does not command — at least in the smartphone world. Their fantastic implementation of a clean OS in the form of Oxygen OS also came before Asus, and its fluidity, customisability, and optimisation is undoubtedly a significant power factor.
Asus has a chance to replace them in internationally, but the only way that can happen is if OnePlus is unable to convert their existing customers into sales for their more expensive smartphone, but with their reputation and the lack of immersive marketing campaigns, it seems unlikely.
So is Asus the new OnePlus? Definitely not. But that doesn’t go to say that the company doesn’t have the potential to survive in the same price band as the flagship killer. Asus has been on the rise with an array of new launches every year but unlike OnePlus, the smartphone isn’t their only focus. While OnePlus has created its space in the smartphone market and boasts significant sales, Asus still lags behind.
Has an interest in technology and video games. When not doing anything related to either of these you will find him with his books, educational or not.