Apple’s ‘affordable’ iPhone XR remains the most popular smartphone in the US. In recent months, we have seen the launch of Samsung’s budget-friendly Galaxy S10E and OnePlus 7 Pro that are squarely aimed at the iPhone XR. Taiwan-based Asus recently launched the ZenFone 6, which offers premium specs at affordable prices. Let’s take a look at the ZenFone 6 vs iPhone XR comparison to see how the new Asus phone stacks up against Apple’s most popular model.
ZenFone 6 vs iPhone XR: Design
The ZenFone 5 was just another iPhone X clone, but Asus has radically overhauled the design of ZenFone 6. It has a notch-less design with an innovative camera setup. The phone offers dual stereo speakers and retains the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. On the front panel, it has a flat and notch-less screen with a thin chin at the bottom.
The ZenFone 6 houses a fingerprint sensor and a Flip Camera setup on the back. The rear panel is curved on the sides, making it easier to hold the device in hand. The back panel is made out of glass and has gradient colors to give it a premium feel. The front and rear panels are supported by an aluminum frame in the middle.
The new Asus phone measures 158.94 x 75.58 x 9.1 mm and weighs 195g. It lacks water resistance. Asus has launched the device in Midnight Black and Twilight Silver colors. The phone has a customization Smart Key button that you can use to launch Google Assistant or another app of your choice.
The biggest highlight of the ZenFone 6 is its Flip Camera system. It’s made out of Liquid Metal and accommodates two lenses. The Flip Camera module serves as both the main camera and selfie camera. Whenever you need to take a selfie or make video calls, the camera module will flip around. Asus has tested it for 100,000 flips, which is enough to last at least a few years even for hardcore selfie enthusiasts.
Asus says users have full control over the Flip Camera’s rotation. You can stop it at any point to take pictures at different angles. The Flip Camera also retracts itself automatically in case you accidentally drop the phone.
The iPhone XR has a traditional display notch like iPhone XS and XS Max. The notch is necessary to house a bunch of sensors that support the Face ID technology and the selfie camera. It relies entirely on the Face ID technology for authentication and security. The TrueDepth camera also supports Memoji and Animoji features on the iPhone XR.
Its front and rear panels are made out of glass, and are supported by an aluminum frame in the middle. The iPhone XR lacks the 3.5mm headphone jack, but offers an IP67 rating for water- and dust-resistance. It measures 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm and weighs 194g. On the back panel, it has a single lens,which doesn’t sit flush with the body. The phone comes in a bunch of cool colors including Red, Yellow, Blue, Coral, Black, and White.
ZenFone 6 vs iPhone XR: Display
Both handsets sport an LCD screen rather than the superior OLED display. The ZenFone 6 features a 6.3-inch IPS LCD panel with Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. It has a 92% screen-to-body ratio, 600 nits of brightness, and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The screen is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6.
The iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display. It has a relatively lower resolution of 828 x 1792 pixels, a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and 326ppi of pixel density. Apple doesn’t disclose whether it has used Corning Gorilla Glass or something else to protect the screen, but claims the iPhone XR display is coated with the “most durable glass ever.”
The iPhone XR supports the True Tone technology that automatically adjusts the contrast, saturation, and brightness of the screen depending on the ambient lighting conditions.
The ZenFone 6 runs Qualcomm’s latest and greatest octa-core Snapdragon 855 processor paired with Adreno 640 graphics processor. It packs 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Asus has also launched the phone in two other configurations of 6GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB. The ZenFone 6 features a microSD card slot with support for up to 2TB of external storage. The device is powerful enough to handle any task you throw at it, including the graphics-heavy games.
The iPhone XR runs Apple’s custom A12 Bionic processor, which is by far the most powerful chipset available on smartphones right now. It gets a relatively lower 3GB RAM and three different storage options of 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Apple doesn’t offer external storage on its smartphones.
The ZenFone 6 packs a monstrous 5,000mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 4 technology. The battery is large enough to last two days of normal usage. It supports 18W fast charging but lacks wireless charging. The bigger battery should lead to fewer charging cycles, extending the battery longevity.
In contrast, the iPhone XR features a relatively smaller 2,942mAh battery with support for 15W fast charging and Qi wireless charging. Thanks to Apple’s software optimization, the battery easily lasts a full day of normal usage. The fast charging technology delivers 50% charge in 30 minutes. Unfortunately, Apple ships the iPhone XR with a slower 5W charger. If you want to take advantage of fast charging, you have to buy a fast charger separately.
ZenFone 6 vs iPhone XR: Software
It’s not just the hardware design that Asus has overhauled with the ZenFone 6. The device runs a custom Zen UI 6 skin on top of Android 9 Pie. Asus has revamped the user interface to deliver a faster, smoother, and more intuitive performance with little bloatware. The experience is pretty close to the stock Android. Asus has promised to provide at least two years of timely security patches. The company will also upgrade the software to Android Q and Android R in the future.
The iPhone XR runs Apple’s custom iOS 12 software, and should get the iOS 13 software later this year. The iOS 12 also allows you to turn yourself into a Memoji using the TrueDepth camera. Both operating systems are fast, secure, and intuitive. It boils down to which one you prefer.
ZenFone 6 vs iPhone XR: Camera
Asus has been enthusiastically highlighting the Flip Camera module on the ZenFone 6. The camera module uses a stepper motor for rotation to serve as both the front camera and main camera. The device features a 48MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture and a 13MP ultra-wide angle lens with a 125-degree field of view. The same camera module also serves as the selfie camera.
The ZenFone 6 can record 4K videos at 60fps with EIS. It also gets HDR+ Enhanced mode and Night Mode to enhance the photography experience. It takes excellent selfies in both bright light and low light conditions.
The iPhone XR sports a single 12MP wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture and OIS on the back. Apple uses AI algorithms to take pictures in portrait mode with blurred backgrounds. However, the portrait mode on iPhone XR works only on humans, not other objects. Just like ZenFone 6, it is capable of taking HDR images. The iPhone XR has a 7-megapixel iSight selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture.
Asus has priced its new device aggressively. In European markets, it costs EUR 499 for the 6GB+64GB model, EUR 559 for the 6GB+128GB variant, and EUR 599 for the top of the line 8GB+256GB version. Asus is already accepting pre-orders in Europe via its website. The device will hit the store shelves on May 25th.
Asus hasn’t revealed the US pricing and availability, only saying the product will become available “in the summer.” You can subscribe on the company’s US website to get notified when it becomes available.
The iPhone XR costs $749 for the base model with 64GB storage, $799 for the 128GB variant, and $899 for the 256GB model. The device has been around for quite a while, so you could get it at a discount from online retailers.