It’s ASUS 6z, not ZenFone 6 for India (rebrand only)

Nothing like a bit of tech drama. ASUS is moving ahead in spite of the “Zen” court challenges and is pushing ahead with their planned June 19th release date for the ZenFone 6 in India. We mean to say the “ASUS 6Z” release date in India is moving forward as planned. The company appears to be taking the legal situation seriously and is making every effort to say clear of “Zen”, at least for now.

It’s going to be interesting to see how ASUS navigates around “Zen” in their launch presentation tomorrow in India. ZenUI becomes what exactly? It would seem that some software tweaks are in order but are those already in place? The presenters are going to be challenged not to slip up and call the ASUS 6z the ZenFone 6.

ASUS will have to wait until July for their appeal of the India high courts decision. Losing that appeal will create a massive task for ASUS as the company is so embedded with the word “Zen” and have established so many products and marketing materials in India using those marks for years. It’s almost absurd to think of having to redo everything in the ZenFone, ZenBook and ZenPad product line-ups after operating in India over such a long period of time.

With the launch of the ASUS 6z tomorrow in India, the official prices will be unveiled. As with previous years, ASUS is partnering with Flipkart who will be offering pre orders and support for the new phone. If you didn’t like the prices of the ZenFone 5z last year then you will likely be disappointed this year as ASUS has stated the prices of the ZenFone 6 have not increased, but stayed the same. More details coming shortly from the India ASUS 6z launch event tomorrow at 12:30 India time.

[source: Flipkart]

ASUS confirms ZenFone 6 release date (sort of) for US market

Most of us wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the ZenFone 6 is in high demand. As a result of this higher than expected demand, ASUS has been struggling to get a handle on availability. This in turn leads to a lot of unanswered questions from people about when they can buy a ZenFone 6 in their market. From comments we are reading online, people are clearly getting restless. So for those of you in the US and Canada, we have an answer (sort of) from ASUS.

The direct quote from ASUS North America:

“We’re working on a summer release, more exact details soon.”

What does this really mean? It means that pre orders are going to be starting very soon for the US and Canada markets. We typically see pre orders start far earlier than actual shipping dates from ASUS in previous years. When they say “summer”, that indicates July based on information that we’re read previously. And if it’s shipping in July, that most likely means a June pre order phase. We’re choosing to remain optimistic!

Here is the reality of the situation. The demand for the ZenFone 6 is high. The pre orders are going to sell out fast. If you wait or delay when pre orders happen, you may be waiting a while. If you don’t want to wait, then order the Midnight Black because the Twilight Silver will have fewer units available. You decide how important color is to you and whether you will just be covering up the phone with a case anyways.

Although some people might not be happy with the ASUS release date information for the US market, at least it’s something official. Most questions regarding release date are being ignored so by saying “summer release”, that at least confirms that pre orders should start in the next week or two.

For the US and Canada market, models with either 6GB/64GB or 6GB/128GB will be available for $499 USD and $579 USD respectively. ASUS hasn’t unveiled the official pricing but they did state at their main ZenFone 6 launch event that the prices have not gone up. The $499 USD matches the launch price of the last generation 6GB/64GB ZenFone 5z.

We recommend that you sign-up for our newsletter if you would like to be instantly notified about pre order opportunities. We check throughout each day where and when you can buy a ZenFone 6 and post links to available, in-stock and pre-order opportunities in our post here.

[source: ASUS USA]

Google Camera on ZenFone 6 now working – includes full resolution HDR+

Ask most mobile phone experts and they will all agree that Google phones take the best photos. When we say best, that is to say the Google phones have the best camera software. With each new Pixel phone, Google seems to get better and better results. What if we told you that your ZenFone 6 can enjoy that Google camera software and fetch similar results? The first Google Camera (aka GCam) port has just been released by Arnova8G2 for the ZenFone 6.

It seems that ASUS’ choice to keep a near-stock Android on the ZenFone 6 is paying dividends already. This is the first Google Camera GCam mod to bring full resolution HDR+ photos. With the 48MP camera onboard the ZenFone 6 the results should be astonishing. We’re looking forward to showing off photo samples as those become available. Most people are still waiting for the opportunity to buy a ZenFone 6 but expect a lot of samples from this mod in the near future.

Certainly the HDR+ mode working for the 48MP camera is the headline, but there is more that this first GCam mod brings to the table. It also includes: HDR+ Enhanced, RAW, Portrait Mode, Video, Photobooth, Timelapse, and Night Sight. A rather impressive list and Arnova8G2 deserves a lot of props for getting this up and running so quickly. It makes us wonder what’s in store for the future. Good things we say!

We wrote an article yesterday about ASUS reaching out to the Android custom ROM and mod community by sending free phones to some trusted developers. These GCam mod developments will certainly catch a lot of headlines and is going to really give the ZenFone 6 launch a kick in the pants. We are tracking ZenFone 6 pre order and in-store availability here.

For most ZenFone 6 users, the Google Camera mod development is very noteworthy. Google and their camera algorithms are top-of-class and if it can be brought to the ZenFone 6 this quickly, the future looks bright. You don’t have to root your ZenFone 6 to use this mod which will make it more appealing to the general public out there. When people start seeing photo samples and comparisons with the GCam mod, this should be a very popular option for people. Look for a guide to using Anova8G2’s Google Camera mod in the near future. Are you excited about this development?

[source: XDA Developers]