ASUS made a dramatic shift in its mobile strategy last year. They decided to cater to power users and games more, and true to their word, the ZenFone 6 and ROG Phone II seem to tick all the right boxes in the minds of these two groups. Although ASUS has done a great job packing with ZenFone 6 and ROG Phone II with hardware components that enthusiasts all want, the company had yet to prove whether they can deliver on software updates. Well, it looks like ASUS isn’t all talk, as they’ve managed to join the shortlist of OEMs that have managed to roll out a stable Android 10 update for an existing device. Today, the Taiwanese smartphone brand started rolling out Android 10 for the ZenFone 6, known as the ASUS 6Z in India.
The 809.89MB update brings the software version to 17.1810.1910.63 with ZenUI 6 on board. ZenUI doesn’t seem to have been changed much in this update, but I don’t see that as a problem since, in my view, ZenUI is already up there with OxygenOS and Pixel software. It offers a ton of features but without making the software seem bloated since they’re almost all optional.
If you have the international version of the ASUS ZenFone 6, you can sideload the OTA by downloading the incremental OTA package. We don’t have the full OTA image for the international version, nor do we have the incremental OTA for the U.S. or Indian versions. However, we have seen reports on Reddit that the update is rolling out in the U.S. and India, so this does seem to be a global rollout. An ASUS representative confirmed the update is on a staggered rollout and that kernel source code should be released in the coming week.
Google released Android 10 for the Pixel smartphones just 2 months ago. Essential, as always, immediately followed suit with an update for the Essential Phone. Since then, both OnePlus and Xiaomi have released stable updates for some of their smartphones, while Samsung, Huawei, LG, and ASUS themselves started beta programs for some of their devices. ASUS may not have been the fastest to release an Android 10 update, but they’ve now proven their commitment to software updates. We look forward to the upcoming update for the ZenFone 5Z and the ROG Phone II.
Keep an eye out on our forums for new developments. As a reminder, ASUS sent multiple ZenFone 6 units to custom ROM and kernel developers. There are already a few custom ROMs, notably LineageOS 17, available. The latest GSI from XDA Recognized Developer phhusson even supports the flip camera on the device. There are kernels that overclock the display refresh rate, and each week, new releases of the Google Camera port that improve picture performance. This device has strong developer support, so it’s a good device to have for the long-term.
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