ASUS appears to have tested one of its upcoming smartphones recently using the Geekbench online benchmark. The device identified by model number ASUS_I01WD is believed to bear the ZenFone 6 – or rather the ZenFone 6Z moniker but more on that later – and as noted by GSMArena, this is the same model number which was spotted recently in the Wi-Fi Alliance database where it received its wireless certificate.
Powered by a top-tier chipset
Although Geekbench doesn't reveal the phone's market name, the tool does shed some light on some key internal components. The phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 855 chipset supplied by Qualcomm, and this is denoted by the "msmnile" motherboard as "nile" is the codename used by Qualcomm's fastest mobile chipset to date.
The octa-core processor is coupled with 6GB of RAM and at the time of testing, the device ran Android 9 Pie. Overall the unit scored 3,527 points and 11,190 points in the single and multi-core tests, respectively. The score is on par with other Snapdragon 855-powered smartphones and seems even slightly higher when compared to the points tallied by the Qualcomm-powered Samsung Galaxy S10 which yielded 3,438 and 10,637 points on average.
Other details have not been mentioned but it is believed that the upcoming ASUS flagship will have a less conventional design and could adopt a motorized front-facing camera or a sliding mechanism, borrowing some design elements from OEMs including VIVO and OPPO. It's unclear whether the unusual design language will be used by the entire ZenFone 6 series or if it will be reserved for the top-tier variant.
The confusing ZenFone naming scheme
The ASUS_I01WD spotted at Geekbench will be a flagship phone given the inclusion of Qualcomm's top-tier chipset but the final name of the device remains unknown.
Fact is that ASUS' smartphones aren't too consistent with the usual naming scheme adopted by most other OEMs who tend to differentiate between smartphones in the same series using "Plus" and "Lite" suffixes.
An example of this was the ASUS ZenFone 5 series launched last year. The standard model called simply the ZenFone 5 was a mid-range device and was flanked by the ZenFone 5Q at the lower end (also known as Lite in some markets), and the ZenFone 5Z (not Plus) at the flagship end of the spectrum.
Having said that, it's more likely that the upcoming ASUS_I01WD will be launched as the ZenFone 6Z but this has yet to be confirmed. What has been confirmed via ads in magazines is that the OEM will introduce the ZenFone 6 on May 14 in Valencia, Spain. A "series" wasn't mentioned in the ad but it is likely that the ZenFone 6 will be part of a lineup, and just as likely that the flagship-grade ASUS_I01WD will be included in it.
The same ad also hinted that the ASUS ZenFone 6 will be the OEM's first to abandon display notches in favor of a full-screen design with thin bezels all around, although some leaked early prototypes suggest that ASUS has tested several notch designs for the series. A bezel-less design further fuels the possibility of a motorized camera or slider mechanism to be adopted, and should give the series a higher chance to be competitive in the market space.