Asus 6Z (ZenFone 6) call quality issues get officially acknowledged

Asus ZenFone 5Z was one of the best value for money smartphones in 2018. It packed premium specs to match the likes of Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 3 yet it cost half the price. Admittedly, Asus had big shoes to fill with its successor, the ZenFone 6, aka Asus 6Z in India, and it didn’t disappoint.

Announced in May 2019, Asus 6Z became an instant hit with its novel camera design. Instead of separate modules on the back and front, the ZenFone 6 has the same camera setup flipping up to perform both roles. The result is some great photography from a device priced at just USD 500.

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Asus 6Z or Asus ZenFone 6

Amidst all this goodness, not all is rosy in the 6Z’s camp. Over the past few weeks, several users of the device have complained about call quality issues not just in India, but also in other markets where the device is sold as the ZenFone 6. Following are some reports from you to take a quick glance at:

When I receive calls from my Asus Zenfone 6z I am constantly hearing noise and distorted voice anyone facing the same issue?

The call quality is really not good. And while talking to someone on the phone the top part gets warm and gets warmer when the call continues. I had to intentionally put the call on loudspeaker. If anyone finds the solution please help me out

Between the proliferating complaints, in mid-July, Asus did acknowledge that the 6Z was experiencing call quality issues and that a fix would be released in the next software update. The information came from one of the ZenTalk forum moderators.

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Asus 6z call quality issues

Despite pushing an update in July that allegedly fixed this issue, more cases of affected units are still popping up through various forums.

Like many others, we thought the update to version 16.1220.1906.167 fixed the call quality issues, but how wrong we were. Apparently, the issue still persists and undoubtedly, it’s getting into some people’s nerves.

Here are what some affected 6Z users who continue to face the issue despite the new update say:

I have the same issue with last firmware, bad bad call quality sound. I think is poor now than the previous firmware, I have to use an external earphone to talk with the person or constantly, “hum, hum hum, what do you say?!?!?”

Yes. I have also updated it yesterday and still the issue persists. Also, the night mode is having trouble in capturing indoor images under very low light conditions. Picture capturing time is very less and it is not having enough time capture all the light.

As evidenced by the latter statement, it seems the latest update to build 167 not only persists with the call quality issues, but also introduces a few more issues. Besides the mention of poor Night mode performance, the update also breaks pocket mode, adaptive brightness, and LED notification.

Asus-6Z-pocket-mode-issue

On the brighter side, Asus has already acknowledged this latest development and has promised to continue looking into the matter. In fact, one of the moderators alleges that they’ve finally found a solution, but they don’t know how long it will take to release it.

Asus-6Z-call-quality-fix

Until then, one user claims to have identified the problem alongside a temporary fix, as shared below. The same person also argues that this could be a hardware issue, meaning no amount of software updates can fix it. Here’s to hoping they are wrong.

Now I understand why the quality of sound during a call is so bad, the speaker is inside the flip camera, the sound comes from a hole and when the cam is in the normal side, to the back, the hole is not directly to your ear stays leaning against the back of the phone, which makes the sound not clean and no quality and can never be as many upgrades as it will never be straight to our ear as all phones are! The only way to get a good quality sound during a call is to open the cam and put your ear in the hole and see the difference! The phone is great but with this hardware issue is a tablet, not a phone!

How true this claim is remains to be seen. It gets even more interesting when coupled with Asus’ suggestion that they may have found a way to improve call quality. But for sure, we’ll keep tabs on the story and bring you updates when available.

P.S. The same update has triggered motherboard malfunction on some ZenFone 6 devices, for which the company is suggesting users to get the motherboard replaced. Detailed coverage here.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.