ASUS ZenFone 6/ASUS 6Z Developments: Custom ROMs, Kernels, Mods, and more
The ASUS ZenFone 6 is among the few pocket-friendly flagship killer devices. Besides its powerful Snapdragon 855 processor, the ZenFone 6 (ASUS 6Z in India) is known for its 180º flipping rear camera. When it comes to software, the phone offers a really clean user experience for its target audience, primarily comprising gamers and power users. On top of that, ASUS is also supportive of custom development and had even sent multiple units of the ZenFone 6 to some developers in the XDA Community. Over the past several months, the efforts of ASUS and these developers in the community have come to fruition, resulting in an abundance of custom modification options for prosumers. This article features a long list of custom ROMs, custom kernels, custom mods such as a fully functional Google Camera mod, and more for the ASUS flagship killer.
We have covered some of these articles in the past so we’ll do a quick recap. Make sure to visit individual threads on XDA Forums for more information. You can jump straight to the individual sections based on what you need:
ASUS ZenFone 6 Custom ROMs
LineageOS is easily the most discussed option in the custom ROM scene. The phone has received an official Lineage treatment with LineageOS 17 based on Android 10. If you’ve been using the unofficial LineageOS 17 build, you should definitely give the official build a try but make sure to clean flash if you’ve already updated to LineageOS 17.1.
BlissROMs offers a great deal of customization and focuses on great design and performance. Above that, BlissOS is also available for tablets and PCs running on x86 CPU so that you can rekindle life into an old Windows, Linux, or ChromeOS machine. You can also sync your settings across various devices that run on operating systems by Bliss.
Havoc OS is a custom ROM with a user interface inspired by the Google Pixel phone but with a slew of extra features. Havoc OS for the ZenFone 6 comes with G Apps and Substratum support inbuilt. You can dabble in a wide variety of options to modify UI elements like the status bar, quick settings panel, animations, lock screen, etc.
OmniROM is a custom ROM that focuses on stable and dependable user experience. The ROM comes with nano GApps preloaded to let you sign up using the Google account while setting up the phone. You can download the other Google apps you need from the Google Play Store.
Short for Android Ice Cold Project, the AICP custom ROM focusses on a clean user interface with a smooth performance. It is based on AOSP but borrows some of the features from LineageOS 17 without completely duplicating it.
The custom kernel is designed to offer smoother performance and improved memory management. It includes patches for Safety Net so you can keep on using banking and DRM apps even after flashing the kernel.
Proton Kernel provides a balance between battery life and performance. Besides performance improvements, you can also overclock the display to enable a 72Hz refresh rate on the display.
A custom recovery is one of the earliest steps in installing custom firmware or mods on your smartphone. TWRP is among the longest-running and most reputed custom recoveries and is also officially supported by the smartphone.
ASUS recently released the Android 10 update for ZenFone 6 but the official recovery still limited to Android 9 Pie. For flashing Android 10-based custom ROMs, you can utilize the unofficial TWRP.
Google Camera Port
Google Camera ports bring the best of Google’s computational photography algorithms to non-Google devices. XDA Senior developer Arnova8G2 developed the first fully functional build of GCam for the smartphone even before the phone went on sale in India and the U.S. The latest build based on Google Camera 7.3 developed by XDA Senior member Urnyx05 supports latest features like the Astrophotography mode and exposure slider.
If you’re running a custom ROM which does not support Wi-Fi calling (aka VoWiFi) natively on the smartphone, you can use the fix linked below. Do remember, you’ll require root access to enable the feature.
Root and Xposed modules on stock ROM
Many of the ROMs listed above come pre-rooted but if you’re satisfied with the features offered in the stock ROM and still want root access to enable and install Xposed modules, you can use the guide in the forum linked below. For this method, you will not require any custom recovery and can utilize the stock recovery so long as you have access to a PC for running ADB commands.
If you’re new to custom Android mods or just want to save some time otherwise lapsed by typing or executing commands manually, you can use the All-in-one tool for the smartphone by XDA Senior member mauronofrio. Using this tool, you can flash stock ROM, unlock or relock bootloader, flash recovery or root the phone with just one click.
How to Unbrick ASUS ZenFone 6
If you’ve bricked your smartphone while fiddling with it and it does not seem to respond to any of your actions and only boots in EDL mode, don’t worry you can fix the phone. Download the resources in the forum thread linked below and follow the instructions listed inside.