At a time when other manufacturers are trying to outdo their rivals in terms of specs, Asus has just introduced two phones that stand out for their design. Asus Zenfone 8 stands out for its size — it’s the smallest Android flagship to date — while the other,Zenfone 8 Flip inherits its predecessor’s rollover camera design.
Asus Zenfone 8
The Asus ZenFone 8 measures 148×68.5×8.9mm and weighs 169g. While not as small as the iPhone 12 Mini, it is smaller than the Xperia 5 III (157x68x8.2 mm, 168 grams). It is powered by a Snapdragon 888 chip and runs Zenui 8, based on Android 11.
This petite flagship has a 5.9-inch AMOLED display (Samsung E4) with a 1080p resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio (which makes it shorter than the 21:9 screen on the Xperia). The phone has a Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and it is IP68 waterproof and dustproof (the first Asus phone to have IP rating).
The screen has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate, it is HDR10 + certified and covers 112% of the DCI-p3 color gamut, it has good color calibration, a peak brightness of 1,100 nits, and a fingerprint reader is built into the display.
It has a dual camera on the back with a 64 megapixel sensor, the same as the IMX686 used in the ZenFone 7. It has 0.8 micron pixels and a four-bayer filter, as well as dual pixel autofocus.
This camera has optical stabilization (OIS) and can record 8K video at 24fps (with EIS enabled). It also supports 4K/60fps, 1080p/60fps video recording, triple microphone system with Ozo audio zoom and noise reduction technology.
The second camera on the back is based on the 12-megapixel IMX363 sensor (1/2.55″), with a 1.4-megapixel dual-pixel autofocus and a lens (14.3mm focal length) that can focus at a distance of 4cm for taking macro photos. The front selfie camera uses the new 12-megapixel IMX663 sensor (1/2.93-inch, 1.22μm) and also has dual pixel autofocus. Both ultra-wide Angle and selfie cameras can record 4K video (60fps and 30fps, respectively).
Asus packs the little ZenFone 8 with some great audio hardware, with a 3.5mm audio jack, two linear speakers with dual Cirrus Logic mono amplifiers (CS35L45), and Dirac HD sound support. There is also an FM radio receiver, but it is banned in the EU.
The phone’s USB-C port supports 30W HyperCharge for Quick and safe charging of 4000mAh batteries (Quick Charge 4.0 and USB Power Delivery PPS are also supported). However, the port only supports the USB 2.0 standard.
It supports 5G networks and multiple bands (there’s one U.S. and one global version of the phone). It supports the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 (with APTX adaptive). The phone has a dual nano-SIM card slot, but no microSD slot.
Asus offers 128GB and 256GB of storage on the phone, with three options of RAM: 6GB, 8GB and 16GB. There is a smart button on the side that can be configured to trigger three different actions (the blue button on the side).
Asus ZenFone 8 is already available in Europe and Taiwan, starting at 600 euros (about 4,686 yuan) early in the morning, but going up to 670 euros by the end of the month. The phone will also be available in other regions, with more details to come.
The Asus ZenFone 8 Flip
Asus ZenFone 8 Flip comes with the Flip Camera, a three-in-one camera that adds a 3x telephoto lens to this smaller phone. Of course, without a front-facing camera, its key selling points are its flawless, true full screen and its ability to take selfie photos and videos with both the main and extra-wide cameras.
The Flip, which also uses the Snapdragon 888 chipset, comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The phone has a three-in-one card slot with a dedicated microSD location.
The rest of the device is basically the same as the ZenFone 7. The 6.67-inch AMOLED display has the same 1080p + resolution (20:9), also supports 90Hz refresh rate (200Hz touch sampling rate), and covers the Gorilla Glass 6. The screen isn’t as bright as the Zenfone 8’s (up to 700 nits), but it has the same HDR10 + certification and excellent color rendering.
The ZenFone 8 Flip’s fingerprint reader has been moved from the side to the underside of the display. The phone also has a smart button that triggers three custom actions with a single, double or long press.
The same goes for the three cameras, which have a 64MP IMX686 main sensor (no OIS support), the 12MP IMX363 sensor in the ultra-wide Angle module, and the 8 megapixel OmniVision sensor in the long focal camera. Offers 3x optical zoom (80mm focal length) and up to 12x digital zoom.
The main camera can record 30 frames of 8K video, as well as 60 frames of 4K video, and the ultra-wide camera can record up to 4K/60fps, while the telephoto module only provides basic 1080p/30fps recording, and the camera is protected by Gorilla 3 glass.
The 5,000mAh battery with 30W HyperCharge is also unchanged (supports QC 4.0 and USB-PD). Wireless connectivity benefits from a new chipset that supports Wi-Fi 6E. Audio supports APTX adaptation (also available in the 7 series).
The Flip doesn’t support a 3.5mm headphone jack, but it does have stereo speakers, a dedicated NXP Mono amplifier (TFA9874) and Hi-Res Audio certification. The speakers were tuned by Dirac Research, just like the speakers on ROG phones.
The Asus ZenFone 8 Flip is available for pre-order today in Europe and Taiwan, starting at 800 euros, with other markets to be announced soon. The ZenFone 8 Flip, like the ZenFone 8, comes with a 30W charger in the box, and the former comes with an Active Case Case, a case that locks the Flip mechanism to prevent it from opening if the phone is experiencing a lot of vibration.