When a flagship smartphone is released at an affordable price, you can expect some compromises here and there. The Asus Zenfone 8 offers solid performance with impressive cameras and storage space. The speakers are great, and the compact design makes it easy to use with one hand. The small size is a shift for Asus, who, for a couple of generations has been making large phones with flip-out cameras.
Asus Zenfone 8: Price and Availability
The Asus Zenfone 8 was launched on May 12, with a price range of $599 to $799. Unlike Asus Zenfone8 Flip, the Zenfone 8 will be coming to North America and will be offering different configurations.
The Zenfone features top specs but focuses on reliability. It's expected to bring tough competition to rivals like Google Pixel 5, OnePlus 9, and Samsung Galaxy S21.
Asus Zenfone 8: Design and Display
If you like a small compact phone, then the Asus Zenfone 8 is perfect for you. Usable with one hand, the phone measures 148x68.5x8.9mm, which is almost the same size as Google Pixel 5 (144.7x70.4x8mm).
A Gorilla Glass Victus protects the front panel and is fitted with an in-display fingerprint sensor. The back is protected with a Gorilla Glass 3, sporting a matte finish. The Zenfone 8 is made with an aluminum frame, giving it a high-end look and feel. The front panel is flat, but the back is slightly curved on the long edges for an easy fit in the hand.
Its power button is positioned such that the right thumb falls on it naturally when you hold it in your hand. It also has a headphone jack on the top edge, a USB-C port and speaker on the bottom, and a SIM slot to the left (it lacks microSD capability). The display is a 5.9-inch 1080p OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate that makes for smooth swiping, scrolling, and animations compared to a 60Hz or 90Hz panel.
The phone is designed to automatically switch between 120 / 90 / 60Hz, depending on the application, to conserve battery life. You can also set the refresh rates manually. The on-screen picture quality is quite impressive – it's even sharper than iPhone 12 Pro’s screen display. It offers amazing brightness and colors, producing images that feel true-to-life than Zenfone 7.
Asus Zenfone 8: Software
The Asus Zenfone 8 ships with android 11 but, Asus says it will provide “at least” two major OS with security updates for the same timeframe. That’s low than what we’d expect from a flagship phone, with the likes of Apple’s phones coming with a 4-5-year support schedule.
For US customers, the Asus Zenfone 8 will only support AT&T, T-Mobile’s LTE and, Sub-6Ghz 5G networks. This means you can't use the phone on Verizon, and it lacks support for the fast but limited, millimeter-wave 5G networks.
Asus Zenfone 8: Performance
The Asus Zenfone 8 is a powerful, small phone. It packs a Snapdragon 888 processor with an option of 8GB or 16GB RAM and storage space of 128GB or 256GB. As noted, it comes running Android 11 with Google’s latest mobile OS, featuring improved word prediction tools, media controls, and more.
It's integrated with Asus ZenUI overlay, which provides the Game Genie skin. It has a menu for in-game options such as muting notifications, disabling calls, optimizing RAM, and tweaking performance. The Asus Zenfone 8 has an IP68 rating for dust protection and some water submersion, meaning it performs well in tough weather.
Asus Zenfone 8: Battery
The Asus Zenfone 8 ships with a 4,000-mAh battery, that can get you through a whole day. Turning off the Always-On display and the 120Hz screen can give you some extra juice to the second day. The battery supports a 30W wired charging and takes a little over an hour to fully recharge.
The Asus Zenfone 8 smartphone comes with five battery modes to optimize phone performance for improved battery life. It also has different charging modes to customize how you want it charged. For instance, you can set it to charge slowly overnight so that it reaches 100 percent by the time you're waking up.
Unfortunately, the Asus Zenfone 8 lacks wireless charging, unlike its predecessor.
Asus Zenfone 8: Cameras
The Asus Zenfone 8 Flip and Zenfone 7 packed a telephoto lens. The Asus Zenfone 8 doesn't, but it still manages to capture brilliant images. It has two rear cameras: a 64MP, f/1.8 main camera and the 12MP ultrawide. They are inherited straight from last year’s model but without the telephoto.
The Asus Zenfone 8’s primary camera outputs 16MP images with vibrant colors and great detail in good light. It also handles low light pretty well with the Night Mode. When you use portrait mode, a skin-smoothing beauty mode is turned on by default.
The selfie 12MP camera does a good job and also features the beauty mode.
Although the Asus Zenfone 8 lacks a few necessary features, it feels great in hand and fits nicely in the pocket. Battery life is average, and it’s a great choice for those not so keen on high-quality images. That said, it comes in at an affordable price tag and offers a solid performance.
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