In mid-May, Asus introduced a new flagship smartphone called Asus Zenfone 8. But I only managed to test it the other day and I am very sorry that I did not test this device earlier. Since the smartphone has received a number of interesting features that make it stand out from the crowd.
For example, one of the main features of a smartphone is its size. As you might have guessed from the name, the Zenfone 8 has received a very compact size compared to its main competitors.
This is not surprising, since one of the latest studies surveyed real people about what screen size was the most optimal for them. So, most people answered 5.8 to 6 inches. Therefore, the Asus brand heard people’s preferences and released a flagship device with a screen size of just 5.9 inches.
Well, in terms of price, the Asus Zenfone 8 is currently only $650. And this is actually a great value, as compared to the main competitors such as the Mi 11, OnePlus 9, and other models that will cost you a little more than the Zenfone 8.
In addition to the small and compact screen, the Asus device also received the flagship Snapdragon 888 processor with support for 5G network. The smartphone was also equipped with a large number of options for RAM and built-in memory. At the same time, the main camera module was equipped with a 64-megapixel sensor.
Naturally, the latest generations of wireless communication are available onboard the smartphone: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and even an NFC module. In addition, I can highlight the presence of a built-in 4000 mAh battery with fast charging of 30 watts of power.
Thus, I propose to talk about all the advantages and disadvantages that I identified during my in-depth and detailed examination of the flagship smartphone from Asus.
Asus Zenfone 8: Specifications
|Asus Zenfone 8:||Specs|
|Display:||5.9 inches Super AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 pixels, 120Hz|
|CPU:||Snapdragon 888 5G G35 Octa Core 2.84 GHz|
|RAM:||6, 8 or 16GB|
|Internal memory:||128 or 258GB|
|Cameras:||64MP + 12 MPmain camera and 12MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band,3G, 4G, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and GPS|
|OS:||Android 11, ZenUI 8|
|Dimensions:||148 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm|
Unboxing and packaging
The flagship device from the Asus brand comes in a branded gray package, which was made of matte rough cardboard. This is a bit surprising since most companies ship their products in glossy boxes.
However, on the front of the package, you can see an inscription with the name of the company and model. But on the back, there are the technical characteristics of the device, which I already talked about at the beginning of the review.
Inside the package, I found another small box with a needle for a SIM card, instructions for use, and a protective case. After that, I found, directly, the smartphone itself in a protective transport film. At the very bottom of the package was the Type-C charging cable and power adapter.
As you can imagine, the package is pretty standard. But I would like to point out that the quality of the accessories was at a very high level. Even if you look at the protective case, which was made of high-quality and pleasant-to-the-touch material. Ok, now let’s check the real usability of the device and how well the smartphone is assembled.
Design, build quality and materials
Considering that the new Asus Zenfone 8 smartphone is a flagship device, it makes no sense to expect budget materials in its performance. For example, the device was made of protected glass, both on the front and on the back with an aluminum frame.
In addition, it should be said that the back glass uses Gorilla Glass 3 protection and has received a matte finish. Therefore, fingerprints or other troubles will not be visible on the smartphone’s body. But on the front side of the Zenfone 8 device, glass with the protection of Gorilla Glass Victus is used.
If we talk about the build quality, then I did not find any special complaints during my testing. The smartphone did not emit extraneous sounds and squeaks, and the buttons were also pressed with good responsiveness. An important feature is the presence of protection against water and dust under the IP68 standard. This means that you can submerge your smartphone underwater to a depth of 1.5 meters for a maximum of half an hour.
Now let’s talk about one important feature that sets the Zenfone 8 apart from the rest of the competition – its size and weight. For example, the device measures 148 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm and weighs about 169 grams. In comparison, the OnePlus 9 measures 160 x 74.2 x 8.7 mm and weighs 183 grams, while the Mi 11 model measures 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.1 mm and weighs 196 grams.
From this, I can draw a small conclusion that a smartphone from the Asus brand is not only comfortable to use with one hand. But it also lay perfectly in my hands. I really liked not only the insignificant dimensions but also the low weight, which is rarely found recently on modern smartphones of 2021.
The back of the smartphone received an island with two main camera modules with LED flash. Also in the central part is the name of the device model. The fingerprint scanner was built into the smartphone screen and it recognized my finger quite accurately and, most importantly, quickly. I did not find any strong comments on its work. Naturally, you can install additional protection for face recognition, which in turn also worked very well.
The right side of the Asus smartphone has a volume rocker with a blue power button. On the opposite side, that is, on the left side, there is nothing. But on the upper edge, there is a 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones and a hole for an additional microphone. The bottom end has a speaker, Type-C connection, a microphone, and a slot for dual nano-SIM cards.
As with most flagship smartphones, including the Zenfone 8, there is no additional memory card slot. But I was pleasantly surprised by the headphone jack, a feature that is rarely seen on most flagship devices in 2021.
It is also worth mentioning that the flagship smartphone from Asus received stereo sound. Where the second speaker is used as a conversational speech. The sound quality is very excellent, there is a good volume level and a pretty decent bass.
Screen and image quality
It’s time to talk about one of the important features of the new flagship device from Asus – its screen. As I mentioned, the screen size was 5.9 inches. As for a modern smartphone, this is rather small screen size, but it was so convenient to operate and use.
The Zenfone 8 uses a screen from the manufacturer Samsung with Super AMOLED matrix technology. It is a very bright and color-saturated screen that has a wide range of colors and very high contrast ratios.
It should be noted that the pixel density per inch was 446 PPI, and the screen resolution is standard, as on most smartphones – 1080 x 2400 pixels. The aspect ratio is 20: 9 and the screen has about 82.9% usable area on the front.
The bezels around the screen weren’t quite minimal, but I can’t call them large either. There is also a round cutout for the selfie camera in the upper left corner.
Now about the main features of the screen, the Zenfone 8 smartphone model has a 120 Hz refresh rate. This feature makes the control of the user interface, in games and other applications, very smooth and fluid. The screen also received support for the HDR10+ function.
If we talk about the maximum value of the brightness level, then it lies within 1100 nits. Therefore, it was comfortable for me to use the smartphone outdoors in sunny bright weather.
Performance, benchmarks, games, and OS
Since the Asus Zenfone 8 is a real flagship smartphone, it doesn’t make sense to expect a mid-budget processor here. The device uses a chipset from Qualcomm called the Snapdragon 888. This is the latest development from the Snapdragon brand and currently, you can’t find a better processor.
This processor was built on 5-nanometer technology and received support for a 5G network. It is based on eight cores with a maximum clock speed of 2.84 GHz. I have already been able to test smartphones with this processor. So, the main problem with Snapdragon 888 was overheating, which heated up the device quite a lot during heavy processes and tasks.
The same problem has migrated to the new flagship smartphone from the manufacturer Asus. That is, with prolonged use in games or other programs, the device heated up pretty well. For example, the body of the device was in the range of 42-43 degrees in the area of the camera body. Below I also want to leave you with examples of various benchmark tests by which you can compare the results with other flagship smartphones.
As for gaming abilities, absolutely any games, the Zenfone 8 smartphone was on the shoulder. I did not find any special delays, freezes, or other troubles. And with a 120Hz screen frequency, you can enjoy smooth operation in shooters and other genres of games.
The device has received a wide range of memory modifications. You can choose a smartphone with 6, 8, 12, and even 16 GB of RAM and 128 and 256 GB of internal memory in UFS 3.1 format. The read and write speed of the built-in memory was very good. But as I said, there is no slot for an additional memory card onboard the smartphone.
Wirelessly Zenfone 8 has the latest features and functionality. For example, the device supports dual-band Wi-Fi 6e and Bluetooth 5.2 versions. But the GPS module recognizes the signal very accurately and quickly thanks to six A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS, and NavIC modules. Also, the smartphone has an NFC module for contactless payment of your payments.
If we talk about the operating system, then it received the latest generation of Android 11 with the user interface ZenUI 8. I would say that this is a practically pure operating system since it does not have extraneous programs and applications. I did not have any strong complaints about working capacity, all tasks were performed quickly and smoothly.
Camera and sample photos
On the back of the camera, only two camera modules were installed, where the main Sony IMX686 Exmor RS sensor received 64-megapixel resolution with an aperture of f/1.8. At the same time, the second module Sony IMX363 Exmor RS already has a 12-megapixel resolution for ultra-wide shots. You can see examples of photos in the album below.
From myself, I can say that the photos, both on the main module and on the ultra-wide sensor, turned out to be very bright, saturated, and good in low light.
On the front side, there is a Sony IMX663 selfie camera under a round cutout in the screen and it received a resolution of 12 megapixels. Some users scolded her for poor quality work. But I can’t say that she’s shooting so badly. Since the photos came out quite bright and detailed in good lighting. But in poor light, the quality dropped slightly and grain appeared.
In the camera application, you can find a large number of modes of operation. For example, this is a photo, video, night photography, panorama, bokeh, ultra-wide mode, manual mode, and much more. Also, the Zenfone 8 smartphone is capable of recording video in 8K and 24 frames per second, 4K and 30, 60, and 120 frames per second.
Battery and run time
Despite the fact that the Asus Zenfone 8 smartphone uses a small screen size of only 5.9 inches, battery life does not have the highest rates.
Inside the case, the manufacturer Asus has installed a 4000 mAh battery and it is capable of working up to one full working day. At the same time, I cannot say that I have heavily loaded the smartphone. I assume that the high performance and 120 Hz refresh rate are making themselves felt.
If you reduce the screen frequency to 60 Hz, then you may be able to achieve the result in battery life up to 1.5 or even 2 days.
The full charge time in my case took about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Fast charging is available, and it has a power of 30 watts. But there are no other charging methods onboard the smartphone. That is, there is no reversible or wireless charging here, and as for a flagship device, this is a bit strange.
Conclusion, reviews, pros, and cons
The flagship device Asus Zenfone 8 has proven that even a small size makes sense to live in real life.
On the positive side, I can single out the compact size and ease of use. Also, the smartphone received good and high-quality manufacturing materials. Naturally, the strong point of the smartphone is its small screen, but with a lot of features and functions.
I also liked the performance, playability, and even the way the user interface works. In addition, the camera is a strong point, both in video shooting and in photographs. And this is even despite the fact that it has only dual sensors on the back.
Of the shortcomings, I can single out – this, of course, is the overheating of the smartphone body during difficult processes, for example, in games. Not only does Zenfone 8 have this problem, but also all models of smartphones with the Snapdragon 888 processor. I would also like to get a little more battery life, as one day will not be enough for some users.
Price and where to buy cheaper?
As of this writing, the Asus Zenfone 8 is priced at just $649.99 for version 8 and 128GB of storage. If we talk about the 8 and 256 GB versions, then the price will increase by $100, and the 16 and 256 GB versions will cost you $868.89.
If you are not chasing huge smartphones, but you need a compact but flagship Android smartphone, then the model from the Asus brand is a perfect choice.