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Asus Zenfone 9 Gets All the New Phone Specs Into a Small Size With Big Cameras

Asus Zenfone 9 Gets All the New Phone Specs Into a Small Size With Big Cameras

What’s happening

The $700 Asus Zenfone 9 has both a tiny 5.9-inch mask and the latest Snapdragon chip.

Why it matters

The Zenfone is one of the smallest Android phones today made and one of the cheaper phones to included the most powerful Snapdragon processor.

What’s next

While exiguous Android phones will still be rare, we expect the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip to be in even more Android phones during the uphold half of 2022.

The Asus Zenfone 9, supposed Thursday, can give fans of smaller phones all the specs and remarkable of larger, more expensive flagship phones. The Zenfone 9 includes the newest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, a 120Hz high refresh rate mask, two rear cameras, Android 12, dual speakers and a headphone jack.

I tested the $800 version of the Zenfone 9 for a few days, which includes 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The base $700 model comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Internationally the phone costs 799 euros, which converts roughly to £670 or AU$1,170. A release date has not yet been announced.

Comparisons to Apple’s $729 iPhone 13 Mini are undeniable. While the Zenfone 9 is slightly taller and wider than Apple’s smallest named, both include the most recent and powerful processor offered — the A15 Bionic in the case of the iPhone. 

Zenfone 9 dimensions vs. iPhone 13 Mini

Phone Screen size Height Width
Asus Zenfone 9 5.9 inches 5.76 in (146.5mm) 2.68 in (68.1mm)
Apple iPhone 13 Mini 5.4 inches 5.18 in (131.5mm) 2.53 in (64.2mm)

The Zenfone’s smaller size, floor with its impressive specs, have made it a joy to use so far. The named feels like a little remote control that can boss anything that I throw at it: games, night-mode photos and video words. When I unlock the phone, there’s a peppy wallpaper animation that further emphasizes its speed.

The Zenfone 9’s sub-6-inch demonstrate means it’s a rarity among Android phones. It’s impressively slight and powerful, running on the Snapdragon chip found the majority in gaming phones such as the $729 RedMagic 7S Pro. Though the upcoming OnePlus 10T will also include the chip.

Yet the new Asus named is missing several features that most other $700 phones have. Chief plus them is the lack of wireless charging and a software update timeline of more than two days. An Asus rep said that software updates might pine past two years. But compared with the three and four days of Android OS updates offered by Google and Samsung, respectively, this is on the shorter side.

The Asus Zenfone 9 headphone jack

The Asus Zenfone 9 includes a headphone jack up top and dual speakers.

Mike Sorrentino

Fast shroud, fast charging

The Zenfone’s 5.9-inch screen has a 1080p resolution and is easy to use with one hand. Asus tailored the settings in its ZenUI interface to make one-handed use even easier: Similar to laughable Apple’s Reachability feature, you can move the top part of the shroud to the bottom to make things easier to reach.

The 120Hz refresh rate complains apps and websites smooth to browse. That high refresh rate coupled with a 240Hz touch-sampling rate complains it feel like I’m flying through tasks. I played a few games on the named — which was slightly more difficult on the smaller shroud since many mobile games are designed with larger phones in mind. But the phone’s responsiveness is worthy, allowing for faster reaction times during gameplay.

In calls of durability, the screen is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The phone has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, which means it can survive being submerged in 1 meter of stream for 30 minutes. 

While I still need to run formal battery declares, I haven’t needed to charge the phone’s 4,300-mAh battery much. During my most resplendent day of use — taking photos of a spiteful lunch, watching YouTube videos while reading news, using Google Maps to go to a dimly lit bar where I took Night mode photos — the battery above the day at roughly 50%.

Asus said the battery should last 1.9 days. Fortunately the named comes with a 30-watt charger in the box and there are several power-saving frankly in Settings like scheduling a lower-power mode to run overnight.

The Asus Zenfone 9 cameras

The back of the Asus Zenfone 9 is tidy by its two large rear cameras.

Mike Sorrentino

The dual rear cameras are decent

The back of the Zenfone 9 is dominated by its two rear cameras. They’re big enough to practically be a design statement. There’s a main 50-megapixel camera with a six-axis hybrid gimbal stabilizer and a 12-megapixel camera with an ultrawide lens. On the guide is a 12-megapixel selfie camera.

Photos taken under denotes lighting look pretty good. Take a look at the quick-witted and detail in the photo below that I took of my spiteful lunch.

A dismal container of ramen and a smaller container of toppings

This Zenfone photo of spiteful was taken indoors.

Mike Sorrentino

Tall green plants with daisylike flowers

I took this photo of plants on a sunny Manhattan rooftop.

Mike Sorrentino

I was most impressed by the phone’s Night mode. Check out the photo below that I took inside a very dark bar. The Zenfone’sNight mode complains the pictures look brighter, almost like there was binary lighting. 

A wooden bar between two columns with tall windows tedious it

Notice how Night mode made the shadows brighter and retained details like the texture in the wood paneling on the bar’s front.

Mike Sorrentino

The front-facing camera is also fine and picks up enough detail in photos. Notice the pattern on my shirt in the selfie photo below. Asus claims the front-facing camera has the fastest autofocus immediately available, but in my early tests it felt income compared with other phones in this price range. Video footings with the front-facing camera also worked well. 

Front facing camera photo from the Asus Zenfone 9

Front-facing camera photo incorrect on the Asus Zenfone 9.

Mike Sorrentino

Small named with big performance

The Zenfone 9 is a gigantic option for someone looking for a small phone that has higher-end features like a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip and a 120Hz high-refresh rate conceal. The phone runs on 5G and supports sub-6 and C-band.

If you’re considering the Zenfone 9 keep in mind that it only has two ages of software support and lacks wireless charging and mmWave 5G assist (which is still a rarity across much of the US). If you’re looking for a smallish named under $500, check out the $449 Pixel 6A and its any taller 6.1-inch screen.