Asus Zenfone 8 series: Everything you need to know

Yup, the Asus Zenfone 8 series is here! Smartphones these days have become depressingly generic, and it seems like manufacturers are always focusing on getting more cameras, faster processors, and bigger screens onto their devices. Whatever happened to unique mobile devices? Now, Asus’ latest Zenfone series might just be the answer to that, with two devices that are a little unconventional, to say the least.

The Taiwanese company announced two new models as part of the series: the Asus Zenfone 8, and the Zenfone 8 Flip. Both are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, with the former being the compact flagship option and the latter bringing over the flipping camera module from the Zenfone 7 series.

Ready? Here’s the gist of it.

Price and availability

The compact Zenfone 8 will be available in global markets with configurations of up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Meanwhile, The Zenfone 8 Flip comes with up to 8GB of RAM (which should be enough, frankly) and 256GB of storage.

Official retail pricing in Europe is as follows:

Asus Zenfone 8 – EUR 599 (~RM2,999)
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip – EUR 799 (~RM4,001)

*starting prices

If you’re keen to get your hands on a set in Malaysia, Asus has confirmed that the Zenfone 8 series will arrive in Malaysia by the end of May 2021. Local pricing, however, has not been revealed yet.

Asus Zenfone 8 specs

The Zenfone 8 looks to be the Android world’s answer to the iPhone 12 Mini, with a flagship Snapdragon 888 chip under the hood to offer “big performance” in a “compact package”, as promised. You’re looking at a 5.9″ Samsung AMOLED display pushing a FHD+ resolution of 2400×1080 pixels at a 20:9 aspect ratio.

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Asus didn’t skimp on this display (despite its size), and you’ll be getting a buttery fast 120Hz reresh rate with a 240Hz touch sampling rate. It also offers 1100 nits of peak brightness, and 112 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. Plus, this is a Gorilla Glass Victus screen, so you should be covered for most minor drops.

Something that Asus is particularly proud of here is the 4,000mAh battery on its compact flagship—which is relatively large for such a small phone. A 30W charger is included (yay), as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, you do miss out on wireless charging, an omission which Asus says was necessary due to the combination of the large battery and compact body size.

For photography, you only get two cameras—again, because of the lack of space. The main shooter utilises a Sony IMX686 64MP sensor with a 1/1.7″ sensor size with an f/1.8 aperture, while you get an IMX363 12MP on the ultra-wide camera (f/2.2). All rear cameras come with AF and face detection, while the main camera supports OIS. For selfies, the Zenfone 8 uses a 12MP Sony IMX663 sensor, which supports Dual PD autofocus. Oh, and video recording at 8K resolution is supported at 24fps, too.

Other specs are more-or-less par for course on an Android flagship in 2021. This includes WiFi 6E support, UFS3.1 storage, and LPDDR5 RAM. And of course, this is a 5G supported phone.

And yes, this phone is very, very small at 148×68.5×8.9 mm, and just 169g in weight.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip specs

Moving on, the Asus Zenfone Flip brings over the flipping camera module also seen on the Zenfone 7 series. The benefits of this unique approach is a fully unencumbered display, free from hole-punch cutouts or notches, along with some high quality selfie cameras. Plus, Asus says that the flip mechanism has a safeguard that retracts the camera when the phone is dropped, while it has been tested (or flipped) 300,000 times for durability.

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You also get a Snapdragon 888 under the hood, as well as the same main and ultra-wide cameras as its smaller sibling. You do get an additional telephoto camera on the Flip, however, with the 8MP sensor offering up to 3x optical zoom and 12x in total zoom. 8K recording at 30fps is supported, although there is no OIS here, just EIS.

Up front, you’re looking at a 6.67″ Samsung AMOLED display pushing a FHD+ resolution, as well as a slightly slower 90Hz refresh rate with a 200Hz touch sampling rate. It still covers 110 percent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, while offer 1000 nits of peak brightness. You also miss out on Gorilla Glass Victus, with Gorilla Glass 6 instead.

Probably due to its larger size, the Zenfone 8 Flip does have a larger battery than the compact Zenfone 8, with a large 5,000mAh also supporting 30W fast-charging. Other specs include 5G support, WiFi 6E, and an in-display fingerprint scanner. No 3.5mm headphone jack here, however.

Both devices ship with Android 11, with Asus ZenUI 8 running on top.

So, what do you think? Are these the most funky Android phones you can get your hands on right now? Personally, I certainly think they’re up there. Share your thoughts in the comments below.