ASUS Zenfone 9 overview: The very best compact smartphone


  • Lightning Chipset
  • Convincing battery life
  • Excessive digital camera efficiency


  • Comparatively heavy for a compact gadget
  • Display brightness is a bit disappointing
  • The software program provides room for enchancment

ASUS constantly returns yearly with a high-end compact smartphone, and this yr the Taiwanese model returns with the Zenfone 9. Compact: is it synonymous with economic system or excessive efficiency?

ASUS will not be the primary producer that involves thoughts while you consider smartphones. The model has not been on the cabinets of Belgian shops for a number of years, but it surely on the market on-line. Just like the not too long ago introduced ASUS Zenfone 9. The gadget is the ninth technology of the high-end Zenfone, however is definitely an additional growth Zenfon 8. Throughout growth, the Taiwanese model claims to have gone to nice lengths to make the cellphone as compact as attainable with out sacrificing efficiency or battery life. It looks as if a tough activity, however so far as I perceive, this gadget has the whole lot for it.

Asus Zenfone 9 colors
ASUS Zenfone 9 lastly makes the compact phase attention-grabbing once more

Compact design

Nobody shall be stunned that the ASUS Zenfone 9 is definitely a comparatively compact smartphone. On this smartphone, you don’t get a 6-inch display screen, as we’re used to on trendy smartphones, however a 5.8-inch display screen. Not essentially small, however far more manageable than, for instance, the ROG Cellphone 6’s 6.78-inch display screen. Fortunately, the sides of the display screen have additionally remained comparatively compact, retaining the Zenfone 9 snug to carry for nearly everybody and retaining the size small. : 165.1 x 77.3 x 9.6 mm.

Regardless of or due to its compact dimension, it’s a comparatively thick and, above all, heavy cellphone; at 230 grams, it is nearly as heavy because the iPhone 13 Professional Max. Though it wasn’t a flip off for me. The load of the smartphone is effectively distributed from above and beneath and provides the sensation that you’re holding a high quality product in your arms. That is confirmed by the supplies utilized by ASUS. The sides are manufactured from steel and the again is roofed with a matte polymer materials that feels very good within the arms and provides the gadget further grip while you’re not utilizing the case. The one disadvantage is that the fabric simply attracts fats, which, as a result of texture, can not merely be erased.

It’s also noticeable across the edges that the fabric begins to barely shine, presumably as a result of texture changing into flatter there. It isn’t an issue, particularly when you’re utilizing a case, however I feel it might be even higher within the subsequent iteration. The ASUS design additionally appears to be like businesslike and modern, with little textual content on the digital camera sensors. And with 4 colours to select from, it is nearly inevitable that the general image will attraction to a large viewers. Talking of circumstances, with massive digital camera modules on the again, it is a should. In any case, with out a case, this smartphone staggers backwards and forwards on the desk.

No overloaded display screen

As for the ASUS Zenfone 9 display screen, not a lot has actually modified: it was taken immediately from its predecessor. Samsung’s 5.8-inch Full HD+ AMOLED show is beginning to age a bit of – with a peak brightness of 800 nits (non-HDR), it’s miles from the brightest display screen in the marketplace. On the identical time, besides in exceptionally sunny circumstances, it’s often brilliant sufficient to learn the display screen. As well as, ASUS has managed to get a refresh fee of 120Hz, which makes the smartphone very clean.

It is also good you could manually alter the pace within the settings menu (120Hz, 90Hz or 60Hz) so it can save you energy as you want or have the smoothest display screen in your arms. In conclusion, ASUS says that the colours of the show out of the field are very correct, and this actually exhibits up in a cooler colour tone. Good for colour fanatics, however when you want hotter colours: you may also tweak this to your liking within the settings.

“Solely two cameras”

When ASUS launched the Zenfone 9, I used to be a bit of disillusioned that the gadget had two cameras. If you consider high-end smartphones, you typically consider cameras with a minimum of three sensors. That third sensor, be it macro or telephoto, can already write in your abdomen. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to have a number of enjoyable with the Zenfone 9’s sensors.

A feat is a 50MP Sony IMX766 essential digital camera. The sensor has additionally returned to the ROG Cellphone 6 earlier, and the photographs are simply extremely good, with correct colours and loads of distinction and sharpness. The dynamic vary will also be referred to as superb, though the software program typically produces images with an extreme HDR (Excessive Dynamic Vary) look. They appear good, typically even a bit of prettier than they are surely. So far as the wide-angle digital camera goes, that line continues with crisp images, though you discover that the 12MP sensor used for it captures much less element. Then there may be the selfie digital camera, which additionally takes superb images, however typically with too heat tones. Whereas the summer season solar did colour my pores and skin, it appeared extra brown within the images than it truly is.

ASUS Zenfone 9 row
Zenfone 9 incorporates two large digital camera modules.

ASUS might also refine the picture preview with the selfie digital camera. The background sky is commonly utterly white beforehand, with the ultimate consequence exhibiting the proper colour. As well as, there are video modes the place the principle digital camera specifically delivers “superb” efficiency. ASUS calls its reduce a gimbal setting that may right photos by as much as 3 levels. Even with vital hand strikes, the Zenfone 9 can seize good movies. You’ll be able to shoot video in 8K at 24 fps or 4K at 120 or 60 fps.

Lightning quick and compact

Now the issues should come, proper? A compact smartphone cannot be an infinitely good story, can it? With ASUS Zenfone 9, sure. At the least that is my expertise within the final two weeks. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset paired with 16GB of RAM delivers superb efficiency. The Zenfone 9 handles the whole lot from on a regular basis duties to heavy gaming prefer it’s easy.

What additionally struck me is that with this cellphone, you do not have to fret about warmth. Even after extended use, the gadget remained comparatively chilly. Whereas it should not come as a shock in the course of the winter, assessments with this smartphone had been carried out in the midst of summer season, even when it was nearly forty levels. By the best way, when you’re eyeing a smartphone, do not feel like it’s a must to empty your pockets for a mannequin with 16GB of RAM. 8 GB also needs to be sufficient below regular circumstances.

Equally, the Zenfone 9’s 4300mAh battery is greater than sufficient to get you thru the day. With a full battery, 7 hours of display screen time might simply be achieved. Now, that does not let you know a lot, however in my utilization, it will probably’t be achieved on most high-end smartphones. Definitely not when 5G/4G is used. When you run out of battery, the 30-watt charger may also recharge pretty rapidly. It isn’t a 65-watt charger, but it surely’s greater than sufficient to cost the battery rapidly.

Pure software program

The truth that the Zenfone 9 feels so clean is just not solely as a result of lightning-fast chipset, but in addition to the clear software program we discover on the smartphone. ASUS is delivery an Android 12 gadget with a Zen UI. Largely as a result of this person interface is just not there: in follow, it is simply Android 12 with some extra choices within the settings menu. For instance, you’ll be able to set useful gestures to activate the display screen, or select the utmost share you wish to cost your battery to increase battery life.

One of many gestures can be for the fingerprint scanner to swipe down on the notification bar. This works nice in follow, however will get activated too typically. The fingerprint scanner, which has not but been mentioned within the overview, is probably the quickest one which has ever returned to the gadget. It additionally by no means refused my established fingerprints throughout my testing interval. General, the Zenfone 9’s software program and {hardware} are the winners, though ASUS should take note of its gestures.

Fingerprint scanner ASUS Zenfone 9
The fingerprint scanner is the quickest ever to go my fingers

Last verdict

If you’re on the lookout for a compact Android smartphone with clean operation and good cameras, we are able to solely suggest one gadget: ASUS Zenfone 9. As well as, in its value class, the gadget surprises with each clean operation and good high quality. battery life and higher cameras than anticipated.

In fact there may be nonetheless room for enchancment by way of software program and the improve technique is not nice, however are you able to count on an ideal smartphone at this value level?

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