Taiwanese computer and device manufacturer Asus has made a name for itself in the consumer electronics world. They produce quality laptops including, most recently, the ROG
gaming laptops. In recent years, the quality and feature sets in its Android smartphones have begun making waves, too.
The company’s latest phone releases, the Zenfone 8
and Zenfone 8 Flip
, were recently announced, and there’s plenty to be excited about.
Whether you’ve been a Zenfone fan for years or you’ve never heard of them before, here’s what you need to know about the new phones.
Zenfone 8: Finally, a Mini Android Flagship
If you’ve been a Zenfone fan for years, this year’s release might be a little surprising. The Zenfone 8 shrank considerably compared to the 7, with a size somewhat close to the iPhone 12 Mini
. The iPhone Mini is still the smallest by around an inch.
The all-screen design tops out at 5.9 inches of AMOLED beauty (compared to the iPhone Mini’s 5.4 inches) and features a 120Hz refresh rate. There’s also a gaming-friendly 240Hz touch sampling rate and a 1ms touch response.
Now, this is still Android we’re talking about, where “mini” means something a little less, well, mini. Still, it’s refreshing to have something smaller available that doesn’t cut corners elsewhere.
The chipset inside is a Snapdragon 888 5G, which is the latest and snappiest Android chipset available. There’s plenty of RAM, too — up to 16 GB depending on configuration.
The hallmark of the Zenfone is that flip-up camera module. Or at least it was: because of its compact size, the Zenfone 8 drops that module in favor of a more conventional in-body camera with a hole-punch selfie cam. Despite the modest downgrade, the phone has quality image sensors from Sony, so you’ll still get crisp photos from both sides.
The Zenfone 8 is IP65/68 water-resistant
, features USB-C connectivity and retains the 3.5mm headphone jack. Asus has also crammed in a 4000mAh battery as well as 30W HyperCharge tech for faster charging.
Zenfone 8 Flip: The Successor to the Zenfone 7, But with Compromises
If you’re a fan of big phones or you don’t want to lose the flip-up camera, the Zenfone 8 Flip might be more your speed (if you can get one — more on that later). It’s the same size as the previous flagship Zenfone 7, with a 6.67-inch AMOLED display, and it does have the flip-up camera module, which lets you use the high-quality cameras in front or rear modes.
Not As Polished As the Zenfone 8
That said, there are some confusing trade-offs
here. You’d think the larger phone with the fancy camera tech would be the better one, but it isn’t, exactly. The Flip has electronic image stabilization, while the 8 has the better optical image stabilization. The Flip maxes out at 8 GB of RAM, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a 200Hz touch sample rate, all lower than the regular Zenfone 8. Despite these trade-offs, the Zenfone 8 Flip still looks to be a very capable phone, especially for those who need the best quality front-facing photos and video.
Pricing on the smaller Zenfone 8 has been announced in Europe starting at £599/€599, with an expectation that the US price point could either match that figure or sit a little higher.
The larger and more technically complicated Zenfone 8 Flip looks to start at £699/€799 in Europe, with better-specced models going up in price from there. No US price has been announced for the Flip.
One drawback for US customers is availability. Asus is taking an Asia- and Europe-first approach to release. This means US-based customers can’t easily get these new phones for some time yet. To make matters worse, The Verge reports
that Asus is planning to bring the Zenfone 8 to the US sometime this summer, but that the company has no concrete plans to bring the Zenfone 8 Flip stateside.
So, if you’re eyeing the Zenfone 8, you’ll have to wait a few months to get it easily. And getting a Zenfone 8 Flip is going to involve international shipping, it looks like.
Upsie Is Your Choice for Smartphone Protection for All US-Based Phones
As a leading provider of extended warranties for smartphones and other consumer electronics, Upsie is proud to provide smartphone protection plans
for nearly all phones released in the US. Yes, this means that you can protect a Zenfone 8 with Upsie — as long as you wait for the US release later this summer.
With Upsie, you get the same quality coverage as the big-box stores’ protection plans, but without all that extra markup and the confusing hoops to jump through. Upsie’s plans are easy to understand and even easier to use. And you’ll save a chunk of change, too.
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