It’s a niche in which Asus now wants to have created the perfect smartphone. Powered by the efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the Asus Zenfone 9 is for those looking for flagship power, a six-axis stabilized gimbal camera, and unrestricted one-handed operation, along with a handy new case system, and headphone jack.
Apple is going without an iPhone 14 mini this year, the sales figures for the smallest iPhone in the last two years have been too unsatisfactory, but Asus wants to do it again. There are enough buyers for a relatively compact high-end flagship that wants to offer (almost) everything that the big ones have on board, but fits more comfortably in smaller trouser pockets, can be operated perfectly with one hand, and also has a few extras has up his sleeve?
Measuring 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1 mm, the Asus Zenfone 9 is larger in all dimensions than the iPhone 13 Mini (available here on Amazon) but 1.5 mm less than the predecessor Zenfone 8. A Zenfone 9 Flip with the iconic flip camera is no longer planned for this year. Asus is sticking with the 20:9 5.9-inch Samsung AMOLED panel with a 2,400 x 1,080-pixel resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate, but the screen-to-body ratio has increased to 90 percent, and the brightness to 1,100 nits peak brightness.
Dual camera with six-axis gimbal
On the back, the two large cameras catch the eye, main camera offers the widespread 50 megapixels Sony IMX766 with F/1.9 aperture and 84.6-degree FOV, which is stabilized here with a gimbal OIS system on six axes and can create 8K video recordings. There is also a 12 MP Sony IMX363 with F/2.2 aperture and 113-degree FOV for macro/ultra wide-angle shots, which supports a maximum of 4K60.
On the front, Asus installs a 12 MP Sony IMX663 selfie camera with autofocus, F/2.45 aperture, and 76.5-degree FOV, which can at least be used for 4K30 vlogging. Also worth mentioning is the specification of 4K/120 and 1080p/240 slow motion recordings in the spec sheet. In terms of audio, Asus shines with stereo speakers, wide Bluetooth codec support including LDAC, aptx HD, and aptx Adaptive, and a 3.5 mm jack socket with Qualcomm’s Aqstic WCD9380 DAC. It has a USB-C port that charges the 4,300 mAh battery with the included power supply unit with a maximum of 30 watts and is limited to USB 2.0. Wireless charging is missing.
Asus promises perfect one-hand operation
The dual SIM cell phone, which weighs just 169 grams, is waterproof and dustproof according to IP68 and already has the new and significantly more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 on board, combined with up to 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM and a maximum of 256 GB UFS 3.1 Storage. According to Asus, they have perfected the one-hand operation of the compact flagship.
A central element here is the so-called ZenTouch multifunction button on the side. Not only is it a fingerprint sensor for unlocking, but it also offers gesture control for a variety of functions, such as opening notifications or controlling media players. With its Android 12-based ZenUI 9 interface, Asus also wants to have optimized Android for one-handed operation, mentioning a dock available on the side or a variety of control options via double taps on the Zenfone back, which according to Asus is a “non-slip”.
Asus ZenFone 9 release date and price
The basic version with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage starts at $799, with 256 GB storage you pay $849. The top model with 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage will cost $899. The Zenfone 9 is available for pre-order on the Newegg.com online store and will be available on August 6th. There will also be an early bird campaign until the end of August for the launch of the Zenfone 9, in which you will receive Free NordVPN Internet Privacy for 6 Devices up to 12 month VPN Subscription w/ purchase of a qualifying Allstate protection plan.