Ausdroid Reviews: ASUS Zenfone 9 – where high-end meets a compact form

It’s exhausting this present day to search for a extra compact Android machine until you’re prepared to compromise on efficiency or battery life and even usability a minimum of look to Apple with its iPhone SE or Mini vary for a extra compact and manageable machine.

So when ASUS introduced the launch of the latest compact high-end Android machine, the Zenfone 9, we needed to see if this newest iteration of the Zenfone lineup and successor to the Zenfone 8 – which was sadly flawed – would enhance the Zenfone expertise while enhancing on final years flagship from the Taiwanese pc conglomerate.

So can the Zenfone 9 enhance over its little brother from final yr and enhance the compact expertise with out the necessity to soar to iOS for a compact machine? Let’s take a look we could.

Contained in the Field

Within the field, you get the machine, the Zenfone 9, a tough plastic again cowl for the machine, 1-metre USB-C to USB-C cords, a wall charger which is a 30-watt charger, SIM Device and a small instruction booklet.

The Design

The Zenfone 9 is definitely a chunky monkey coming in at 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1 mm @ 169g however it doesn’t really feel overly heavy in your hand, in actual fact, it does really feel fairly mild within the hand. To indicate the distinction in measurement, I’ve beneath my Galaxy Notice 10+ and TCL 10L beneath in opposition to the dimensions of the Zenfone 9.

Taking the machine out of the field, my first thought was in regards to the design and, a minimum of for me, appears similar to the iPhone 4/4s and even the iPhone 5 and while usually that may very well be thought of a little bit of a copycat transfer, I’ve to say the modifications and refinement ASUS have made definitely makes certain there isn’t any copycat form of feeling.

The entrance of the Zenfone 9 comes with a 5.9-inch Samsung AMOLED show that comes with a 120Hz refresh fee and an 1100 nits most brightness. I’ve to say the show is simply completely stunning and never overly vibrant. It definitely doesn’t compromise on high quality, readability and usefulness.

The entrance show additionally utilises Corning Gorilla’s newest Glass Victus so scratches or marks shouldn’t be a problem with the show.

The entrance left aspect of the show incorporates the front-facing 12 MP Sony IMX663 flagship sensor with the speaker grill above this on the prime of the show. The bezels are impressively skinny, besides on the backside of the machine which has a barely thicker bezel chin however this doesn’t detract from the general look of the machine.

The perimeters of the machine are product of aluminium which definitely provides the machine a premium feeling and does praise the show of the machine. The perimeters have been ever so barely curved and don’t really feel jagged like many different units which have tried one of these construct.

The appropriate-hand aspect of the machine incorporates the amount rocker with the ability/standby and a fingerprint sensor beneath the amount rocker. The highest of the machine homes the three.5mm audio jack for those who nonetheless choose a headphone jack.

The underside of the Zenfone 9 homes the USB-C port within the centre and on the left-hand aspect housing the twin SIM tray port and on the appropriate the rear speaker grill. Turning to the rear of the Zenfone 9, it appears to be constituted of a polymer plastic housing however is extra a tender contact matte kind of plastic, and I’ve to say I do prefer it as I discover this can cover the same old fingerprint marks significantly better.

The rear additionally homes the 2 rear-facing cameras, which do stick out due to their housing. The principle lens, which is made up of a 50 MP Sony IMX766 flagship sensor lens, stands out by about 2mm from the rear, while the second digicam, made up of a 12MP Sony IMX363 flagship sensor, stands out of the rear by about 1mm. Subsequent to the digicam lens is the only LED flashlight.

Moreover, the Zenfone 9 comes with an IP68 water resistance ranking, that means in case your do get the machine a little bit bit moist or a minimum of get sweaty while understanding, then the Zenfone gained’t crash out on you.

Efficiency, Software program and Battery Life

Beneath the hood, The Zenfone 9 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Cellular Platform processor adopted by a Qualcomm Adreno 730 GPU, with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. Sadly there isn’t any option to broaden the reminiscence by way of MicroSD, so you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient cloud storage.

The Zenfone 9 comes with Android 12 proper out of the field and through the assessment interval, there have been some safety updates that have been rolled out and put in on the machine. ASUS haven’t put many or tweaks to the inventory Android which is sweet to see.

Navigating on the Zenfone 9, ASUS does offer you a few choices, with one possibility being to double faucet twice on the again of the machine nonetheless in the event you use the included again cowl, this doesn’t all the time work so the second possibility is to swipe up or down on the mixed standby/fingerprint scanner to navigate across the machine.

The Zenfone 9 comes with a full vary of connectivity Wi-Fi 6/6E (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2×2 MIMO) and likewise helps Tri-band 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz/ 6 GHz Wi-Fi and connecting to my house Wi-Fi the connection was all the time sturdy with no dropout or points.

The Zenfone 9 additionally comes with 5G connectivity, sadly, my supplier doesn’t but have good protection out right here. I can affirm although, that the 4G connectivity was sturdy, however this can rely in your telco connectivity on the finish of the day. For individuals who requested about VoLTE, while there’s a setting to show this on, attempting to make use of it with each my Optus and Telstra SIM Playing cards, I couldn’t get the machine to make use of this selection that means you might be in the mean time restricted to Wi-Fi calling and 3G/H+, and I’m certain if for this reason there may very well be a delay in launching the product right here. To me that is extraordinarily disappointing given the 3G networks right here in Australia are being phased out in favour of 4G and extra so 5G know-how bands

The Zenfone 9 additionally comes with NFC and it may appear NFC is just obtainable to make use of whenever you level the machine in direction of the again left-hand aspect of the machine, however it does work, and I had no points utilizing this characteristic when making funds when out and about.

The Zenfone 9 comes with a 30-watt charger which ought to a minimum of offer you a full battery if placed on cost in a single day. Through the day for prime ups the charger must also be capable to get you to 100% cost in a few hours.

Speaking in regards to the battery energy, the Zenfone 9 comes with a 4,300mAh battery which you’d suppose is small, however given the machine does have a smaller display screen and because of some optimisations, the battery energy doesn’t endure as a lot, with the battery capable of final the day with medium to some excessive utilization.

Lights, Digicam, Motion

As famous, the Zenfone 9 comes with 2 rear cameras, with the primary digicam being a 50MP Sony IMX766 flagship sensor while the second digicam is an extremely extensive 12MP Sony IMX363 flagship sensor. The principle 50MP digicam lens has a 6-Axis hybrid gimbal stabiliser inbuilt into the digicam which in principle or a minimum of on paper ought to assist scale back any blur or a minimum of shaking in movies and I’ve to say it does work as I did discover pics taken with the rear cameras not as blurring or needing to take so many a number of pictures simply to get the appropriate one.

Digicam modes on the Zenfone 9 embrace Photograph, Video, Portrait, Professional (RAW file help), Professional video, Gentle Path (which is beta part), Panorama, Evening, Timelapse and Slo-mo.

Photograph’s taken with the rear digicam arrange appear at first okay, however did discover a few points, with some pictures simply seeming both flat or barely over-saturated, but in addition the second concern pertains to when you may have taken a photograph, be sure you don’t transfer the cellphone till it’s saved or absolutely taken as this did result in some barely blurring pictures after taking them, however they hadn’t been absolutely captured.

Moreover, there isn’t any Zoom, so you’ll need to be as shut as doable to an individual as attempting to take shut up pictures from a distance even utilizing what little zoom choices after which attempting to manually zoom in additional does end in far more grainy and decrease high quality pictures.

The front-facing digicam is made up of a 12MP Sony IMX663 flagship sensor digicam, which is okay for these flawless selfies, however the capability to attempt to take a selfie in low to extraordinarily low mild circumstances does imply footage do find yourself being very grainy, fairly darkish and simply completely ineffective.

Must you think about shopping for one?

All in all, I’ve to say there’s a lot to love with the Zenfone 9 and in the event you’re after a tool that provides what a flagship large smartphone does in a way more compact design, then the Zenfone 9 may very well be what you might be on the lookout for.

The one factor I would like ASUS to deal with is the cameras, which while producing respectable high quality pictures in good mild, they do appear to endure from a underneath or in variable mild circumstances. Truthfully, utilizing the cameras in low mild is horrible whenever you take a look at units just like the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Professional and the Pixel 6a, to even the Samsung Galaxy S22 vary, which has cameras that may carry out a bit higher underneath probably the most excessive low mild settings, I really feel that is the Achilles heel for the Zenfone 9.

That being stated, the digicam underneath the appropriate circumstances does carry out fairly properly, and the {hardware}, to the software program and person expertise, is flawless, it’s simply the cameras or digicam software program may want a little bit of a revamp or a minimum of a redesign.

When it comes to availability and pricing, ASUS haven’t offered any particulars, retail pricing or availability for the Zenfone 9, nonetheless, it’s Ausdroids understanding that the Zenfone 9 may be across the similar if not related pricing to the present Zenfone 8 machine of 2021. If it’s the similar worth or a minimum of near, then it may very well be value it however with out pricing, I actually can’t say both means whether it is value forking out for the Zenfone 9.

We are going to replace this assessment as soon as pricing and availability do grow to be obtainable.

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