We would not see an iPhone mini this 12 months — and that’s a giant blow to followers of compact type elements in telephones.
Fortunately although, we don’t have to surrender all hope for ‘mini’ fashions as Asus has FINALLY launched the Zenfone 8z (Zenfone 8 in international markets) in India. It launched in international markets round Could final 12 months. I can say given the nation was going by a devastating second wave of COVID-19, the corporate lacking the preliminary launch window is sensible. However it had many months after that to launch the gadget.
I used the 5.9-inch gadget for months, was mighty was mighty impressed, and needed to publish the evaluation by the tip of 2021. Heck, it will’ve made this listing as my favourite telephone of the 12 months, however Asus India had different plans.
Now I can lastly share my ideas concerning the telephone. And whereas it’s not a brand new child on the block, it’s nonetheless value a glance due to its mixture of strong specs and compact construct.
Earlier than we take a look at it intimately, right here’s the gadget’s star-studded spec sheet:
|Asus Zenfone 8z Specs|
|Display||5.9-inch FHD+ OLED|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (Final 12 months’s flagship processor)|
|Rear digital camera||64-megapixel essential sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor with f/2.2 aperture|
|Entrance digital camera||12-megapixel with f/2.5 aperture|
|Inside storage||128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 (for quicker learn and write speeds to open apps and entry content material shortly)|
|Charging||30W quick charging|
|Software program||ZenUI 8 based mostly on Android 11|
|Safety||In-screen fingerprint sensor; face unlock|
How compact is that this telephone?
As display sizes on telephones have more and more expanded in the previous couple of years, it’s laborious to name a tool ‘small’. You’ll be able to in all probability get away with calling the iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 mini small, however issues get murky past that type issue.
Asus says that the Zenfone 8 (148 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm) is a compact telephone, which is agreeable. However needless to say it’s virtually the identical measurement because the iPhone 12 (146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm). It suits into the pockets of my denims simply… however I’ll admit I might need greater pants pockets than most customers.
The Zenfone 8 has a rounded aluminum body that helps in gripping and working the telephone with one hand. The matte glass again offers holding the telephone a satisfying really feel. Due to these two supplies, the telephone is nearer to the iPhone 12’s weight (169 grams v 164 grams).
There are minor design perks with the Zenfone 8; they don’t make the telephone exceedingly nice, however they positive are good to have.
First, any telephone that has twin audio system get extra factors from me. It makes for a extra fulfilling expertise whereas watching movies and attending telephone calls on speaker mode.
Second, there’s a headphone jack! Whereas it’s straightforward to get get a pair of wi-fi earbuds now, having a 3.5mm jack makes it simpler to present this telephone to people who find themselves used to it.
And lastly, when it comes to aesthetics, it’s good to have an accented teal energy swap, and an LED indicator on the underside to know when your telephone’s charging.
What’s good about this telephone?
To start with, because it’s marketed as a compact telephone, it’s vital to speak about one-handed utilization, which the Zenfone 8 excels at. The UI is simple to get round and its measurement is well manageable, particularly in case your present telephone is an identical measurement, just like the iPhone 12.
Given the specs and the scale, it’s the right telephone for mild leisure and gaming. The Snapdragon 888 exhibits its energy whereas multitasking and switching between apps easily
The telephone has a 1080p OLED display, which is satisfactory for YouTube movies or occasional film watching. What’s extra, it’s vibrant sufficient to make use of in direct daylight.
The Zenfone 8 runs ZenUI 8, based mostly on Android 11. It’s a largely clear Android pores and skin, with a number of further options comparable to a customized mode for gaming.
The digital camera setup on the telephone shouldn’t be going to problem the standard of iPhones or Pixels, but it surely’s ok in most situations.
Daylight photographs are vibrant and detailed — that 64-megapixel digital camera works laborious to earn its maintain. You would possibly discover some snaps barely saturated, but it surely’s not a deal-breaker.
The 12-megapixel ultrawide digital camera does an satisfactory job with out dropping colours in footage. A telephoto sensor would’ve rounded out the setup properly — however that’s simply me being grasping. Listed below are some digital camera samples:
The selfie digital camera additionally sports activities a 12-megapixel sensor, and takes respectable selfies so long as you retain the wonder mode turned off.
What may very well be higher?
Battery life shall be at all times a trade-off for many compact telephones, and the Asus Zenfone 8 is not any exception. The 4,000mAh battery is barely sufficient so that you can get by the day.
You’ll be able to improve the battery life by switching off the 120Hz refresh charge, however that’s about it. Fortunately, there’s a 30W charger within the field to shortly juice up the telephone.
The telephone additionally will get sizzling throughout video calls or intense gaming classes. It’s not alarming, however simply annoying at greatest.
Whereas the cameras do an honest job, there are a number of areas the corporate might work on. For starters, photographs popping out of magnificence mode. Even when you tweak the settings on this mode, it churns out photographs with pores and skin that doesn’t look pure — turning it off is one of the best answer. Unusually, it’s turned on by default in portrait mode, and turned off by default for the entrance digital camera.
Night time mode photographs become effective if there’s SOME quantity of sunshine on the targeted object, and it’s not transferring round a lot. Nevertheless, you won’t get one of the best particulars in these photos, and there could be some grain relying on the sunshine.
Who’s it for?
For those who’re on the lookout for a compact choice within the Android World, there aren’t many decisions. You’ll be able to go for final 12 months’s Pixel 5 or the Galaxy S21 — however each of them value greater than the $629 beginning worth of the Zenfone 8z. In India, the gadget is barely cheaper at ₹42,999 ($568), and goes proper up towards the non-compact OnePlus 9RT.
Asus’ compact telephone doesn’t compromise on specs or options. It has a pleasant construct, an ideal display, and a great digital camera. It has all of the elements which are required for successful smartphone on this class. But when the Apple rumors are true, it might need a troublesome gross sales pitch towards the upcoming iPhone SE 3, particularly because it’s late to the celebration by a number of months in markets like India.