The Asus Zenfone 8 is a true flagship killer which is offered at just $599. The spec-sheet that it brings to the table is amazing. Still, there are some cons which will be addressed in the later part of this post
Honestly, looking at the Asus Zenfone 8 I just wish this was 2015. But knowing that this is 2021 I feel awkward. Don’t get me wrong, the design is minimalistic and friendly but certainly not the one that fits for a flagship or flagship killer device.
In fact, I feel bored looking at it. But here’s the point. Since there is nothing kept in a phone’s design until it is over-priced; everything is great if the Smartphone brings all the goodies with it.
The Zenfone 8 packs the goodness of a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 flagship chipset, high gaming performance and software, excellent battery life and a nice display.
The Asus Zenfone 8 is a very compact phone with 5.9” FHD+ E4AMOLED display with 120Hz smooth refresh rate, 446ppi density, HDR10+ support and Corning Gorilla glass Victus protection. The back panel though looks plastic is built from Corning Gorilla 3. The side frame is made of Aluminum and the Smartphone has IP68 water resistance which certifies the smartphone to hold up to 30 min under 1.5m without damage. The Smartphone has a peak brightness of 1100 nits and a typ. brightness of 700 nits.
Performance and UI
The Asus Zenfone 8 is the most affordable flagship device. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, the phone performs excellently during heavy gaming and video editing sessions. There are no heating issues whatsoever. Also, since the Smartphone is an Asus offering it is not surprising to know that the Zenfone 8 has all the gaming features that you see on the ROG Phone 5. It is just the hardware which makes it different from a typical gaming device.
It runs Android 11 with ZenUI 8 on top. The GPU is Adreno 660 and the Octa-core CPU clocks (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680).
The Asus Zenfone 8 easily tackles high RAM demanding applications with its 16GB RAM. The configuration is strange because the Zenfone 8 directly jumps to 16GB RAM from 8GB. Also there is a 6GB RAM option with 128GB UFS 3.1storage.
Available options: 6GB/128GB | 8GB/128GB | 8GB/256GB | 16GB/256GB
The only thing that I don’t like on the Zenfone 8 apart from the design is the absence of microSD slot. I understand it was done with the clear motive of keeping the phone compact, but with all this power and gaming abilities an expandable storage would have been a real deal breaker.
The Asus Zenfone 8 has a dual rear camera set-up comprising of a 64MP f/1.8 primary sensor and a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle lens. There are no physical Macro or zoom lenses, but the two rear sensors carry out tasks well. The ultra-wide angle lens does not lose focus even while shooting from a distance of 4cm thus making it a macro lens. Also, the 64MP primary sensor takes advantage of its high-resolution and digitally crops the image to provide lossless 2x zoom option. Of course, this is not an alternative to the Periscope/telephoto lens but they do help.
The front shooter is a 12MP f/2.5 sensor with ordinary performance and abilities. However, during portrait shots the background is severely blown out at times. Both the front and rear sensors can record 4K@30 fps but the rear camera can record 8K@24, 4K@60/120 fps as well. Even though there is no OIS, the videos are sufficiently stable.
The sound quality is very amusing on the Asus Zenfone 8. I really don’t know how Asus managed to make a Smartphone which is both loud and compact at the same time. The sound quality is great, thanks to the stereo speakers. Also, there is the 3.5mm headphone jack which was unexpected for two reasons. First, the jack demands extra space and second, it is a trend these days to have no headphone jack in flagships. Asus has done a great job with their speakers and I really appreciate that.
On paper, the 4,000 mAh battery and 30W fast charging looks less; but that’s for a normal Smartphone. The Asus Zenfone 8 being a compact device with just a 5.9” E4AMOLED display consumes lesser power and the 30W charger supplies enough power to charge the 4,000mAh battery from 0-70% in just 30 min which is sufficiently enough for a full day of normal usage.
This clearly shows the advantage of a smaller display over those 6.7” ‘large-pocket’ displays.
The Asus Zenfone 8 is a true flagship device though the looks of it don’t make it feel so. Due to the SD 888 chipset, Asus gaming software, awesome display and appreciable battery life, the Asus Zenfone 8 is truly an incredible offering. The pricing is aggressive and will definitely bring a hard time for the OnePlus 9 Pro, sold at a higher price.
- No expandable storage
- Poor portrait selfies
- Boring design
Things that really matter
- 3.5mm headphone jack present
- Telephoto and macro sensors integrated into the primary and ultra-wide cameras
- Asus Gaming software