Asus Zenfone 9 review

Reviews
Scarlette Lennon28 July 2022Last Update : 2 weeks ago
Asus Zenfone 9 review

Introduction

Compact size, big options – Zenfone 9’s tagline, printed on the phone’s box itself, sums up its priorities nicely. One of the most pocket-friendly high-end handsets on the market, Asus’ latest features a powerful chipset, a new main camera and an increase in battery capacity. Unfortunately, there’s no Zenfone Flip this time – the tiny Zenfone 9 is the only Zenfone 9.

And yes, it is small. Asus has shaved a few fractions of a millimeter here or there from the already small Zenfone 8’s dimensions and has kept the weight at 169g, making the larger battery even more impressive. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1’s improved efficiency should do wonders with the extra juice, and the Fall version of the Qualcomm top-tier chipset is also even more powerful than the OG.

The other key development is the gimbal-mounted main camera, which also comes with a larger sensor than last year’s model. The ultra-wide remains unchanged, but it has autofocus, which is still not a given in 2022. Likewise, the recycled AF-capable selfie camera also sets the Zenfone 9 apart from the masses.

Asus Zenfone 9 review

The rest remains largely unchanged. The 5.9-inch OLED screen refreshes at up to 120Hz, the battery charges at up to 30 watts, there’s still a headphone jack and stereo speakers, the housing is IP68 rated. A somewhat surprising development is the side-mounted fingerprint reader – the old phone had it under what is otherwise the same display. Here are a bunch more numbers.

Asus Zenfone 9 specs at a glance:

  • Body: 146.5×68.1×9.1mm, 169g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), plastic back, aluminum frame; IP68 dust/waterproof (up to 1.5m 30 minutes).
  • Screen: 5.90″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 446ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.19 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.75 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 16GB RAM; LPDDR5, UFS 3.1.
  • OS/Software: Android 12, ZenUI.
  • Rear camera: wide (main): 50MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, gimbal stabilization; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 113˚, 14mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF.
  • Front camera: 12MP, f/2.5, 28mm (standard), 1/2.93″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF.
  • Video recording: Rear camera: [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, [email protected]; gyro-EIS, HDR; Front camera: [email protected], [email protected]/60fps.
  • Battery: 4300mAh; Fast charging, USB Power Delivery 3.0.
  • Various: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; 3.5 mm jack; stereo speakers.

Asus Zenfone 9 unboxing

The Zenfone 9 comes in a matte gray recycled cardboard box with an oversized ‘9’ printed on the lid. Inside you get a 30W charger and a USB-C cable.

Asus Zenfone 9 review

There’s also a hard plastic snap-on case that covers the back and most of the sides and has raised bezels for the cameras to ensure the glass doesn’t come into contact with surfaces. The cover is also color-matched to the phone’s frame – so off-white on the Moonlight White version, black on the others. However, it is not as soft to the touch as the handset’s own panel. For more on the design changes this year, join us on the next page.

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