Asus Zenfone 8 Flip review
Introduction and specifications
The Asus Zenfone 7 series had a Pro and non-Pro model, but now the Zenfone 8 series takes a different approach with its two offerings called Zenfone 8 Flip and just Zenfone 8. The former retains the iconic flip camera mechanism while smaller model aims to fill the gap in a fully-fledged mini Android flagship.
Interestingly, Asus has emphasized that Flip is not the direct successor to the Zenfone 7 Pro – Vanilla 8 is. This also explains why 8 got the more meaningful upgrades, while 8 Flip seems like a sidebar.
Regardless of their smartphone positioning, Asus in the big scheme seems to fill a certain vacancy in the market. The place for an enthusiast brand that challenges the status quo and offers flagship killers, as OnePlus used to do.
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip Specifications at a glance:
- Body: 165.0×77.3×9.6mm, 230g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 6), glass back (Gorilla Glass 3), aluminum frame.
- Screen: 6.67 “Super AMOLED, 90Hz, HDR10 +, 1000 nit (peak), 1080x2400px resolution, 20: 9 aspect ratio, 395ppi; Always on display.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680); Adreno 660.
- Memory: 128 GB 8 GB RAM, 256 GB 8 GB RAM; UFS 3.1; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
- OS / software: Android 11, ZenUI 8.
- Rear camera: Wide (head): 64 MP, f / 1.8, 26 mm, 1 / 1.73 “, 0.8 µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f / 2.2, 112 °, 14 mm, 1 / 2.55 “, 1.4 µm, double pixel PDAF; Tele: 8 MP, f / 2.4, 80 mm, PDAF, 3x optical zoom.
- Front camera: Motorized flip-up main camera module.
- Video recording: Rear camera: 8K @ 30fps, 4K @ 30/60 / 120fps, 1080p @ 30/60 / 240fps, 720p @ 480fps; gyro-EIS, HDR; Front camera: 8K @ 30fps, 4K @ 30/60 / 120fps, 1080p @ 30/60 / 240fps, 720p @ 480fps; gyro-EIS, HDR.
- Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 30W, USB Power Delivery 3.0.
- Various: Fingerprint reader (on display, optical); NFC; 3 microphones;
We are not saying that other brands like Xiaomi lack any affordable flagship proposal. However, the Zenfone 8 Flip and 8 Vanilla each offer something the others do not. The former aims to be the selfie king and gets bonus points for its camera setup on the back, which is versatile in more ways than one. 8 is well a properly compact flagship, a rare breed these days.
We will focus on Flip in this review. It not only impresses with the price, but also seems to cut far fewer corners than its predecessors. It’s the most mature flip camera Zenfone yet, so to speak. A quick foam through the specification sheet suggests an almost full-fledged flagship experience with pure Android UI without breaking the bank. Does that sound familiar? That’s what OnePlus used to do.
However, the pure Android experience does not have to be boring. Asus has baked in more than a handful of custom software features that enhance the user experience.
On the other hand, the Zenfone 8 Flip has fewer upgrades to boast about. The same 90Hz OLED panel is on board along with the unchanged camera setup, and there is no 3.5mm jack despite having one on the more compact vanilla Zenfone 8. We would have expected more upgrades in this year’s generation upgrade . But maybe there’s more than it seems, so let’s continue our review and clarify what the Zenfone 8 Flip is all about.
Unpacking the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip
The handset comes in a stylish, gray box with some treats inside. It starts with 30W fast charging socket and a corresponding USB-C to USB-C cable.
Asus has also included a custom protective case. Our experience with it is mixed because it is made of hard plastic and makes the phone even bigger, and it is without a doubt less gripping than the phone itself.
Then again, we appreciate the patterned design, which is far better than the cheap transparent cases that usually come with phones. The fact that you get a case out of the box is also a good bonus considering the unusual niche design of Flip. We suspect that aftermarket cases will be scarce, especially at launch.
When we talk about the case, it has a small switch next to the camera module that locks the flip module in place. Asus says that it is especially useful when the phone e.g. Put on a bike. The system knows that it is locked and the Flip will remain in place even if strong vibrations occur.