The Asus Zenfone line of smartphones is the company’s “normal” flagship that it releases every year. It pivoted towards releasing a smaller flagship when it came to the Zenfone 8, and this time around it’s done the same thing. The Asus Zenfone 9 is a compact 5.9-inch flagship smartphone with a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 in tow. It being small isn’t the only trick that it has up its sleeve, though.
The Asus Zenfone 9 packs an improved primary sensor supported by a miniature gimbal stabilization system, a lightweight chassis thanks to the materials used in its production, and a fingerprint sensor inside of the power button that also doubles up as a gesture key. Asus went all out on its latest Zenfone, and from the specification sheet alone, you can tell.
If none of that is enough to convince you, this is very likely to be the first smartphone with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 to arrive in the United States, and it debuts at $699. If you weren’t interested before, maybe you are now.
Asus Zenfone 9: Specifications
|Specification||Asus Zenfone 9|
|Dimensions & Weight||
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1|
|RAM & Storage||
|Battery & Charging||
|Security||Side-mounted fingerprint scanner|
|Front Camera(s)||12MP IMX663|
|Software||ZenUI based on Android 12|
Previous Asus Zenfone devices have featured pretty boring designs, not exactly deviating far from the norm. The Zenfone 9 shakes things up a little bit, arriving with a more unique design. The back is made of polycarbonate plastic with a soft touch feel, and it’s a boxier design more akin to an iPhone. It still has chamfered edges to make it comfortable to hold in the hand, but it’s definitely not rounded like most other phones are. Even still, there’s a camera bump as well — a pretty sizeable one at that.
On the front, the 5.9-inch Gorilla Gliss Victus display is unimpeded aside from a punch-hole camera on the top left. The bezels aren’t quite symmetrical the entire way around and there’s a bit of a chin, but it’s nothing that I’d consider to be unsightly or weird. The phone’s headphone jack is located at the top, and there are a pair of speakers at both the top and the bottom. Finally, there’s IP68 dust and water resistance so you know your phone can withstand a splash or two.
The Asus Zenfone 9 doesn’t go all out on the number of cameras that it includes, but it does have two fairly decently specced cameras. The first is the big one: an IMX766 sensor supported by gimbal stabilization and capable of snapping up to 50MP shots. It’s a big improvement over the company’s previous camera hardware, and the gimbal can stabilize on both the x and y axes and on the z-axis, adjusting for yaw. The ultra-wide camera isn’t too much to write home about, as it’s just a 12MP IMX363 shooter.
It’s capable of recording at 8K 24 FPS with OIS and EIS enabled, can take macro shots at up four centimeters, and the wide-angle camera has a field of view of 113°. HyperSteady uses the wider view camera to help analyze the situation and stabilize further, and this is only available when recording in 1080p.
The Asus Zenfone 9 goes all-out on specifications, particularly for a small smartphone. Typically we’d expect smaller phones to cut back on some hardware features, but this phone has all of the flagship basics. A high-refresh-rate full HD display? check. High-speed RAM and storage? check. The latest and greatest Qualcomm chipset? check. If you’re unconvinced, it even has a headphone jack!
To actually hone in some of the specifics, this phone packs an AMOLED full HD 120Hz panel and up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. The screen also has a default max brightness of 800 nits, with a high-brightness mode capable of 1100 nits.
If you’re worried about the battery size which may seem small coming in at 4,300 mAh, keep in mind that due to the phone’s size, the smaller display consumes less power. As we’ve also noted, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 uses less energy anyway, so it’s entirely possible that this size battery is completely fine. The phone can also charge up at 30W.
On the software front, the Asus Zenfone 9 runs ZenUI. It’s Asus’ own Android variant that remains pretty close to stock Android in a lot of ways, surfacing useful features and adding a little bit more on top. It’s teeming with cool things you can try out, with one example being ZenTouch. ZenTouch turns the fingerprint sensor in the power button into a gesture control slider, and you can assign actions to it from your phone’s settings.
The Asus Zenfone 9 will have two years of major updates, and two years of security patches.
Pricing & Availability
The Asus Zenfone 9 will launch in Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, North America, Indonesia, and parts of South America.
In the US, the Asus Zenfone 9 has a price of $699 for the base 8GB/128GB model, and in Europe, it will start at €799.
- 8GB + 128GB storage, $699/€799
- 8GB + 256GB storage, unknown
- 16GB + 256GB storage, unknown
Pre-orders are available today outside of the US from Asus’ website.