Asus takes a swing at Apple’s iPhone 12 Mini with Zenfone 8, a compact flagship with big battery

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Updated: May 18, 2021 1:17 PM

While the Zenfone 8 Flip builds on Asus's flipping genius formula.

Asus Zenfone 8 Series Price, Asus Zenfone 8 Series Full Specifications, Asus Zenfone 8, Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, AsusAsus Zenfone 8

Asus launched the Zenfone 8 family of smartphones last night. Unlike the Zenfone 7 line-up, Asus’s 2021 flagship phones take two different trajectories. One of them called Zenfone 8 Flip builds on its flipping genius formula, while the other, simply called the Zenfone 8 takes a swing at Apple’s iPhone 12 Mini by making a case for compact phones. Both phones are launching first in Europe and Taiwan. Asus had initially planned to launch them in India simultaneously but later decided to postpone those plans due to recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. They will now launch when the current situation improves.

The Zenfone 8 starts at Euros 599 (roughly Rs 53,300) and the Zenfone 8 Flip starts at Euros 799 (roughly Rs 71,100).

Also Read | Asus ROG Phone 5 review: On top of its game

Aside from their contrasting design schemes, both phones have largely the same hardware with few differences (some owing to their distinct form factor). Both phones have the same top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC for instance, but while the Flip has a 5,000mAh battery, the Zenfone 8 has to make do with a smaller 4,000mAh battery (still bigger than the iPhone 12 Mini though and something that needs to be reviewed). Both phones support 30W fast charging — there is no wireless charging in either.

Asus Zenfone 8 Series Price, Asus Zenfone 8 Series Full Specifications, Asus Zenfone 8, Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, AsusAsus Zenfone 8 Flip

The Flip’s flip-out camera design leaves no room for any ingress protection even as the Zenfone 8 becomes the first Asus phone to come with an official IP68 rating. Though, it allows for a bigger screen (6.67-inch over 5.9-inch in the 8) and more cameras (triple cameras with 64MP main, 12MP ultra-wide-angle and 8MP telephoto for 3x optical zoom over dual cameras in the 8). That camera setup is rather strange though since the Zenfone 8’s primary rear camera (even though it is using the same sensor as the 8 Flip) has OIS — and the 8 Flip doesn’t.

The screens similarly use an odd combination of specs. Both phones use Samsung-made HDR10+ ready AMOLED panels (E4 in the 8) but while the 8 Flip tops out at 90Hz, the 8 can go all the way to 120Hz — it is also brighter. Both phones come with optical in-display fingerprint readers.

In the 8 Flip, the rear cameras serve double duty as front cameras. The Zenfone 8 has a 12MP selfie shooter housed inside a hole punch cutout.

Rounding off the package are dual stereo speakers with Android 11-based Zen UI 8, Hi Res Audio support, Wi-Fi 6E and 5G. The Zenfone 8 additionally comes with a headphone jack and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the back.

You can get the Zenfone 8 in either 6GB/8GB/16GB RAM and 128GB/256GB storage configurations. The 8 Flip comes with 8GB RAM as standard and 12BGB/256GB storage variants.

Also Read | With iPhone 12 Mini, Apple made small phones great again

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