Asus Zenfone 8 Flip Assessment: The selfie grasp returns

MSRP $980.00

“The Zenfone 8 Flip’s distinctive motorized digital camera module makes it the very best selfie digital camera you should buy, however the remainder of the phone fails to standout as a result of a hefty physique and a recycled design.”

Execs

  • Motorized digital camera means superb selfies
  • Wonderful audio
  • Nice for gaming
  • Quick, dependable software program

Cons

  • No water resistance
  • No wi-fi charging
  • Huge and heavy

In the event you’re anticipating the Zenfone 8 Flip to be a radical departure from the Zenfone 7 Professional, then disappointment is headed your method, because the phone is externally nearly an identical to the 2020 flagship phone. It’s additionally not likely Asus’ large launch for 2021, as evidenced by the dearth of a “Professional” suffix. This honor truly lies with the “compact flagship” Zenfone 8.

So do you have to care about it in any respect? Sure, as a result of there have been some all-important modifications internally, and the technically very intelligent motorized digital camera module means it’s nonetheless among the finest smartphones you should buy when you actually love taking selfies. Simply don’t count on the remainder of the phone to excite you in the identical method.

Design

Give or take a couple of tenths of a millimeter, the Zenfone 8 Flip is precisely the identical dimension and form because the Zenfone 7 Professional. Asus might have saved the physique of the Zenfone 8 at lower than 70mm large to facilitate one-handed use, but it surely hasn’t accomplished the identical with the Zenfone 8 Professional. It’s large at 77mm, thick at 9.8mm, and heavy at 230 grams. The again is made out of glass, the chassis from metallic, and the flip digital camera module from liquid metallic for energy and lightness.

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The flip digital camera is the explanation you’ll purchase the Zenfone 8 Flip, because it allows you to use the rear cameras for selfie duties too. The motor — a beautiful piece of small-scale engineering — rapidly flips the digital camera out and excessive of the phone, so the three cameras face you. It’s a really mechanical expertise, as you’ll be able to hear and really feel the motors and gears all working in unison, a really uncommon tactile sensation on a contemporary smartphone. It’s quick and clean, and Asus has upgraded the elements to enhance sturdiness, now promising it’ll final for at the very least 300,000 flips in comparison with 200,000 on the Zenfone 7 Professional.

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I just like the flip digital camera. It’s distinctive, works rather well, and supplies options fully unavailable on another smartphone. Nonetheless, the general Zenfone 8 Professional bundle feels dated because the design hasn’t modified at throughout final yr’s phone, and arguably, it’s not that totally different from the Zenfone 6 Flip both. The Zenfone 8 Flip is large, heavy, thick, and when in comparison with phones just like the OnePlus 9 Professional, the iPhone 12, and the Samsung Galaxy S21, merely not refined or fairly sufficient. It makes the Zenfone 8 Professional a tougher promote, regardless of the attraction of the flip digital camera.

Display screen

The 6.67-inch Samsung-made AMOLED display on the entrance of the Zenfone 8 Flip is unbroken by a hole-punch or notch, because of the flip digital camera making such a factor irrelevant. It has a 90Hz refresh fee, 200Hz contact sampling fee, 1,000 nits most brightness, and niceties like a DCI-P3 colour gamut. Asus claims the bezels are smaller than the Zenfone 7 Professional, however I can’t see a lot distinction.

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It’s the favored 20:9 side ratio, shared by phones just like the Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9, and as you’d count on, it’s nice for watching a video and enjoying video games. It’s an FHD+ decision, however I didn’t miss the upper decision offered by phones just like the OnePlus 9 Professional below regular circumstances, and it does assist prolong the battery life too. It doesn’t have any excessive curve on both facet, making it largely flat which can attraction as nicely.

For prolonged watching periods the scale and weight made the Zenfone 8 Flip extra fatiguing to carry than lighter and extra compact units, and whereas the display is brilliant and colourful, the dearth of front-facing selfie digital camera cutout isn’t sufficient to make me wish to use it over one of many different really beautiful phone screens, such because the iPhone 12 Professional, OnePlus 9 Professional, and Galaxy S21+.

Digital camera

There are three cameras whole on the Zenfone 8 Flip, and they’re all inside the identical module. The principle is a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 with an f/1.8 aperture, section detection autofocus, and 8K video recording with digital picture stabilization. The second is a 12MP Sony IMX363 wide-angle digital camera with an f/2.2 aperture and autofocus, and the third is an 8MP digital camera with 3x optical zoom.

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Asus Zenfone 8 Flip Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

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For a rear digital camera, the Zenfone 8 Flip’s setup is first rate however not excellent, however for a entrance digital camera setup, it’s about the very best you may get. All of the options above, plus varied video modes, are prepared for selfies too. Which means wide-angle selfies, 3x zoom selfies, and even 8K video selfies when you really need, and completely no different phone supplies the identical performance in its front-facing digital camera.

Even the Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely with its tiny rear display isn’t as straightforward to make use of for high-quality selfies because the Zenfone 8 Flip, as you’re staring on the full 6.67-inch display when taking them. The Asus digital camera app is nice too, with loads of velocity to match its performance. The flip module may be set at totally different angles utilizing a shortcut menu, which will help you are taking pictures from uncommon angles. The motorized flip digital camera has an auto panorama mode — the place it strikes for you, slightly than you shifting the phone — and a monitoring mode too.

All that is very nicely, however does the digital camera take good pictures? It’s technically similar to the Zenfone 8’s digital camera, which suggests its pictures are extremely shareable because of the sturdy HDR impact and brilliant, eye-catching colours. I feel they appear nice, and I a lot desire this over an underexposed shot that I’ve to edit earlier than I wish to share. It’s not very constant although, and the wide-angle digital camera has issues in tough lighting. I’ve caught to utilizing the primary digital camera and the 3x optical zoom, which provides versatility to the Zenfone 8 Flip’s digital camera.

You’ll be able to choose totally different angles for the flip module on the contact of a button, however I’ve struggled to discover a situation the place this makes a lot sense. The auto-panorama mode is efficient and improves stitching because of the elimination of shake whereas panning. Movement monitoring additionally makes use of the motorized module and retains up very nicely offered the topic isn’t shifting too rapidly. Whereas all these enjoyable little options work nicely, they’re a little bit gimmicky, and possibly received’t be used fairly often.

The Zenfone 8 Flip has rear digital camera, which takes pictures you’ll be completely satisfied to share with out messing round with a lot enhancing, and a tremendous entrance digital camera that takes higher selfies than simply about another phone. It’s an odd assertion when you recognize the rear and the selfie digital camera are one and the identical, however when evaluating to different phones like this, the Zenfone 8 Flip’s distinctive digital camera characteristic ensures it stands out from the selfie crowd.

Efficiency and software program

Asus’s ZenUI interface is constructed over Android 11 and is near the expertise you get on a Google Pixel phone, so it’s comparatively freed from pointless apps, options, and flourish. It’s a clear, easy-to-use piece of software program, full with many Android options I like left in place, together with an important darkish theme, a easy Settings menu, commonplace notifications with out modifications to the notifications shade, and a easy power-off display if you maintain the ability button. It might sound foolish, however these make the phone logical and nice to reside with every day. It has additionally been completely dependable.

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I’ve actually loved gaming on the Zenfone 8 Flip, by means of a mix of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888’s monster energy, the 20:9 side ratio display, and the wonderful audio I’ve come to count on from Asus. It’s not fairly on the ROG Telephone 5’s stage, but it surely’s fairly shut with a deep, tuneful, and distortion-free sound at nearly any quantity. I’ve fortunately performed Asphalt 9: Legends for far more than an hour in a sitting (shhh, don’t inform my editor) on the Zenfone 8 Flip, and it’s the place the burden and dimension can provide the phone a bonus, as its heft makes it straightforward to grip.

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The 5,000mAh battery fares significantly better than the cell contained in the Zenfone 8. With reasonable use linked to Wi-Fi, it lasted me coming as much as two days, and even with some prolonged gaming periods and WhatsApp video calls, it’s simply longer than a day. The phone helps Qualcomm Fast Cost 4.0 and Asus’s personal 30W HyperCharge utilizing the ability block included within the field. It doesn’t have wi-fi charging.

Value and availability

The Asus Zenfone 8 Flip comes with 8GB of RAM and both 128GB or 256GB of cupboard space, and begins at 799 euros, which converts over to $972. The U.S. value and availability haven’t been confirmed on the time of writing. The Asus Zenfone 7 Professional was bought within the U.S. for round $800, so ought to the Zenfone 8 Flip make it too, we predict will probably be someplace round this price.

Our take

Residing with the Zenfone 8 Flip was like returning to early 2020. The design wasn’t actually a winner earlier than, it’s simply too heavy, and to see it repeated once more in 2021 is unlucky and makes the phone feel and appear dated. The scale and weight will put some individuals off, however I discovered it labored within the phone’s favor for gaming, particularly when paired with the wonderful sound. Nonetheless, you undoubtedly know you’re carrying a 230-gram phone round in your pocket.

The Zenfone 8 Flip lives and dies by how a lot you need the flip digital camera. In the event you take lots of selfies, it’s unsurpassed when it comes to options and on-paper specs, and also you’ll get some nice outcomes from it in comparison with any phone with a single digital camera on the entrance. However when you’re critical about cellular images usually, there are higher phone cameras for not rather more cash.

A powerful piece of engineering it might be, however the flip module means the Zenfone 8 Flip doesn’t have water resistance, and the phone doesn’t have wi-fi charging both. Asus makes case for wi-fi charging not being included — it prefers to assist handle battery longevity with wired charging and particular modes — it’s generally useful, and each it and an IP68 ranking are typically thought-about a spec-sheet primary as of late.

The place does this depart the Zenfone 8 Flip? It’s sometimes Asus: A well-made, well-thought-out, and well-specced system that caters to a distinct segment with a singular characteristic. It’s the identical deal because the ROG Telephone 5 for avid gamers, and the Zenfone 8 with its compact flagship design. You’ll know immediately when you’ll love the flexibility provided by the Zenfone 8 Flip’s flip digital camera, but when its selfie expertise don’t get you all excited, there are higher phones for you on the market.

Is there a greater different?

Sure. Based mostly on the Zenfone 8 Flip costing round $900 (we don’t know the official U.S. value but), the $969 OnePlus 9 Professional or the $1,000 Apple iPhone 12 Professional are our high suggestions. Each have lots of energy for enjoying video games, lovely screens, and really succesful cameras. They’re typically higher all-rounders than the Zenfone 8 Flip, with useful on a regular basis options like very quick wired charging, wi-fi charging, and extra engaging, lighter designs.

In the event you store across the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely can generally nonetheless be discovered for round $1,000, and for this it’s superb worth. Usually it wouldn’t be a viable different to any phone that prices below $1,000. If you wish to spend lower than the $980, the $699 Google Pixel 5 and the $830 Apple iPhone 12 are each glorious.

How lengthy will it final?

Asus features a particular case contained in the field for the Zenfone 8 Flip which might lock the flip module in place so it received’t unexpectedly activate. The corporate says the mechanism is stronger than earlier than and good for at the very least 300,000 flips, plus it robotically retracts when it detects a fall. The module makes any form of water resistance not possible, so that you’ll need to watch out if you’d like the phone to final.

Asus guarantees two Android system updates, plus there’s 5G onboard when you use the quick community now, or plan to sooner or later. There are a number of battery charging modes, together with a scheduler, to assist the battery keep its capacity for a number of years too. The one factor stopping the Zenfone 8 Flip’s {hardware} from not feeling contemporary in two years’ time is the design, which is already a yr outdated.

Do you have to purchase it?

No. Except you’re actually into selfies, and might think about a situation the place an 8K video selfie could be one thing you’d need, the Zenfone 8 Flip doesn’t fairly have the all-round attraction of a lot of its rivals.

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