Asus Zenfone 8 Flip Evaluation: The selfie grasp returns

MSRP $980.00

“The Zenfone 8 Flip’s distinctive motorized digicam module makes it the most effective selfie digicam you should buy, however the remainder of the phone fails to standout attributable to a hefty physique and a recycled design.”

Execs

  • Motorized digicam means wonderful selfies
  • Wonderful audio
  • Nice for gaming
  • Quick, dependable software program

Cons

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

Should you’re anticipating the Zenfone 8 Flip to be a radical departure from the Zenfone 7 Professional, then disappointment is headed your approach, 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 shortage 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 digicam module means it’s nonetheless the most effective smartphones you should buy in the event you actually love taking selfies. Simply don’t anticipate the remainder of the phone to excite you in the identical approach.

Design

Give or take a number of tenths of a millimeter, the Zenfone 8 Flip is strictly the identical measurement and form because the Zenfone 7 Professional. Asus could have stored the physique of the Zenfone 8 at lower than 70mm huge to facilitate one-handed use, however it hasn’t performed the identical with the Zenfone 8 Professional. It’s huge at 77mm, thick at 9.8mm, and heavy at 230 grams. The again is constructed from glass, the chassis from steel, and the flip digicam module from liquid steel for power and lightness.

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The flip digicam is the rationale you’ll purchase the Zenfone 8 Flip, because it lets you use the rear cameras for selfie duties too. The motor — a beautiful piece of small-scale engineering — shortly flips the digicam out and excessive of the phone, so the three cameras face you. It’s a really mechanical expertise, as you may 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 easy, and Asus has upgraded the parts to enhance sturdiness, now promising it’ll final for no less than 300,000 flips in comparison with 200,000 on the Zenfone 7 Professional.

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I just like the flip digicam. It’s distinctive, works very well, and supplies options fully unavailable on some other smartphone. Nevertheless, the general Zenfone 8 Professional package deal feels dated because the design hasn’t modified at throughout final 12 months’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 more durable promote, regardless of the attraction of the flip digicam.

Display screen

The 6.67-inch Samsung-made AMOLED display screen on the entrance of the Zenfone 8 Flip is unbroken by a hole-punch or notch, as a result of flip digicam making such a factor irrelevant. It has a 90Hz refresh price, 200Hz contact sampling price, 1,000 nits most brightness, and niceties like a DCI-P3 shade 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 anticipate, it’s nice for watching a video and taking part in video games. It’s an FHD+ decision, however I didn’t miss the upper decision supplied by phones just like the OnePlus 9 Professional underneath regular circumstances, and it does assist lengthen the battery life too. It doesn’t have any excessive curve on both facet, making it largely flat which can enchantment as properly.

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

Digicam

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

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Asus Zenfone 8 Flip Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

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Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

For a rear digicam, the Zenfone 8 Flip’s setup is respectable however not excellent, however for a entrance digicam setup, it’s about the most effective you may get. All of the options above, plus varied video modes, are prepared for selfies too. Meaning wide-angle selfies, 3x zoom selfies, and even 8K video selfies in the event you actually need, and completely no different phone supplies the identical performance in its front-facing digicam.

Even the Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely with its tiny rear display screen isn’t as simple to make use of for high-quality selfies because the Zenfone 8 Flip, as you’re staring on the full 6.67-inch display screen when taking them. The Asus digicam 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’re taking photographs from uncommon angles. The motorized flip digicam has an auto panorama mode — the place it strikes for you, relatively than you transferring the phone — and a monitoring mode too.

All that is very properly, however does the digicam take good photographs? It’s technically similar to the Zenfone 8’s digicam, which implies its photographs are extremely shareable as a result of sturdy HDR impact and shiny, eye-catching colours. I believe they appear nice, and I a lot favor 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 digicam has issues in tough lighting. I’ve caught to utilizing the principle digicam and the 3x optical zoom, which provides versatility to the Zenfone 8 Flip’s digicam.

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 state of affairs the place this makes a lot sense. The auto-panorama mode is efficient and improves stitching as a result of elimination of shake whereas panning. Movement monitoring additionally makes use of the motorized module and retains up very properly supplied the topic isn’t transferring too shortly. Whereas all these enjoyable little options work properly, they’re somewhat gimmicky, and possibly received’t be used fairly often.

The Zenfone 8 Flip has a very good rear digicam, which takes photographs you’ll be glad to share with out messing round with a lot enhancing, and an incredible entrance digicam that takes higher selfies than simply about some other phone. It’s an odd assertion when you recognize the rear and the selfie digicam are one and the identical, however when evaluating to different phones like this, the Zenfone 8 Flip’s distinctive digicam 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 awesome darkish theme, a easy Settings menu, normal notifications with out modifications to the notifications shade, and a easy power-off display screen while you maintain the ability button. It might sound foolish, however these make the phone logical and nice to dwell with each day. It has additionally been completely dependable.

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Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

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 screen, and the wonderful audio I’ve come to anticipate from Asus. It’s not fairly on the ROG Telephone 5’s degree, however it’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 measurement may give the phone a bonus, as its heft makes it simple to grip.

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The 5,000mAh battery fares a lot 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 classes 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.

Worth 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. worth and availability haven’t been confirmed on the time of writing. The Asus Zenfone 7 Professional was offered within the U.S. for round $800, so ought to the Zenfone 8 Flip make it too, we predict it is going to be someplace round this price.

Our take

Dwelling 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 look dated. The dimensions 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. Nevertheless, 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 digicam. Should you take plenty of selfies, it’s unsurpassed by way of options and on-paper specs, and also you’ll get some nice outcomes from it in comparison with any phone with a single digicam on the entrance. However in the event you’re critical about cell images normally, there are higher phone cameras for not way more cash.

A formidable piece of engineering it could 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 a very good case for wi-fi charging not being included — it prefers to assist handle battery longevity with wired charging and particular modes — it’s typically useful, and each it and an IP68 ranking are usually thought of 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 novel 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 in the event you’ll love the flexibility provided by the Zenfone 8 Flip’s flip digicam, but when its selfie abilities don’t get you all excited, there are higher phones for you on the market.

Is there a greater various?

Sure. Based mostly on the Zenfone 8 Flip costing round $900 (we don’t know the official U.S. worth but), the $969 OnePlus 9 Professional or the $1,000 Apple iPhone 12 Professional are our prime suggestions. Each have plenty of energy for enjoying video games, lovely screens, and really succesful cameras. They’re usually 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 enticing, lighter designs.

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

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 no less than 300,000 flips, plus it routinely retracts when it detects a fall. The module makes any sort of water resistance inconceivable, so that you’ll should watch out if you’d like the phone to final.

Asus guarantees two Android system updates, plus there’s 5G onboard in the event 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 preserve its potential for a number of years too. The one factor stopping the Zenfone 8 Flip’s {hardware} from not feeling recent in two years’ time is the design, which is already a 12 months previous.

Must you purchase it?

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

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