ASUS Zenfone 8 Review: Best Tiny Android 2021

Technology

MEven though there are not many types of smartphones, ASUS always tries to present interesting and unusual options. ASUS Zenfone 8 is no exception, which was originally released globally since last March, but arrived late in the country. Also comes alone without a variant option that has a swivel camera.

Yes, the fate of Zenfone in Indonesia is indeed different from its brother who is quite dominating smartphone gaming, namely the ROG Phone. Two years ago, the Zenfone 6 arrived very late, then the new generation was skipped to finally bring the Zenfone 8 straight. In fact, this device has a strong appeal, so it’s the cheapest official Snapdragon 888 option.

Not only that, it is also suitable for consumers who want a flagship device with small dimensions. Especially the more affordable and conventional ones, yes, because if there are no budget constraints, you can also choose the Galaxy Z Flip 3. And when it was first unveiled, the effect was also quite lively, much discussed on social media.

However, it seems that what happened to the iPhone 12 mini also “accompanies” the presence of the ASUS Zenfone 8. But overall, it is absolutely the best small Android smartphone, and can even compete with other mainstream flagships. Here’s the full review.

Design

At first I wanted to say that “perhaps because of its compact dimensions, there is not much that can be improved on the design of the ASUS Zenfone 8.” But well, the iPhone 13 mini can still appear more stylish like a premium flagship. While this one, to put it mildly, is designed to blend in with mid-range devices.

Even though the material is already premium. An aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass Victus on the front, Gorilla Glass 3 on the back (which is matte, but unfortunately easy to leave fingerprints on), and it feels very solid in the hand. It weighs 169 grams with a thickness of 8.9mm. There is IP68 certification too.

But yeah, it doesn’t look expensive. The most interesting thing besides the dimensions, only the accent of the power button is quite striking but not excessive. The protrusion of the rear camera is also quite thin, not disturbing when placed on a table. If you want it to be more visible, maybe you can choose the Horizon Silver color option.

What is quite unique, ASUS includes a hard case in the sales package of ASUS Zenfone 8. It has a special texture, making it not slippery while protecting the camera glass. What I like, the bottom does not cover the SIM card slot. So if you want to replace it, you don’t need to remove the case. While protecting the four corners of the device.

Screen

This is the part that I like about ASUS Zenfone 8. The four screen bezels are made quite thin and almost balanced especially at the bottom. So even though the body is compact in the hand, it can still provide a 5.9-inch diagonal. Use a full HD+ Super AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of 120Hz.

What is quite unique, not only 60Hz and 120Hz options, there is also a 90Hz option to choose from. The ASUS Zenfone 8 screen can be very bright when outdoors, and supports always-on display with quite a variety of clock faces. The dimensions of the front camera are also quite small.

The fingerprint sensor is also embedded behind the screen glass. Because the dimensions of the device are smaller, the position is made a bit high, so that the thumb doesn’t need to be too down or more fitting to unlock the screen. Accuracy and speed are quite good for vendors who rarely release smartphones.

In my opinion, the dimensions of the ASUS Zenfone 8’s screen managed to hit the sweet spot, where it is small enough to be held in one hand, but still big enough for consumption of television series from subscription streaming platforms. Don’t want to activate AOD? There is an LED light on the lower body to give a notification sign.

Camera

There are not many in number, and the camera module is made similar to last year’s generation iPhone. Vertically, a 64MP Sony IMX686 main camera sensor is embedded which is known to be quite capable, with additional hardware-based stabilization aka OIS. No less interesting are the two other complementary sensors.

The ultra-wide sensor has a 12MP resolution, using the Sony IMX363 sensor. Front camera? Sony IMX663 12MP. Interestingly, both support Dual Pixel PDAF, where competitors mostly only focus on fixed focus. So it can provide high flexibility with precision focus, even from close range. The shooting mode is also quite complete.

Without having to change to night mode, ASUS Zenfone 8 automatically applies the mode with a small moon logo indicator complete with an estimated duration of capture, plus illustrations of photos that get brighter until the photo is complete. Well, for portrait mode, it automatically gives a 1.5x crop range, maybe to make it more natural.

Overall, the photos are quite sharp, including the ultra-wide sensor. Colors are also accurate, although in some indoor lighting conditions they may turn slightly yellow or warm. Don’t forget to turn off AI enhancement which sometimes makes human objects more contrast with smoother skin.

ASUS also offers 2x lossless zoom by doing a digital process to increase photo sharpness, and the results are okay. The night mode is also very good for capturing night moments, although you have to be a little patient because it takes up to four seconds to capture. Unfortunately, absent for the front camera.

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