ASUS Zenfone 9 Reviewed By The Great Lobbyist

Here is our review of the flagship smartphone from ASUS, the Zenfone 9, which features a unique aesthetic, the latest Snapdragon processor and a gimbal-supporte

ASUS Zenfone Series, Snapdragon Processor, Gimbal Stabilisation, Smartphones

Tue Jan 31, 2023 - 14:42

ASUS Zenfone 9 Review

Power-Packed Features In A Compact Design

With its small size, the Asus Zenfone 9 is particularly appealing. The little Zenfone 9 packs enough of the excellent stuff into a small, unique design to merit your attention. With the Zenfone 9, Asus is maintaining its tiny form-factor flagship from the previous generation. Historically, performance and features on smaller phones have been sacrificed, but not in this case. In one of the more compact form factors currently on the market, Asus is striving to condense a full-featured, inexpensive flagship experience. Can the Zenfone 9, which is compact but powerful, find a place in your pocket and hand? Let us find out.

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Design

The Zenfone 9 is slightly smaller than the Zenfone 8 in every way, weighing only 169 gms and measuring 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1 mm. The Asus smartphone is constructed very compactly and conveniently small. Asus has used a newly created structured surface material for the back that is meant to be exceptionally robust. The fabric feels almost like suede and doesn’t show many fingerprints. It comes in four hues Moonlight White, Starry Blue, Sunset Red, and Midnight Black. 

The scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass Victus display glass that covers the front of the Asus smartphone seamlessly blends into the metal frame. The front’s surface-to-display ratio is a respectable 84%. The Zenfone 9 definitely falls short in this area when compared to the bigger rivals, like the Xiaomi 12T Pro, which achieved a score of more than 89%. The Zenfone 9 features an official IP certification in accordance with the IP68 standard, offering some dust and water protection, just like its predecessor. The overall impression of the high-end smartphone is unblemished, given the high level of craftsmanship.

Display

The Zenfone 9 has a 5.9-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 pixels and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. The display can be set to operate at 90 Hz or 60 Hz for those who want to conserve a little power. Additionally, the smartphone has an automated mode. The OLED panel achieves 800 cd/m2 in our brightness tests with a pure white display, which is acceptable for this price range.

It reaches 1,070 cd/m2 in the centre of the display during the more practical APL18 measurement. The Zenfone 9 employs PWM to manage the brightness of its display while flickering because it has an OLED panel. The PWM frequency ranges between 119 and 478 Hz when the display brightness is less than 75%. In the settings, there is also a DC Dimming mode.

Hardware & Software

A dual speaker system, Bluetooth 5.2, an NFC chip for contactless payments, and a 3.5-mm audio connector are all features of the Zenfone 9. The user has 218 GB of usable space with the top model that we evaluated, which has 256 GB of UFS storage. Additionally, there is dual-SIM support, but, like its predecessor, the card tray does not support microSD cards.

The Asus smartphone has a USB-C port that may be used to connect external peripherals like storage media. However, that still only supports the 2.0 standard, which is a bit outdated. In addition to being considerably slower, it also does not offer cable display output. In addition to being small, Asus places a strong emphasis on software that is best used with one hand. The adjustable Edge Tool on the side of the ZenUI-9 user interface, which is based on Android 12, enables convenient, rapid access to apps.

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Performance

Asus uses the potent Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 along with 16 GB of LPDDR5-RAM in spite of the Zenfone 9’s small size. The Qualcomm SoC performs incredibly well, outpacing the competition in most cases. The Asus smartphone has no overheating, even under heavier loads, and all of the benchmarks run uninterruptedly. It makes a great impact when used regularly and while browsing. The usage and performance are both excellent. ZenUI’s quick system animations, in particular, give the premium smartphone the appearance of being incredibly responsive.

Communication

The Zenfone 9 offers the quick 802.11ax standard with Wi-Fi 6E in the home WLAN, resulting in extremely high transfer rates. The Asus smartphone is capable of a quick 900 Mbit/s in the 5-GHz frequency range. The values are also extremely stable. The Zenfone 9 also uses both the fast WLAN and the 5G standard, but not mmWave. Additionally, the small, high-end smartphone provides access to 20 LTE bands in total, including band 28 and all other LTE frequencies.

Cameras

The Zenfone 9’s primary camera is based on the IMX766, a sensor that is widely used in smartphones like the OnePlus 10T and Nothing Phone 1. The recordings look sharp under good lighting situations. However, the edges are a little bit over-sharpened. Despite having a big f/1.9 aperture, the recordings come out very dark, leaving only a few details. However, the sharpness is acceptable because of the 6-axis hybrid gimbal technology.

The ultrawide angle lens has a respectable image quality and a macro feature, and it has a relatively wide viewing angle of 113 degrees. Despite the slightly muted hues, the photographs have a solid foundational sharpness and a medium level of detail. However, when it comes to video quality, nothing is compromised. The 50-MP camera’s stabilisation is excellent for this price range, and in daylight, the gimbal technology compensates for the majority of movements. Additionally, you can manually change a lot of parameters in the Pro video mode. The main camera provides an 8K option in addition to UHD recordings at 30 frames per second.

Front the front camera, Asus utilises a Sony IMX663 with a 12-MP resolution in the Zenfone 9. The autofocus selfie camera produces colours that are rich in contrast, have a comfortable level of sharpness, and have good outside illumination. When combined with the phase detection autofocus, the camera, which is concealed beneath a punch hole, can record films in UHD definition, which offers excellent vlogging results.

Speakers & Battery

The Zenfone 9 excels in terms of audio because of its strong stereo speakers, a large number of Bluetooth codecs that are supported, including LDAC, aptX HD, and aptX Adaptive, and a 3.5-mm audio port featuring Qualcomm’s Aqstic WCD9380 DAC. A rich sound and a high maximum volume of 88 dB are produced by the two speakers. The mids and highs, on the other hand, might have come out a little bit more linear. The Zenfone 9 likewise experiences a large decrease in super-high frequencies.

The Asus smartphone’s battery has a capacity of 4,300 mAh and can be charged in roughly 85 minutes using Quick Charge technology at a rate of 30 watts. However, there is no wireless charging present.

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Is It Worth It?

Zenfone 9 models range in price from $801 for the basic model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage to $901 for the top model with 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. It is available worldwide on the official website of Asus, Amazon and in all the Asus stores.

The Zenfone 9 is one of the most intriguing smartphones for individuals who prefer small phones due to its compact design. Comparing it to the notably larger high-end competitors, despite its compactness, there are hardly any compromises. The Asus smartphone is unique in part because of its gimbal technology, which Asus has combined with the primary camera to provide a significant practical benefit. The Zenfone 9 has excellent video stabilisation, especially in daylight. It is a value-for-money smartphone for people of all age groups.

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