ASUS has stopped releasing the Zenfone series smartphone for two years now and this year, they finally released the Zenfone 8 series to compete in the flagship category with the big boys. Are they competitive enough? Let’s check out!
I have reviewed the compact ASUS Zenfone 8 earlier and now I’ll checking out the Zenfone 8 Flip instead. The Zenfone 8 Flip is the successor of the Zenfone 7 (not the Pro) with a pretty similar hardware and design. Because we did not hands-on the Zenfone 7 or Zenfone 7 Pro; everything does feel new and fresh to me. Jakun!
There won’t be any unboxing here instead you can watch my FastView video of the Zenfone 8 Flip with the unboxing;
ASUS ZenFone 8 Flip: Design
There are a lot of manufacturers tried to create the best world camera use for front and rear without scarifying the picture quality. ASUS has made one of the best camera solutions by having a motorized flip-out camera. For having this mechanic camera module, bezel, notch or hole-punch cutout are no longer required as such you will get a full viewing display experience.
The ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip is not a small phone, to begin with, it also has some weight for the 5,000 mAh battery and the motorized camera module. It’s a glass sandwich design with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the back and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the front. There’s a chamfered brushed aluminium chassis which pretty comfortable to hold.
The camera bump is slightly protruded but not as aggressive as others. It’s flat and won’t wobble around when I try touching the display on a flat surface. At the bottom are a LED notification indicator, a USB C port and a down-firing speaker.
Going back to the top, the motorized camera module doesn’t only houses the camera, it also features an earpiece and a secondary microphone for noise cancelling. The earpiece also doubled as a loudspeaker for a stereo audio output.
While on the right side is the volume rocker button and a Cyan colour accent power button that doubled as a Smart Key. The Smart Key allows me to map almost any application with double-press and press and hold key actions. The SIM tray can hold two SIMs and a dedicated microSD card if you think the 256GB storage insufficient.
Jack were nowhere to be seen, even the compact Zenfone 8 has one.
Overall design, the ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip is pretty solid and does look appealing yet stand out among other smartphones in the market.
ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip: Display
To be fair, the display on the Zenfone 8 Flip were identical with the Zenfone 7 as per tech specs. The only different is the fingerprint scanner has moved to in-display.
We have a 6.67-inch AMOLED Samsung panel with Full HD+ resolution and a refresh rate of 90Hz, not even 120Hz that become a standard for many other flagship smartphones. Not saying the display is bad, it does offer a pretty colour accuracy like Delta E<1, 110% DCI-P3 colour gamut, HDR10+ certified and 1,000 peak brightness.
ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip: Performance
Even though ASUS said the Zenfone 8 Flip isn’t their flagship smartphone for 2021 but it specced like one with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 paired with 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and ultra-fast 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. With the close to stock Android, the overall performance is buttery smooth including high intense games.
When comes to synthetic benchmarks, there is no surprise with the result. It performs on par with other gaming phones like ROG Phone 5 on the first run.
It does run pretty warm with high graphics intense game, where I run Genshin Impact for about 30 minutes with 60fps enabled and medium graphics settings. The Zenfone 8 Flip did hit 39°C but it didn’t face any shuddering issue.
ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip – Camera
The cherry on top of this device of course is the flip-out camera module. Let’s briefly go through with the number, it equipped with a 64-megapixels SONY IMX686 f/1.8 main camera, a 12-megapixels SONY IMX363 f/2.2 with autofocus ultrawide and an 8-megapixels Omnivision 3x optical telephoto. There’s no Optical Image Stabilization on the main camera instead it relies on Electronic Image Stabilization that does its job. I need to point out that the camera system is exactly the same as that found on the Zenfone 7 but with the different algorithm and ISP, the photo and video outcome would be fairly improved.
For those who love mobile photography, this camera system implementation is for you. The versatile camera angles allows more creative shot while still able to see the display clearly. Shooting panoramas or tracking a moving object in a video can be done so automatically using it.
How’s the quality of the images? It performs fairly the same as the Zenfone 8 with sharp and detail with natural colour profile, especially in bright daytime. I noticed the colour switch between the main and ultrawide are pretty close but not on the 8-megapixels telephotos. This proper due to different camera sensor was used.
At night the image quality falls apart especially the wide-angle with a lot of artefacts and noise. Things turn slightly better when Night Mode kicked in where it takes 4 seconds of exposure. Here you may need to train your breathing skill if you take lot of low light photos handheld.
You will have the best-est selfie photos with the Zenfone 8 Flip, you get all the sharp, detail and autofocus selfie. You can even Vlog in 8K with this device if you wanted to do so.
Here are some photos which taken by the ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip.
ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip: Battery
5,000 mAh battery is the new standard for huge display smartphones, the Zenfone 8 Flip able to last me about 2 full days. This is due to the Work from Home situation and I only connecting it to my home Wi-Fi. While it connected to my TP-Link Archer AX90, it able to utilize the Wi-Fi 6 features including the Target Wake Time which conserve power significantly.
Besides that, it also supports a 30W ASUS HyperCharge that capable to juice up to 45% in just 30 minutes and less than 90 minutes to fully charge. This isn’t record-breaking but it’s pretty fast charging speeds for a smartphone, additional the Zenfone 8 Flip supports a more common charging protocol including Quick Charge 4.0 and Power Delivery 3.0, unlike proprietary charging that required a specific charger and cable.
You can own this ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip for RM 2,999 with only one configuration 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage. It’s available on ASUS Malaysia’s Official Store on Shopee.
ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip Review
If the ASUS Zenfone 6 or the Zenfone 7-series was made available here in Malaysia, my experience with the Zenfone 8 Flip wouldn’t be the same. It’s pretty fresh and unique for me. I did find the flip-out camera solution ain’t gimmicky at all, matter fact it’s one of the best ways to have a true full view display. The versatility of camera angles is much appreciated by mobile photographers and vloggers. On top of that, the Zenfone 8 Flip has all the bell and whistle of 2021 flagship smartphone.
I wish they would have a higher refresh rate display to at least 120Hz and keep the 3.5mm audio port for external microphone input.
- Versatile camera angle
- Flagship-tier specs
- microSD card expansion
- Only 90Hz refresh rate
- No 3.5mm audio port