{Disarmed} Asus ZenFone 8 review

Asus ZenFone 8

The Asus ZenFone 8 is the Android flagship that gets the least attention. Incomprehensible, because the model scores with many advantages that are otherwise rarely found in other models these days.

The Asus ZenFone 8 was given to me directly by the manufacturer in color
Obsidian Black with 16 GB RAM and 256 GB kindly provided. Thanks a lot for this! However, this has no influence on the test result.

scope of delivery

The Asus ZenFone 8 comes in a rather inconspicuous gray box. This looks like it has been recycled. Inside, in addition to the actual device, we also find a black bumper cover in a carbon look, a red USB C cable and the charger. And of course the SIM eject tool and a little paperwork. Headphones are not available here either, these accessories are hardly included in the scope of delivery of any manufacturer.

Asus ZenFone 8
Asus ZenFone 8 packaging

Technical specifications

operating system Android 11 (with ZenUI 8 interface)
Connectivity 5G support, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, WLAN 802.11 b / g / n / ac / ax (Wi-Fi 6), USB-C (2.0)
Display 5.92 ″, FullHD + (2,400 x 1,080), 120 Hz / 1ms, AMOLED, 20: 9, 446 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (2.84 GHz) + Adreno 660 GPU
random access memory 8/16 GB LPDDR5
Storage 128/256 GB UFS 3.1
size 148 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm
weight 169 g (including battery)
battery pack 4,000 mAh (supports Quick Charge 4.0), charges with up to 30 W.
Camera rear 64 MP (f / 1.7) Sony IMX686 + 12 MP Sony IMX363 ultra wide angle (f / 2.2) + OIS, video: 8K / 30fps, 4K / 60fps
Camera front 12 MP, f / 2.45, EIS, punch hole in the upper left corner of the display
miscellaneous Colors: Obsidian Black or Horizon Silver, 2 x Nano-SIM (DSDS), IP 68, fingerprint sensor in the display, 3.5 mm jack connection available
Asus ZenFone 8
Asus ZenFone 8

Processing & haptics

The smartphone is very well made. The manufacturer is at the upper class level. A back made of glass is used, the frame is made of metal and has the usual plastic inserts for the antennas. On the top there is an additional microphone and 3.5 mm headphone jack. On the underside of the USB C port, the SIM slot and even a notification LED.

Thanks to its compact size, it is extremely comfortable to hold. One-handed operation is possible without any problems. Otherwise, the Asus ZenFone 8 doesn't have any reason to complain in this area either. The ZenFone 8 is also dust-proof and water-proof according to IP68.

Asus ZenFone 8
Asus ZenFone 8 power button

In terms of design, the model is extremely calm. One could easily think that the model was designed according to the principle "form follows function". Anyone who likes an unspectacular design will not be disappointed. At first, you think that you are holding an entry-level smartphone in your hand, but when it comes to the features, many people's jaws are likely to drop.

Speaking of the chin, this is a little thicker than the upper end of the display, but is hardly noticeable. Otherwise, the device is strikingly reminiscent of Google's Pixel 5.


The display is a 5.92 ″ FullHD + OLED panel with a fast refresh rate of 120 Hz. By default, the mobile phone automatically switches between 120/90/60 Hz, depending on the application, in order to save the battery. But the whole thing can also be selected manually if you want to set your refresh rate yourself.

The aspect ratio of the display is 20: 9 and fits really well with the compact form factor of the device. 446 PPI is a good value as is the high luminosity of an average of 700 nits (up to 1,100 are even possible) and the HDR10 + support. Asus can easily keep up with the competition here.

Asus ZenFone 8
Asus ZenFone 8 display

Gorilla Glass Victus protects the display, which by the way is made by Samsung. That promises crisp colors and an excellent viewing angle. Unfortunately, the automatic brightness control is sometimes a bit too slow, so sometimes you regulate the brightness yourself, which is then faster.

A fingerprint sensor is also built into the display, it works as expected. There are no differences here to the built-in solutions from other manufacturers.


In contrast to other flagship or mid-range cameras, the Asus ZenFone 8 does not try to score with an innumerable number of cameras on the back. Many will be surprised to see that there are only 2 cameras.

Instead of installing a depth sensor, macro or any monochrome nonsense, Asus opted for a 64 MP main camera with a Sony IMX686 sensor and OIS and a 12 MP ultra wide angle camera with a Sony IMX363 sensor. They were carried over from last year's model.

Asus ZenFone 8
Asus ZenFone 8 camera

In good light, the main camera scores with 16 MP images with bright colors and lots of details. However, the HDR sometimes means it too well, so it can happen that some images look too "artificial". But by and large, this camera does its job well: it does well in moderately low light, and the night mode does a good job in very low light, provided you can hold the phone steady for a few seconds and the subject doesn't move . Otherwise, it can be said that the performance at night cannot keep up with flagships from other manufacturers.

Beauty mode with skin smoothing is activated by default when using portrait mode. I always turn things off immediately because the results just look unnatural.

The ultra-wide-angle camera also performs well. The sensor is now getting on in years, but is still sufficient to deliver good images. Asus itself speaks of a "flagship" sensor, but unfortunately that is no longer the case.

As you have noticed, there is only one main and one wide-angle camera. There is no telecamera, just a digital zoom. You can choose a "lossless" digital zoom with 2x 16 MP, but the results are rather modest. Digital zoom is not the same as real zoom, and you can clearly see that here.

On the whole, the camera system is good, in DXOMARK you even left the camera of the Samsung Galaxy S21 behind . The lack of a real optical zoom or a telecamera is likely to disappoint some, while others prefer to have a wide-angle camera installed. You can't have everything in such a small device.

Software & performance

The Asus ZenFone 8 runs an almost pure Android 11. Unfortunately, my device still had the security patch from March 5, 2021 - it doesn't work at all. There's also bloatware, Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix are pre-installed. But you can uninstall it. Asus says it will deploy "at least" two major operating systems with security updates for the same period of time.

The model has the best specs that can be found outside of a gaming phone. In addition to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM and 128 GB or 256 GB of storage space are also installed. I had the 16 GB / 256 GB version for the test, because you almost get wet eyes with joy. Because what you don't expect in such a small, inconspicuous device like the Asus ZenFone 8, are specs that can be measured against current gaming smartphones.

And so it is not surprising that there were no performance problems at any time in the test. There is more than enough power in every situation, you never reach the limits of the device. The Asus ZenFone 8 is shipped with Android 11, which has ZenUI 8 from Asus as the user interface above.

This provides further setting options, such as the Game Genie surface and various system modes, for example to set the battery life, the refresh rate of the display and other parameters.

The system automatically adjusts the performance of the device, and the high performance mode is activated in the event of extreme demand. Only then will the maximum be achieved. On the other hand, when the battery level is low, you will be asked whether you want to activate the "Ultra Durable Mode" to save energy.

What could be a minor problem, however, is that the smartphone gets very warm under load. Warmer than many competitors. This is certainly due to the built-in SD888, which also quickly became a bit warmer from other manufacturers.


The Asus ZenFone 8 has stereo sound on board. At normal volume, the sound is really good too, even quite powerful considering how compact it is. As with almost all smartphones, however, the device reaches its limits at full volume and then looks a little tinny.

Even an EQ is on board, this offers different modes as standard, including dynamic, cinema, music and games. However, you can also change these values ​​according to your personal taste.

battery pack

The ZenFone 8's 4,000 mAh battery is enough to get the device through the day. Unfortunately, when you do screen-intensive activities such as watching videos and playing games, the battery may run out faster than expected. The various energy-saving modes allow you to extend the battery life by reducing the brightness and refresh rate of the display and managing other power-hungry settings.

The cool thing is that you can lower the charge limit of the battery to extend the life of the battery. It is also possible to switch on a scheduled charge in order to keep the battery at this level during the nightly charge and only charge it to 100% just before the alarm goes off.

The phone is supplied with a 30 W charger, which enables it to be charged relatively quickly. You can get to 32 percent in 15 minutes, 58 percent in 30 minutes and 70 percent in 45 minutes. a full charge takes just under an hour. Unfortunately, the Asus ZenFone 8 does not have wireless charging.


What can I say? The Asus ZenFone 8 is awesome. High-end equipment, a good camera, a really good display and all in a form factor that is unfortunately rarely found these days. With its 5.92 ″ display, the device is easy to hold because it is really extremely compact. A Pixel 5 or the iPhone 12 Mini are similarly comfortable to hold and have the same form factor.

In addition to the 5G modem, the Asus ZenFone 8 also has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC on board. Dual SIM with two nano SIM cards with 5G at the same time is also possible.

However, what tarnishes the really good overall impression a little is the manufacturer's update policy. My test device still only had the security patch from March 2021 on board; a new update was not offered. That is not possible with a flagship, you will certainly scare off many potential buyers. It's a shame, actually.

Otherwise, you will certainly not go wrong with the Asus ZenFone 8, especially not if you are into small, compact smartphones. But if you like to gamble or watch videos on the display, you are wrong here. All in all, there is a thumbs up and a buy recommendation.

The Asus ZenFone 8 review article first appeared on xiaomist's blog .

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