After the recent launch of the ROG Phone 6 series, it seems that ASUS is gearing up for yet another launch. The venerable Zenfone series of smartphones has seen its ups and downs over the years, but the Zenfone 9 might be able to carve out a niche for itself. For one, it’s a really compact smartphone. With the latest flagship features like a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, 120Hz display and IP68 rating. Interested?
Compact smartphones have seen very little attention recently. This comes as smartphone vendors churn out increasingly large devices. The market demands it though, as even the iPhone mini series are experiencing weak sales. It seems that more people want larger devices for their entertainment needs, practicality for single-handed use be damned. However there’s always a niche for smaller phones, as there will always be people with small hands.
The Zenfone 9 for extreme sports enthusiasts?
If the leaked videos are to be trusted, we will see a 5.9″ 120Hz AMOLED display, sourced from Samsung. This looks like it is carried over directly from last year’s Zenfone 8, but that’s fine as it’s a good one. Other interesting tidbits include a side-mounted fingerprint scanner with gesture support and a slew of cases that enable you to use the Zenfone 9 to partake in more vigorous activities.
The focus on an active lifestyle is also seen in its camera system. The Zenfone 8 featured a nice 64MP camera with OIS, but this time ASUS is taking it further. We have a 50MP Sony IMX766, with six-axis gimbal stabilization. That should allow for nice stable videos when you are taking it on a bike trail, for example. Of course, whether it works well in practice remains to be seen.
My main concern with the Zenfone 9 is its small 4300mAh battery though. Given that it features the more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, we might still see decent battery life… But I still have my reservations on that. Larger batteries are preferred by the outdoorsy type, as it allows them to go out all day without a powerbank. But maybe ASUS is confident in the efficiency of the chipset? An, there’s still a headphone jack, despite its size. No room for a headphone jack, eh OnePlus? Eh, Apple? Eh, everyone else, but ASUS?
In any case, I am looking forward to seeing the Zenfone 9. There seems to be four colors to choose from, and I am quite excited for the matte red finish. Hopefully it is affordable when it arrives in Malaysia!