During a special live-streamed event last night Asus took the wraps off its new Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip flagship smartphones. These are aimed squarely at the value flagship market, rather than the gamer-focused ROG Phone series. While Asus appears to be a leader in the gaming phone niche, I'm sure the new Zenfone 8 series will be adept at mobile gaming, due to the high-end specs, but will face much stiffer competition out of the gaming niche and in the wider market.
Above you can see a condensed version of the livestream, which distils all the important info about the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip into a little over 4 minutes. The key things to take away from the presentation are that; the new Zenfone 8 smartphones are both based upon the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, with decent memory / storage options, use premium Samsung OLED displays, offer 5G connectivity, pack in generous batteries, and use the latest Sony IMX camera sensors. However, these are some major differences in the specs between the compact and flip camera versions.
In the above you can see that the regular Zenfone 8 is what modern folk call a compact design, based around a 5.9-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED panel, featuring a hole punch selfie cam, with minimal bezels. Key features in this design you won't find on the Zenfone 8 flip are; the 3.5mm headphone jack, IP65/68 water and dust resistance, and of course the compact feel in the hand. Its camera selection is quite traditional, with the 64MP main and 12MP ultra wide on the back. There is no telephoto or macro camera here.
Asus's Zenfone 8 Flip is very much an evolution of the Zenfone 7, with new processor, a bigger storage option, and in-display fingerprint reader (also present in the Zenfone 8). Its larger 6.67-inch Samsung AMOLED screen refreshes at up to 90Hz but doesn't need a hole punch due to the flip camera functionality.
As with the Zenfone 7 the flip camera means you can use the full power of the rear camera array (which includes a 3x telephoto – in addition to the lenses/sensors seen on its smaller stablemate) for selfie duties. The flip mechanism is also useful for smooth motorised panoramas, free-angle shooting, and so on. Minus points for the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip vs its smaller brother are the lack of headphone jack and IP rating. However, the larger form allows it to have a 5,000 rather than 4,000mAh battery. Both devices feature 30W fast charging.
Unlike their predecessors, the Asus Zenfone 8 family is coming to Europe officially, and with immediate availability. Both devices ship with 'stock' Android 11. The Zenfone 8 starts at €599, and the Zenfone 8 Flip is available from €799.