Seeking the right compact cellphone: Asus ZenFone 9

Seeking the right compact cellphone: Asus ZenFone 9
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I actually thought issues have been over for compact telephones (and for the collection, as effectively). With the antibiotic loss of life of the iPhone mini, and Samsung’s dedication to foldable units, it actually appeared like instances they were-a-changin.

Now, foolish Bob Dylan references apart, the dimensions of recent flagship telephones appears to be ever rising, and when it will get unmanageable, you simply fold them in half. Sensible! However simply after I archived my strong posts with a lonely tear within the nook of my eye, the strangest factor occurred.

Asus determined to stay it to each 6+ inch show producer (figuratively talking), and launch one other compact flagship – the ZenFone 9. It’s not solely smaller than its predecessor, however its bigger brother – the ZenFone Flip can be despatched to the inexperienced pastures, which leaves Asus followers with one selection – to be compact! (Or hop on the gaming prepare and get an ROG cellphone, however let’s not spoil the dramatic impact). So, as we speak we’ll evaluate the ZenFone 9 from the attitude of the right compact cellphone.

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First impressions

Effectively, the Zenfone 9 appears like no different cellphone in the marketplace, it has two large digicam rings on the again, a spongy-rubber polycarbonate again that appears to develop out of the primary body and a 5.9-inch show.

The flat aluminum body has a pleasant matte end, and there are even nicer accents right here and there – cool prints across the energy button, a large body for the three.5mm jack, blue stripe on the fingerprint scanner.

The display is flat (thank God for ditching the curved, waterfall, infinity abominations), and the again has this good rounding the place the primary body merges with the again cowl. Many individuals most likely will not name this cellphone stunning, particularly should you have a look at the again, however magnificence is within the eye of the beholder, and I might take a cellphone that is simply recognizable any day of the week over a generic design impressed by ” by another huge model on the market.

Weight and pocketability

Although I are inclined to lose my shit on the subject of any cellphone that is remotely compact, I’ve to confess that the Zenfone 9 is within the smudged grey space between an actual mini and only a common, barely downsized flagship.

Do not get me improper, it is one of many smallest Android telephones on the market (I feel the Pixel 4a is smaller, however then once more, it is very outdated and really a lot not a flagship). The factor is, when the ZenFone 9 is positioned subsequent to the iPhone mini, it appears large.

Subsequent to the Galaxy S22 it does not look as compact as I prefer it to be (it is virtually the identical dimension), and the S22 is even one gram lighter. If we return to the now-forgotten Galaxy S10e, issues begin to look even much less spectacular.

All that stated, in comparison with every little thing else in the marketplace proper now, the ZenFone 9 fares extraordinarily effectively. For those who’re coming from a Galaxy Extremely mannequin or an iPhone Professional/Max, you will discover this little factor very handy to hold round.

(My) thumb consolation, one-handed operation

My fingers are excellent for such pretentious editorial work, as a result of they’re completely common. I am about 5’8″ tall, mix and mix the distribution of hand dimension throughout completely different populations and gender within the palm of my hand (fairly actually).

So, how does the Asus ZenFone 9 fare in my completely common hand? Effectively, I just like the width of the cellphone, you may attain each side simply, with none hand gymnastics. Vertically talking, nonetheless, issues aren’t wanting good – the cellphone is a few centimeter taller than what could be an ideal top.

You’ll be able to’t attain the highest with out sliding the cellphone down your palm and stretching your thumb a bit. One might argue that you simply most likely do not use the highest space of ​​a cellphone that a lot, and that is partly true. And apart from, you may draw the notification shade on the superb side-mounted fingerprint scanner.

So, sure – it is not excellent however you may make it work – customise the house display, use the sting shortcuts, swipe the scanner for notifications, there are methods to do it. On the finish of the day, nonetheless, the iPhone Mini stays unchallenged on this explicit space, and as an Android man, this child saddens me a bit.

Typing and media consumption

Typing on a slender gadget is all the time a problem, and the ZenFone 9 isn’t any exception. I discovered it tough to kind shortly and precisely on the similar time (it is one or the opposite), and infrequently hit the improper letter (primarily within the sides of the underside row). Watching movies on the ZenFone 9 although is a deal with. The show is de facto good, and in contrast to the large notch on the iPhone mini, right here we have now a discrete hole-punch within the higher left nook. I will not fake it is not there, however it’s significantly better than the iPhone.

The scale of the show has by no means been an enormous difficulty for me when watching clips and stuff. You already know, it could sound foolish however you may offset any bodily distinction between to illustrate a 7-inch and a 6-inch cellphone by putting the latter a bit nearer to your face (utilizing a bigger display for work and video games is totally completely different . factor, I do know).

I want so as to add a few phrases concerning the stereo audio system on this factor. For his or her dimension, they’re superb – very clear with superb stereo separation and deep bass. Asus has some sound magic with the algorithms, and I will not go into technicalities. Simply know that at this dimension, the stereo audio system are probably the greatest.

Battery life

We arrived on the Achilles heel of all compact smartphones – battery life. As a lot as I preferred the iPhone mini (each the twelfth and thirteenth iterations), the battery life on these fashions is simply unacceptable.

Folks typically idiot themselves {that a} day on a cost could be sufficient however the actuality is a bit completely different. That feeling, when every single day when the evening begins to fall you get the 20% horror beep out of your cellphone. I am unable to reside with that sort of stress in my life.

The excellent news is that you simply most likely will not need to, should you go for the ZenFone 9, as a result of it is a true battery champ. The 4,300 mAh battery inside rivals telephones a lot bigger than the ZenFone 9, and two days on a cost should not solely attainable, however very actual.

Sure, it comes on the expense of wi-fi charging, that is true, however once more, I might take an even bigger battery over the flexibility to not plug a bodily cable into my cellphone (it is very simple, come on) any day of the week .

What I like concerning the ZenFone 9

  • What a distinctive-looking gadget!
  • The battery life is superb
  • It is tremendous quick, tremendous highly effective
  • Good touches within the UI to additional assist along with your compact journey
  • Good well being
  • The value

What I do not like

  • Nonetheless not as compact because the iPhone mini
  • Essential digicam stands proud (like so much!)
  • The again cowl scratches simply


And right here we’re, on the finish of our journey. It began so constructive and optimistic – with witty allegories, and strong hope (what a phrase!). The ZenFone 9 is not the right compact cellphone however it’s rattling shut! If solely it was half an inch shorter, however nonetheless rocking a 3.5mm jack and the identical battery…

To finish on a constructive observe – it’s the greatest compact Android flagship cellphone in the intervening time, and it is vitally engaging. Furthermore, it retains the compact dream alive, so to talk. Perhaps sooner or later Sony would get up from its 21:9 slumber and provides us again the “compact” Xperia we have been dreaming of?

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