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Asus Zenfone 9 Review (July 2024)

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The Asus Zenfone 9 is the latest flagship smartphone from Asus, and it’s a real stunner. It’s a compact powerhouse that packs a punch in a small, comfortable package. This phone is a serious contender in the Android world, and it’s certainly got the potential to win over fans who are looking for a top-of-the-line device that doesn’t feel bulky or unwieldy.

The Zenfone 9 is a beautifully designed phone with a sleek, modern aesthetic. It’s got a gorgeous AMOLED display with vibrant colors and deep blacks, and the performance is blazing fast thanks to the powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor. But it’s not just about the specs; the Zenfone 9 is also packed with innovative features that make it stand out from the competition.

One of the most notable features is the phone’s unique gimbal stabilization system, which helps to capture incredibly smooth and stable videos. It also has a versatile dual camera system that’s capable of taking stunning photos and videos, even in low-light conditions. And to top it all off, the Zenfone 9 boasts a long-lasting battery with fast charging capabilities.

This is a phone that’s meant to be used, and it’s packed with features that make it a joy to use. Whether you’re a casual user or a power user, the Asus Zenfone 9 has something to offer. So if you’re in the market for a new flagship smartphone, be sure to check out the Asus Zenfone 9. You won’t be disappointed.

Name: Asus Zenfone 9
Image: Asus Zenfone 9
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Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Design and Build

The Asus Zenfone 9 is a compact powerhouse that feels great in the hand. It’s a departure from the trend of larger and larger smartphones, and its small size makes it incredibly comfortable to use one-handed. It’s also surprisingly durable, with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the display.

The phone boasts a sleek and modern design, with a flat-edged aluminum frame and a glass back. The rear camera module protrudes slightly, but it’s not overly noticeable and doesn’t make the phone feel unbalanced. The Zenfone 9 comes in a variety of colors, including Midnight Black, Starry Blue, and Sunset Red, allowing you to choose a style that matches your personality.

One of the highlights of the Zenfone 9’s design is its unique flip-to-mute switch on the right side. This allows you to quickly and easily silence notifications without having to fumble for the volume buttons. There’s also a physical fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button, which is conveniently placed for easy access.

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Overall, the Zenfone 9’s design and build quality are top-notch. It’s a well-crafted phone that feels premium and durable, while also being incredibly comfortable to use. The smaller size may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a phone that you can easily slip into your pocket and use with one hand, the Zenfone 9 is definitely worth considering.

Display

The Asus Zenfone 9 packs a 5.9-inch Samsung AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This makes for a smooth and responsive user experience, whether you’re scrolling through social media or playing demanding games. The display is also incredibly bright, reaching up to 1100 nits, making it easily visible even in direct sunlight.

The screen’s small size and high pixel density (446 PPI) make for a crisp and detailed picture, with vibrant colors and deep blacks. It also boasts a 10-bit color depth for an even wider color gamut, giving you a more realistic and immersive viewing experience.

Additionally, the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, providing excellent scratch and drop resistance. This makes the Zenfone 9 a great choice for users who are looking for a phone that can handle the rigors of everyday use. While a larger display is always more visually appealing, the Zenfone 9 proves that size isn’t everything and that a smaller screen can still deliver a great viewing experience.

Performance

The Asus Zenfone 9 packs a punch when it comes to performance. It’s powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, which is one of the most powerful chipsets available on the market. This, coupled with up to 16GB of RAM, ensures smooth and responsive performance, even when handling demanding tasks like gaming or multitasking. We found the phone to handle everything we threw at it with ease, from demanding games like Genshin Impact to editing videos on the go.

The phone also comes with a powerful Adreno 730 GPU, which delivers excellent graphics performance. We tested the phone with various games and were impressed with the smooth frame rates and detailed visuals. The Zenfone 9 also supports 5G connectivity, allowing for blazing-fast download and upload speeds. This makes it ideal for streaming high-resolution videos or downloading large files.

Another notable feature is the phone’s vapor chamber cooling system, which helps to keep the phone cool even under heavy load. This is crucial for maintaining optimal performance, especially during extended gaming sessions or when using demanding apps. Overall, the Asus Zenfone 9 delivers exceptional performance and is undoubtedly one of the most powerful Android phones available.

Cameras

The Asus Zenfone 9 boasts a powerful camera system that excels in both photo and video capture. It features a dual-camera setup on the rear, consisting of a 50MP wide-angle lens with optical image stabilization (OIS) and a 12MP ultrawide lens with a 113-degree field of view.

The main camera sensor is a Sony IMX766, known for its excellent image quality, particularly in low-light conditions. It captures stunning detail, vibrant colors, and accurate white balance. The camera app is packed with features, including a variety of shooting modes, manual controls, and AI-powered enhancements.

One of the standout features of the Zenfone 9’s camera system is its advanced stabilization. The OIS on the main camera effectively reduces camera shake, resulting in sharper images and smoother videos, even when shooting handheld.

The ultrawide lens is also impressive, providing a wider perspective for capturing expansive landscapes or group photos. Its 113-degree field of view allows you to capture more of the scene, making it ideal for architectural photography or capturing stunning panoramas.

For video recording, the Zenfone 9 offers a wide range of options, including 8K video at 24fps, 4K video at up to 60fps, and 1080p slow-motion video at up to 240fps. The video quality is excellent, with impressive detail, vibrant colors, and smooth frame rates. The stabilization works exceptionally well for video recording, ensuring smooth and stable footage even when you’re on the move.

The Zenfone 9 also features a powerful front-facing camera with a 12MP sensor and a wide-angle lens. This camera is capable of capturing high-quality selfies with excellent detail and accurate skin tones. It also supports features like portrait mode for creating professional-looking portraits with blurred backgrounds.

Overall, the Asus Zenfone 9‘s camera system is a strong contender in the smartphone market. It delivers outstanding image quality, impressive video recording capabilities, and a wide range of features that cater to both casual and professional photographers. Whether you’re capturing everyday moments or creating stunning visuals, the Zenfone 9’s cameras are more than up to the task.

Battery Life

The Asus Zenfone 9 packs a 4,300mAh battery, which is a decent size for a phone of its dimensions. In our testing, the phone easily lasted a full day with moderate usage, including browsing the web, checking emails, using social media, and taking photos and videos. You could even push it to a day and a half with light usage.

Fast charging is also a highlight. The Zenfone 9 supports 30W wired charging, which can take the battery from 0% to 100% in about an hour. This is much faster than the average charging speed for a phone of this size. However, it’s worth noting that the charger is not included in the box, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.

In terms of wireless charging, the Zenfone 9 supports 15W wireless charging, which is a bit slower than some of its competitors. But overall, the battery life and charging speeds on the Zenfone 9 are excellent.

Software

The Asus Zenfone 9 runs on Android 12 with Asus’s custom ZenUI overlay. This software is known for its clean design and relatively minimal changes to the base Android experience, which makes it a refreshing change from some other manufacturers’ heavily skinned operating systems.

One of the standout features of ZenUI is its focus on customization. You can tailor the look and feel of the interface to your liking, with a wide array of themes, widgets, and app icons to choose from. You can also adjust the display’s color temperature and create your own custom navigation gestures.

A useful feature is the “Game Genie” which offers a range of features for gamers, including performance optimization, recording, and even the ability to block notifications. It’s a good suite of tools that enhance the gaming experience on the Zenfone 9.

Asus has also included its own suite of productivity apps, including a note-taking app, a to-do list app, and a calendar app. These apps are generally well-designed and functional, but they aren’t particularly innovative compared to their Google counterparts.

Overall, the software experience on the Asus Zenfone 9 is positive. It’s a clean, customizable, and well-optimized system that offers a good balance of features and performance. The phone runs smoothly and feels responsive, and the various software features, from Game Genie to its customization tools, make the phone feel more unique and geared toward different user needs. Plus, Asus promises timely software updates, ensuring that the Zenfone 9 will remain up-to-date with the latest features and security patches for a long time.

Audio

The Asus Zenfone 9 packs a punch in the audio department, featuring a pair of stereo speakers tuned by Dirac. They get surprisingly loud for a phone this size and deliver a surprisingly rich and balanced sound profile. You’ll be able to clearly hear highs, mids, and lows, with a good amount of bass for a satisfying listening experience. Whether you’re catching up on podcasts, streaming music, or watching movies, the Zenfone 9’s audio will keep you entertained. While the speakers lack the booming power of some larger phones, they hold their own in terms of clarity and sound quality.

For those who prefer a more personal listening experience, the Zenfone 9 also supports high-res audio codecs like aptX Adaptive and LDAC over Bluetooth 5.2. This means you can pair it with high-quality headphones or earbuds to enjoy music in its purest form. Whether you’re a casual listener or an audiophile, the Asus Zenfone 9‘s audio capabilities will definitely impress.

Connectivity

The Asus Zenfone 9 is a connectivity powerhouse, offering a comprehensive suite of features to keep you connected. It boasts support for the latest and greatest cellular networks, including 5G, ensuring you have blazing-fast speeds wherever you go. But it’s not just about speed; the Zenfone 9 also features Wi-Fi 6E for ultra-fast and stable connections on compatible networks.

For those who rely on Bluetooth, the Zenfone 9 doesn’t disappoint. It features Bluetooth 5.2 for seamless pairing with your favorite devices, including headphones, speakers, and smartwatches. You’ll also find NFC for easy contactless payments and data transfer. The phone also supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS for precise location tracking, no matter where you are in the world.

In addition to these standard features, the Zenfone 9 also packs in some extras that enhance connectivity. It features dual SIM support, allowing you to use two different phone numbers on a single device. There’s also support for eSIM, which lets you add a digital SIM without needing a physical card. This is especially helpful for travelers, as you can easily switch between different networks without carrying multiple SIM cards.

For audiophiles, the Zenfone 9 offers a dedicated audio chip that provides high-quality sound reproduction. It also supports aptX Adaptive for low-latency, high-quality audio streaming over Bluetooth. So, whether you’re listening to music, watching videos, or playing games, the Zenfone 9 delivers a truly immersive audio experience.

Overall, the Asus Zenfone 9 excels in connectivity. It offers a comprehensive suite of features, including support for the latest and greatest technologies, ensuring you stay connected and productive no matter where you are.

Features

Features

The Zenfone 9 is packed with features that make it a compelling choice for Android enthusiasts. One of the standout features is the dual SIM support, allowing you to use two different SIM cards simultaneously. This is perfect for travelers or those who need to manage multiple phone numbers.

Speaking of connectivity, the Zenfone 9 supports Wi-Fi 6E, the latest Wi-Fi standard, which offers faster speeds and lower latency. This is ideal for streaming high-quality video content or gaming. Another handy feature is NFC, allowing you to make contactless payments and connect to other NFC-enabled devices.

The Zenfone 9 is also equipped with a fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button, making it easy and convenient to unlock your phone. And for those who prefer face unlock, the Zenfone 9 supports facial recognition.

The Zenfone 9 offers IP68 water and dust resistance, ensuring your phone is protected from the elements. This means you can use it in the rain or at the beach without worry.

One of the most unique features of the Zenfone 9 is its built-in gimbal system. This allows for incredibly smooth video recording, even when you’re moving around.

The Zenfone 9 also comes with a variety of software features, including an excellent camera app with advanced shooting modes, a customizable home screen, and a range of productivity tools.

Overall, the Zenfone 9 offers a comprehensive set of features that cater to a wide range of users, making it a solid choice for those looking for a powerful and versatile Android smartphone.

Price and Availability

The Asus Zenfone 9 is priced at $799 for the 8GB/128GB model and $899 for the 16GB/256GB model. It is available in Midnight Black, Starlight Blue, and Sunset Red colors. The phone is available for purchase from Asus’s website, as well as from major retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and T-Mobile.

The Zenfone 9 is a relatively expensive phone, but it offers a lot of value for the price. It has a powerful processor, a great camera system, and a compact design. It is also one of the few flagship phones with a headphone jack.

If you’re looking for a powerful and compact Android phone, the Asus Zenfone 9 is a great option. However, if you’re on a budget, there are other great phones available that offer similar performance at a lower price.

Competition

The Asus Zenfone 9 faces stiff competition in the premium compact smartphone market. Here are some of its main rivals:

  • iPhone 13 mini: The iPhone 13 mini is a strong contender, offering excellent performance, a superb camera system, and a familiar iOS experience. However, it lacks the Zenfone 9’s versatility with its unique flip camera and the ability to use a microSD card for storage expansion.
  • Samsung Galaxy S22: The Galaxy S22 is a powerful flagship phone with a gorgeous display, an exceptional camera, and Samsung’s comprehensive ecosystem. However, it’s slightly larger than the Zenfone 9, and its starting price is higher.
  • Google Pixel 6a: The Pixel 6a is a more affordable option with a compelling camera system and clean Android experience. However, it lacks the premium build quality and powerful performance of the Zenfone 9.
  • Sony Xperia 5 IV: The Xperia 5 IV is a great choice for those who prioritize a high refresh rate display and excellent gaming performance. However, it’s a bit more expensive than the Zenfone 9, and its battery life could be better.
  • OnePlus 10T: The OnePlus 10T is a powerful Android phone with a fast charging system and impressive performance. However, it lacks the unique features and compact design of the Zenfone 9.

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you prioritize a compact design, powerful performance, and a versatile camera system, the Asus Zenfone 9 is an excellent option. However, if you’re looking for the latest and greatest flagship features or a more affordable alternative, some of the other phones listed above might be a better fit.

Verdict

The Asus Zenfone 9 is a compelling package for those seeking a compact flagship phone with excellent performance and a fantastic camera system. Its small size makes it incredibly comfortable to hold and use with one hand, a rare feat in the world of oversized smartphones. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor ensures effortless performance for demanding tasks and gaming, while the 50MP main camera captures stunning photos and videos, bolstered by the impressive stabilization system. While the battery life is slightly below average, the fast charging speeds mitigate this concern. The software experience is clean and intuitive, with Asus’s ZenUI offering a refined Android experience.

However, it’s not without its drawbacks. The display, while good, might not be as vibrant or sharp as some competitors. The lack of expandable storage can be a dealbreaker for some users. The price point is also on the higher end, potentially making it a tough sell against other flagships in the market.

Overall, the Asus Zenfone 9 is a fantastic option for users who prioritize a compact and powerful smartphone with a strong camera system. If you can stomach the slightly shorter battery life and the premium price tag, this device delivers a premium experience that will leave you impressed.

The Asus Zenfone 9 is a compelling smartphone that delivers a powerful punch in a compact package. Its small size makes it incredibly comfortable to hold and use with one hand, while its top-tier specs, including the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and a high refresh rate display, provide a truly premium experience. The camera system is also a standout feature, offering exceptional image quality and versatility. Although its battery life could be better and it lacks wireless charging, the Zenfone 9 is a worthy contender for those seeking a compact flagship that doesn’t compromise on performance.

Overall, the Asus Zenfone 9 is a highly recommended smartphone for users who prioritize a small form factor without sacrificing power or features. It delivers a smooth and enjoyable user experience, excellent performance, and impressive camera capabilities. The lack of wireless charging and slightly shorter battery life are minor drawbacks, but they don’t overshadow the overall excellence of this device.

Whether you’re a mobile gamer, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking for a compact phone with top-notch performance, the Zenfone 9 is a great choice. Its unique design, powerful hardware, and excellent camera make it a compelling alternative to other flagship smartphones on the market. The Zenfone 9 proves that size isn’t everything, and sometimes, less is truly more.

With the Zenfone 9, Asus has proven that it can compete with the giants of the smartphone industry. This compact powerhouse is a testament to Asus’ commitment to innovation and quality, offering a premium experience that is both powerful and portable. If you’re in the market for a top-tier smartphone that doesn’t feel like a brick in your pocket, the Zenfone 9 deserves a serious look.

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