Asus Zenfone 8 Review – Slim and Fast

The most interesting thing about ASUS Zenfone 8 is its slim dimensions because it is rarely found in today’s Android operating system phones. In addition, ASUS Zenfone 8 is also equipped with a screen with a high refresh rate.

With the features it brings, can this device compete in its class? For that you can see the review in the following article to find out the advantages and disadvantages brought by ASUS Zenfone 8.

Incidentally, I got a Zenfone 8 with an Obsidian Black rear body (there is also a Horizon Silver variant) which looks charming when seen with the naked eye.

However, it should be noted that the rear body of the Zenfone 8 uses a metal material that feels slippery when held by hand. Meanwhile, fingerprints and dust stains are also easily attached to the rear body.

Therefore, I immediately used the default softcase in the Zenfone 8 sales package to solve this problem.

Even though the screen size is 5.9 inches, I can still see content freely because of the design that fills the front and has a not-so-large bezel.

Moreover, Zenfone 8 is equipped with a screen with a Full HD + resolution (2400 x 1080 pixels) with Samsung E4 AMOLED technology which is supported by 112% DCI-P3, 151.9% sRGB, Delta E average<1, and a maximum brightness level of up to 1,100 nits so that it can display content brightly and sharply.

Even in the hot sun, the screen of the Zenfone 8 is still able to display content clearly. To minimize the occurrence of scratches on the screen, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus has also coated the screen of this cellphone.

There is also an Adaptive Refresh Rate feature on this mobile screen which is able to automatically adjust the refresh rate depending on the content that I am enjoying.

However I can lock the refresh rate manually with three options available including 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz. When I use a 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate, game animations and transitions on the operating system feel very smooth.

Zenfone 8 is also equipped with an Always on Display which can display important screen information starting from the time, date, message notifications, and battery percentage which is dominated by black when the screen is in a resting condition so that it saves on battery power consumption.

On the right side of this cellphone, there are volume and power buttons that are placed vertically in a row making it easier for button combinations, such as screenshots.

Moving to the bottom there is a SIM card slot, USB Type-C port, speaker hole, and notification light. Zenfone 8 only has two SIM card slots without the presence of a microSD slot at all.

Regarding photography, ASUS Zenfone 8 comes with support for two rear cameras consisting of a 64 MP main camera with a Sony IMX686 sensor and a 12 MP ultrawide camera with a Sony IMX 686 sensor.

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By default, the main camera of Zenfone 8 produces 16 MP resolution photos thanks to the presence of 4-in-1 pixel binning technology which unites four pixels into one large pixel so that it can absorb more light and produce more dynamic colors.

But I can also produce photos with a resolution larger than the main camera by activating the 64 MP mode. But this feature is a bit hidden because I have to access it in the Settings menu which is present in the Zenfone 8 default camera application.

Although seen by naked eye on the screen there is not too much difference between 16 MP and 64 MP photos, but the actual difference in detail between the two will be seen when printed on large media. For this reason, I did the process of cutting or cropping certain parts between 16 MP and 64 MP photos to see the difference more closely.

It can be seen that 64 MP resolution photos have higher detail compared to 16 MP. However, both photos have good quality so they can be used as needed.

While the ultrawide camera on this cellphone is capable of producing photos with a large area up to a 113-degree viewing angle. Even though it doesn’t have a telephoto camera, the photos produced with 2x Zoom still have good quality.

The Zenfone 8 camera is also able to produce good photos in night conditions using Auto Mode. Meanwhile, when Night Mode is activated, the photos become brighter and have less noise.

The front camera has a resolution of 12 MP with a Sony IMX363 sensor which can produce selfie photos well for daytime conditions. However, ASUS needs to make improvements for selfie photos at night because it still looks a lot of noise.

From the hardware sector, ASUS Zenfone 8 is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (5nm) Octa-Core 2.8 GHz chipset, Adreno 660 GPU, 8 GB RAM, and 128 GB internal storage.

On paper, this combination of hardware looks capable of running even heavy applications and games. For that, I immediately tested it by running various applications for daily activities ranging from email, social media, chat, SMS, telephone, music player, video, and document editor.

As a result, ASUS Zenfone 8 is able to run applications in multitasking smoothly. In addition to a powerful chipset, this is also influenced by a large RAM capacity so that it can handle many tasks at once.

Moving on to the next stage, I immediately played some popular games such as Pokemon Unite, PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty, Mobile Legends, Free Fire, and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.

All games are able to run smoothly when I set on high graphics and frame rate. Even Zenfone 8 is able to run Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition with the highest graphics with a frame rate of 120fps smoothly.

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Even though Zenfone 8 uses a heat-pipe cooling system, the rear body immediately feels warm when I run games with very high graphics and frame rates.

This is most likely due to the metal body of the Zenfone 8, its slim size, and it seems that heat from running hardware is channeled to the rear body.

In testing with AnTuTu Benchmark v9.1.6, Zenfone 8 managed to get a high score of 746,556 points. While on Geekbench 5.4.1, this phone got 1,122 points for Single-Core and 3,561 points for Multi-Core. Thanks to the high hardware combination, Zenfone 8 is able to run various applications and even heavy games smoothly.

For the source of its life energy, ASUS entrusts a 4,000mAh battery to be embedded in Zenfone 8. The presence of various refresh rates makes the battery life of this device vary.

To find out the battery life, I immediately tested the Zenfone 8 with the PCMark for Android application using the screen brightness level of 50%, the battery from 100% condition, and the Work 3.0 battery life feature.

When using a 120Hz refresh rate, Zenfone 8 gets a score of 5 hours 6 minutes. While at 90Hz refresh rate, the score increased to 7 hours 27 minutes or approximately 1 hour and a half longer.

Furthermore, Zenfone 8 managed to get an even higher score reaching 8 hours 6 minutes when using a 60Hz refresh rate. Finally, this phone has a score of 8 hours 11 minutes when using the Adaptive Refresh Rate feature.

In my daily use, the Zenfone 8 battery can last for 8 hours 37 minutes with a Screen on time of 4 hours 47 minutes at a refresh rate of 120Hz.

Armed with the 30W HyperCharge feature, this phone can charge the battery fast from 5% to 100% in just 1 hour 22 minutes. This is close to ASUS’ claims regarding charging the battery which is said to be charged in 1 hour 20 minutes.

Compared to the previous generation, ZenUI 8 based on Android 11 which is present on Zenfone 8 has a simple interface like a pure operating system. Even the navigation and application switching that I did on ZenUI 8 was smooth. Interestingly, ASUS doesn’t bring a lot of bloatware anymore on Zenfone 8.

ZenUI 8 has also presented various features ranging from Dark Mode, Twin Apps, Screenshot Gestures, Game Genie, Smart Key, Multi-Windows, to others. Dark Mode allows the system display on Zenfone 8 to have a dark or black background, making it easier for me to enjoy content in low light conditions or at night.

While Twin Apps allows me to enter two social media or game accounts at once because the apps will be doubled. ASUS also presents a screenshot gesture by swiping three fingers from the top of the screen down or long holding the Recent button.

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Meanwhile Game Genie is a feature that can optimize games running on Zenfone 8. This feature even has game tools that can make me more comfortable and immersive when playing games.

Not to forget the Smart key allows the power button to be used to access other features, for example, double pressing the power button can be used to open Google Assistant or other applications that have been set.

Finally, there is the Multi-Window which allows me to do multitasking activities because it is able to bring up two applications on one screen. For example, I can watch Youtube videos while chatting on WhatsApp.

After a few weeks of use, I feel that Zenfone 8 is very comfortable to use especially its slim body makes it very easy to grip. The performance offered by Zenfone 8 is also powerful so that I can run applications and games smoothly without any obstacles at all.

However, it should be noted that when playing games with very high graphics and frame rates, especially 120fps, the rear body will immediately feel warm. For that, we can lower the settings so that the body does not get warm quickly.

The Samsung E4 AMOLED screen with a high refresh rate between 90 Hz and 120 Hz is able to spoil my eyes when navigating, running applications, watching videos, or playing games.

The battery life of the Zenfone 8 cellphone also feels long when using it after the 60Hz refresh rate and Adaptive refresh rate. However, when using a high refresh rate, the battery power consumption becomes more wasteful.

This cellphone is also equipped with an NFC sensor that allows me to easily check or charge e-money. I can even transfer data quickly to a cellphone that also has NFC.

 

The back body wrapped in Obsidian Black color makes Zenfone 8 look charming. But it should be noted, the metal body makes it feel slippery when held by hand. In addition, the body is easily attached to dust and fingerprints. Fortunately the default softcase is already provided in the sales package. This device is also IP68 certified which proves that it is water resistant to a depth of 1.5 meters in 30 minutes.

Conclusion

Zenfone 8 is a high-end cellphone from ASUS that is comfortable to use for daily activities. In addition to a good main camera and powerful performance, this device has a compact size that is comfortable to hold in one hand.

Pros

  • Slim body
  • Powerful performance
  • Good rear camera
  • 120Hz AMOLED screen
  • IP68 waterproof certificate

Cons

  • No microSD slot
  • The back body is slippery and easily sticks to stains
  • Night selfies need improvement