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Asus

Asus ZenFone 9

28.07.2022
A small phone which makes an impression

Asus ZenFone 9 is a smartphone with a small size, but with a flagship specification. How will it work?
Asus ZenFone 9 - video review
video: GSMchoice.com via YouTube

Size matters

First, a few words about the dimensions of this phone. Nowadays a smartphone with a screen diagonal of 5.9" is a compact, not only by name, but really. Check yourself - it is almost completely hidden in my hand. display, which translates directly into the comfort of use, especially for people who have slightly smaller hands than I. I have large hands, so for me this phone is a bit too small, but it will certainly be a godsend for people with smaller hands, even for the ladies.

Since I mentioned the fairer sex, I would like to add that this model can be purchased in several great colours - in addition to the typical black and white, there is also blue and coral. The back is covered with plastic, but this material is very nice to the touch - it resembles a little paper, a little fabric. The phone looks nice, it is pleasant to hold in the hand, and it is waterproof. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, and between it and the back we have a light alloy metal frame. The whole thing is noticeably premium, yet solid and won't break easily.

I leave the assessment of the styling to you - not everyone will like two large, protruding camera lenses, but apart from the modest size, it is another characteristic feature that distinguishes this smartphone. Speaking of sizes, I will mention that in my opinion the phone is a bit thick. It is just over 9 mm thick, which is currently not terribly scary, but it is also not a reason to be proud, especially with such a small size of the phone. But I understand this thickness - the manufacturer had much less space inside the casing, and he wanted to fit as much as possible, and he managed to pack a lot. This phone has a flagship spec.

Screen without flaws

Let's start with the display: as I mentioned, it has less than 6 inches diagonal, 5.9" to be exact. It is an AMOLED matrix, of course Full HD+ with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which can be adjusted automatically, but can also be set hard - 120, 90 or 60 Hz The screen has a peak brightness of 1000 nits, but that won't tell you much.

The screen remains legible, and at night it does not tire your eyesight too much - there is of course a mode of eye protection against harmful blue light, there is protection against flickering... nothing in terms of display settings is missing, and the screen itself is really good quality. For me it is a bit too small, while for those with smaller hands it will be just perfect. As for the touch, brightness sensor behavior, everything is fine.

Connectivity - more than usual

I also have no objections to the sound quality. We have very extensive audio options here, there are also stereo speakers, in addition they are quite loud and sound quite clean. From poverty, they will be suitable even for listening to music, but I would rather leave them for games, maybe for movies. I would rather connect decent headphones to music, because we have a minijack in this smartphone. Yes, this little body has a minijack! You will see how the manufacturer had to flex when looking at the SIM card slot. It is literally in the corner, this drawer is rounded on one side, so there was really little space in this casing, and we managed to squeeze quite a lot. The only thing we will not find here is a place for a microSD card - there is only a Dual SIM.

When it comes to the quality of connections, it is excellent, there is nothing to complain about here. I did not notice anything disturbing in the operation of navigation modules, bluetooth or WiFi communication - of course, the latest WiFi 6 standard is here. In terms of communication, I will mention two more things - first, the options related to network settings and telephony are very extensive. Users with a little less experience may feel intimidated when they click too deep, but on the other hand, we have here really a lot of room for maneuver when it comes to setting options. The second thing that is absolutely unique about this smartphone is the ability to record calls, and also automatically.

Neat interface with surprises

The ZenUI interface is not the Asus interface we remember five or seven years ago, where it was full of everything and you could get a little lost. It's clean, raw, neat here, maybe it's not a completely raw form of Android, but in fact Asus does not try to make any particular combinations here. Among the extras we find typical elements - some personalization options, gamer mode, application cloning, the ability to use gestures... but of course Asus would not be itself if it had not added something special here.

The first rare feature is the back tap feature, which you can use to turn things on. For example, I configured myself to turn on the flashlight in this way. Another interesting feature is the intelligent key. You will say that it looks like an ordinary switch with an integrated fingerprint reader... a bit yes, but it has additional possibilities! You can stroke it to expand, for example, the notification bar by sliding your finger over it, refresh the website or simply scroll to the beginning or the end of this page. You can also switch between tracks or pause and resume them. The fingerprint reader itself is fine. In the right place, well functioning, I can't say anything bad.

We are not only bothered by the heat

I also have no objections to the performance of this smartphone. It is very high, and this is because we have the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 here, which is currently the top Qualcomm processor. In such a small telephone, it is something really special and it can be safely said that currently this smartphone has no competition on our market - when it comes to Androids with a flagship specification, we will not find anything so small with such a strong prock. This smartphone can be easily burned with the most demanding games, of course, provided that someone will not be disturbed by the size of the screen.

The players will not be disappointed, although I have noticed that the smartphone has a bit of a tendency to heat up. It is true that I did not notice this in games, but unfortunately running a few stress tests one after another resulted in a really large increase in temperature. On the one hand, I explain it with the small size of the smartphone, but on the other hand, it would also explain the very high ambient temperature in which I was testing, because we have heat over 30 degrees non-stop, even at night. So to finally see if these stress tests actually break ZenFone 9 on my shoulder, I put this phone in the fridge - and it got better straight away.

While in the hot temperature outside the phone heats up significantly, in addition spoiling the good impression with noticeable throttling and instability of this performance over a longer period of time, everything was in the best order with the electronics-friendly temperature. So it is not a smartphone for hot weather, but you will play in winter, even for a long time, even in more demanding games. For this performance, in my opinion, maybe not a six, but for such a solid five with a slight downside, it is definitely the case.

The battery is adequate to the size

The battery, by current standards, is perhaps not very large, but for the size of this smartphone, however, quite large. It has a capacity of 4300 mAh and in practice, with normal, fairly balanced use, it will provide a two-day working time. Of course, if you try hard, you will unload it in one day - I did it by tiring it with games, taking a lot of photos and videos. However, now that I am using this phone to a lesser degree, two days of operation is not a huge feat for it. Charging this phone, however, could be a bit faster. 30 W is not a bad power, but at the moment the competitors are setting the bar higher.

Although again, the lack of super-fast charging with very high power can be explained by the dimensions of the phone and issues related to the cooling of the battery inside it. On the plus side, I will find the right charger in the set. By the way, the set also includes a cover. It is worth emphasizing - although the phone is a bit niche, and ASUS is not a mainstream smartphone manufacturer, it made sure that Zenfon 9 was accompanied by a fairly large range of different accessories at the start.

Cameras - quality over quantity

Let's move on to what you've probably been most interested in lately in every smartphone, i.e. photography.

As you can see, two big eyes are looking at us from the back and none here There is no ego deception, because there are actually two lenses. The first works with a 50 Mpx matrix, has an f/1.9 aperture and, most importantly, optical gimbal image stabilization. Thanks to it, you can be calm about shots in motion or photos in low light.

The second lens, on the other hand, takes wide-angle photos, with a not very impressive field of view - only 113 degrees, but has a pretty good f/2.2 aperture for a wide-angle eyelet. The set is crowned with another 12 Mpx camera - this time in the front, placed in a screen hole, taking selfies with an aperture of f/2.45. I must say that as for the external dimensions of this smartphone, the photos are taken very nice, the results of shooting even in low light can be considered good.

Of course, we have a night mode that works great in an urban setting. We also have a portrait mode that works even at night. The selfie camera is doing much less at night, but we can use the screen illumination and at least we will be visible. Not necessarily the background, but the photo will turn out to be quite viewable.

In the camera menu we will also find the light painting mode, but we will not find the possibility of simultaneous recording with the front and rear cameras.

Fortunately, when recording video, we have the ability to switch between the rear main lens and the wide-angle lens, and the quality of the movies turns out to be quite decent. So a small phone, but it can take decent photos!


Asus ZenFone 9 sample videos
video: GSMchoice.com via YouTube

Little big smartphone

So, as you may have heard, I almost gave this smartphone a laurel, but it is largely due to the fact that it is a compact. If this smartphone had the usual 6.5 or almost 7 inches, I would rate it as quite an average flagship. It is this size that makes it an outstanding flagship - a smartphone that offers a lot in a small housing.

You have to pay for something small and nice... unfortunately, in my opinion it is quite salty. In our market, Asus ZenFone 9 comes in three versions: 8+128 GB, 8+256 GB and even 16+256 GB. The cheapest model costs 799 EUR, the average version is 849 EUR, and the top model is 899 EUR That's just how much flagships cost at the moment! Nevertheless, I have such a strange feeling that this smartphone could be a little cheaper - then it would definitely be a hit. With prices at the level of competing flagships, well - it tempts primarily with its compactness. Yes, you must admit it, but it is impressive.

; viewed: 172 times.


By:
Monika Krasicka-Kulińska

By:
Adam Łukowski



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