Asus is one of the last Android phone manufacturers to offer powerful, compact models for those who don’t want enormous phones in the pockets or bags. Now, thanks to a video that’s appeared online, we’ve got a good idea of what to expect when the next generation of these hand-friendly devices.
Here’s all we know so far about the Asus Zenfone 9.
When will the Asus Zenfone 9 be released?
Asus has now confirmed that the Zenfone 9 is coming this month, with a global launch confirmed for 28 July. There’s a very brief teaser on the Asus site for the launch, which takes place at 6am PT/9am ET/2pm BST/3pm CET/6:30pm IST.
For context, here’s when Asus has launched the last few Zenfone models – note that this year is actually a little out of step with the usual May release.
How much will the Asus Zenfone 9 cost?
Again, there’s no confirmation from Asus about pricing. Here’s how the last few generations lined up:
Asus Zenfone 8: $629/£599
Asus Zenfone 7: $749/£569
Asus Zenfone 6: $499/£499
There’s been some fluctuation across the ticket prices in recent years, but we suspect that the cost of the Zenfone 8 should carry over to the new model, as Asus seems to be settling on its compact design and construction that was introduced with the Zenfone 8.
What features and specs will we see in the Zenfone 9?
While Asus has yet to release any official details about the Zenfone 9, the company did appear to accidentally post a video of the upcoming model on YouTube, before hurriedly taking it down. Of course, nothing is ever truly gone on the internet and Chinese site TechGoing managed to take a copy of the video, which it then reported for all to see. Here’s the video (courtesy of TechGoing):
If the video is accurate, and it seems likely that it is, then it reveals plenty of details about how the Zenfone 9 will be configured.
In terms of processors, Asus has gone with a Snapdragon Gen 8+ 1 chipset, which is par for the course for premium phones in 2022. We don’t know the storage or memory allocations, but if the company follows the pattern set by the Zenfone 8 then expect multiple configurations. We think the 6GB/128GB variety might be retired, with instead a (comparatively) simplified 8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB, 12GB/256GB, 16GB/256GB selection on offer.
The display in the video is a 5.9-inch Samsung AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and punch-hole aperture in the top left-hand corner. There’s no in-display fingerprint sensor, as Asus has gone with placing it in the power button on the right flank. This also acts as an ersatz trackpad, allowing you to scroll content on a page by swiping up or down.
Cameras are always an essential element in a modern phone, so the improved optics shown in the video look like a step forward, especially in terms of video. The 50Mp Sony IMX766 sensor used in the Zenfone 9 main camera (as well as the Realme GT 2 Pro, OnePlus Nord 2T, and expected to appear in the Nothing Phone (1)) is a solid performer that will deliver great photos. The Zenfone 9 adds a 6-axis gimbal module for optical image stabilisation, so video footage should be rock solid.
Asus states that the dual-camera system is ‘massively upgraded’. This makes sense, as the Zenfone 8 featured a Sony IMX686 on the main camera, while the secondary unit was a 12Mp ultra-wide with a Sony IMX363 sensor. Hopefully, the ultra-wide on the Zenfone 9 will also get the same kind of step up as the main camera. We don’t have any information on the selfie camera, but it should be an upgrade to the 12Mp module in the Zenfone 8 if Asus decides to raise the capabilities of all the lenses and sensors. It the video, there’s also a new Light Trail mode featured, which could be a cool way to get arty shots if you’re out at night.
Audio will come from dual stereo speakers, while there’s also the surprising inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack if you prefer to plug in your cans. Everything will be powered by a 4300mAh battery, and the unit will be protected from water and dust thanks to its IP68 rating.
Asus also shows off a couple of accessories in the video, with a smart backpack mount that might also feature a powerpack, plus there’s also a Connex phone case that has a kickstand built-in as well as a card holder. No details are available yet on how much either of these will cost.
There you go. Everything we know so far. We’ll keep updating this article as more information becomes available. So, check back regularly to see what Asus has up its sleeves.
Until then, be sure to take a look at our guide to the best mid-range phones to see the competition the Zenfone 9 will have to beat.