Asus Zenfone 10: a compact smartphone with compromises
It can't be all that difficult to build a high-quality smartphone with a slightly smaller screen that is suitable for people with smaller hands or for those who simply want a more compact phone.
Asus attempts this once again this year with the Zenfone 10 and gets a lot of things right, as our detailed review shows. This includes the high-quality case, the metal frame, Gorilla Glass Victus, IP certification and the addition of several brighter color variants such as red, blue or green.
The smartphone also boasts fast UFS 4.0 storage, modern WiFi 7, wireless charging and a very fast processor, namely the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. More performance is hardly possible at the moment. Asus promises four years of security updates and two new Android versions. The fingerprint sensor works quickly and very reliably, and there are numerous settings if you prefer the stock version of Android instead of Asus' customizations.
Another highlight for nostalgics is likely to be the 3.5mm audio port, which can be used to connect classic analog headphones and which is almost impossible to find in the high-priced smartphone segment.
On the other hand, it is somewhat annoying that support for eSIMs is lacking, which should actually be standard in a smartphone like the Zenfone 10. The voice quality is also not entirely convincing for various reasons, and a sluggish USB 2.0 port is also no longer state-of-the-art in high-end smartphones.
In our opinion, the biggest weakness is the inflexible camera setup. While the similarly compact Samsung Galaxy S23, for example, offers an optical zoom camera, you have to make to do with pure digital zoom of up to 8x on the Zenfone 10, the use of which invariably results in loss of quality. This was especially noticeable during our photo safari through Lisabon with our Zenfone 10.