Asus Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro launched: All round improvements from the Zenfone 6 but no headphone jack or US release
Asus has unveiled the Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro in Taiwan. The two devices, which Asus is calling the ZS670KS and ZS671KS respectively, succeed the Zenfone 6 (ZS630KL) that Asus released last year. The 3.5 mm jack has gone from this year's models, but Asus has brought plenty of new features to the Zenfone 7 series.
First up, the 6.4-inch screen from the Zenfone 6 has grown to a 6.67-inch one on the Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro. In turn, the Zenfone 7 series is now 165.08 x 77.28 x 9.6 mm and weighs 230g. The screen remains a 1080p panel, but it now supports a 90 Hz refresh rate, a 200 Hz touch sampling rate and a 1 ms response time. Additionally, it peaks at 550 nits, which would put it in line with the maximum brightness of the panel in the Zenfone 6. According to Asus, the panel can reach 1,000 nits when viewing HDR content, though. The panel may be an AMOLED one, but it features Pixelworks DC dimming and HDR tone mapping, which should reduce eyestrain.
The motorised camera from the Zenfone 6 returns, but this time with three lenses instead of the two that Asus included last time. The primary one is the Sony IMX686, a 64 MP sensor that supports 4-in-1 pixel binning, an f/1.8 aperture and a pixel size of 0.8 μm. Only the Zenfone 7 Pro supports OIS on this sensor, though. Asus has complemented the IMX686 with an IMX363 ultra-wide-angle camera, which outputs in up to 12 MP and with a 113° field of view. The sensor also has an f/2.2 aperture and is capable of macro photography. Finally, there is an 8 MP telephoto camera, which has an f/2.4 aperture. The camera supports 3x optical zoom and 12x digital zoom, but the sensor is only optically stabilised on the Zenfone 7 Pro.
Both devices have a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and a 5,000 mAh battery. The latter can be charged at 30 W using Asus HyperCharge or USB PD 3.0 or at 27 W via Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0. Neither device supports wireless charging, though. Similarly, DisplayPort Alternate Mode is not supported,
nor is microSD card storage.
While the Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro share much of the same hardware, Asus distinguishes them by chipset. On the one hand, the Zenfone 7 has a Snapdragon 865, which features an Adreno 650 GPU and eight CPU cores. On the other hand, Asus has equipped the Zenfone 7 Pro with a Snapdragon 865 Plus. Qualcomm's latest flagship chipset includes the same CPU cores and GPU as the Snapdragon 865, but Qualcomm has applied a 10% overclock to the GPU and Kryo 585 prime core in the Snapdragon 865 Plus.
The Zenfone 7 series will be available in Aurora Black and Pastel White. Asus is yet to announce international pricing, but it has announced the storage combinations in which it will offer the two devices. The Zenfone 7 will only be available with 128 GB of storage and will start at TWD 21,990 (~US$748) for the 6 GB of RAM model. Stepping up to 8 GB of RAM raises the price to TWD 23,990 (~US$816), while Asus has priced the 8 GB/256 GB Zenfone 7 Pro at TWD 27,990 (~US$952). The Zenfone 7 series will be available in select European markets from September 1. Asus states that it will have ample supply of Zenfone 7 series smartphones, but a US release may not be on the cards.
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