Asus Zenfone 9 verdict: The software support of the small flagship smartphone is still lacking
Those who are looking for a compact and light Android smartphone will hardly get around a Zenfone 9. The Asus smartphone convinces in our test with a very good gimbal technology and very fast system performance. The compact case of our test unit houses a flagship SoC with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which is combined with 16 GB of LPDDR5-RAM and 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Despite its compact size, there are hardly any compromises compared to the noticeably larger high-end competitors. The battery life of the Zenfone 9 is also at a really good level. With that, the Taiwanese manufacturer has transformed the largest complaint against its predecessor into an attractive strength of the compact smartphone series.
However, in terms of the software support, Asus still has to make some improvements. Not in the ZenUI itself, since that includes only little bloatware and offers attractive short system animations, but in the duration of the software support. The Taiwanese manufacturer still promises only a minimum of two years of Android updates for its Zenfone series. At an MSRP of almost 800 Euros (~$801) for the basic model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, this is not enough. For example, buyers of the also fairly compact Samsung Galaxy S22 can look forward to a long time of regular software updates. Samsung promises up to four Android OS updates and five years of security patches for its Galaxy S22 series. A Xiaomi 12 gets at least three large Android updates and four years of security patches, so you will probably still be able to enjoy Android 15 with it.
If you value compact dimensions in a smartphone and are looking for a high-end solution, you can get a detailed impression of the Asus Zenfone 9 by looking at our extensive test and review.