The Asus ZenFone 8 is Android's latest mini flagship smartphone
Asus debuted the ZenFone 8 series today, the vanilla model of which has an unusually small screen for 2021's purposes. It measures 5.9 inches diagonally - however, it is still a top-end Samsung E4 AMOLED panel, which means it will have a higher pixel density compared to the average up-to-date FHD flagship.
Its maker has potentially good news for audio enthusiasts as well: it has equipped the 8 with "linear" speakers with dual mono amps from Cirrus Logic and support for Dirac HD Sound. Not only that, a headphone jack is in evidence, which also means that FM radio might work in some markets.
The 8 also departs from the 2021 norm in that it features dual rear cameras. However, as its 64MP main shooter also handles wide-angle functions, and as its secondary lens is ultra-wide, Asus might feel all the essential bases are covered in this iteration of its traditionally photography-focused series.
The ZenFone 8's compact nature has a possible drawback waiting to happen, however, and that is battery life. Asus has been able to fit a 4000mAh battery in it, which can fill up at 30 watts (W), as opposed to the supercharged rates of other, larger high-end mobile devices.
Then agin, it also features Gorilla Glass Victus on the front panel and an IP68 rating for durability. The hopefully sturdy little phone will start at €599 (~US$723) for a 6GB RAM base model, although there are also 8GB through 12GB options.
Asus has tempered its Mini-trend gamble with the ZenFone 8 Flip. It is a complete refresh of 2020's 7 Pro, with all the same specs (flip-cam sensors included) except for an updated processor: the Snapdragon 888, same as the 8. This means its 6.67-inch FHD AMOLED display is still 90Hz (even though its smaller sibling has a 120Hz rate), driven by a 5,000mAh battery. It also runs ZenUI 8 based on Android 11, as does the 8.
Asus has announced that it starts at €799 (~$965) for an 8GB RAM SKU. Both the ZenFone 8 and 8 Flip come in silver or black, and can be ordered from the OEM's website in Taiwan and Europe at present.