For small hands – the Asus ZenFone 8 in check

Many smartphones are now quite large, but there are also a few exceptions. With the ZenFone 8, for example, Asus has a top model on offer that looks downright dainty compared to other Android phones. The test shows: Nothing is missing.

Okay, let’s say it. If you want to buy a really well-equipped Android smartphone, you need big hands and big pockets. But what about people who would like a one-handed phone? One with rather compact dimensions? This is where the Asus ZenFone 8 comes in.

The manufacturer’s latest smartphone is deliberately kept compact. The spec sheet lists 148 x 68.5 x 8.9 millimeters for the dimensions. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra measures 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 millimeters, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max measures 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 millimeters. Thus, the ZenFone 8 is not tiny, but comparatively compact. Surprisingly, this hardly means any drawbacks in everyday use.

ZenFone 8 from Asus
Asus’ ZenFone 8 has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, up to 256 gigabytes (GB) of storage and 6 to 16 GB of working memory depending on the version. Photo: Asus/dpa-tmn

The ZenFone 8’s performance

Inside the Asus ZenFone 8 is everything you can expect from a top model in 2021. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, up to 256 gigabytes (GB) of storage and 6 to 16 GB of working memory depending on the version. WLAN 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 are available, as well as 5G wireless on all bands relevant for Germany.

The 5.9-inch AMOLED display makes a good impression at first glance. Everything looks sharp and nicely colored. The reason for this is the high pixel density of 446 pixels per inch (PPI) with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. Together with the high brightness of 700 nits (up to 1100 in some applications), HDR10+ and variable refresh rate of up to 120 hertz, the display looks really good. The display also houses the very fast-responding fingerprint sensor.

5G wireless
Easily accessible: Asus’ ZenFone 8 features WLAN 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, as well as 5G wireless on all bands relevant for Germany. Photo: Asus/dpa-tmn

What the smartphone lacks

Two things are rare on the ZenFone 8: It has both a jack for headphones and a notification LED on the bottom. That is quite practical. However, the smartphone also lacks two important features: a slot for memory cards and the option for wireless charging. Manufacturer’s argument here: That would make the phone too thick.

It is also quite unusual for a top model that it has “only” two cameras. A main camera with a wide-angle and 64 megapixels and an ultra-wide-angle camera with 12 megapixels. Both sensors come from Sony. What looks small and inconspicuous, however, shoots razor-sharp and color-accurate photos during the day. The software intervenes strongly in night shots and smoothes a lot, which can lead to image noise. There is no zoom lens for space reasons.

The ZenFone 8’s camera duo cuts a good figure in everyday use. The many shooting modes and manual settings are helpful. The focus is fast, and Asus’ own photo gallery has all the necessary tools. Those who need more can use the Google Photos app, which is also installed. What you should not expect is a camera experience like that of dedicated camera phones like the iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, they easily cost twice as much.

And how’s that for size now?

Yes, such a small phone is quite practical. And indeed, Asus has managed to achieve the compact size of the ZenFone 8 almost without any compromises. The display size did not prove to be a problem in everyday use. After all, the display is not really small at 5.9 inches. Reading news, tapping through apps, watching a video: Everything is easily recognizable, and you do not miss typing on the keyboard.

The only sticking point for long-term users could be the 4000 mAh battery. It will run out after one day of heavy use.

Conclusion: Asus’ ZenFone 8 does not have to hide.

Asus’ ZenFone 8 is a compact smartphone with up-to-date top hardware, a good camera and a long-lasting battery. Thus, users who are looking for an Android that does not require a separate pocket and two hands to operate will find what they are looking for here. In addition: In the well-equipped basic version with 6 GB working memory and 128 GB system storage, the ZenFone 8 is quite interesting in terms of price at just under 600 Euros.

With material from dpa