The "1-Minute" Review
VerdictThe Asus Zenfone 8 proves that you don't need to sacrifice performance or features to enjoy a super-portable phone. Unless you're looking for a huge display or days-long battery life, it's a compelling small-sized Android option.
- Compact size
- Great performance
- 120Hz display
- No wireless charging
- No telephoto lens
- No storage expansion
Asus has attempted larger displays and flip-out mechanisms in the past with limited success, but the Asus Zenfone 8 sees the brand take a different approach to phone design. Do their new ideas work and is the phone worth buying? Here’s what reviewers think.
Asus opted for a much smaller design for their latest Zenfone release. Reviewers found the size perfect and most raved about it. The phone fits comfortably in your hand and can slide into pockets without falling out. Yet it’s large enough to enjoy your media and easily punch out quick messages or emails.
The entire design is also aluminum, so it has a hefty premium feel in the hand.
A smaller display does not automatically mean a less enjoyable experience with the Zenfone 8. In fact, reviewers said the 120Hz screen was so smooth they would compare it to an iPhone 12 Mini in many ways.
It is water- and dust-resistance rated and also features Gorilla Glass Victus for extra strength. So while it’s not a rugged phone exactly, it should put up with the bumps and dings of daily living well enough.
The Asus Zenfone 8 operates on the latest chipset, Snapdragon 888 and reviewers said it was an absolute pleasure to use, easily keeping up with app switching and multitasking without any visible hiccups.
Software & Storage
The phone ships with Android 11 and a guaranteed two years' worth of updates. You have the choice of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage space. But since there is no microSD storage option, you’ll want to be sure you pick a model with enough storage to last a few years.
The biggest caveat for reviewers is the absence of a telephoto lens. This phone has only two kinds of lenses on its camera bump. The 64-megapixel main lens does a really good job of catching solid vibrant images while the ultra-wide 18-megapixel lens does its job well in good lighting.
They can handle some low-light situations. As long as you have a steady hand, night mode does quite well too.
Overall, reviewers were pleased with the simplicity of the camera and the quality of images it produces.
Small phones mean a smaller battery as well and, in some situations, reviewers said this was obvious. But most agreed that with mindful moderate usage and the phone’s included battery-saver modes, it was easy to last a full day on a single charge.
While the phone doesn’t support wireless charging, a fast-charge power brick is included in the box for speedy top-ups.
There was no specific mention of the speakers or sound capabilities amongst reviewers so one can assume it is about average as with most smartphones. However, if you’re really worried about audio quality, the included headphone jack atop the Zenfone 8 should please you.
Specs at a Glance
- Aluminum chassis
- 5.9-inch fluid 120Hz display
- Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G processor
- 6/8/12/16GB of RAM
- Android 11
- 64/128/256GB of storage
- 64MP main lens/ 18MP ultra-wide lens camera
- 4000mAh battery
The choice to go to a smaller size for this new Zenfone may seem odd in a market full of ever-larger phones. But in this case, it makes a lot of sense. The phone has a lot to offer when it comes to comfort and portability. It’s true that this phone will likely not find a big following amongst the “bigger is better” crowd, but for those looking to downsize but not lose quality and performance, the Asus Zenfone 8 is a solid choice.
The Verge says, “Rather than an attention-grabbing camera feature, the focus of this design has been to create a smaller phone that’s comfortable to use in one hand, which Asus has done without skimping on processing power or higher-end features. It’s an Android iPhone mini, and it’s fantastic.”
TechRadar states, “The Asus Zenfone 8 is a solid flagship phone at a sub-flagship price, though inevitably there are compromises: there’s no telephoto lens or wireless charging, and it misses out on its predecessor’s novel flip camera that let the rear lenses rotate forward to take selfie shots. You can still get that camera in the limited-release Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, but the regular Zenfone 8 delivers top-tier specs at the most affordable price since the OnePlus 6T.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Peter Phelps, Recombu
The Asus Zenfone 8 has nailed its particular niche: a small Android phone with top specs and a reasonable price. If that’s what you want, then look no further. But if you are searching for better camera or battery endurance, then you might want to consider an alternative such as the Samsung Galaxy S...
- Lynn Anderson, DxOMark
The Asus Zenfone 8 struggles to provide a good autonomy and charging experience, but does a decent job managing residual power drain and power consumption at night.
- Marie Georgescu De Hillerin, DxOMark
Asus’s “big on performance, compact in size” phone isn’t that big on audio performance: If you’re looking for a masterful audio phone in the same price range, other models, such as the Black Shark 4 Pro, would make a far better choice. If its non-audio features are your priority, know that the Zenf...
- Steven Winkelman, PC Magazine
With two impressive cameras, a top-notch chipset, and a compact build, the Asus Zenfone 8 is a top choice for small-phone fans.
- Hannah Cowton, Tech Advisor
The Asus ZenFone 8 forgoes the signature motorised camera, and instead boasts strong core features for a very competitive price.
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Asus Zenfone 8 user manual here.
Asus backs up the Zenfone 8 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Zenfone 8 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Asus support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Asus's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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Manuals / User Guides
- Asus Zenfone 8 Manual (PDF)
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