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Smartphone reviews, Asus Zenfone 8 2021

so if you've had yourself a bit of compact smartphone action in 2021 while your options are slightly slimmer than an anorexic stick insect and by compact i mean anything that's sub six inches which certainly in 2021 counts as diminutive sorry fellas on the android front there is not much beyond google's own pixel 5 but azus has noticed this infuriating gap in the market and brought relief to our bulging pockets and air con fingers with its fresh zenfone 8. that's a 5.9 inch mini mobile which won't wreck your thumb joints but the slightly more affordable price tag than the pixel to boot now i've got my sim stuffed inside of this dinky wii blower all week long so here's my in-depth azus zenfone 8 review and from one of the latest greatest tech please do poke subscribe and ding that notifications bell cheers.

Asus Zenfone 8 review: Design

 so the design of the zenfone 8 is paradoxically one of the best and the worst things about it kind of like gwyneth paltrow and her vagina candles on the plus side that compact build is a blessing for one-handed use especially as asus has added other tools like the iphone style screen shrinker to help out if you're still struggling however i've got to say i'm not particularly thrilled by the aesthetics of the zenfone 8 i mean around back it's a rather bland plain matte finish which feels kind of functional at best i mean frankly as far as thrills and excitement go it's right up there with the average episode of bargain hunt plus the zenfone 8 only comes in a piddly choice of two colors just like the pixel 5 in this case obsidian black and horizon silver there are no brighter hues to at least raise the old pulse a wee bit still despite the fact that the zenfone it's arsene looks like it could be constructed from plastic it is actually a little of gorilla glass 3 right there and after a week of use that's definitely doing its job not a single scratch or scuff anywhere inside just give it a quick polish up and it looks box fresh and meanwhile around front you've got a bit of gorilla glass victus action the latest freshest gorilla glass so that's drop resistant as well as scratch resistant and again no nix or scuffs to speak of and the zenfone 8 is ip68 rated to boots or for its ruggedness score it gets a very respectable 4.5 stathams out of 5.

Asus Zenfone 8 Review
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Asus Zenfone 8 review: Software and features

 on the software front it's once again a zeus's own zenui launcher which i'm definitely still a massive fan of not least because it mostly leaves that android 11 setup well alone while adding in a fair few bonus features that are actually worthwhile surely likes the always on display selection could use a few more design choices as you're incredibly limited compared with rivals from oneplus and xiaomi but most of the other extras which i'll touch on throughout this review do get the spurt seal of approval and also like how you've got a dedicated notifications like here on the bottom edge of the zenfone 8 particularly useful if you've got the phone lined face down so you don't be fully disturbed we can just let you know there is something awaiting your attention however on the default settings it does also flash whenever the phone is charging which is not particularly great if you charge it at night it's right next to your uh head basically because then it just flashes and annoys you all night long uh so yeah not not ideal the zenfone 8 in display fingerprint sensor is generally fine but occasionally doesn't want to play a ball taking two or three pokes to unlock certainly not one of the worst defenders out there though you do have the usual face and lock shenanigans with raze to wake support as well but this isn't the most secure around it worked even when i was wearing a pretty hefty face mask now you do have a choice of 128 or 256 gigs of nippy ufs 3.1 storage as well but sadly no micro sd memory card support to back that up so on that front just like other compact smartphones like the pixel 5 and the iphone 12 mini.

Asus Zenfone 8 review: Display and audio

 now the zenfone's 5.9 inch amoled screen is a bit of a stunner as you would expect from a samsung crafted panel and although it is considerably smaller than most modern day 6.7 inch monsters i was perfectly happy to take in a movie on that mini display as the full hd plus visuals were crisp and gorgeous you have full hdr10 plus support for streaming services and boy do those images look natural with the sharp contrast certainly helping out in moody affair however netflix is definitely still stuttering at times when streaming hdr content i was hoping this would just be an early doors issue but it is continuing to do so a week on this only seems to happen with hdr video standard hd content seems to be absolutely fine so really hoping that gets sorted out in an update very very soon indeed but in better news on the occasional rare sunny day here in the uk i had absolutely no problems with visibility on that display when i bumped it up to top brightness levels even when wearing shades and it also tops off at 120 hertz with an auto refresh option as well and thanks to the nice light launcher you certainly feel that super fast refresh rate whenever you're skimming around through menus and your desktops all that good stuff and audio followers will abso bloody lutely love the zenfone 8 because i mean the stereo speaker output is absolutely fine no great shakes there but you do actually get a headphone jack on this wii blight which is something that was cold for the pixel 5 and that iphone 12 mini with full high-res audio support i also found i had a flawless experience using bluetooth 5.2 all the major codecs and tech such as ldac and aptx adaptive all supported and you've got that audio wizard feature to fine-tune the output with an equalizer if you want to get really geeky with it.

Asus Zenfone 8 Review
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Asus Zenfone 8 review: Performance and battery life

 and so on to performance the zenfone 8 is certainly impressed there with qualcomm's top-tier snapdragon 808 chipset stuffed inside it's commonly found these days in upper mid-range to flagship style smartphones however wambust flagship smartphones come with six maybe eight perhaps even 12 gigabytes of ram stuffed in size my review model of the zenfone 8 somehow managed to pack in 16 gigs of ddr5 memory and yeah you'll have to pay more cash for that maximum 16 gig layout but seriously like what so anyway yeah it wasn't really a massive shock that i didn't see a single stumble or jello my entire time using the zenfone 8 and gamers can smash through whatever the hell they like although really intensive titles like gentian impact do cause the zenfone 8 to get a bit toasty thankfully this didn't seem to throttle the performance even after a good 40 50 minute session i saw nothing more than the occasional tiny little judge and that was playing on top detail settings here on gention as well so definitely very impressive stuff and that starts out by is user's game genie feature which is one of the more comprehensive efforts out there serving up all manner of useful tools just like on asus's dedicated gaming phones you've got like some macro support and you can quickly google for help if you're stuck on a tricky bit you massive jesse and the screen is well suited to gaming with its 240 hertz touch response rate it's just assuming you don't get those excellent triggers of the rogue phones thrown in there as well and courtesy of that 888 chipset you've also got full 5g support here on the zenfone 8 although only one of the two sim slots is actually supported there plus wi-fi six as well so on the connectivity front it's all gravy baby however the one area where i do tend to get a bit nervous with compact smartphones is the battery life is gonna be able to last all day long because obviously you can't fit a massive cell into that tiny little chassis and sure enough it's a 4 000 milliamp cell here on the zenfone 8 i was hoping it would last you all day no problem as long as you don't absolutely hammer it helped along by the fact that that zenui launcher is rather light but sadly that's not the case almost every day i was at the very best on serious drags by the time i finally rolled into bed and that was because i was playing it safe the last sort of couple of hours of the day but more often than not i did have to give it a little boost towards the end of the day i found around four hours of screen on time was generally enough to kill this thing dead and yeah that is with the always on display feature turned on but i kept the refresh rate set to auto the screen brightness level was set to auto i made sure i didn't absolutely take the piss with all the various features so sadly the zenfone 8 does not impress in that realm as much as some rivals like the pixel 5 and the iphone 12 many you've got 30 watt charging it on here as well not as fast again as some rivals but it'll do the job issues to plug it in for 20 30 minutes towards the end of the day give you that final boost to keep you going until you're all tucked up with teddy.

Asus Zenfone 8 Review
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Asus Zenfone 8 review: Cameras

 and then last up the camera tech and the zenfone 8 is a departure from last year's zenfone 7 as the rear cam doesn't rotate to become the selfie shooter and that is something that i definitely missed here on the zenfone it wasn't just because i'm a sucker for stupid gimmicky tech but if that is a deal breaker for you don't worry azus has also released a zenfone 8 flip which reinstates that flippy camera attack now the primary 64 megapixel lens uses sony's imac 686 sensor with built-in optical image stabilization and i found that just like previous zenfones my photo samples were more than satisfactory the default 16 megapixel resolution is plenty for pumping out highly detailed snaps with natural colours on shore even in quite strong lighting you can choose to shoot at that maxed out resolution if you really want to although then you are sacrificing the hdr smart so definitely don't go expecting the zenfone 8 to churn out the same lifelike results meanwhile the second lens slapped there on the off center of the zenfone 8 is a 12 megapixel ultra wide angle lens using a different sony sensor this time the imx 363. and the photos i capture with this option were pretty impressive those colors were almost as natural as the result from the primary shooter with limited distortion to boot and that is it just two lenses slap there on the back end of the zenfone 8 just like the pixel 5 absolute rarity in 2021 and i couldn't be happier no bloody macro lens to speak of joy joy hallelujah praise the baby jesus of course all the usual bonus camera fare is present and correct including a respectable portrait mode that accurately dissects your subject from the background the zenfone 8's night mode also works pretty well too while other phones produce brighter shots here you will get results closer to what you see with the naked eye albeit with warmer tones and then there's that video mode which serves some great looking 4k home movies with the same natural vibe as that photo modes this can once again handle harsh lighting and i had absolutely no issues with the focus even when my subject was zipping about like a corked up cocker spaniel you can switch to the ultra wide angle camera at that high res level and again capture good looking footage with a pulled back viewpoint and either way the audio came through loud and clear from all directions except for when things get a bit blustery and if you're all about maxing out that resolution there is an 8k video mode that records at 24 frames per second but be warned a mere one-minute clip will eat up well over a gig of your phone storage ouch and while yes sadly the box standard zenfone 8 can't uh flip that rear camera to then take selfies as well you do have a 12 megapixel front facing camera using the imx 663 sensor and when shooting outdoor selfies against a bright sky i found that my psd skin tone was accurately replicated as were all of those lovely lines and creases the portrait mode does tend to completely blow out the background but if you want the photo to be all about you then mission accomplished.

Asus Zenfone 8 Review
Tech Spurt

 so right there's my full final review of the azus zenfone 8 after using it as my full-time smartphone for a week and i gotta say it's such a shame that the battery life in particularly hot on this thing because i really really enjoyed using it as my smartphone apart from that the compact design is great the camera is super reliable the performance is frankly freaking amazing and while the battery life issue in quite so severe these days when i'm still stuck at home most of the time when i do eventually start going out and about and seeing people and doing things again that's going to be a bit of a problem so anyway that's what i think would be great to hear what you guys think down in the comments below as well and stay tuned hoping to bring you some more zenfone 8 action in the form of the zenfone 8 flip really shortly and for more on the latest and greatest tag please do poke subscribe ding that notifications bell and have yourselves a fantastic rest of the week cheers everyone love you you.

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