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New Facebook COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Can Help You Find a Nearby Centre

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New Facebook COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Can Help You Find a Nearby Centre


American technology conglomerate Facebook has partnered with the Indian government to roll out a vaccine finder tool on its mobile app in India, which will help people identify places nearby to get vaccinated.

According to Mashable, earlier this week, Facebook announced a $10 million (roughly Rs. 74 crores) grant for emergency response efforts for the COVID-19 situation in the country. The vaccine tracker tool will allow users to find the nearest vaccine centre locations and their hours of operation as shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

The tracker tool will also aggregate and display walk-in options (for 45 years and above) along with a link to register on the CoWIN portal and schedule vaccination appointments.

Facebook said in a post on its platform, “Partnering with the Government of India, Facebook will begin rolling out its Vaccine Finder tool on the Facebook mobile app in India available in 17 languages to help people identify places nearby to get the vaccine.”

The company said that it is also will be joining hands with NGOs and agencies – namely, United Way, Swasth, Hemkunt Foundation, I Am Gurgaon, Project Mumbai, and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) – to deploy the funds announced to help build up a stock of critical medical supplies with over 5,000 oxygen concentrators and other life-saving equipment like ventilators, BiPAP machines.

As per Mashable, Facebook also said that the COVID-19 Information Center and in Feed will also have information on how to seek emergency care and how to manage mild COVID-19 symptoms at home, and this will be provided by UNICEF India. 


Is Mi 11X the best phone under Rs. 35,000? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 23:50), we jump over to the Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.



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Amazon’s updated Echo Show 8 can follow your movement during video calls

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Amazon’s updated Echo Show 8 can follow your movement during video calls


amazon echo show 8 2021

  • Amazon has introduced a new Echo Show 8 with a camera that follows your movements during video calls.
  • There’s also an updated Echo Show 5 with an improved camera.
  • The speakers ship in June at $84.99 for the Show 5 and $129.99 for the Show 8.

You don’t need to buy Amazon’s pricey Echo Show 10 to get an Alexa smart display that handles video calls with grace. The internet retailer has introduced new versions of the Echo Show 8 (shown above) and Echo Show 5 (below) that promise major upgrades for your remote conversations.

The  updated $129.99 Echo Show 8 boasts a 13MP camera that pans and zooms to keep you framed, much like Facebook’s Portal devices or the iPad Pro’s Center Stage feature. You and your family can walk around the room knowing you’ll still be included in the shot. Amazon is also promising that you’ll “soon” get audiovisual reactions (like hearts or confetti) as well as augmented reality effects.

The new Echo Show 8 touts the expected stereo speakers and an adaptive color “HD” display. The biggest changes beyond the camera may instead come through software. The connected display now has a shared home screen and music suggestions based on what you’re currently playing in Amazon Music or Spotify.

amazon echo show 5 2021

The revamped $84.99 Echo Show 5 doesn’t have the auto-following camera of its larger 8 counterpart. You will, however, find an improved camera with double the pixels as well as a new Deep Sea Blue color. Pay $94.99 for the Echo Show 5 Kids and you’ll get a more colorful Chameleon look, a year-long subscription to Amazon Kids Plus content and a two-year warranty that covers accidents.

The Echo Show 8, Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 5 Kids are all available to pre-order now with a release date sometime in June.

Read more: The best smart displays

Whether or not you choose the Echo Show 8 over a rival smart display like Google’s latest Nest Hub is a tough call. Amazon’s device could be the better choice if you regularly hold video chats, but the Nest Hub offers hands-off (if basic) sleep tracking and robust sound. As is often the case, it might come down to your choice of ecosystem. Alexa has the largest selection of third-party smart home devices, but Google Assistant may be better if you’re deeply committed to Android and other Google platforms.



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Asus Zenfone 8 review: Pint-sized powerhouse suffers predictable pitfalls

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Asus Zenfone 8 review: Pint-sized powerhouse suffers predictable pitfalls


Asus is going all-in on the concept of the compact flagship. Introducing the Zenfone 8 — a quite small handset with all the power of a premiere phone. Asus sacrificed almost nothing in its pursuit of delivering a pint-sized powerhouse. Can this diminutive device fill your big smartphone needs? Find out in the Android Authority Asus Zenfone 8 review.

About this Asus Zenfone 8 review: I used the Asus Zenfone 8 (16GB/256GB) for a week running Android 11 and Zen UI 8. The Asus Zenfone 8 unit was provided to Android Authority by Asus for this review.

What you need to know about the Asus Zenfone 8

Asus Zenfone 8 standing on tracks

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

  • Asus Zenfone 8 (6GB/128GB): €599
  • Asus Zenfone 8 (8GB/128GB): €669
  • Asus Zenfone 8 (8GB/256GB): €729
  • Asus Zenfone 8 (16GB/256GB): €799

The Asus Zenfone 8 series comes in two flavors: the standard model (this one) and the Zenfone 8 Flip. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the bigger Asus Zenfone 8 Flip is the better of the two. It’s not. Asus reserved the best tech for the smaller of the two phones in a bid to appeal to users who want as much phone as they can get in a tiny form factor.

The Zenfone 8 comes in four variants, starting at €599 for the 6GB RAM version and going all the way up to €799 for a model with a whopping 16GB RAM (tested here). Asus said the entry-level model won’t be available right away, so the 8GB/128GB model will be offered at the lower €599 price point at launch. It’s unclear how soon after launch the 6GB/128GB model will be made available.

Related: What is considered a small Android phone in 2021 and what are your options?

Asus said the phone will launch in Europe first, with other regions to follow. It will be sold in North America, but US price and availability are yet to be announced. The Zenfone 8 comes in Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver.

Asus has its sights set on several competitors in the space. Other phones in the same small flagship category include the Google Pixel 5, the Samsung Galaxy S21, the Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro (the iPhone 12 Mini is even smaller!), and the Sony Xperia 5 III. Does the Asus Zenfone 8 have what it takes to stand up to these and other class leaders?

Why is it so small?

Asus Zenfone 8 rear against brick

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Asus claims that two-thirds of people prefer phones with screens smaller than six inches. With so many buyers in that market, Asus chose to focus on them with its 2021 flagship. Moreover, Asus’ usability studies reportedly showed that phones need to be shorter than 150mm and narrower than 70mm to truly be useable in terms of thumb reach across the screen. With this data in mind, Asus set firm goals in determining the size of the Zenfone 8, which has a 5.9-inch screen, stands 148mm tall, and sits 69mm wide.

The Zenfone 8 may be a bit simple in terms of looks, but it’s also elegant, refined, and highly useable.

Some might call the design rather bland or boring. The Asus Zenfone 8 is the simplest of glass and metal slabs. It features an aluminum mid-frame with Gorilla Glass Victus protecting the screen from breakage and Gorilla Glass 3 (which is years old at this point) protecting the rear from scratches. The phone has a basic shape with flat front glass and curved rear glass. The corners are nicely rounded nicely, and the overall form factor is smooth and pocketable.

Asus didn’t skimp on materials or build quality. Everything about the phone is high-quality. The glass and metal components are fitted together precisely. It feels solid when gripped, which is easy to do thanks to the smaller size. We were also happy to learn the phone has an IP68 certification for protection against dust and water.

Asus Zenfone 8 right profile

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The mid-frame is busy with the phone’s functional elements. The blue-colored power button is perfectly placed along the right edge, with the volume toggle above it. These buttons have excellent travel and feedback. A 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top edge of the phone, while the USB-C port is centered along the bottom edge.

On the back you’ll spot the two-camera array in a raised module. In keeping with the phone’s small design, the camera module is kept to a respectably compact size. It doesn’t dominate the rear like Samsung’s phones, for example.

Much like other smaller flagships, the Asus Zenfone 8 is a truly manageable piece of hardware that’s hard not to like. It may be a bit simple in terms of looks, but it’s also elegant, refined, and highly useable. And if you’re in that group of people who prefer smaller phones, you’ll find all the basic design elements that a flagship should offer.

How’s that tiny screen?

Asus Zenfone 8 against tree

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

It’s hard to believe I am referring to a 5.9-inch screen as “small” but here we are. Many of today’s phones — particularly flagships — come with screens that measure between 6.1 and 6.9-inches. Some might even suggest that a 6.1-inch screen is small these days, but there’s a world of people out there for whom smaller is smarter.

The Zenfone 8’s screen measures 5.9-inches across the diagonal and offers Full HD+ resolution in a 20:9 aspect ratio. This Samsung-sourced AMOLED features a 120Hz refresh rate. Out of the box, it is set to adaptive, meaning the refresh rates ramps up and down depending on the tasks at hand. It can be set to a static 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz if you prefer. The screen also supports a 1ms response time thanks to the 240MHz touch sampling rate.

More reading: Refresh rate explained: What does 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz mean?

Let’s not forgot brightness and color. The screen has an outdoor brightness of 800nits, with peak brightness reaching 1,100nits. There’s DCI-P3 and HDR10+ support on board as well, meaning you’ve got deep, rich color and contrast.

How does it look? Fantastic. I was very pleased with the overall performance of the display, which pushed bright, cheery colors under all lighting circumstances. Some may balk that it doesn’t have more pixels on board, but the 445ppi is plenty for this size. Everything on the screen looked clean and sharp.

Asus kept the bezels in check, though they could be slimmer in my opinion. There’s a barely-there forehead and chin above and below the screen, respectively, which is where I was hoping you’d find items such as the selfie camera. Instead, the selfie camera is located in a punch-hole set into the upper-left corner of the screen. It’s not terribly noticeable apart from the thin silver ring that circles it and catches the light at certain angles. Some may find this annoying.

Everything on the Zenfone 8′ screen looks.

You’ve got tons of control over how the screen behaves. There’s blue light, color profiles, smart screen, sizing, animation speeds, and app scaling. You can even change the appearance of the power button menu and the arrangement of the status bar icons. There’s an always-on display option, too, that reveals a clock when the screen is off.

The fingerprint reader is built into the display. I thought the reader was positioned in a good spot. Training the reader was a bit of a headache, as the screen kept registering dirt and asking for it to be cleaned to proceed. Once trained the reader worked just okay; it wasn’t quite as fast as others I’ve tested recently. You may find it more reliable to use a PIN, pattern, or password.

Overall, Asus ensured its diminutive flagship phone has a flagship-class display.

What about performance?

Asus gave the Zenfone 8 the best possible processor in order to deliver the best possible performance. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 — paired with 16GB of RAM in our review unit — is as quick as they come in the world of Android. The Zenfone 8 impressed with its speed and smooth operation.

The phone sailed through a handful of standard benchmarking apps, including 3DMark, AnTuTu, and GeekBench 4. It put up respectable CPU and GPU scores that matched those of competing Snapdragon 888-equipped phones. About the only phone that blew past it was the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, which runs Apple’s A14 Bionic silicon. I ran our homegrown Speed Test G benchmark and the phone scored a solid one minute and 15 seconds — right where it should be for a Snapdragon 888 phone. Its results were in line with those of the Samsung Galaxy S21, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, and other top performers.

The Zenfone 8 impressed with its speed and smooth operation.

The phone has several performance modes and the high-performance mode kicked on when I ran 3DMark. This happened automatically. High-performance mode is the “best choice for demanding apps” according to the description in the settings. It’s basically a gaming mode for the phone which runs the processor at higher speeds at the expense of battery life. You can manually set the performance mode to something with less horsepower and more longevity if you wish.

In terms of everyday performance, the phone runs perfectly well. Nothing slows it down or causes it to lag, even when it’s set to 120Hz at all times. I checked out some games as well, and they all ran fine. Even the most demanding games exhibited lag-free experiences.

The Snapdragon 888 and plentiful RAM allotment for our test unit ensured flawless performance across all usage scenarios. The 8GB/128GB model will likely put up numbers and performance that are similar, making it the variant to look out for if you want to balance price and performance.

Does the battery hold up?

Asus says it gave the phone the absolute largest battery it could considering the size of the phone and everything else it needed to pack into the chassis. I would have preferred to see a few hundred more milliamp-hours, but maybe that’s just me.

The battery gets through a full day with a little room to spare. That’s when the phone is used in the stock 120Hz adaptive mode. It sailed through battery-hungry benchmarking tests, gaming, and other heavy lifting with ease. I noticed a slight dip in total battery life when I set the phone to full-time 120Hz mode. It still got through a full day, but just barely. Using the dedicated 90Hz or 60Hz modes leaves you with more breathing room at the end of the day.

Related: The best phone charging accessories

Believe it or not, the always-on display is the biggest battery killer. I switched the AOD on and instantly noticed a significant hit to battery life. As much as I like a good AOD for checking the time and notifications at a glance, the serious power it draws on the Zenfone 8 makes it a chancy feature to enable.

The battery can run in five distinct modes, each of which redraws the balance between performance and battery life. If you find yourself running into battery life issues, you can explore these to find the right mix.

The Zenfone 8’s battery gets through a full day with a little room to spare.

As for charging speeds, Asus kept things in check. The phone supports up to 30W wired charging. However, it doesn’t support wireless charging at all. At least Asus was kind enough to supply the 30W charger in the box. The phone reaches 60% in 25 mins, 80% in 38 minutes, and 100% in about 80 minutes. There are tools you can use to set charging limits, change the charging speed to a consistent curve, and so on all to help keep the battery at its healthiest.

Looking at the competition, nearly all the flagships in this space offer wireless charging, while some offer faster wired charging too. Asus played it safe. Maybe too safe.

How does the camera perform?

Asus Zenfone 8 camera module

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

It’s hard not to be slightly disappointed with the Zenfone 8’s camera configuration. It has just two lenses — a standard lens and an ultra-wide lens — when many flagships have three. The thing it really lacks is a telephoto lens, which means any zooming is performed digitally. While dropping a zoom lens for a cheaper flagship isn’t unprecedented, it’s strange to see no third camera at all. There’s no dedicated macro camera (which I’m fine with), and there’s not even a depth sensor to help producing portraits. For those that want an optical zoom lens, the fancier Zenfone 8 Flip gains the third camera but lacks optical image stabilization on the primary shooter.

See also: The best camera phones you can buy

The Zenfone 8’s main camera relies on a 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor that’s binned down by a factor of four to produce 16MP final shots. The IMX686 supports OIS, which Asus says helps it take sharper zoom photos. This is Sony’s flagship sensor and it has appeared in many premium phones over the course of the last year. The secondary camera is a 12MP Sony IMX363. This is the same sensor found in recent Google Pixel phones, as well as affordable phones the world over. This ultra-wide camera also doubles as a macro camera. Last, there’s the 12MP selfie camera, which relies on the Sony IMX663, a newer imaging sensor.

Asus Zenfone 8 camera sample COLOR

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Shots I captured with the main camera turned out good, but short of excellent.

How do the photos look? Shots I captured with the main camera turned out good, but short of excellent. I was pleased overall with exposure, color, and focus. White balance was sometimes hit or miss, though mostly accurate. Asus isn’t doing anything such as pushing colors, so images sometimes lacked that visual punch that you might see from competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy S21.

Photos taken via the ultra-wide weren’t quite as solid. In addition to obvious visual distortion, which you might expect from an ultra-wide camera, there was a dramatic increase in the amount of noise visible in each photo. Shots taken in low light were particularly grainy, and contrast was lacking. It’s not the most impressive camera I’ve used.

Asus Zenfone 8 ultra-wide Asus Zenfone 8 main camera Asus Zenfone 8 ultra-wide

Asus Zenfone 8 main camera

Selfies captured via the 12MP front-facing camera were pleasing. The selfie camera does a respectable job with both regular selfies and bokeh’d portraits. The portraits offered good edge detection and the right balance of background blur.

The phone can capture video up to 8K at 30fps, but you’ll do best to stick with 4K at 60fps for the most usable results. Video quality was good for the most part, though I noticed a bit of grain in darker footage.

Related: The best budget camera phones you can buy

Altogether, the Asus Zenfone 8 has a decent main camera, but it falls short of competing devices as an overall package.

You can see full-resolution photo samples in this Google Drive folder.

Anything else?

  • Zen UI 8: The phone runs Android 11 with Asus’ Zen UI 8 on board. It has a clean look with an app drawer by default. Core Android behaviors are intact and, most importantly, Zen UI doesn’t get in the way of usability. Netflix is the only bloatware app installed, and it can be deleted if you wish.
  • Software updates: Asus doesn’t have the best track record with respect to system updates. It has committed to two major system updates for this phone, which is encouraging. However, this comes at a time when competing phone makers are beginning to offer three years’ worth of upgrades and security patches. Moreover, Asus is slow to push the updates that it has committed to.
  • Notification light: The Zenfone 8 has a charging indicator light that’s tucked into the bottom edge of the phone. I really like this feature. The light shines orange as the phone charges and turns green once the battery has reached a full charge. It’s super helpful and because it’s on the bottom it’s visible whether the phone is placed on its face or back. The charging light can also double as a notification indicator.
  • Speakers: The earpiece and a bottom-firing speaker work together to produce stereo sound. Asus says the speakers are powered by dual Cirrus Logic Mono AMPs to boost volume and clarity. In practice, that means this phone gets crazy loud. I pushed it hard with some metal, dance, and techno and it rose to the challenge without getting distorted or overly noisy. The low-end was very good for a phone, and high-end sounds like cymbal crashes were crisp and clean. If you prefer to jack in, you’ve got a Qualcomm Aqstic DAC and Dirac HD Sound available via the headphone jack.
  • Dual-SIM: The Asus Zenfone 8 supports up to two SIM cards, but does not support microSD memory cards.
  • Fingerprints: Both sides of the phone attract fingerprints and other grime. It takes the shine off the lovely matte finish really quickly.

Asus Zenfone 8 specs

 Asus Zenfone 8Asus Zenfone 8 Flip
Display5.9-inch AMOLED
FHD+
HDR10+
120Hz refresh rate
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
6.67-inch AMOLED
FHD+
HDR10+
90Hz refresh rate
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
GPUQualcomm Adreno 660Qualcomm Adreno 660
RAM6/8/16GB
LPDDR5
8GB
LPDDR5
Storage128/256GB
UFS 3.1
Non-expandable
128/256GB
UFS 3.1
Expandable with microSD card (up to 2TB)
Battery4,000mAh battery
30W wired charging
5,000mAh battery
30W wired charging
CamerasPrimary:
64MP Sony IMX686 sensor with OIS, 2x lossless zoom
f/1.8 aperture
0.8μm pixels
Dual LED flash
8K/30fps video

Secondary:
12MP ultra-wide sensor, Dual PDAF, macro mode (IMX363, 113 degrees)

Front: 12MP IMX663
f/2.45 aperture
1.22μm pixels
Dual PDAF

Primary:
64MP Sony IMX686 sensor
f/1.8 aperture
0.8μm pixels
Dual LED flash
8K/30fps video

Secondary:
12MP ultra-wide sensor (IMX363, 112 degrees)

Tertiary: 8MP 3x telephoto

ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E (US only)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
Dual nano-SIM
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
Dual nano-SIM
Operating SystemZenUI 8
Android 11
ZenUI 8
Android 11
AudioStereo speakers
3.5mm port
Stereo speakers
No 3.5mm port
Dimensions148 x 68.5 x 8.9mm
169g
165.04 x 77.28 x 9.6mm
230g
ColorsObsidian Black
Horizon Silver
Galactic Black
Glacier Silver

Value and competition

Asus Zenfone 8

The Asus Zenfone 8 is a compact flagship that hopes to define a new category of small-statured smartphones. It packs top specs, such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, into a pint-sized chassis.

It’s hard to argue with Asus’ pricing for the Zenfone 8 series. With a cost of just €599 (~$729) for the cheapest model, you’ve got quite a flagship bargain on your hands as it almost falls into mid-range territory. The phone offers a lot of value at that price point, and undercuts a lot of the competition.

You’ve got a lot of top specs on board, such as the Snapdragon 888, the 120Hz screen, and the Gorilla Glass Victus face. Asus clearly made some budget- and space-minded decisions, too, such as leaving out wireless charging and keeping the camera options in check.

Also read: The best Android phones you can buy

The first and perhaps most natural alternative to the Zenfone 8 is the Zenfone 8 Flip. The Flip is a larger variant of Zenfone 8, but it has some notable differences. For example, the screen is downgraded from 120Hz to 90Hz, but you’ve got a bigger battery. It also has three cameras, including a telephoto, where the Zenfone 8 has two — but it loses the headphone jack, IP rating, OIS on the main shooter, and Wi-Fi 6E. The Flip is also €200 more. It’s an odd competitor and is essentially a redo of the Zenfone 7 series, but if you want a bigger phone from Asus with this year’s silicon, it’s your only choice.

As for other rivals, Google’s Pixel 5 starts at $699 and has a less impressive spec sheet, but a superior camera. The $799 Samsung Galaxy S21 is a better phone overall, but you’re paying for it. Perhaps the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is a more direct competitor to the Zenfone 8, as it carries a $599 price tag these days and offers many of the same features — albeit with 2020 silicon under the hood — and adds a telephoto camera. We don’t have pricing yet on the Sony Xperia 5 III, but you can bet it’ll be higher than €599.

Then there’s the Apple iPhone 12 Pro for those who aren’t afraid to jump to iOS. The 12 Pro is a bit bigger and a lot more expensive at $999. It’s perhaps a better example of what a “compact” flagship is, as it skimps on basically nothing. Further, it offers stellar software, performance, and camera experiences. If you’ve already made peace with sacrificing the telephoto lens with the Zenfone 8 then the regular iPhone 12 is also worth a look for $799. The iPhone 12 Mini ($699) offers much of the same but in an even smaller form factor than the Zenfone 8, though you’ll take an even greater hit on battery life.

Asus Zenfone 8 review: The verdict

Asus Zenfone 8 rear standing on tracks

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

There’s always a sacrifice to be made with smaller phones. Asus tried really hard to make the Zenfone 8 a top-performing flagship in a small, easy-to-use piece of hardware. It very nearly got everything right, yet just a few things hold the Zenfone 8 back.

The most glaring issues to me are battery life and the camera. While the battery life is generally good, flipping on features such as the always-on display takes a noticeable hit on battery life. Furthermore, while the main camera gets the job done, the ultra-wide camera falls behind the competition. The Zenfone 8 also doesn’t support the optical zoom that many of its competitors do.

There’s always a sacrifice to be made with smaller phones, but the Zenfone 8 very nearly got everything right.

There’s still plenty to like. The phone’s small size makes it a comfortable piece of hardware to carry and use. The display is excellent, the performance is top-notch, and the phone offers lots of extra perks, such as a headphone jack and stereo speakers, a notification light, and the stock-like Zen UI 8.

Even with its flaws, for €599, the Asus Zenfone 8 is a heck of a bargain for small phone enthusiasts.



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Asus Zenfone 8 Flip impressions: Wait, this isn’t the flagship?

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Asus Zenfone 8 Flip impressions: Wait, this isn’t the flagship?


The Asus Zenfone 8 Flip just launched, and I’ve got to be honest, this thing is cool. Obviously, the flip-up camera technology isn’t new to the smartphone scene, but this year Asus is really pushing for it to become mainstream.

Taking some notes from the Asus Zenfone 7 series, we’ve got nearly the same triple-lens system, that flips up to be your front-facing camera. While this flip-up camera system is the main selling point of the Zenfone 8 Flip, Asus doesn’t see it as the flagship product. In fact, the smaller form factor Zenfone 8 gets a few upgrades over the 8 Flip. So what’s so special about the 8 Flip? Let’s find out.

See Also: Best pop up and slider camera phones to buy

The “notch” is dead

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip 21

Credit: Luke Pollack / Android Authority

It’s been a while since I’ve used a full-screen smartphone, and to be frank, I miss it. It really is such a relief to not have any sort of notch or punch-hole staring back at you. Still, there are some omissions from this beautiful 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display. Unfortunately, the panel on the 8 Flip is only 90Hz, with the 120Hz display reserved for the standard Zenfone 8. Even still, this display looks great at a glance. The panel is mostly flat but has an ever so soft curve at the very edge of the screen. This floats quite naturally into the device’s edges and makes for a very polished impression in hand.

The design here is very reminiscent of the previous generation Asus Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro, albeit with some more chamfered edges, a bright blue colored power button, and a slightly more industrial design, which I quite like.

It really is such a relief to not have any sort of notch or punch-hole staring back at you.

I’m overall impressed with the general build quality and software of the Zenfone 8 Flip. Given that the Zenfone 6 and 7 were pretty durable devices, I can’t imagine why the Zenfone 8 Flip wouldn’t hold up in the long run either. Still, the mirrored back of the phone picks up a metric ton of fingerprints, and I really wish manufactures would stop choosing this over a matte finish.

In terms of what you get in the box, the phone ships with a 30W fast charger, two cases, and a USB-C to USB-C cable.

What about those cameras?

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip 10

Credit: Luke Pollack / Android Authority

As noted earlier, the camera system on the 8 Flip is mostly identical to the setup found on the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro. This includes a 64MP Sony IMX686 f/1.8 primary shooter, a Sony IMX363 12MP f/2.2 Ultrawide camera, and an 8MP 3x telephoto lens. Unfortunately, and unlike the Zenfone 7 Pro, there is no optical image stabilization (OIS) included with these new cameras. That said, Asus did include a new stepper motor that it claims makes the flip-out operation smoother. While I don’t have the Zenfone 7 Pro to compare it to, I can confirm that the motor actuation is fast and feels fluid.

The benefit of this unique design is that you’re able to use the primary camera system as a front-facing shooter. In fact, Asus heavily markets this phone for vloggers and those looking to shoot high-quality videos of themselves.

See also: The best camera phones you can buy

In my limited testing, the main sensor seemed to produce well-detailed and fairly color-accurate images. The ultra-wide camera is a little softer and noisier, which is to be expected, and the telephoto lens isn’t great either. The latter produces some very soft images, primarily due to Asus’s image softening on this particular sensor. Still, due to the nature of this system, Asus packages a few more features, such as a Panoramic mode that automatically actuates the camera to take smooth panoramas for you. Also, there is a pro photo and video mode that gives the user fine control over more specific settings.

Zen UI is smooth

It’s pretty easy to forget about the user interface that manufacturers choose to package with their devices, but I have to say, Zen UI is really simple and straightforward. Shipping with Android 11, Zen UI maintains a virtually stock experience while providing device-specific features such as a 10 band equalizer, in-game UI, and a customizable smart key power button.

Apart from that, the user interface gives everything I’ve come to love about stock android. The native launcher features native Google Discover integration and a variety of customization options ranging from icon size to home screen grid options. Unfortunately, Asus no longer lets you customize your icons, so you’ll need a third-party launcher to do so. I’m hoping to see this in a future update, but I’m not holding my breath. Still, there’s no bloatware at all on this phone, and there’s a variety of different settings for changing the wallpaper or always-on display.

Still as good as Zen UI is, Asus hasn’t always had the best track record with software updates. So it’s uncertain how long the Zenfone 8 Flip will be supported.

Zenfone 8 Flip vs Zenfone 8: So what’s the difference?

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip 2

Credit: Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Asus is heavily marketing the Zenfone 8 as its flagship product. Still, the 8 Flip seems to offer a very competitive experience. Both phones feature the same Snapdragon 888 processor and Adreno 660 GPU. They both have the same main and ultra-wide camera sensors, and both are 5G compatible.

On the other hand, both phones trade blows in other areas. The Zenfone 8 Flip has a telephoto lens, a larger 5,000mAh battery, and triple sim card slots. Whereas the regular 8 has an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, ships with OIS for the cameras, uses the latest Gorilla Glass Victus, has a brighter 120Hz display, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and supports Wi-Fi 6E (in the US). Also, there is no wireless charging on the Flip — a standard that should be expected from a flagship device, though curiously also not included with the Zenfone 8.

More from Asus: ROG Phone 5 buyer’s guide — everything you need to know

On paper, it’s pretty clear that the Zenfone 8 is the better phone despite the size difference and the Flip’s novel camera system. However, pricing for these two different phones doesn’t necessarily reflect this. The Zenfone 8 costs €599 (~$727), whereas the 8 Flip is €799 (~$970). Essentially, you’re paying an extra €200 for a bigger battery, larger display, and flip-out camera system.

On a related note, the previous generation Asus Zenfone 7 series offers a very similar experience but comes at a much cheaper starting cost. The Asus Zenfone 7  ships with the Snapdragon 865, 6/8GB of RAM, and a nearly identical flip-out camera system, but only costs €699 (~$849). At this price, the Zenfone 7 seems like a better deal, especially if you can pick one up one sale. Sure the 8 Flip has a faster processor and more RAM, but it’s hard to justify these relatively smaller upgrades over the significant increase in price.

Zenfone 8 Flip specs

 Asus Zenfone 8Asus Zenfone 8 Flip
Display5.9-inch AMOLED
FHD+
HDR10+
120Hz refresh rate
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
6.67-inch AMOLED
FHD+
HDR10+
90Hz refresh rate
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
GPUQualcomm Adreno 660Qualcomm Adreno 660
RAM6/8/16GB
LPDDR5
8GB
LPDDR5
Storage128/256GB
UFS 3.1
Non-expandable
128/256GB
UFS 3.1
Expandable with microSD card (up to 2TB)
Battery4,000mAh battery
30W wired charging
5,000mAh battery
30W wired charging
CamerasPrimary:
64MP Sony IMX686 sensor with OIS, 2x lossless zoom
f/1.8 aperture
0.8μm pixels
Dual LED flash
8K/30fps video

Secondary:
12MP ultra-wide sensor, Dual PDAF, macro mode (IMX363, 113 degrees)

Front: 12MP IMX663
f/2.45 aperture
1.22μm pixels
Dual PDAF

Primary:
64MP Sony IMX686 sensor
f/1.8 aperture
0.8μm pixels
Dual LED flash
8K/30fps video

Secondary:
12MP ultra-wide sensor (IMX363, 112 degrees)

Tertiary: 8MP 3x telephoto

ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E (US only)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
Dual nano-SIM
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
Dual nano-SIM
Operating SystemZenUI 8
Android 11
ZenUI 8
Android 11
AudioStereo speakers
3.5mm port
Stereo speakers
No 3.5mm port
Dimensions148 x 68.5 x 8.9mm
169g
165.04 x 77.28 x 9.6mm
230g
ColorsObsidian Black
Horizon Silver
Galactic Black
Glacier Silver

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip impressions: The verdict

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip 5

Credit: Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Upon first impressions, the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip packs a functional camera design, premium build quality, and an incredibly large battery to the table. I was quite impressed with Zen UI as a skin, and the full-screen display is just such a joy to use. Of course, this phone isn’t without its downsides. There’s no wireless charging and the screen tops out at 90Hz. Meanwhile, the camera system, while innovative, isn’t the best of performers even for its €799 price point.

Still, the overall experience is relatively premium, but it’s tough to swallow the €799 price tag considering last year’s Zenfone 7 series gives you most of the experience for a significantly cheaper price.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

The Zenfone 8 Flip is essentially the Zenfone 7 with a new flagship processor. But otherwise, you’re still getting a 90Hz OLED screen, 5,000mAh battery, 30W charging, and that flippy camera system. The latter allows you to take higher quality selfies with the main, telephoto, or ultra-wide sensors.


What do you think of the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip? Let us know in the comments.



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