Compact size, big possibilities – the Zenfone 9’s tagline, printed on the very box of the phone, summarizes its priorities neatly. One of the most pocket-friendly high-end handsets on the market, Asus’s latest features a powerful chipset, a new main camera, and a battery capacity increase. Sadly, there’s no Zenfone Flip this time around – the small Zenfone 9 is the only Zenfone 9.
And yes, it’s small. Asus has shaved off a few fractions of a millimeter here or there from the already tiny Zenfone 8’s dimensions and has kept the weight at 169g, making the larger battery all the more impressive. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1’s improved efficiency should do wonders with the extra juice, and the Fall version of the Qualcomm top-tier chipset is also even more powerful than the OG one.
The other key development is the gimbal-mounted main camera that also comes with a larger sensor than last year’s model. The ultrawide remains unchanged, but it does feature autofocus which is still not a given in 2022. Similarly, the also-reused AF-capable selfie camera sets the Zenfone 9 apart from the masses.
The rest remains mostly unchanged. The 5.9-inch OLED display refreshes at up to 120Hz, the battery charges at up to 30 watts, there still is a headphone jack and stereo speakers, the body is IP68-rated. One somewhat surprising turn of events is the side-mounted fingerprint reader – the old phone had it under what’s otherwise the same display. Here’s a bunch more numbers.
Asus Zenfone 9 specs at a glance:
- Body: 146.5×68.1×9.1mm, 169g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), plastic back, aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
- Display: 5.90″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 446ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.19 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.75 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
- Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 16GB RAM; LPDDR5, UFS 3.1.
- OS/Software: Android 12, ZenUI.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, gimbal stabilization; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 113˚, 14mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF.
- Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.5, 28mm (standard), 1/2.93″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF.
- Video capture: Rear camera: [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, [email protected]; gyro-EIS, HDR; Front camera: [email protected], [email protected]/60fps.
- Battery: 4300mAh; Fast charging, USB Power Delivery 3.0.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; 3.5mm jack; stereo speakers.
Asus Zenfone 9 unboxing
The Zenfone 9 arrives in a matte gray recycled cardboard box with an oversized ‘9’ printed on the lid. Inside, you get a 30W charger and a USB-C cable to go with it.
There is also a hard plastic snap-on case that covers the back and most of the sides and has raised surrounds for the cameras to ensure that the glass doesn’t go into contact with surfaces. The case is color-matched to the phone’s frame, too – so off-white on the Moonlight White version, black on the other ones. It’s not as soft to the touch as the handset’s own panel, though. For more about the design changes this year, join us on the next page.