7.9
Score

Pros

  • Zenfone returns to the Malaysian Shores
  • The Flip Camera is a sight for sore eyes and performs better
  • Packed performance powered by the Snapdragon 888
  • Notchless design, with uninterrupted display
  • 5000mAh battery is nice

Cons

  • Priced exactly as the ROG Phone 5
  • The display grey uniformity is a slight shortcoming

If you remember correctly, there has not been a Zenfone since the Zenfone 5 in Malaysia and that’s because the market dynamic changed drastically with so many fresh players and other Chinese brands dominating the scene. ASUS, the legend they were, fell and left the Malaysian smartphone market. But since the 6 and 7 which was announced in selected countries, it garnered it attention back and there was a glimmer of hope – a second shot. So, the brand unveils the new Zenfone 8 and Flip to Malaysia, in this review we are going to share our final verdict on the ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip and what we think about it.

Same Design as its Predecessor, but Nice to look at

1/4

In all honesty, the Zenfone 8 Flip hasn’t changed that much from the Zenfone 6 we witnessed at Computex 2019 – courtesy to ASUS for making that happen. So, when we got our hands on the Zenfone 8 Flip, we weren’t surprised that the phone is designed this way and it looks the same, but its always nice to look at something that’s a little different and giving consumers the choice to own something unique – so in that case, it did check some boxes out.

Other than the whole design of the phone, the main highlight of this phone is the flip camera – which was executed with the ASUS Zenfone 6 first and it was improved upon that. The motors are a lot more responsive and snappy, they can sense a bad drop fast enough to retract and protect the camera and finally, you can swing the phone with the camera, not that you should do – actually no one should do it but it was actually one of the test the folks over at ASUS demonstrated during the Zenfone 6 launch to show how durable it is. The motor isn’t as rigid as you think, so if you hold your phone in your hands and move with swift wrist action, the flip camera is bound to open due to the force.

So, they include a nice hard-shell case that has a little lock on top that keeps the camera from flipping open by accident. Better yet, if you think this case is not something you feel safe to put your phone in – they collaborated with RhinoShield to make armored case that has the lock and gives you impact protection – something I’d totally recommend picking up from the store while you are at it.

Good Display…

 If you ever wanted that no-notch-no-cutout display for the best immersive experience possible, the ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip is the one you’re looking for. It has a 6.67” uninterrupted display covering edge to edge with a teeny tiny chin on the bottom – and it’s an AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, not quite there as the ROG Phone 5 but honestly, 90Hz is good enough and the difference is hard to tell from there. Finally, under the display it hides a fingerprint sensor that’s snappy enough for you to unlock at ease.

Now, for the most part of the display – it performs as how a good quality display should: with vivid colors, punchy vibrance and not to forget, good viewing angle – they weren’t kidding about the Delta-E being less than 1 for color accuracy. So, if you are one of those users to watch shows or videos on your phone, you will love it.

…but there’s an issue

0% RGB 0,0,0
0% RGB 0,0,0
~1% RGB 3,3,3
~1% RGB 3,3,3
~20% RGB 51,51,51
~20% RGB 51,51,51
~60% RGB 166,166,166
~60% RGB 166,166,166

But during our test we did notice something with the display that reminded us of the S20 Green Tint issue that the display faced which is quite noticeable on this display. This is something you wouldn’t notice on a day to day use but when we performed our Grey Uniformity Test, we noticed some unevenness in the greys with some green hints when its in the 20% grey mark. If we were to put it in the DSE score, sure its less than 20% so it doesn’t affect much but for the most part – in fact, according to DSE, if its less than 20%, its considered okay. Which is why when it comes to consuming content, the display uniformity is quite alright to do everyday tasks.

We aren’t sure if this is a hardware issue or something an update could fix like the S20, but we will let you know.

Quality Performance

Performance wise, this phone is no slouch. With the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 with 8GB RAM. Given the fact that it’s a flagship processor for 2021, I don’t see any issues with it from not being able to put up a good show. Its snappy as it should be, and performance is great day and night. The phone does get hot if you choose to play games on it – and honestly, any flagship processor at this point with such performance packed under the hood, its bound to release some heat. Something you should be prepared for. The performance paired with the nice clean UI that takes up truly little resources and has no bloatware at all is the reason why this phone gets you through any kind of situation.

Weirdly, Zenfone 8 Flip gets the Game Genie we see from the ROG Phone 5 but obviously, none of those triggers here.

Star of the show: The Camera

To be frank, performance isn’t even the real deal – it’s the camera really. The phone packs a triple camera setup with no gimmicky sensors:

  • Primary 64MP Wide-Angle Camera Sony IMX686 Sensor
  • Secondary 12MP Ultrawide-Camera Sony IMX363 Sensor
  • 8MP Telephoto Sensor

With the flip camera it has a bunch of tricks up it sleeves. In panoramic mode, you don’t even have to move your phone as the flip camera will do its 7-step panorama tilt to get an image nice and steady. Since there are no front facing camera, it doubles as a front facing camera too – so if you want to do a vlogging type video, both the quality Sony sensors are at your service to get you through any kind of shoot you want to do.

Picture wise, ASUS has come a long way in offering good color production and nice pictures, all possible to the new software it uses it seems. Right out of the bat, the images look crispy and sharp, upon zooming in you may notice some over sharpening and some noise in darker areas which is a little bothering but under low light, that’s quite alright. Under bright day light, the details are nice to look at. At times it does have a muted look. But personally, I am okay with that as its easier too for users to add their own dash of filters to make it look “instaworthy.” For the most part, I am happy with how the pictures turn out. Fiddle around with the settings, and you can get some good shots out of it.

No Headphone Jack Sadly

Unlike the Zenfone 8 which does have a Headphone jack, users opting for the Zenfone 8 Flip, I am sorry to say that you won’t be getting a headphone jack as it doesn’t have one at all. So, it’s the single USB-C port that you’ll have to rely on for both your wired in-ear listening experience and charging. Better yet why not pick up a headphone while you’re at it.

Oh, but speaker wise, it has one downward firing speaker and one at the earpiece to give a stereo effect – while it doesn’t do it as good as the ROG Phone 5, it’s still acceptable. But there’s one issue with ASUS phones – generation after generation, somehow their volume rocker when it’s set at 50%, it sounds like the volume is set at 10%. ASUS, if you’re reading this – fix it.

Decent Battery though

This phone is a tank in the battery department. It features a 5000mAh battery that supports both Quick Charge 4.0 and PD Charging. So, you don’t have to worry about battery through out the whole day and even if you do use up a lot, well – fret not, as the Quick Charging capability with the included adapter will bring the battery up in few minutes time.

Conclusion

The thing about the ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip: it’s a pretty bland smartphone, but not in a wrong way. It’s just that, there’s nothing exciting to talk about since it is pretty much the same in terms of looks and the way it works since the last two Zenfone that featured the flip camera. But what I am indeed excited about is that, now Malaysians can get the taste of what the Zenfone 8 Flip offers – it comes in one variant only and that’s priced at RM 2999 – afterall, it is ASUS shot at redemption for the Malaysian market if they could win the consumer’s heart.

So, if you are bored of the traditional candy bar phone with a protruding bump, then flip it up with the ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip. Afterall, it’s a pretty phone with the flagship performance.


Thanks to ASUS Malaysia for sending us the Zenfone 8 Flip for us to review and make this content happen.