ASUS recently launched its latest flagship smartphone with a compact body, the Zenfone 9. As the name suggests, it’s the successor to the Zenfone 8 that launched last year. So, if you’re asking what’s different between the two and if it’s worth upgrading to if you’re coming from the older model, check out our specs comparison below.
|ASUS Zenfone 9||ASUS Zenfone 8|
|5.9-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1080) Super AMOLED display, 445ppi||5.9-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1080) Super AMOLED display, 445ppi|
|120Hz refresh rate||120Hz refresh rate|
|Corning Gorilla Glass Victus||Corning Gorilla Glass Victus|
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC|
|Adreno 730 GPU||Adreno 660 GPU|
|8GB, 16GB RAM||6GB, 8GB, 12GB RAM|
|128GB, 256GB UFS 3.1||128GB, 256GB UFS 3.1|
• 50MP Sony IMX766 F1.9 main, gimbal OIS
• 12MP F2.2 ultra-wide
• 64MP F1.8 Sony IMX686 main, OIS
• 12MP F2.2 ultra-wide
|12MP F2.5 front camera||12MP F2.5 front camera|
|5G, 4G LTE||5G, 4G LTE|
|WiFi 6e||WiFi 6e|
|Bluetooth 5.2||Bluetooth 5.2|
|GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS, NavIC||GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS, NavIC|
|3.5mm audio jack||3.5mm audio jack|
|Fingerprint scanner (side)||Fingerprint scanner (in-display)|
|Stereo speakers||Stereo speakers|
|ZenUI (Android 12)||ZenUI (Android 11, upgradable to Android 12)|
|IP68 dust and water resistance||IP68 dust and water resistance|
|4,300mAh battery w/ 30W fast charging, reverse charging||4,000mAh battery w/ 30W fast charging, reverse charging|
|146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1 mm||148 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm|
|169 g||169 g|
|Midnight Black, Moonlight White, Sunset Red, Starry Blue||Horizon Silver, Moonlight White|
Table of Contents
One of the best selling points of the Zenfone 8 is its compact size which can be attributed to the small sub-6-inch screen. ASUS retained that benefit in the Zenfone 9, and in some dimensions, made it even more compact. It’s shorter at 146.5 mm (vs 148mm) and narrower at 68.1 mm (vs 68.5 mm). It’s chunkier, though, at 9.1 mm (vs 8.9 mm), but that’s to accommodate the larger battery capacity.
On the front, the two devices look identical but flip it on its back and you’ll see their differences in design. The Zenfone 9 has larger cameras and a more futuristic design. It also comes in four colors compared to the Zenfone 8’s two options. The two devices still have Gorilla Glass Victus and IP68 dust and water resistance.
ASUS retained the screen on both devices. We’re talking about a 5.9-inch screen with a Super AMOLED panel, Full HD+ resolution, and 120Hz refresh rate, which means we can expect the same quality.
The Zenfone 9 gets a significant upgrade in terms of chipset as it has the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen1, versus the Snapdragon 888 5G found on the Zenfone 8. The processor is clocked higher at 3.19GHz (vs 2.84GHz), and has a more powerful Adreno 730 GPU (vs Adreno 660). So, if you’re expecting a performance bump, you’ll certainly get that on the Zenfone 9.
Storage and Memory
When it comes to RAM, ASUS streamlined and just offers two options of 8GB and 16GB, compared to the 6GB, 8GB, and 12GB on the Zenfone 8. Storage-wise, we still get 128GB and 256GB UFS 3.1. No support for microSD cards, still.
The larger camera module on the Zenfone 9 is there for a reason, and that’s because ASUS gave it upgraded cameras. The main camera has a lower 50MP resolution compared to the Zenfone 8’s 64MP, but it uses a newer Sony IMX766 sensor (vs Sony IMX686), so we can expect better performance and quality. It also uses a gimbal-based OIS so it can shoot smoother videos and photos with less blur in low-light scenarios.
For the secondary camera, both have 12MP ultra-wide shooters, and for selfies, both also have 12MP cameras.
Connectivity and Features
In terms of connectivity, the two are almost identical. They both have a dual-SIM with 5G, WiFi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GNSS, and USB-C. Both have fingerprint scanners but the one on the Zenfone 9 is now placed on the side instead of under the display.
Both have stereo speakers and 3.5mm audio jacks. For software, they both run ZenUI but the Zenfone 9 has Android 12 out of the box, while the Zenfone 8 has to be upgraded from Android 11.
The Zenfone 9 also got an upgrade on the battery part and now has 4,300mAh (vs 4,000mAh). The charging rate is still retained at 30W.
Should you upgrade?
If you dig the new design and need better chipset performance, improved main camera, and bigger battery capacity, the Zenfone 9 is a nice upgrade but not necessary. It’s yet to launch in the Philippines so we don’t know the price yet, but if they can keep it below PHP 40K, it will be an enticing offer.