Asus Zenfone 9: The New Compact King!

Hey, what up? Priyaranjan here. So if you're one of those people who has ever thought, "Wow, it seems like all the phones coming out these days " look and feel the same," well, this one is for you. Because this is one of the features I've seen in the new phone in a long time. 

So this is the Asus Zenfone 9. And the more you look around this phone, the more you see it's just not like very many other phones. First of all, flagship phones these days are getting bigger and bigger than ever, we know this. This phone is actually refreshingly compact. It has slightly bigger bezels, but those are around a 5-9 inch display. So maybe not mini, but pretty close, and that translate to so many little things. Just feeling smaller in the pocket. Smaller in the hand, obviously. The reachability of the whole display is easier. It's great. And then you already know most flagships these days are working with glass.

They're usually pretty shiny and have glossy backs. This one is plastic, but it is a sort of nice, textured, softer-touch plastic back. It's not quite the rough sandstone of the classic One-Plus phones, but it is somewhere in between. It's got a little more grip, Which combined with the flat aluminium sides of this phone is quite nice to hold. Plus, it has all these little design cues. The little notch cut-out around the metal of the power button, the little bits of text on the back of the phone. Not full-on ROG phone levels of text, but it is something. And the notch cut out around.

A headphone jack. Yet another piece of his phone that you just don't see very often in many new phones out there. Plus, just when was the last time you saw a red phone? The only thing I don't like about this design might just be that the size of the camera bumps makes the whole thing rock when it's flat on a table, but we'll get to those cameras in a second.

Content Table 

  • Design

  • Reachability

  • Performance

  • Usability

  • Battery life

  • Cameras

  • Software

  • Price

  • Display

  • Sound



The ZenTouch multi-function button makes everything easy — with just one hand! Use your thumb to swipe up, swipe down or double-click for different functions including voice-to-text, open notifications, refresh a web page, move to the top/bottom of the page, and media control.


IP68 water resistance means that Zenfone 9 shrugs off unexpected occasional splashes and lets you enjoy your daily life to the fullest!


ZenUI 9 itself, as found on the Zenfone 9, looks a lot like stock Android for the most part, though there is a lot of custom functionality added on top, once you delve into settings. There's no bloatware in terms of apps, just a handful of basic ones like the Gallery, File manager, and Weather apps - nothing too extravagant.

The smart key is a long-standing ZenUI feature that allows you to assign actions to the power button and it's been enhanced on the Zenfone 9 thanks to the embedded fingerprint reader. In addition to the double press and long press actions, you can now swipe on the sensor to pull down the notification shade, refresh web pages or control media playback. The old two actions can be set to simply launch an app, but you can also choose from an extensive list of commands like changing system settings or setting an alarm, and you can alternatively set either of the two to voice input.

Another new addition in the gesture department is the Back double tap feature. That can be assigned to taking a screenshot or launching the camera, or maybe toggling the flashlight on and off.

Small as it may be, the Zenfone 9 also has a Reachability-like one-handed mode too, with plenty of customization. In its essence, you swipe downward close to the bottom edge of the screen, though it may need some getting used to so you don't do the other gesture where you pull down the notification shade. You can adjust the maximum height of the One-hand mode area so if you have bigger hands, you don't really need to limit your space to just half of the screen, for example. Switching back to normal mode is just as easy - a single tap on the blank area restores and re-expands the UI.

There's also the edge tool pane that lets you have app shortcuts available with a swipe in from the side. These apps will open in a pop-up window above the rest of the interface which is handy. Twin apps are supported, as well.

The Game Genie might not offer as many gaming-related features as the current ROG Phone, but it's still one of the more feature-packed implementations. You can track the real-time status of the device and call the Game toolbar offering quick access to certain settings. These settings can be re-arranged, added or removed.

The UI fundamentals are largely stock, though there are minor exceptions, like the 'clear all button in the task switcher. Android 12 features like the Privacy dashboard, precise-vs-approximate location, and the wallpaper-based selection of UI and accent colours are implemented as well.


First of all, for performance, I mean, there's no real bloatware here. Things are pretty light. This phone also has a 120 Hz display and is combined with the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8+Gen 1, and eight to 16 gigabytes of RAM, things have been very smooth pretty much all the time, which is awesome. 


Zenfone 9 runs cooler — and faster than ever, with a totally revamped cooling system. It now uses a high-tech vapour chamber instead of heat pipes, and there’s an advanced heat spreader that uses copper, graphite sheets and thermal paste. That’s twice as large and offers a much bigger cooling capacity. The result? More speed, less heat! e result? More speed, less heat!


The buttons feel good, and the Zenfone 9 fits nicely in the hand due to its size. Using the phone is a lot more ergonomic than with smartphones with larger screens. All in all, the Asus phone scores very well in terms of usability and size.

They just find a couple places to tuck some extra features into the settings, around the Material You elements that are smart, like little throughout additions here and there. I like that they lifted the display animation speeds that are usually buried in developer settings, and just put them right into the display settings. The always-on display you can customize a little bit to look differently. And they put a bunch of stuff in the advanced section, including mapping a double back tap to custom action or custom one-handed mode for even better reachability. And actually, one of my favourites, you can super easily customize which camera modes show up at the bottom, so you aren't always scrolling around looking for the option you want, no matter which one it is. 

Battery life

So then, battery life. Yo, let me talk to you about the battery life on this phone. So typically, on a smaller phone, especially a small flagship phone, that's one of the weakest parts of the phone. Which makes perfect sense. There's a lot going on in a small space so there's not a lot of room for much battery. This Zenfone9 has a 4,300mAh battery. Which is pretty big for the small size of this phone. You know, I see the 120 Hz refresh rate 'cause that's what I'm into, and I got way, way more than I was expecting. This phone actually has seriously incredible battery life.


Hey, while we're at things that punch above their weight class, the cameras are back here. The cameras are probably better than what you're expecting. Now, the main sensor here is actually the same one that was in the Nothing Phone and ROG Phone6, both of which took B to B-plus quality photos at best and were a noticeable step behind the flagships in pretty much every way. So same chip in here, but two things are different. One, they put this entire sensor in this huge Six-axis hybrid gimbal stabilization setup.  


Zenfone 9 has a massively upgraded Sony IMX766 main camera that lets you take perfect photos in even the darkest places. Capture every moment, wherever you are!



Powerful built-in 6-Axis Hybrid Gimbal Stabilizer

This fantastic new feature monitors Zenfone 9 every movement, in every direction, and uses that information to adjust the kens position in real-time. It can help smooth out even the wildest action, without optical distortion or ghosting. 

Professional-looking videos

The new anti-shake algorithm in the Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS ) system removes even more unwanted motion, helping to keep your videos super smooth and shake-free at all times for that professional look!


The price is really good. It starts between $703 and $885


Big on vision

Zenfone 9 has an advanced AMOLED display that delivers highly-accurate, cinema-grade colours. Watching videos on Zenfone 9 is just like watching a movie in a theatre!

Big on smooth visuals

The 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate delivers super-smooth visuals with improved power savings.


Big on sound

Designed with help from the audio experts at Dirac, Zenfone 9 maximizes the perceived volume and sound quality from its dual stereo speakers. It’s perfect for immersive videos and gaming! And with OZO Audio technology, you'll enjoy clear, high-quality recording featuring 3D surround sound and wind-noise reduction.

Big on 3.5 mm!

Yes! We know exactly what you need! Zenfone 9 is still equipped with a 3.5 mm audio jack, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t have wireless headphones — just plug in your favourite cans and enjoy!

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