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ASUS Zenfone 9 Unboxing & Review- Android Flagship

ASUS Zenfone 9 Unboxing & Review

What’s up guys, Saf here on SuperSaf TV and we’ve got the brand new Asus Zenfone 9. That’s it, there is no Zenfone 9 Flip this year. Asus has pretty much said flip off to the Flip. Sure that’s a little bit disappointing, I did really like the Flip, it was quite unique, but it didn’t seem like it was very mainstream. The Zenfone regular edition seems to have much more mass appeal with its compact size and that’s really what the focus is this year with the Zenfone 9. I’ve got three different colors here to show you.

Unboxing of ASUS Zenfone 9

Let’s go ahead, get these unboxed and see what they have to offer. So inside the 100% recycled paper box, you do get a pack with some accessories, which will come back to later. There is the device itself, a USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable, as well as a 30W HyperCharge adapter, this is included out of the box. So I have three of the colors available here, the Midnight Black, the Moonlight White as well as the Sunset Red, there is a Starry Blue color version available as well, I don’t have that here with me. And as well as the devices you do get a little pack with a SIM card tool some paperwork as well as a bumper case. Now this is a bit of a cream color for the Moonlight White device, but for the red and black you do just get a black bumper case. And here they are, the three different colors side by side. First impressions, I got to say these do look very compact, much smaller compared to lots of other flagships. And I’m also noticing the pretty large camera modules, and that’s because we do now have 6-Axis Gimbal Stabilization which we’ll be taking a look at a little bit later.

Back of ASUS Zenfone 9

The other thing I also noticed straight away is this back, the material is really nice, kind of feels a bit like paper. Now the back material is in fact plastic but it doesn’t feel like plastic and it doesn’t feel cheap by any means. I think it’s just for them to achieve this grippy texture. Mat finish across the board, so you’re not going to really have to worry about fingerprints. We’ve got an aluminum frame, there’s a silver colored aluminum frame on the white version, which is a bit of an off white, so it’s not white, Moonlight White is what they call it, but we have a black aluminum frame on the black version as well as the red version and I do like the black and red combo here.

Front Of ASUS Zenfone 9

And at the front, we do have Gorilla Glass Victus. We’ve got IP68 water and dust resistance across the board, which is nice to see.

Key Feauters Of ASUS Zenfone 9

Now, one of the key things Asus has gone for on this design is for it to fit comfortably in one hand, and I can definitely say that it fits comfortably in my hand. It’s around 70 millimeters in terms of the width, which is the smallest on pretty much any Android flagship out there. The only one that’s slightly less wider is the Xperia 1 Mk V, however the Xperia is taller, so this kind of has a good balance between the width and the height. And they’ve actually managed to keep the weight the same as a Zenfone 8, so it’s 169 grams. However this is smaller overall and that is, despite the fact that we’ve got a 40% larger camera, around a 7.5% larger battery, as well as increased thermals inside. And to give you guys a better idea of the actual size here is the Zenfone 8, you can see that the Zenfone 8 is a little bit taller, however, the Zenfone 9 is a little bit thicker, and we have one of the most compact flagship smartphones out, and that is the iPhone 13 Mini, which is smaller overall. However, I would say that the Zenfone 9 is the most compact Android flagship smartphone out right now. And to give you some more context here is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra on the left, as well as the ROG Phone 6 Pro on the right the Zenfone 9 very, very compact. As always a quick reminder, if you’re enjoying this video so far and you want to see more like it then don’t forget to subscribe and hit that bell icon. Nice and simple.

Display Of ASUS Zenfone 9

Now let’s turn this around and take a look at the display. So this is a 5.9 inch Samsung AMOLED display with full HD plus resolution and it has a 120Hz refresh rate making things very smooth. It also has a peak brightness of 1100 nits, which is pretty good with HDR10+ support. However, there are a few things that I’m noticing straight away. Firstly, we do have this chin which I was hoping that we wouldn’t have for a device of this price, which we’ll get into later. There are devices that are coming in at around £400 which do have uniform bezels which I would’ve liked to have seen, and this is not an LTPO or display so although you can switch between 60, 90 and 120Hz it’s not going to go all the way down to 1Hz or 10Hz like some other devices can. But despite that it is a pretty nice display, we’ve got a punchout here at the front.

Fronnt Camera

Now this is a 12 megapixel Sony IMX663 sensor, the first device with this sensor and it also has auto focus from the front facing camera. Auto focus from the front facing camera is something that we don’t see much of.

Back Camera

But the main cameras of course are here at the back. and let’s spend some time talking about these cameras. So there’s a 12 megapixel ultra wide camera with an IMX363 sensor with 113 degree angle of view. This also has dual PD autofocus which is going to allow you to refocus in for macro shots as well. And then we have the primary 50 megapixel camera. This has the Sony IMX766 sensor. It’s 22% larger compared to the Zenfone 8.

6-Axis Hybrid Gimble Stabilization

But most importantly we have 6-Axis Hybrid Gimble Stabilization. Lots of other devices will have optical image stabilization where the lens is going to move, or the sensor is going to move, on the Zenfone 9 the entire camera module moves to compensate for motion in your hands. Now playing around with this, I got to say it is very impressive. You could be shaking your hand around quite heavily and it’s still going to maintain a stable shot, whether that’s a photo or for video footage. So it’s looking very, very impressive. And that’s one of the highlight features here on the Zenfone 9.

SuperSaf style camera comparison of the Zenfone 9

Now I know a lot of you guys are going to be saying when are we going to see a SuperSaf style camera comparison of the Zenfone 9. Now camera comparisons take me a lot of time, it takes me up to a week to put together. So I only generally tend to keep them for the most popular devices. So if there’s enough of you guys who want to see a camera comparison of the Zenfone 9, smash that like button, drop me a comment below, definitely let me know which device you’d like me to compare it to, and if there’s enough of you then I’ll try to get working on one as soon as I can. We’ve also got pro modes for video and photography to really allow you some control, as well as a light trail mode, which is currently in beta and audio HDR recording. So you will be able to capture high dynamic range on audio as well here on Zenfone 9.

More Feauters of this Device

Now, before we talk about the internals, because there’s a lot to talk about there, let’s take a look around the device because there are certain things here which you’re not going to find on other devices, such as the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. So Asus has maintained this here on the Zenfone 9. I’m sure a lot of people are going to be happy about that. There’s nothing on the left hand side. On the right hand side, we have the volume rocker. Then there is a special button here which is the power button it’s also a fingerprint scanner and a smart key. Now the smart key, you’re going to be able to assign lots of different actions to it. You can do a single press, double, press, a press and hold, a slide. At the bottom there’s a USB Type-C input.


There’s one of the two stereo speakers, one is bottom firing as well as one in the earpiece and for a device this size, the speakers are actually really loud and really good. There’s been a lot of work done in the background by Asus to achieve this. We’ve got Qualcomm aptX Lossless as well as Qualcomm aptX Adaptive supported and DRAC for bespoke audio tuning.

There’s also a SIM card tray here at the bottom, this has support for dual nano SIM cards, we do not have a micro SD card slot like we had on the Flip. But this does come in either 128 or 256 GB storage options with USF 3.1 storage. You got up to 16 GB of LPDDR5 ram, and this is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. This is the flagship chipset. It’s what we also have on the ROG Phone 6 pro, so in terms of performance this is really impressive. Compared to the Zenfone 8 we’ve got a 15% faster CPU, a 50% faster GPU, as well as 30% improved power efficiency. In addition to that we have a vapor chamber as well as a heat pipe, and they’ve managed to fit all of this into this device, which means you should get really good sustained performance. Obviously it’s not going to be as powerful as the ROG Phone 6 Pro, but I’d say this is the most powerful compact Android smartphone out there. Right, for software, we do have Android 12 and Asus will support two major OS updates, as well as two years of security updates, which is not as much as what some others are offering.


Right for the battery, we actually have a larger battery compared to the Zenfone 8, it is 4300mAh. Now for a device this size that is pretty impressive. And of course we do get 30W HyperCharging included out of the box. One of the things that Asus has done, is they’ve managed to maintain the same charging speed as a Zenfone 8, despite having a larger battery, and that is because they can now maintain a high charging speed between 80 and 100%, and that’s usually when devices slow down. Unfortunately as previous years, there is no wireless charging, this is because they’ve had to fit in a lot in this very small form factor, which is sort of understandable.


And now finally, let’s talk about pricing. Now, the price did come as a bit of a surprise to me because the Zenfone 8 started at around 600 euros, the Zenfone 9 is going to start at around 800 euros. So that is quite a big price increase, now understandable that there is inflation and lots of other things that are going on around the world right now, and of course we are getting lots of new features such as the gimbal stabilizer. But let me know what you guys feel about the price. I think this is a very impressive device, very powerful at this form factor. There is really nothing else out there. I would’ve liked to have seen some improvements like with the display. It would’ve been nice if it did not have a chin at this price.

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