Asus may not have the name recognition of Apple, Samsung, or Sony, but can the brand turn its underdog status to its advantage?
What we love — Handy size, great screen, strong performance, and good value for money
The Asus Zenfone 8 doesn’t simply follow the blueprint of every other Android phone on the market, and that’s a good thing. To give a few examples: it has a relatively small 5.9-inch display more similar in size to the iPhone 12 that many will find more comfortable to use; it retains the 3.5mm headphone jack so beloved by audiophiles; and it’s relatively cheap compared to flagship competitors, clocking in at £599.
Fortunately the essentials are done well too. The Snapdragon 888 chipset delivers excellent performance along with 5G connectivity, and the software is clean and uncluttered while still offering plenty of customisation options.
The dual camera system performs well without being exceptional, and struggles a bit in lowlight, while the 4000mAh battery can last through a day of moderate to heavy usage.
What we don’t like — Heats up when gaming, no wireless charging, no telephoto lens
There are some downsides to this device, but frankly not many. It does noticeably get hotter to the touch when you’re playing particularly demanding games, which is unusual, and it doesn’t offer the ability to charge wirelessly, although its 30W wired fast-charging tops up the capacity from empty to 100% in 61 minutes.
The Asus Zenfone 8 has nailed its particular niche: a small Android phone with top specs and a reasonable price. If that’s what you want, then look no further. But if you are searching for better camera or battery endurance, then you might want to consider an alternative such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
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