Asus Unveils the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip Smartphones

Asus has announced the Zenfone 8 and 8 Flip smartphones which feature similar camera sensors, but the latter allows the rear camera array to “flip” up and act as the front-facing camera.

Asus Zenfone 8

The Zenfone 8 is Asus’s compact, an approachable model that is designed to be a strong performer despite its small size and lightweight. The company is positioning it as a device that is designed to be used one-handed. It features a large 5.9-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, a one millisecond response time, a 240Hz touch sampling rate, covers 112% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and is HDR10+ certified thanks to the promise of 1,100 nits of peak brightness and a 1,000,00:1 contrast ratio. The smartphone is of course powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapddragon 888 processor as well.

As far as the camera system is concerned, Asus went with a more streamlined dual rear camera system that features a wide and ultra-wide lens.

The “main camera” is a wide-angle and features a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 1/1.7-inch sensor and optical image stabilization. It has an equivalent 26.6mm focal length and a 78.3-degree field of view. The secondary ultra-wide camera has a smaller 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 1/2.55-inch sensor with a 14.3mm equivalent focal length and a 113-degree field of view and features real-time distortion correction. The ultra-wide is also capable of capturing macro photos.

Both sensors feature dual-pixel autofocus technology that Asus says will perform “extremely fast.”

Asus says that the wide-angle camera features the ability to capture 8K video at up to 30 frames per second with electronic image stabilization, and the ultrawide-angle camera offers up to 4K at 60 frames per second recording. The Zenfone 8 also comes with new video features, including HyperSteady, Free Zoom, and Pro video mode.

“With three microphones, Zenfone 8 records high-quality audio while shooting, and audio can also be optimized with functions such as Wind Filter, Mic Focus, and Acoustic Focus for focusing on and isolating the sounds of selected objects,” the company adds.

The front-facing camera is a Sony IMX663 12-megapixel sensor that Asus says is the first phone to feature this particular sensor. It is a 1/2.93-inch with 1.22µm effective pixel size, an f/2.45 aperture, and a 27.7mm equivalent focal length with a 76.5-degree field of view.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

The Zenfone 8 Fip, which was leaked earlier this week, keeps the unusual flipping camera array design and is much larger than the Zenfone 8. It has a 1080p OLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate but does have a larger battery than its smaller counterpart. The camera system shares a lot in common however, and brings the same 64-megapixel main camera and 12-megapixel ultrawide but adds a third 8-megapixel telephoto that features a modest 3x optical zoom.

The motor that powers the flipping mechanism is apparently improved over the Zenfone 7 Flip, and Asus reports that it is rated for up to 300,000 “flips.”

As previously noted, Asus is pretty much the last major brand to release a flagship device that features a kind of mechanical flipping system found here. While it can be seen as a possible failure point, Asus seems to believe that the ability to use the main camera array as both a front and rear-facing system outweighs any of those downsides.

Asus says the Zenfone 8 series will be available starting “from late Q2” in North America. The Zenfone 8 will be available for about $725 and the Zenfone 8 Flip will retail for about $965.