Asus 8z Review: Small Wonder


It has been some time since Asus utterly stopped launching finances and premium smartphones in India. For a number of years now, the corporate has been focusing solely on its ROG smartphone lineup catering to the gaming crowd. The ROG Telephone 5 affords good {hardware} but it surely’s geared toward a distinct segment viewers, and Asus hasn’t actually had the rest for the remainder of the market in India. That is all about to vary now. The Asus 8z would possibly sound acquainted, and that is as a result of this telephone was introduced in 2021. Recognized internationally because the ZenFone 8, it was all set to launch in India because the 8z (as a consequence of a trademark dispute). Asus says it held again this telephone’s launch till now due to the pandemic and provide chain points, but it surely’s lastly accessible.

The Asus 8z would possibly look like it is slightly late to the celebration, however aside from not having the newest and best SoC, the remainder of the specs make it appear as if this telephone can nonetheless be thought of premium even in the present day. Can the Asus 8z assist the corporate make up for misplaced time? I put it to the check to seek out out.

Asus 8z worth in India

The Asus 8z is priced at Rs. 42,999 in India and comes with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It’s accessible in two colors, Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver.

Asus 8z design

The primary draw of Asus’ earlier flagship in India, the Asus 6Z (Review), was its rotating digicam module. For the Asus 8z, it’s the compact measurement. Compact Android flagships are a uncommon breed, and the 8z is an effective break from all of the telephones with enormous shows which can be at the moment on sale. Asus is focusing on consumers who desire a compact smartphone with out compromising on efficiency or construct high quality.

The Asus 8z runs the chance of coming throughout as slightly bland. I had an Obsidian Black unit which has no gradient patterns or accent colors to interrupt the monotony, aside from a contrasting blue energy button. Asus appears to have taken some inspiration from the Google Pixel collection on this regard. You get a frosted end on the rear glass which does a great job of maintaining fingerprints away. The twin-camera module on the again protrudes solely barely. 

asus 8z back gadgets360 Asus 8Z Review

The Asus 8z is snug for one-handed use

 

The Asus 8z has a 5.9-inch AMOLED show with skinny bezels surrounding it, however with a barely thicker chin on the backside. It has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the entrance and Gorilla Glass 3 on the again for scratch safety. The body is made from steel and feels premium to the contact. Asus has curved the edges of the rear glass the place it meets the body which makes it simpler to grip the telephone. The amount buttons are on the correct whereas the left is totally clean. You do get a 3.5mm headphone jack on the highest, making the 8z certainly one of only a few flagships to nonetheless have one.

A neat addition on the backside of the body is a notification LED which lights up when the telephone is charging and blinks when you will have unread notifications. It is proper between the bottom-firing speaker and the USB Sort-C port. Asus does present a case within the field. The 8z is IP68 rated for mud and water resistance.

Asus 8z specs and software program

The Asus 8z’s show has a full-HD+ decision, 120Hz most refresh fee, and a 240Hz contact sampling fee. This AMOLED panel has a peak brightness of 1,100 nits and has an built-in fingerprint scanner. Asus additionally affords stereo audio system on the 8z.

Powering the Asus 8z is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, which was final 12 months’s flagship 5G SoC. The Asus 8z has two nano-SIM slots with assist for 5G and 4G in addition to VoLTE. Different connectivity choices embrace Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, FM radio, NFC, and 5 satellite tv for pc navigation methods. This telephone has a 4,000mAh battery and helps Qualcomm QuickCharge 4. A 30W charger is bundled within the field.

asus 8z android 12 gadgets360 Asus 8Z Review

The Asus 8z runs Android 12 out of the field

 

By way of software program, the Asus 8z runs ZenUI on prime of Android 12. The UI appears to be like and feels quite a bit like inventory Android however this may be customised to fit your style. You’ll be able to change icon shapes, font types, and accent colors. It additionally has a darkish mode for system components in addition to apps, and this may be robotically triggered put up sundown. Privateness indicators, an Android 12 characteristic that notifies you when the digicam or microphone is in use, can also be current. My 8z unit was operating the December 2021 safety patch which is sort of dated.

Asus does preinstall a number of third-party apps on the 8z corresponding to Netflix, Facebook, and Messenger; the previous might solely be disabled whereas the opposite two could possibly be uninstalled. Asus has gesture navigation enabled by default within the UI and it has additionally added a number of particular gestures to carry out sure actions. As an illustration, a three-finger swipe down will take a screenshot, and I used this very often.

asus 8z bottom port gadgets360 Asus 8Z Review

The Asus 8z has a notification mild on the backside

 

Asus has additionally added some performance to the ability button. A single press places the gadget in standby mode as typical, however you possibly can configure what the telephone does if you double-press and long-press this button. Relying on what you select, the 8z can launch a selected app, toggle the Wi-Fi state, or activate the flashlight. Equally, you may get the 8z to launch Google Assistant by long-pressing the ability button as a substitute of exhibiting the ability menu.

There are 5 battery modes on the Asus 8z. You’ll be able to select from ‘Excessive Efficiency’ to ‘Extremely Sturdy’ based mostly in your utilization. The smartphone is about to ‘Dynamic’ by default however the superior choices allow you to fine-tune the way it performs. Asus has additionally added a one-handed navigation characteristic which shrinks UI components for simpler entry. Curiously, you possibly can customise the extent to which the UI shrinks.

Asus 8z efficiency and battery life

The Asus 8z affords snappy efficiency and I by no means needed to wait lengthy for an app or a sport to load. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC was capable of run just about any app from the Google Play retailer. The show was crisp and had good viewing angles. With it set to 120Hz, scrolling was tremendous clean and the UI felt fluid. The stereo audio system on the Asus 8z do full justice to the show and complement the media expertise properly. The audio output is not tinny however I seen the bottom-firing speaker sounded louder than the earpiece.

I ran a few benchmarks on the Asus 8z to see the way it performs. The smartphone robotically switched from the ‘Dynamic’ battery mode to ‘Excessive Efficiency’ upon detecting a power-hungry app. Nonetheless, with a purpose to forestall this artificially inflating the benchmark scores, I modified it again to ‘Dynamic’ for these checks. In AnTuTu, the Asus 8z managed to attain 757,893 factors. In Geekbench 5’s single core and multi-core checks, the telephone managed 1,062 and three,570 factors respectively. It dealt with graphics benchmarks fairly properly too, managing 57fps and 115fps in GFXBench’s Automotive Chase and T-Rex checks, respectively. These scores are solely barely decrease than these of the Samsung Galaxy S22, one other comparatively compact flagship, however that is to be anticipated given the generational hole between the 2 telephones’ SoCs.

asus 8z camera module gadgets360 Asus 8Z Review

The Asus 8z has a twin digicam setup on the again

 

Asus has introduced over the Recreation Genie characteristic from its ROG smartphone lineup. This allows you to block incoming calls and notifications when gaming, change the refresh fee of the show, and create macros. I performed Battleground Cellular India (BGMI) on the Asus 8z and it defaulted to ‘HD’ graphics and ‘Excessive’ body fee by default. I bumped the graphics setting all the best way as much as ‘Extremely HD’ and body fee to ‘Extremely’ to see if the Asus 8z might deal with this sport maxed out. To no shock, it was capable of run the sport with none lag or stutter, however this impacted battery life. After enjoying the sport at these settings the 8z turned scorching to the contact, particularly the highest of the body. I additionally noticed a ten p.c battery drop after about half an hour of enjoying BGMI.

The Asus 8z has a comparatively small 4,000mAh battery, however with my use, it lasted me past one full day. If you’re a heavy consumer, you would possibly must cost it close to the top of the day. In our HD video loop check, the 8z managed to run for 10 hours and 50 minutes which is on the decrease aspect in comparison with what a number of the different smartphones on this worth vary can handle. Charging time is affordable with the 30W charger. The telephone received to 60 p.c in half-hour and 92 p.c in an hour.

The Asus 8z lacks wi-fi charging, which is likely one of the few flagship options that is lacking from this telephone.

Asus 8z cameras

Whereas we’re used to seeing flagship smartphones with a number of cameras on the again, the Asus 8z has simply two sensors. The first digicam is predicated on a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 sensor with OIS and an f/1.8 aperture, whereas the 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle digicam has a Sony IMX363 sensor and a 113-degree subject of view. This ultra-wide digicam may also be used to take macros from solely 4cm away, which makes this setup extra versatile. For selfies, the 8z has a 12-megapixel Sony IMX663 sensor. There is no telephoto digicam right here, which suggests any type of magnification from the rear cameras is digital.

Asus’ digicam app appears to be like easy however is feature-packed and has a number of taking pictures modes. There’s AI scene detection which works properly in detecting objects or the kind of scene within the body. The app has a Professional mode for pictures in addition to video which helps you to take full handbook management of the cameras.

Asus 8z daylight digicam samples. Prime to backside: Main digicam, ultra-wide anlge digicam (faucet to see full measurement)

 

I discovered daylight pictures taken with the Asus 8z to have good dynamic vary and particulars. The telephone additionally managed colors properly and textual content at a distance in panorama photographs was legible even after I zoomed in to 100%. With the ultra-wide-angle digicam, the standard wasn’t a large downgrade in comparison with the first digicam. There was a really slight shift in color tone and gentle barrel distortion within the corners, however not a lot else. You may also take macro photographs with this digicam however I could not get as near my topic as I might have favored.

Asus 8z digicam samples. Prime to backside: Shut-up pattern, portrait pattern (faucet to see full measurement)

 

For close-ups, the Asus 8z took little or no time to lock concentrate on the topic. Pictures turned out very properly with good particulars and a mushy blur for the background. Portrait mode might detect faces and it additionally let me set the extent of blur earlier than I took a shot. The output had well-defined edges and good separation between the topic and the background.

Asus 8z low-light digicam samples. Prime to backside: auto mode, Evening mode (faucet to see full measurement)

 

Whereas taking pictures in low-light circumstances, the AI robotically permits “Night shooting” mode which takes four-second-long publicity photographs. It managed to seize adequately vibrant pictures, however mild sources had unnatural halos round them. With Evening mode, there was a slight enchancment intimately within the darker areas of frames, however the distinction wasn’t instantly noticeable.

Asus 8Z Selfie portrait samples (faucet to see full-size picture)

 

Selfies taken with the Asus 8z had good element however pores and skin textures seemed to be barely smoothened. You’ll be able to take portrait selfies and the telephone does a great job of separating you from the background. Low-light selfies with a light-weight supply close by turned out a lot better than these taken in dimmer environments. The 8Z might handle first rate portrait photographs even in low mild.

Video recording tops out at 8K on the Asus 8z and it makes use of digital stabilisation at this decision. Whereas taking pictures at 4K in addition to 1080p, the 8z makes use of optical stabilisation. Footage shot with the 8z was usually secure with occasional stutters if I walked round whereas taking pictures.

Total, the digicam efficiency of the Asus 8z is sort of good but it surely did get heat after taking pictures or recording video for lengthy stretches.

Verdict

Flagship smartphones have gotten fairly highly effective over time and within the pursuit of higher {hardware}, most gadgets have grown in measurement. Most smartphone screens are actually larger than 6 inches, and that makes one-handed use tough. The Samsung Galaxy S22 is certainly one of only a few Android smartphones to launch this 12 months that provides flagship-level efficiency in a small package deal, but it surely additionally instructions a steep premium. That is the place the Asus 8z affords higher worth. It has a singular mixture of premium construct high quality, highly effective {hardware}, and compact measurement at its worth stage. Nonetheless, when you do not need to restrict your self to Android, the Apple iPhone 12 mini (Review) and iPhone 13 mini (Review) additionally provide nice efficiency. Whereas the iPhone 13 mini is costlier, the iPhone 12 mini is inside attain, and we have seen its worth drop under Rs. 40,000 throughout gross sales.

The Asus 8z is not flawless. The compact physique limits battery capability, and whereas Asus has tried its greatest to optimise battery life, this telephone is simply no match for these with bodily bigger batteries. Priced at Rs. 42,999 in India, the 8z does provide good worth so long as you do not thoughts charging it incessantly. 



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