Asus Zenfone 9 review: the smartphone you have been asking for for years

Will the perfect smartphone ever exist? A rhetorical question that can only be answered in one way: no. Everyone has different needs and the market has so many alternatives that everyone can be satisfied. All or almost all, since it did not exist until today a top-of-the-range Android smartphone with small dimensions and almost no sacrifices.

Asus has done what no other state has been able to do and not only proved it “can be done” but also made some bold choices that make Zenfone 9 the smartphone that can please everyone, as long as you have 700 to spend.



So no glass – and no wireless charging – but a soft touch material, difficult to scratch, very pleasant to see and obviously free from any kind of “finger effect”. A particular choice that makes this Zenfone 9 unique within the 2022 smartphone landscape.

Having used this device for several weeks in black color, I have not noticed any particular signs of wear while in the other colors it is possible that the corners can get dirty more easily, being the rear material “porous” and therefore prone to getting dirty. In the package, however, there is a case for all variants.

As for the build quality, the smartphone is perfectly assembled and has a truly fantastic size and weight. Not too small and at the same time weighing less than 170 gramswhich, considering the 4300mAh battery, practically a record.


The screen has almost symmetrical bezels although the bottom has a slightly more pronounced chin. Compared to the images you may have seen, the difference between the outer edges of the screen is hardly perceptible in live.

At the software level we have all the possible options for color management but also the AOD, which allows you to view all notifications. Smart features such as double taps to turn off, turn on, check notifications, launch applications or more are also excellent.



Finally, Asus declares 2 major updates and 3 years of security patches for software updates. A definable basic package, which in any case not yet taken for granted for all manufacturers.


Asus Zenfone 9 embodies everything I’m looking for in a latest generation product: perfect size to fit in your pocket, display large enough to enjoy games and multimedia content, excellent construction, very low weight and truly incredible battery.


The battery was the biggest surprise. There is no Android smartphone of this size that can offer Zenfone 9 autonomy. I got to do even 7 hours of screen in a single very busy day and in general 5 hours are absolutely normal. These are record values ​​if we consider the 4300mAh, the 169 grams of weight and the dimensions.

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 with 4nm production process evidently a significant improvement over the previous versionand in terms of energy efficiency I was amazed. You really have the feeling of having a smartphone that does not download and with which we will never be without autonomy. I also stress that all the tests carried out were carried out with a fixed screen at 120Hz since there is no battery problem, it makes no sense to give up the maximum possible fluidity – which is truly excellent.

In the settings there are then several optimization options that I have practically never used, always choosing the dynamic profile that the default one. Small note, the 30W charging is not very fast compared to what has been seen on the market recently and there is no wireless charging (the reasons were explained by Asus in relation to the battery capacity: to put the wireless charging they would have to sacrifice a few mAh of capacity. ).


Another important aspect is the telephone, audio and vibration quality. Despite the compactness, Zenfone 9 also has audio jack, stereo speakers(uses the ear capsule) which have an excellent and decidedly high volume and an excellent and contextual haptic vibration in all menus, scrolls and gestures. Compared to the Rog Phone 6, the less powerful but still very strong vibration motor is managed perfectly by the software.

The telephone part is also excellent, which relies on both physical Dual SIM support and on many settings and options regarding connectivity management. Of course, all the latest possible wireless standards are supported.


If we look at the quality of the shots, in general Zenfone 9 defends itself well in all lighting conditions. I wanted to compare it directly with Galaxy S22 which is a very similar smartphone in size even if it has different characteristics. Although the sensor used by Asus is very good, the Samsung software algorithm manages to have that better image processing that emphasizes colors and details. So Zenfone 9 is a great cameraphone, even considering the other wide camera with autofocus, but not perfect yet.

In general, the tip shoots fast and precise but out of 100 photos a dozen may not be as we expect them, especially if you go to exaggerate with the HDR, the backlight and situations that are quite at the limit for the physical sensor and where the software goes to make the difference. There is no shortage of room for further improvement and we will see if there will be news with next updates. To date certainly promoted in its price range and the optical stabilization allows you to have good results even at night with long exposures.

As for the Selfies, the autofocus of the front camera is appreciable but the general quality remains a bit subdued. The level of detail is not very high and in some light conditions there is a contouring of faces and subjects that is not perfect.


I talked about courageous choices and Asus did something that few other manufacturers have done: it invited a small group of people to Milan at its Asus Store to show, behind closed doors and in super preview, Zenfone 9 to its fans. This is an initiative that took place even before the official presentation and therefore a real first look at the product.





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