The Asus Zenfone has a very specific reputation – it’s a small flagship. Well, it’s not that much smaller than a Galaxy S23, but that usually doesn’t stop Zenfone proponents. This week the company unveiled the newest member of the family, though you have to look at it up close to see that it’s not the Zenfone 9.
The Asus Zenfone 10 has the same exterior as its predecessor (except the decals have been toned down). This is not a bad thing, the 9 was a pretty phone. The key dimensions have been preserved – the 5.9” display, the width and the height – but the new model is slightly thicker.
It goes from 9.1mm to 9.4mm (and weight is up 3g to 172g), due to the addition of wireless charging support (15W). This is one of the big upgrades this year. The rest of the battery specs are the same as before – 4,300mAh capacity and 30W wired charging.
Going back to the display for a moment, the 5.9” AMOLED panel still has FHD+ resolution (20:9), but the refresh rate has been boosted to 144Hz. You will only feel the difference in games, however, as the rest of the software still runs at 120Hz.
Asus equipped its petite flagship with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB storage. The microSD slot hasn’t made a comeback, but at least now there is an option for more storage (the Zenfone 9 topped out at 256GB).
A few other key differences include the ultra-wide and the selfie cameras losing the autofocus functions. They have new sensors too, 13MP for the UW and 32MP (up from 12MP) for the selfie module. The main module is mostly the same, except that the Gimbal stabilization has been updated to v2.0.
The Asus Zenfone 10 will start at €800 in Europe for the 8/128GB model, the 8/256GB and 16/256GB ones will be €850 and €930, respectively (no word on the 512GB option yet).
Check out our review for more details on the Zenfone 10.
Let’s compare it against some rivals. The Galaxy S23 is around 3mm wider than the Zenfone 10, but it is nearly 2mm thinner. Part of that is the smaller battery (3,900mAh) with comparable fast charging support (25W wired, 15W wireless). This one also has a 10MP 3x tele camera.
The 6.1” display runs at 120Hz, but again the 144Hz mode on the Zenfone is for games only. Also, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip is the overclocked version (both CPU and GPU), however, you just can’t get more than 8GB of RAM. You can have an 8/128GB S23 for around €700, depending on store discounts.
For a properly small phone, the Apple iPhone 13 mini is tangibly smaller than the Zenfone (15mm shorter, 4mm narrower and some 30g lighter). The 5.4” display has similar sharpness but only runs at 60Hz. The Apple A15 chipset is still quite fast, even if it’s not quite on the Snapdragon’s level. The iPhone 13 mini with 128GB storage can be found for under €700.
If compactness is a consideration, we should be including flip phones too. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 will be replaced at the end of August, but the old model is easily found under €700 for a 128GB model. This phone uses the older Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset and has a large 6.7” 120Hz AMOLED display inside. However, it folds down to 84.9 x 71.9 x 15.9-17.1mm. Like the Zenfone, it lacks a tele camera and the main module uses a relatively small 12MP sensor. At 3,700mAh the battery is even smaller than the S23, charging is the same (25W wired, 15W wireless).
The Motorola Razr 40 is supposed to be €800 in Europe, but it’s not available just yet. It uses the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset, which is no match for the 8 Gen 2, however the internal display is a 6.9” 144Hz LTPO panel that will give the Zenfone a run for its money. When folded, the Razr measures 88.2 x 74 x 15.8 mm. No tele camera here either, just a 64+13MP configuration with small sensors. The battery is nearly as big at 4,200mAh and supports 30W wired and 5W wireless charging.
Time to vote – do you see yourself buying an Asus Zenfone 10 as your next phone? Are you upgrading from an old Zenfone or not?