Last year the Zenfone 6 had been one of our nicest surprises. Used to increasing the number of references, Asus decided to start on a sound basis with a single device with good value for money and a design without any equivalent on the market. It must be said that the smartphone’s dual rear camera module, able to turn around on command for your selfies, had something unique. Only Samsung has followed since with its A80, without really convincing anyone.
With its Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro, announced today without price and without a release date, Asus is renewing the experience. These devices, always closer to competing high-end smartphones, once again seduce by their improbable design.
A triple gymnast camera module
The main advantage of the Zenfone 7 is its fully edge-to-edge screen. With a diagonal of 6.67 inches, it is not altered by a notch or a punch, which is really nice. Waiting for the emergence cameras under the screen in 2021, this type of design is really the most beautiful despite some inevitable consequences on the measurements, such as the weight of the device, of 230 grams, which makes it one of the least light devices on the market .
Unlike last year, when Asus had bet on an LCD screen with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, the Taiwanese brand is this time betting on the high-end. The Zenfone 7 uses a Samsung OLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate which, we imagine, should have a small impact on the price.
The full edge to edge is obviously made possible thanks to the “flip camera” of Asus. Located in a motorized unit, the triple camera of the Zenfone 7 (main sensor of 64 Mpix, ultra wide-angle attached to a 12 Mpix sensor and telephoto lens with x3 zoom attached to a 12 Mpix sensor) can be turned over on request. New to this generation, the user can configure three pre-defined positions to, for example, tilt the camera 45 degrees in a gesture (which allows him to take photos by placing his smartphone on the edge of the table for example). The camera’s motor is 2.2 times faster and can move only 0.5 degrees. Asus says it has tested it 200,000 times, double the previous generation.
Always a giant battery
The Zenfone 7 mechanism is not the only element at the origin of its weight. It is a 5000 mAh battery that we find in this Asus smartphone, which should guarantee it an autonomy as satisfactory as with its predecessor. The brand is also relying on Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 4 rapid recharge which, thanks to a 30W charger, recovers 100% of the battery in 1h33. A good result given the size of the battery, without nevertheless constituting an achievement worthy of an Oppo smartphone. Wireless charging is unfortunately not there.
Optimization of recharging, with in particular an interruption programmed at 80% to preserve battery life, is also present. We will talk about this again in our full test of the device.
On the performance side, the Zenfone 7 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor while the Zenfone 7 Pro is based on the overpowering Snapdragon 865+. Both smartphones are 5G compatible. There are other differences on the storage side with 128 GB on the first model and 256 GB on the Pro version. The cameras are also stabilized only on the Pro model, which will be the most expensive.
Small detail that will anger some users, Asus abandons the jack that had made the happiness of audiophiles with the Zenfone 6, to gain space. The waterproofness is still not there, because of the mechanism of the camera module.
In the next few days, we should be able to tell you more about the Zenfone 7 family, starting with their price which we hope is in line with that of the Zenfone 6 (from 499 euros, but it was not 5G). In particular, we will have the opportunity to come back in more detail on the ZenUI overlay and on some good ideas from Asus, such as its side button / fingerprint sensor capable of being programmed to, for example, launch applications. Our first impressions on the smartphone are nevertheless very good, Asus deserves better notoriety in the field of smartphones.