Oh, it has a headphone jack! Who knew that people are still into them?
Announced in the middle of June, ASUS has been listening carefully to customer feedback to create what’s essentially a reboot of the Zenfone 9. It retained some of its popular features such as its compact size and a headphone jack with Hi-Res Audio. ASUS themselves said a large majority still want the ol’ reliable jacks back into their phone.
Another thing that ASUS boldly claimed is that users still are fond of the slower overnight charging, like those seen on many Samsung phones which are stuck at 25W. This overnight charging may be safer for the phone and healthier for the battery because it reduces the charge cycles needed to refill them.
The Zenfone 9 lacked wireless charging which was one of the main complaints of users. ASUS listened well and added this to the next phone in the line, the Zenfone 10.
The phone ships in a box printed using Soy Ink and use environmentally-friendly materials. The design remained similar to the Zenfone 9 coming with pastel-like colours. Two colours are added: Eclipse Red and the highlighted Aurora Green. Three other colours — Midnight Black, Comet White, and Starry Blue, all originated from its predecessor.
The phone still uses the same type of display, a 5.9″ FullHD+ OLED screen with its refresh rate bumped to 144Hz. This refresh rate can only be used while playing games and when using Game Genie, not to be confused with the cheat device used on the NES. With all other activities, you’re stuck with a 120Hz refresh rate. This screen is also protected via a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
Inside is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. It comes in 8/128, 8/256, 16/256, and 16/512 configurations and is available for European and North American users.
The battery capacity, locked to 4300mAh, remained unchanged but thanks to the chipset, the phone’s efficiency increased. It is charged via a 30W USB-C port which is still 5W faster than the Galaxy S23 series. There is Qi Wireless charging capped at 15W.
Again, due to its size, only two cameras are available, three if you count the 32MP selfie camera. The primary 50MP Sony IMX766 shooter has a 6-axis Gimbal stabilization which improves upon OIS by ensuring that videos remain steady no matter what orientation you rotate the phone in. The other camera is a 13MP Ultrawide. Both the Ultrawide and Selfie camera lost their autofocus feature but this was offset, according to ASUS, by improving their night mode capabilities greatly.
The 50MP sensor can also shoot up to 8K@24fps and 4K@30 or 60fps.
The gimbal is what makes its Light Trail mode possible. The front camera is an RGBW sensor which improves colour reproduction upon taking a shot.
Among other things, it has Hi-Res Audio, Stereo Speakers, IP68 resistance (and the ROG Phones only get IP54, confusingly), 5G services, and a modified version of Android 13 running out of the box. The phone also has Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity and an in-display fingerprint sensor which we’re a bit surprised they manage to fit in a 5.9″ cramped space.
It is available in select retail partners in Europe and North America starting at EUR 799 (~PHP 48.2K) for the 8/128 configuration and EUR 929 (~PHP 56K) for the 16/256 one. A 16/512 is planned but its price is yet to be revealed.
Hold on to your ROG Phones because this one is yet to make an official landing in the Philippines.