(Pocket-lint) – Asus has announced its latest flagship smartphone and its surprisingly small. Instead of piling the top specs into the largest phone it could find, it’s launching a compact flagship, looking to appeal to those who don’t want a huge phone.
It enters a market when the majority of small phones are low spec, with only really the Sony Xperia 5 sitting in this space.
The Asus Zenfone 8 doesn’t want to skimp on flagshiyp specs, however, offering all the power you’ll find in other top phones. That’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G sitting inside it, options for RAM up to 16GB and storage up to 256GB.
There’s a 5.9-inch display, with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution – 446ppi – which offers adaptive refresh up to 120Hz.
There are dual speakers, with the ear speaker firing forward and the base speaker firing downwards, each with a Cirrus Logic amp and optimisation from Dirac. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone socket too.
The battery is a 4000mAh cell, which sounds pretty large considering this phone’s compact form, while there’s 30W charging – and a 30W HyperCharge adapter in the box.
There’s a punch hole in the display for the front facing 12-megapixel Sony IMX663 camera, while the rear of the phone gets two cameras – a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 main camera with OIS and a 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 ultra-wide.
The ultra-wide can double as a macro camera thanks to its close focusing range, but there’s no optical zoom, with Asus instead suggesting you use digital zoom with sensor cropping to get closer to the action.
There’s IP69 water protection and a nice solid build, with frosted rear Gorilla Glass Victus – which also protects the front of the phone.
The design is unlikely to scream “look at me”, but the size and power will make this phone appeal to those who don’t want to sacrifice for going smaller.
The other advantage it has is offering a cheaper price point, starting from £599/€599, a healthy slice cheaper than Sony’s compact phone. There’s also going to be early bird pricing of £539 for those buying before the 31 May.
Writing by Chris Hall.