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Meet ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip - Great PH comeback?

OPPO
Infinix
We take a look at the ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip and share our experience with the device after a month of use.
Meet ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip - Great PH comeback?
ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip

Announced back in May 2021, the new ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip launched alongside the Zenfone 8. It features a massive 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, 200Hz touch sampling rate, 1ms response time, HDR10+, and 2400 x 1080 resolution. Inside is the 5nm Snapdragon 888 octa-core processor, Adreno 660 GPU, 8GB LPDDR5 RAM, 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1, 5,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0 and PD charging 30W.

What makes the ZenFon8 Flip unique is the flipping rear camera made up of a 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, 8MP 3x telephoto camera, and dual-LED flash.

It is priced at only PHP 39,995.

How does it perform? Let's dive in.

Meet ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip!

Front
Front

The smartphone arrives in a grey box with a large "8" and ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip branding. At the back of the box is the regulatory information and specs.

Inside the box are the phone itself, bumper case, SIM ejector tool, wall charger, USB Type-C to Type-C cable, and documentation. There are no included earphones in the box.
Rear panel
Rear panel

The Zenfone 8 Flip measures 148 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm and weighs 169 grams. The front and back are made of glass while in between is a metal frame. It was not mentioned wether the back panel is Gorilla Glass Protected. The phone is wide but the curving back makes the phone easier to hold. On the other hand, the Zenfone 8 Flip is incredibly solid with a noticeable heft.
Top and bottom
Top and bottom

On top are the antenna lines, microphone port, and the flipping camera mechanism while at the bottom are the antenna lines, LED notification light, USB-Type-C, microphone port, and speaker grill.
Left and right
Left and right

On the left is the SIM tray that houses up to two nano-SIMs and one microSD card while on the right side is the teal-colored power button and the volume rocker.
Bright screen!
Bright screen!

In front is the aforementioned 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, 200Hz touch sampling rate, 1ms response time, HDR10+, Gorilla Glass 6 protection, and 2400 x 1080 resolution.

It produces a bright and sharp image with vibrant color and good contrast.

The display is immersive with slim bezels. Though the chin bezel is slightly thicker than the top and side bezels.
Rear camera flip mechanism
Rear camera flip mechanism

At the back is the flipping mechanism that houses the 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with 4cm macro, and 8MP 3x telephoto camera with dual-LED flash. It flips to become the selfie camera as well.

The camera app has several modes that include Photo, Video, Pano, Portrait, Timelapse, Slo-Mo, Document, Pro, Night, Pro Video, and Motion Tracking.

The Pro Mode allows for control of AF, Shutter Speed (1/10,000 to 32 seconds), ISO (25 to 3200), EV (+- 10), and White Balance.

The app also allows the user to granularly control the angle of the flipping mechanism.

Rear Camera Samples

Rear main camera daylight
Rear main camera daylight
Rear 3x telephoto camera daylight
Rear 3x telephoto camera daylight
Rear camera ultra-wide camera

In daylight, the main camera was able to produce surprisingly sharp and detailed images with decent blue tones. It struggles with the reproduction of the greens on the trees and the yellow on the "Edsa Shangrila" gold. 
Main camera close-up
Main camera close-up

Surprisingly, the main 64MP is able to take images at a decent distance from the subject with a pleasing bokeh or out-of-focus blur. Surprisingly, the Zenfone 8 Flip was able to reproduce the colors of the sushi very well compared to the daylight images above.
Main camera indoors
Main camera indoors
3x Telephoto camera indoors
3x telephoto camera indoors
Ultra-wide camera indoors
Ultra-wide camera indoors

Indoors, the images turned out sharp and detailed with decent color. However, we noticed a rise in the amount of grain across the telephoto and ultra-wide camera. Only the main camera maintained a low noise image.
Selfie camera
The rear camera flips to become the selfie camera

As mentioned above, the rear camera flips to become the selfie camera.

Selfie Camera Samples

Main camera daylight camera
Main camera daylight camera
Portrait Mode
Portrait Mode
Ultra-wide camera
Ultra-wide camera
3x telephoto
3x telephoto
Main camera selfie indoor
Main camera selfie indoor
Ultra-wide camera indoor selfie
Ultra-wide camera indoor selfie
Portrait mode camera
Portrait mode camera

Because the rear and selfie cameras are the same, the results are the same. The selfies produced are sharp and detailed with decent color reproduction. It did struggle with Neil's skin tones in the day images while Neil's skin tone in the indoor shots is accurate.

The Portrait mode has a decent artificial bokeh and was able to detect the edges well. It only struggled with individual hair strands. 

Like the rear camera images, the ultra-wide and telephoto cameras produced images with noticeably more grain indoors than the main camera.

Performance

AnTuTu and GeekBench results
AnTuTu and GeekBench results

The 5nm Snapdragon 888 octa-core processor with Adreno 660 GPU, LPDDR5 RAM, UFS 3.1 was tablet to score a record-breaking 798,867 in AnTuTu which is better than 92 percent of other smartphones on the market. While in GeekBench, the phone scored 1110 in single-core and 3667 in multi-core tests.
3DMark Wild Life, storage speed
3DMark Wild Life, storage speed

While in 3DMark Wild Life, the Zenfone 8 Flip got an average score of 1,590 and an average fps of 9.2. 

To a massive surprise, the Zenfone 8 Flip's internal storage and the processor were able to reach 542.82 MB/s in sequential write speeds and an eye-popping 1.1GB/s in sequential read speeds.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty: Mobile
Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact

In our short time with the phone, the Zenfone 8 was able to push the graphics settings of Call of Duty Mobile and Genshin Impact to what you would expect from a flagship in 2021.

Powerful performance as expected!

It was able to unlock the Max frame rate setting in Call of Duty. It is also able to reach medium graphics settings in Genshin Impact. We have yet to see a smartphone reach higher graphics settings.

When under load from synthetic benchmarks or playing games, the Zenfone 8 Flip becomes uncomfortably hot after an extended session. You can feel the heat on the frame of the phone when it gets really hot.
Battery benchmark
Battery benchmark

The internal 5,000mAh battery was able to endure 8 hours and 58 minutes in the usual PCMark battery benchmark. This is not a good representation of the phone's actual endurance. In our real-world use where we used the phone as our daily diver with constant LTE and WiFi connection, it was able to last through the day. We would unplug the phone from the charger at 8AM and when we get home at 8PM, we would have around 15 to 20 percent battery left.

The included Quick Charger 3.0 was able to charge the phone's battery in around 60 minutes.
ZenUI
ZenUI

Running the show is Android 11 with the ZenUI 8 on top. It is relatively light skin with a lot of stock Android inspired look and features.
5G settings and speedtest
5G settings and speedtest

Because it has the Snapdragon 888, it is fully 5G capable. In our area, we were able to avail of the 5G service. 5G Speeds are highly dependent on the service provider.

We never experienced any problem with our connections with WiFi, LTE, 5G, and Bluetooth 5.1. Other features include OTG, an in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock. To use the Face Unlock, the phone's camera has to flip every time.

ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip Specs

Display: 6.67-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 6 protected Super AMOLED screen w/ 90Hz refresh rate, 200Hz touch sampling rate, 1ms response time, HDR10+, FHD+ 2400 x 1080 FHD+ resolution at 395 ppi
CPU: 2.84GHz 5nm Snapdragon 888 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 660
RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
ROM: 128GB UFS 3.1/256GB UFS 3.1 expandable via microSD slot up to 2TB
Back Camera: 64MP f/1.8 Sony IMX686 w/ PDAF + 12MP f/2.2 Sony IMX683 w/ Dual PD autofocus, 4cm macro + 8MP 3x optical zoom + dual LED flash
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ Quick Charge 4.0 and PD Charging (30W)
OS: Android 11 w/ ZenUI 8
Connectivity: WiFi 6E, 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.2, OTG, NFC, GPS (L1+L5) GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS, NavIC, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, stereo speakers, Qualcomm Aqstic WCD9385, Hi-Res Audio, cooling system, USB-C, Colors: Galactic Black, Glacier Silver
Dimensions: 148.68.5 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 169 g
Price: PHP 39,995

Quick thoughts

Zenfone 8 Flip's slim bezels
Zenfone 8 Flip's slim bezels

In the Philippines, the Zenfone 8 Flip is priced at PHP 39,995 and is one of the more affordable smartphones with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC.

After using the phone for several weeks, we like the build, design, display, battery and performance of the phone.

Our only concern is that the camera struggles with color accuracy and with low light and that the phone heats up uncomfortably under heavy load.

Otherwise, the unique flipping design, solid and hefty build, 90Hz display, decent battery life and record-breaking performance are all great reasons why the Zenfone 8 Flip is a good option for anyone who wants flagship performance at a more affordable price.

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