Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review

GSMArena team, 1 September 2020.

Android 10 with ZenUI 7

The Zenfone 7 runs Android 10 with ZenUI 7 on top. The software package is essentially a normalized version of what we saw on the ROG Phone 3 - minus the Republic of Gamers theme and the Air Triggers customization (for obvious lack of Air Triggers). In fact, you could get this same ZenUI AOSP-like look on the ROG Phone 3 as well.

Lockscreen - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Homescreen - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Folder view - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review App drawer - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Notification shade - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Task switcher - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review
Lockscreen • Homescreen • Folder view • App drawer • Notification shade • Task switcher

There is, however, an extensive list of added features behind this seemingly stock facade - all well-organized and bringing added value. The battery and display settings we already covered on the previous page, and the Advanced settings menu houses most of the other system-wide additional proprietary bits.

A new addition with the Zenfone 7 is the Smart Key - what we'd normally call the power button that houses the fingerprint reader as well. It has two possible actions - double press and press and hold. Either can be set to launch any app of your choosing or operate basically any function on the phone - toggle a setting, take a screenshot, launch the timer. You can set it to launch the camera, but (Pro Tip!) make sure it's selected from the Quick access menu and not the Open app menu, because the latter will require you to unlock the phone first negating any speed of access benefit.

The double press action can be set to open Google Assistant, while press and hold launches Assistant in listening mode.

The double press action can be disabled, but not the press and hold, while the press and hold can be set to act as a good old power button.

Advanced settings menu - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Smart key - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Smart key - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Smart key - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Smart key - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Smart key - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review
Advanced settings menu • Smart key

Mobile Manager is a tool for handling phone maintenance - non-battery-related things like memory and storage cleanup, permission and security as well as data caps and usage. Twin Apps lets you have a couple of instances of the same app with two different accounts logged in. Since it does require support from the app itself to work, you get a nifty list of apps you can download in alphabetical order. Safeguard offers SOS emergency contact options. And OptiFlex is a proprietary app launch optimizer that works in the usual way - caching certain resources, often times in RAM, so that they can remain easily accessible to the most used apps.

Mobile Manager - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Twin Apps - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Safeguard - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review OptiFlex - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review OptiFlex - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review OptiFlex - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review
Mobile Manager • Twin Apps • Safeguard • OptiFlex

Circling back to the Smart key and its other functionality - the built-in fingerprint reader. The setup process is straightforward - you tap until the phone builds a full picture of your fingertip. Unlocking with it is mostly trouble free if you're using the phone with the right hand. If you're left-handed for the purposes of your smartphone operation, unlocking with the left index finger could be more of a 50-50 experience due to the slightly pinched state the finger ends up in.

Face recognition is available too. While the 200,000 actuations that the flip mechanism is rated for is indeed plenty and the flip action is actually quicker than on the Zenfone 6, we still don't feel like using face recognition on the Zenfone 7.

Biometrics and security - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Biometrics and security - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Biometrics and security - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Biometrics and security - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Biometrics and security - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Biometrics and security - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review
Biometrics and security

As was the case on the ROG Phone 3, there are plenty of gestures on the Zenfone 7, including options for writing out virtual letters on the display and actions based on double-taps and motion.

There are in-depth controls dealing with both Screen recording and Screen capture in the advanced menu as well. Things like resolution, orientation, whether or not to record sound and touch inputs are all configurable. A small touch, but one that shows Asus is really keen on catering to their streamer and content-creator audience.

Gestures - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Gestures - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Screen recorder - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Screenshot - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review
Gestures • Gestures • Screen recorder • Screenshot

The Zenfone may lack the gaming-centric aesthetic of the ROG Phone 3, but has Game Genie on board just as well. It's an in-game overlay that gets automatically enabled for games but is supported for any other app, as per your desired settings. A swipe from the left side of the screen brings it up, and its main goal is to offer convenient access to gaming-relevant features.

Most of the options are easily self-explanatory, like the toggles to disable calls and notifications, lock the brightness or cycle between the current display refresh rate. In order to work properly, or at all, certain bits of Game Genie do need some extra setup. Most notably, the live streaming functions. Once set up you can use a single key to go live on YouTube and Twitch.

CPU and GPU load, temperature, battery level, and fps count are all available in the Game toolbar, which can be freely dragged and positioned over the game. There is even an experimental feature that tries its best to estimate how much game time you have based on your current load with the battery charge remaining in the phone.

Game Genie - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Game Genie - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Game Genie - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Game Genie - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Game Genie - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review Game Genie - Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review
Game Genie

Synthetic benchmarks

The Zenfone 7 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 865+, the tweaked version of Qualcomm's top-tier chipset with overclocked CPU and GPU. It's the same chip you can find in Asus' own ROG Phone 3 and the Galaxy Note20s in some parts of the world.

The otherwise identical 1+3+4 CPU core configuration in the S865+ has the prime core ticking at up to 3.1GHz (as opposed to 2.96GHz on the S865) while the GPU's clock rate is upped to 645MHz (otherwise 587MHz). The Zenfone 7 non-Pro, meanwhile, has that regular Snapdragon 865 inside.

The Pro is available in a single configuration with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The vanilla model has 6GB and 8GB options, both with 128GB of storage. The storage is the fast UFS 3.1 in all versions.

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review

The Zenfone 7 Pro defaults to a High Performance mode when it detects a benchmark, but since it's quick to inform you of that plus it's a mode you can select yourself in the battery settings, we wouldn't consider it benchmark cheating. It results in more liberal thermal management and lets the hardware run at its limits for longer.

In the CPU-centric GeekBench, our Zenfone 7 Pro even inched ahead of the ROG Phone 3 in the single-core test - an insignificant advantage, but enough for bragging rights. The two S865+ phones we've tested do have a minor lead in front of the S865s of this world here.

GeekBench 5.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    973
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    975
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    928
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    927
  • OnePlus 8
    919
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    916
  • Realme X50 Pro
    911
  • Motorola Edge+
    910
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    902
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    897
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    895
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    886
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    780

In the multi-core test, the 'plus' in the Snapdragon's name changes little, and there are fairly minimal differences between all S865 and S865+ handsets.

GeekBench 5.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    3402
  • OnePlus 8
    3399
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    3386
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    3374
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    3357
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    3332
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    3322
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    3318
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    3302
  • Motorola Edge+
    3295
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    3197
  • Realme X50 Pro
    3175
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    2703

Over in Antutu, it's another narrow victory for the Zenfone over the ROG Phone 3. Again, the two are a notch above the S865 crowd with a wild overachieving Realme X50 Pro being the outlier among them.

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    602934
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    601858
  • Realme X50 Pro
    592447
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    578056
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    575601
  • Motorola Edge+
    574155
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    573276
  • OnePlus 8
    564708
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    557210
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    538221
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    534701
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    500114
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    496356

Moving on to graphics benchmarks, the Zenfone 7 Pro continues to excel. It consistently ranks towards the top of our charts in GFXBench and posts particularly strong results in 3DMark.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Edge+
    128
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    128
  • OnePlus 8
    127
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    127
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    126
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    124
  • Realme X50 Pro
    123
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    123
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    123
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    122
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    120
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    119
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    118

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    111
  • Motorola Edge+
    89
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    89
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    88
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    84
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    62
  • Realme X50 Pro
    60
  • OnePlus 8
    60
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    60
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    60
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    60
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    59
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    58

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    92
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    90
  • Motorola Edge+
    89
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    89
  • OnePlus 8
    88
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    87
  • Realme X50 Pro
    86
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    86
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    86
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    85
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    84
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    84
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    75

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Edge+
    83
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    82
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    78
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    75
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    73
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    61
  • Realme X50 Pro
    60
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    59
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    59
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    59
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    52
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    43

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    56
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    54
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    54
  • OnePlus 8
    52
  • Motorola Edge+
    52
  • Realme X50 Pro
    51
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    51
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    51
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    51
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    51
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    50
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    50
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    44

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Edge+
    48
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    48
  • OnePlus 8
    46
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    46
  • Realme X50 Pro
    45
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    42
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    42
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    42
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    40
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    39
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    31
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    24

Aztek Vulkan High (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Edge+
    32
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    31
  • Realme X50 Pro
    30
  • OnePlus 8
    30
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    29
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    28
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    28
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    27
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    26
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    20
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    17

Aztek OpenGL ES 3.1 High (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Motorola Edge+
    33
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    32
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    32
  • Realme X50 Pro
    31
  • OnePlus 8
    31
  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    31
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    29
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    29
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    28
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    27
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    17

3DMark SSE OpenGL ES 3.1 1440p

Higher is better

  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    7687
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 (144Hz)
    7645
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    7545
  • Motorola Edge+
    7409
  • OnePlus 8
    7290
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    7261
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    7223
  • Realme X50 Pro
    7221
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    7138
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    7132
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    7127
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    6819
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    6062

3DMark SSE Vulkan 1440p

Higher is better

  • Asus Zenfone 7 Pro
    7002
  • OnePlus 8
    6720
  • nubia Red Magic 5S
    6678
  • vivo iQOO 3 5G
    6675
  • Motorola Edge+
    6666
  • Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
    6660
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 5G
    6490
  • Realme X50 Pro
    6472
  • OnePlus 8 Pro (120Hz, 1440p)
    6425
  • Galaxy S20+ (120Hz, 1080p)
    6354
  • Sony Xperia 1 II
    6167
  • Huawei P40 Pro
    5637

With the High performance mode's entire premise for continued high output, the Zenfone 7 Pro does get quite hot after prolonged high load. So much so that after 7 or 8 Antutu runs, it becomes uncomfortable to hold. We didn't experience such discomfort while gaming, however, so real-world use even in High performance mode is a non-issue.

Reader comments

  • Edi

What will be a better choice, this Asus or samsung S20 FE 5G

  • Lakygabi

Have zenfone 7pro DLNA function? I don't find in specs...

  • Anonymous

Zenfone 7 with Telephoto but not OIS, or 1+ 8T with OIS and no telephoto ?