Asus Zenfone 8 review

GSMArena Team, 12 May 2021.

Design, build, handling

One look at the Asus Zenfone 8 and you'll know if this is the size you've been longing for. It's a compact and easily likable phone with a no-nonsense design and premium build quality.

The Zenfone 8 is also IP68-certified for dust and water resistance, making it the first-ever Asus smartphone with proper ingress protection.

The Zenfone 8 adopts the usual flagship build with two glass panes and an aluminum frame in-between. The front piece is flat and made of the most recent Gorilla Glass Victus known for its nice balance of shatter proofing and scratch-resistance. The rear panel is a slightly curved Gorilla Glass 3 with a matte finish - this version was chosen for its superior scratch resistance.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

The frame isn't as thin as on most recent flagships - the Zenfone 8 is about 9mm thick, but it's still quite lightweight at 165 grams. Even if the frame is curved, its matte finish makes it grippy, while the matching colors and curves to the rear panel make for one very organic design.

Now, let's take a closer look at the sides of the Asus Zenfone 8, starting with the front, of course. The 5.9" Samsung-made OLED has reasonably thin bezels even if the chin is a bit thicker than what we'd expect from a flagship. It is a compact phone, on the other hand, so we can only imagine the Tetris tracking Asus had to pull off to fit everything inside.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

The screen has one small punch-hole around the top left corner - it's where the 12MP selfie camera lies. And what you cannot see with the naked eye, but it's still there - is the under-display fingerprint scanner. It's the usual optical type and works flawlessly as long as the screen is clean.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

Finally, above the screen, you can spot the thin grille, which covers the top stereo speaker that also doubles as an earpiece. Even if the setup may seem like a hybrid one, Asus has actually used a set of top-quality stereo speakers, but we'll talk about these in their respective section.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

The back of the Zenfone 8 is as clean as it can get. The rear glass is slightly curved towards the longer edges of the frame, and even if it's matte, it is rather slippery. But as we mentioned before, the grippy frame does provide for secure enough grip.

The dual-camera setup is jutting out of the back, surrounded by a metal ring. It is also covered with a Gorilla Glass 3 piece, in case you were wondering. The arrangement is relatively simple - the 64MP primary shooter is atop, while below is the 12MP ultrawide camera. Around are also a single LED flash and one of the three mics.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

There is a ton of interesting stuff on the frame, so let's talk about the sides. The top is where you'd find the 3.5mm audio jack and another one of the mics. The bottom houses the second stereo speaker, the notification LED light (how about that?!), the USB-C port, the mouthpiece, and the ejectable hybrid Dual-SIM tray.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

There are a lot of holes here, so you should be careful with the SIM ejector - there is a fat chance you push that in the wrong place.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

There is nothing on the left, while the volume and power keys are on the right. Notice the cool cyan-painted power switch? Asus has used this paint accent because this key can be assigned different purposes for its double press and long press actions - hence becoming a multi-purpose button. Asus is offering a ton of options you can configure here, and it is indeed quite useful.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

The Zenfone 8 measures 148x68.5x8.9mm, which is about the same as the iPhone 12 but a hair thicker, or 16mm taller than the iPhone 12 mini. It is also about 3mm shorter and narrower than the Galaxy S21, which makes it the most compact Android flagship of the current generation.

Asus Zenfone 8 reviewZenfone 8 surrounded by iPhone 12 and 12 mini

The Asus Zenfone weighs 169 grams - about the same as the iPhone 12 and the Galaxy S21.

Handling the Zenfone 8 is a wonderful experience - the phone doesn't feel thick or heavy at all - it feels solid and grippy, and we felt it safe even when handled case-free. The Zenfone 8 is ideal for one-handed usage, and even if something is out of reach, the one-handed mode that brings down the whole UI will be of invaluable help.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

Indeed, you can tell we are fans of the Zenfone 8 size, weight and handling experience, and we are delighted that all this beauty is protected against water. Overall, we couldn't hope for a better design and build, really.

Reader comments

  • Owlenchantress
  • 14 Dec 2022
  • rRU

Worst phone ever. Screen lighting is awful and auto adjust never works. WiFi is glitchy and often does not load basic stuff. Cameras are horrible. These reviews are new outta box, they don't reflect actual use. 1 year on the 8 and had to...

  • Flanker
  • 03 Oct 2022
  • 3Yv

This zenfone may be a good hardw