Weekly poll: is the Asus Zenfone 9 the perfect phone for you?

31 July 2022
Small but powerful, with few compromises (though some might prove to be deal breakers). Is this the best small Android flagship?

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  • ?
  • Anonymous
  • UG4
  • 01 Aug 2022

The Flip, 01 Aug 2022iPhone 13 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.7 mm | 240 g Pixel 2 X... moreJust get a power bank.. who the hell carry 2 phones LOL.

    • ?
    • Anonymous
    • Jvg
    • 01 Aug 2022

    The Flip, 31 Jul 2022I miss when smartphones were this small... 2007-2011 i... moreReceiving this must have been great, it sure made the Android fans who received it very happy. Android's mascot is called Bugdroid.

    I didn't know about the Nexus One launch or the Android launch or the first iPhone because I became a fan of phones until 2012-13. My only obsession was video games and they still are. In 2013 the legendary video game Grand Theft Auto V was launched. The 3 protagonists of the game had smartphones that were a parody of the smartphones and operating systems of the time.

    Michael had a parody of an Apple iPhone running iOS. Franklin had a parody of a Samsung Galaxy running Android. Trevor had a parody of a Windows Phone Nokia Lumia. That immediately struck me because the phones look so different when you switch characters. Throughout the game the use of the smartphone is essential. This is how my fanaticism for smartphones began.

      iPhone 13 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.7 mm | 240 g
      Pixel 2 XL: 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm | 175 g
      Xperia 5 III: 157 x 68 x 8.2 mm | 168 g

      Galaxy S5: 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm | 145 g
      Nokia 8 Sirocco: 140.9 x 73 x 7.5 mm | 177 g

      Xperia ZL: 131.6 x 69.3 x 9.8 mm | 151 g
      Xperia ZR: 131.3 x 67.3 x 10.5 mm | 138 g

      Xperia Z3 Compact: 127.3 x 64.9 x 8.6 mm | 129 g
      Xperia acro S: 126 x 66 x 11.9 mm | 147 g

      Xperia Play: 119 x 62 x 16 mm | 176 g
      Bold 9000: 114 x 66 x 14 mm | 133 g

      Carrying two first generation iPhone SE is still lighter than carrying one 13 Pro Max. That's 226 g vs. 240 g. True, battery life is incredible on the 13 Pro Max while the SE lasts 3-hour SOT if you're lucky. But once you need to charge the 13 Pro Max up, you can't use it. Carrying two smaller phones is my preferred solution for that. Two SEs lasts maybe half of the 13 Pro Max.

      I always wanted the Sony Xperia ZR from 2013. It's the only phone I know next to the Samsung Galaxy S5 that was water-resistant but still had a removable battery. I love the notification lights at the bottom. Felt way better than the original Xperia Z. I thought the original BlackBerry Bold 9000 also felt great in the hand. Just too thick at 14 mm. The Bold 9900 corrected that 3 years later shaving the thickness by 3.5 mm.

      I could easily buy these old phones off eBay but why bother? They're just way too old to use. And many pre-2013 phones only had 3G. I considered many times getting a panda Pixel 2 XL. But look at that width. That's wider than my Flip 3 and Razr 5G but at least I can fold them closed. I can't do that for a phone like the Xperia 5 III. It is narrow but it's going to stick out of my shallow pockets.

      If my Flip and Razr couldn't fold, I'd hate using them knowing how tall they both are. I can live with their thickness when closed but not their height when open. From 2007-2011 is when phones were fun because they could actually fit in one-hand the best. And they were more limited which meant less wasted time on social media or arguing with strangers in comment sections like this one.

        • G
        • Gandalfdenvite
        • 38F
        • 01 Aug 2022

        4,300mAh is not a "large" battery!

          • ?
          • Anonymous
          • Jvg
          • 01 Aug 2022

          The Flip, 31 Jul 2022I miss when smartphones were this small... 2007-2011 i... moreYou forgot about a great little phone from that era, the Galaxy S III. The dimensions were 5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34". The screen was 4.8" and it weighed 133g.

          Pixel 4a 4G
          Dimensions: 5.67 x 2.73 x 0.32"
          Weight: 143g
          Screen size: 5.81"

          My Pixel 4a 4G in Just Black is my favorite little Pixel. The Snapdragon 730G is capable of running my favorite video games on emulators. Not all of us turn our phone into some kind of retro video game console. The battery is fine. You have an obsession with taking care of your phone's battery. In a post, you said that you never charge your phone to 100% and that you constantly monitor the speed at which it downloads.

          I personally don't do any of that. I plug my phone in when it's at 5% and then unplug it until it says "Full Charge". I find it annoying to have the battery percentage visible.

          I like small phones, but the iPhone SE is too small and iOS isn't my favorite anyway. My Huawei running Android 2.3 Gingerbread was always great and I loved its small size. Phones have already been perfected. For a user like me, a Galaxy S22 5G or a Pixel 6a is more than enough. Dimensions and weight are correct.

          I think I wouldn't mind using a big phone as long as it's light. Take a look at the Galaxy S10 Lite, the screen measures 6.7" and weighs only 186g.

            • ?
            • Anonymous
            • j}r
            • 01 Aug 2022

            The extra thickness versus the S22 is almost entirely from the camera bump, FYI:


              The Flip, 31 Jul 2022I miss when smartphones were this small... 2007-2011 i... morei have the nokia n9 lying around but i cant buy and find the spare battery. im not quite sure if its still on. the original battery drains fast. and i am only using it for voice recording

                its perfect for me but too expensive. but usually phones nowadays are large and still uses 720p and 1080p screen. small phones like this size usually have crappy mediatek p/a22 or crappy unisoc tiger chipset that runs like snap 400. (if somebody says unisoc is comparable to snap 662 please shut up) but should i invest on iphone 13 mini or zenfone 9? they are almost the same price. but 13 mini is .5 inch smaller.

                  I miss when smartphones were this small...

                  iPhone 2G: 115 x 61 x 11.6 mm | 135 g
                  iPhone 4: 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm | 137 g
                  Nexus One: 119 x 59.8 x 11.5 mm | 130 g
                  Nokia N8: 113.5 x 59.1 x 12.9 mm | 135 g
                  Nokia N9: 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm | 135 g

                  When you bought a new Nexus One, it came with this small black pouch with Andy the Android peeping out. My iPhone 2G was a perfect fit for it being it was shorter by 4 mm. It stretched it a little being a tad wider. I owned two of those pouches as I bought two Nexus Ones in Oct 2011 but sold one while keeping the pouch case.

                  Til this day, I consider the Nexus One, Bold 9900, and iPhone SE1 as the three best-feeling phones I've ever owned. I can't say the original iPhone because that thing was slippery. I dropped it on concrete many times and I'm usually careful with my gadgets. I'll take the Bold 9900 off the case just to feel how nice it is in the hand.

                  When I upgraded to the HTC One M7 in 2013 coming from an iPhone 4 and Nexus One, it took quite a while to get used to. A 18-22 mm jump in height. It was awkward to use one-handed for at least a year for me. The edges weren't as forgiving as the M8's. But the M8's was way too tall that when you go back to the M7, it starts to feel perfectly right. I consider the M7 the better-looking of the two but the M8 had lesser problems.

                  We'll be stuck with bigger phones forever. If you want a flagship, expect at least 155+ mm in height. Expect closer to 200 g or over that if you want great battery. When Xperia Z1 through Z3 Compacts came out, they only needed to power 720p with a sub-5" display. Now smaller phones suffer with battery life because they're powering so much more resolution, higher refresh rate, 5G, and bigger displays.

                    • ?
                    • Anonymous
                    • Jvg
                    • 31 Jul 2022

                    The Flip, 31 Jul 2022I'm not an Asus fan as I only had bad experiences with... moreObviously you're not the biggest fan of Google, Android or the #TeamPixel
                    You became the biggest fan of Samsung Galaxy and OneUI. OneUI already has bloatware, if your phone is not 'Unlocked by Samsung' it should have 95% bloatware and 5% OneUI 🤣
                    I remember you once said that OneUI was way ahead of Android Pixel, personally I don't think so, but there's no denying that it's great.

                      • ?
                      • Anonymous
                      • pEd
                      • 31 Jul 2022

                      observer, 31 Jul 2022Yeah, the combination of price and 2 years of OS updates do... moreLook what inflation will do to phone pricing in 2023.. The Euro has not been as weak as now since 2002.

                        • ?
                        • Anonymous
                        • pEd
                        • 31 Jul 2022

                        Admin Specialist , 31 Jul 2022Too expensive For that price needs wireless charging. ... moreIs not longer battery life than S22 better than wireless charging?

                          • ?
                          • Anonymous
                          • pEd
                          • 31 Jul 2022

                          The Flip, 31 Jul 2022Who knew that a smartphone that is 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm and 1... moreThe width of the phone is key.

                            Who knew that a smartphone that is 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm and 167g would be considered small these days?

                            HTC One M8: 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm | 160 g
                            Zenfone 9: 146 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm | 167 g
                            Pixel 4: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2 mm | 162 g
                            Pixel 3: 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9 mm | 148 g
                            Pixel 2: 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm | 143 g
                            Pixel: 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5 mm | 143 g

                            Galaxy S7: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm | 152 g
                            Galaxy S10e: 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm | 150 g
                            Essential PH-1: 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8 mm | 185 g

                            iPhone 7: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm | 138 g
                            Nexus 5: 137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6 mm | 130 g
                            HTC One M7: 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm | 143 g

                            Nexus 4: 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm | 139 g
                            iPhone 13 mini: 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.7 mm | 141 g
                            iPhone 12 mini: 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm | 135 g

                            Xperia XZ1 Compact: 129 x 65 x 9.3 mm | 140 g
                            iPhone SE (2016): 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm 113 g

                            iPhone 4S: 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm | 140 g
                            Bold 9900: 115 x 66 x 10.5 mm | 130 g

                            When closed
                            Razr 5G: 91.7 x 72.6 x 16 mm | 192 g
                            Galaxy Z Flip 3: 86.4 x 72.2 x 15.9-17.1 mm | 183 g

                            I prefer being stuck in the past then. The iPhone SE 2016 is still one of the best small phones of all-time. If battery life wasn't so bad, I would use it as my daily. But each time I put my sim in it, I put it back in my Razr 5G only 3-4 days later. Hard to beat an iPhone that weighs only 113 g with battery-saving headphone jack.

                            When I owned the iPhone 7 and iPhone 12 mini briefly last year, I think the 7 was easier to handle one-handed thanks to the large top and bottom bezels. Easier to reach each corner of the display. The sides were also rounder and the metal back felt better in the hand. I really never been a fan of glass backs although the iPhone 4 and 4S are still beauties to look at.

                            I also can't stand Face ID. Lots of inputting your passcode because it can't see your face in the dark. Face ID registers about 50% while Touch ID is closer to 95%. I will always favor fingerprint scanners over face ones. Hence, why I passed on the Pixel 4. If I ever get another iPhone, it will be the 2022 model. I want home button and Touch ID. I don't care if the design is old.

                            Most of those phones I listed, I owned them or still own them. Small to me is iPhone SE (2016). It's small and light. I'm not changing my definition for small phones just because phones are turning into mini tablets. Thinking of doing these two duos: Razr 5G + iPhone SE, Flip 3 + Pixel 3. I had the two flip phones together mostly but they're quite heavy together. Rocking two smaller phones doubles your battery life.

                              My perfect phone must have an S Pen. Or an instrument of equal capability.

                                • A
                                • Admin Specialist
                                • rRy
                                • 31 Jul 2022

                                Too expensive

                                For that price needs wireless charging.

                                And builtin wifi calling using any service.

                                  • ?
                                  • Anonymous
                                  • mNI
                                  • 31 Jul 2022

                                  Anders, 31 Jul 2022Too small Only 1080p display Only 16 million colour displ... moreIn the world of giant phones it's good to have an option. It's the only flagship below 6" released this year. If you want bigger, you have plenty to choose from.
                                  1080p with this screen size is perfectly fine. 6.7" FHD shouldn't be acceptable though.
                                  16 million colors display is fine as long as it's bright enough.
                                  Lack of storage expansion is a bummer, unfortunately almost no one keeps micro SD card slot anymore.
                                  Camera setup is basic, but not bad.
                                  9 mm is not thick. And remember this phone is only 146 mm tall.
                                  Bezels could be smaller.
                                  Plastic back is perfect. You want a case on your phone anyway, which covers the back, so a "premium" material on the back is a waste of money.
                                  30W charging is fine, anything above 50W is just "numbers war".
                                  €600 would be a better price, but it won't be long until you can find a sale.

                                  Once this phone gets cheaper it will be one of the better flagships you can get. It's not a perfect phone, but a very good one indeed.

                                    2 years of sw support is not enough. ZF6 was great for me, but this has removed features (like a card slot) and still the same 2 year only support.

                                    And if ANYTHING in the hw breaks and you are outside of Asia, good luck finding spare parts and repair support.

                                      • b
                                      • blue
                                      • 0CN
                                      • 31 Jul 2022

                                      Anonymous, 31 Jul 2022That's not entirely true if you want a smartphone smal... moreMaybe unsuccessfully, but still alive. iPhone mini ends this year.
                                      And why would someone with smaller phone using it less than someone with large one?

                                        • ?
                                        • Anonymous
                                        • vGG
                                        • 31 Jul 2022

                                        The Flip, 31 Jul 2022I'm not an Asus fan as I only had bad experiences with... moreThat's weird. I bought at least 4 Zenfones on the past, the very first Zenfone 5, then Zenfone 2, and two other Zenfone from around the same era, including a Zenfone Go as well. It didn't have those issues. Maybe you got a bad phone