With the iPhone Mini series, Apple has shown that there is a demand for compact and small phones in India. Android users, on the other hand, have been avidly awaiting a compact flagship for some time now. In an attempt to fill that gap, ASUS has launched the 8Z smartphone.
The Asus 8z starts at Rs 42,999, which makes it the sole compact smartphone in the Android market. The smartphone is the world’s smallest Android device to be backed by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor.
A compact form factor makes the Asus 8Z a standout among the competitors but there are also obvious downsides like the mediocre battery life. However, is this a good investment for 2022? Let’s have a look at the detailed review and find out!
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The price of the Asus 8z in India has been set at Rs. 42,999 for the single 8GB + 128GB storage variant. Flipkart will begin selling the phone at 12:00 (noon) on March 7. It will be available in two colour options: Horizon Silver and Obsidian Black.
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Asus 8z packs the following items inside the box:
- 30W Charging Adapter
- Type-C to C Cable
- Sim Ejector Pin
- User Guide
- Warranty Card
Before we talk in detail about the Asus 8z, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 5.9 inches AMOLED
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
- RAM & ROM: 8GB RAM 128GB Storage
- Software: Android v11
- Rear camera: 64MP + 12MP
- Selfie camera: 12MP
- Battery: 4000 mAh
- Weight: 169 grams
- Dimensions: 148 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm
The Asus 8z’s ‘compact’ size is its most striking feature. The 8z is a welcome relief from the flood of phones on the market with excessively large displays. Asus has brought this phone for those who want a small phone that doesn’t compromise on functionality or performance.
It’s only 169 grams, which means it’s very light to grip and has curved edges that make this even comfier to hold. It has a metal body with a glass back. The front has the best in class Corning Gorilla Glass Victus while the back has Gorilla Glass 3. The phone is available in two colour options: Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver.
Another thing you notice is that there are only two cameras on the back and a hole-punch selfie camera on the front. The back cameras barely protrude, allowing the phone to rest flat on a surface.
The volume buttons and power button, which double as a fingerprint reader, are located on the right side of the device, leaving the left side empty. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top of the phone, which is rare in today’s world of flagships. The bottom of the phone includes a USB Type-C port, the SIM tray, a speaker, and an LED notification light.
Asus 8z comes equipped with a dual-camera setup consisting of a 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and a 12MP ultra-wide lens with a 113-degree FOV. As a bonus, this ultra-wide lens can also be used to capture macro images from as close as 4cm away, making this setup even more versatile. The 8z includes a Sony IMX663 12-megapixel camera for selfies.
The primary sensor of the Asus 8Z is pretty good, and it is capable of taking beautiful images with a great deal of detail. The photographs have excellent detail and rich, lifelike colours. The OIS also captures important details in the daytime.
Portrait mode was capable of detecting faces, and it also allowed me to adjust the blur level before taking a picture. The final result had sharp edges and a clear distinction between subject and background.
Photos taken using the ultrawide sensor are slightly softer in tone than shots taken with the main 64 MP sensor, but they carry a great deal of detail. However, it does not have the dynamic range and contrast of the primary camera’s images. Macro photography is possible with this camera, but I was unable to get near to my subject according to my liking.
When shooting in low light, the OIS helps in stabilising the photos while also retaining fine details and reducing noise. Night mode activates ultra-dark mode automatically when there is very little light, which improves the output but takes a couple of seconds to finish. The ultra-wide camera’s low-light photos aren’t quite as good as those taken with the primary camera, but they’re still acceptable.
Asus 8z selfies offered good details, although the skin tones seemed to have been somewhat smoothened. Details and colours are nicely handled in bright light. You can snap portrait selfies, and the device does a fantastic job of separating the subject from the background.
The main camera can record videos up to 8K 24 fps. The front camera can only record in 4K 30 fps, but the primary and ultra-wide cameras can both record in 4K 60 fps. The 8z video I recorded was mainly smooth, with only a few stutters when I moved around while recording.
The battery life of the Asus 8Z is reasonable at 4,000 mAh, especially considering the size of the phone. When it comes to the battery life of the phone, it’s kind of a mixed bag and depends on how you use it. An average user can expect a full day of battery life, but a heavy user might run out of battery before evening. The Asus 8z has five battery modes. You can pick from ‘High Performance’ mode to ‘Ultra Durable’ mode depending on needs.
The phone also has a USB Type-C connection, which offers 30W fast charging. With the included charger, it takes approximately 20 minutes to charge from 0 to 50 per cent and nearly 40 minutes to reach 80 per cent; after that, the charging rate slows down. It takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes to fully charge the phone from 0 to 100 per cent.
During charging, the light is orange, and when the phone reaches 100 per cent, the light turns green. The Asus 8z doesn’t have wireless charging support, which is seen on the other flagship phones.
The Asus 8z has a 5.9-inch AMOLED display featuring a refresh rate of 120Hz. It has a 240Hz touch sampling rate, making the display extremely responsive and fast, as I noticed while texting and gaming. A peak brightness of 1,100 nits means that even in strong sunshine, the screen is easily readable and usable.
Not only will you be amazed by the smooth animations, but it will also take up your small taps without a hitch. The phone has a very good contrast ratio and bright colours that look good. To further customise your display, you may choose from a variety of options like night mode, auto-brightness, always-on display, and more.
In addition, the smartphone can stream HDR content from OTT providers like Netflix. Despite its compact size, the Asus 8z boasts outstanding viewing angles and relatively thin bezels, allowing for maximum screen real estate.
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However, due to the small size of this display, you might not enjoy watching movies or playing games as you would on a bigger phone. I would suggest you to go with a bigger display if you’re looking for a device primarily for consuming content.
The Asus 8Z is the smallest smartphone powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset. In addition, the phone comes with 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of fast UFS 3.1 internal storage. The Asus 8Z does a good job of handling multitasking, with several background apps in memory. I didn’t notice any stuttering or lag while using the phone.
As far as app and game loading times go, the Asus 8z is lightning fast. When it came to running Android apps, the Snapdragon 888 chipset was capable of handling almost any task. However, that doesn’t mean that the smartphone’s performance is perfect. There are still some problems with it.
Coming to gaming, Call of Duty: Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends and Battleground Mobile India (BGMI) all ran at their highest frame rates and graphics settings. The phone’s touch response was excellent, however, after about 35 to 40 minutes of gaming, it began to warm up.
Asus has carried over the Game Genie from its ROG smartphone portfolio. This feature allows you to block calls and notifications while gaming, as well as adjust the refresh rate of the screen.
The performance of the Asus 8Z isn’t the problem; rather, the problem is that the phone is unable to maintain its performance over a lengthy period of time. Even when I’m playing games like Call of Duty: Mobile, the phone becomes so hot that I can’t even hold it.
Asus 8z comes with Android 11 pre-installed out of the box, however, it recently received the Android 12 OTA update, which includes the December Android security patch. Buyers who purchase the phone should check for updates as soon as they boot the device and install it if available.
The user interface (UI) looks and feels quite similar to stock Android, but it can be tweaked to fit your taste. You have the option to customise icons, font styles, and its colours. It offers a dark mode for both system UI and applications.
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Game Genie is also included, which allows you to optimise the phone’s performance, record games, prevent calls, and do other tasks without having to exit the game. The power button has a Smart Key feature that has two programmable functions for accessing system features, applications, and app actions. Similarly, you can launch Google Assistant by holding down the power button instead of displaying the power menu.
There are a few third-party apps pre-installed, but you can remove them all with a single click, ensuring a clean Android user experience. Additionally, the Asus 8Z will also get the Android 13 update, making it future-proof in terms of software and functionality.
The 8z has two speakers that are both clear and crisp. The stereo speakers on this phone have a lot of power and can easily compete with the audio output of some of the top flagship phones. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack on the device, which makes it even better.
The Asus 8z offers two nano-SIM slots that support 5G and 4G connectivity. It has the following 5G bands – N1, N2, N3, N5, N7, N8, N12, N20, N28, N38, N77, and N78 in India. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and standard GPS.
It boasts an in-display fingerprint sensor that is quick and allows you to unlock the phone quickly after placing your finger on it. The fingerprint sensor is located slightly towards the centre of the phone, which is different from the majority of phones that have it at the bottom side.
ASUS has set the pricing of the Asus 8Z at Rs 42,999 in India, and at that price, it appears to be a very solid value for money proposition overall. There is a beautiful display, a powerful flagship processor, faster RAM and storage, a fantastic primary camera, great software, and the most important thing, a compact form factor in this smartphone. Furthermore, it has an IP68 rating, which is something that is not found on competing phones.
When it comes to games like BGMI or COD: Mobile, the phone is more than capable of handling whatever you throw at it. It’s important to note that the chipset warms up quickly.
In addition, the phone’s battery life is low, the charging time is long, and the selfie camera is lacking. However, there is no doubt that the advantages dominate the drawbacks of this phone.
The ASUS 8z is an all-in-one compact smartphone. To sum up, the Asus 8Z is an Android smartphone that resembles the Apple iPhone 12 mini.