Not Samsung, but Asus is giving a tough fight to Apple with a compact flagship smartphone. On Wednesday, Asus unveiled its ZenFone 8 with a 5.9-inch display and a Snapdragon 888 processor. Experts say the ZenFone 8 is the only flagship-grade Android smartphone that can compete against Apple’s iPhone 12 mini. The launch of the ZenFone 8 is a constant reminder that there is a large customer base that still wants one-handed smartphones but without compromising on the performance.

The ZenFone 8 is a premium smartphone and it shows in its design language. It has a curved matte glass back and matching aluminum trim. Yes, it’s compact and easily fits in one hand. It’s also pocketable, reassuring our faith in small-sized smartphones. It also got an IP68 water/dust resistance rating. The phone sports a 5.9-inch 1080p OLED display with a fast 120Hz refresh rate. Inside, the hardware is top-notch. You will find a Snapdragon 888 processor, along with up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

The ZenFone 8 has two rear cameras: a 64MP wide-angle lens with OIS and a 12MP ultra-wide. There’s a 12MP camera on the front. The phone’s 4000mAh battery promises to last a day on a single charge. It supports 30W wired charging with the included charger, but it doesn’t support wireless charging. Also, add dual stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The device comes with ZenUI 8 built on top of Android 11.

With iPhone 12 Mini, Apple tests a new market for smaller flagship smartphones

Asus’ flagship looks promising at least on paper – a powerful compact smartphone with a 120Hz screen, support for 5G, a super-fast processor and a 4000mAh battery. The Zenfone 8 will be available in Europe starting at €599 (or approx Rs 53,257). The India launch of the ZenFone 8 has been canceled for now due to the growing cases of Covid-19 in the country.

The Taiwanese company is also launching the ZenFone 8 Flip, which is essentially a refreshed version of ZenFone 7 Pro. It boasts a much larger 6.67-inch screen 1080p OLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 888 processor, a 5,000mAh battery with 30W wired charging and up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Unfortunately, it lacks an IP rating.

The highlight of the phone is its flip-out camera setup, featuring a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide, and an 8MP  telephoto with 3x optical zoom. The Flip will be available in Europe from €799 (or approx 71,030).