Asus Zenfone 9 Review: Small but Mighty | Whuff News


There is no shortage big phone today. Apple even went so far as to replace last year’s iPhone 13 Mini successor and replace it with the iPhone 14 Plus instead. Small phones are hard to come by, but they’re not completely extinct yet. If you are tired of straining your fingers to reach the screen, then the Asus Zenfone 9 is your friend.

I have to mention a few major caveats before you read any further. This Android smartphone is available in the US, but it won’t work on the Verizon network at all. It works best on T-Mobile and AT&T. Asus has also not supported its smartphones for a long time. Most Android phone makers now offer three to five years of software support, but Asus stuck with a paltry two. Keep up with the times! It’s a shame, because the Zenfone 9 has a hard-to-find advantage: a compact screen with flagship performance, as well as a headphone jack. That is very rare.

Small but Mighty

It might not look like a high-end flagship phone, but there’s a lot of stuff in this little package. It all starts with its size—at just 5.9 inches, it’s easy to wrap around my finger. It is not as as small as the iPhone 13 Mini (5.4 inches), but it’s still one of the smallest screens out there today.

This AMOLED display never feels too cramped with daily tasks, but it is do feel limited when i watch episodes Love, Death & Robots while riding an exercise bike at the gym. I had to hold the phone up to my eyes to catch the details in the “Night of the Dead Mini” episode (appropriate). Otherwise, the screen is sharp, looks colorful, and manages to get by just bright enough to use on a sunny day. The 120-Hz refresh rate is also impressive, and a feature you won’t find on the iPhone 13 Mini—every swipe and scroll feels smooth.

Photo: Asus

Size isn’t the only thing that makes this phone so great to hold; it’s also the texture that Asus uses on the back of the device. It’s soft and feels like a rubber mat on a playground. I love it when phone manufacturers play around with design and texture (RIP LG)—props to Asus for making this phone feel different, unlike its predecessor. Just know that this back material can rub off; it’s easy to clean, but you’ll still see some light stains.

There’s a side-mounted fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button, and it’s a quick and reliable way to unlock the device. A headphone jack is located on the top if you prefer wired earphones—this port is a rarity on flagship phones these days—and the Zenfone 9 has stereo speakers that get loud and sound pretty great. It also has a near field communication (NFC) sensor so you can make tap-to-pay payments. The screen is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, and it has IP68-rated water and dust resistance, which is as good as you’ll find on most high-end phones these days.

What is missing? Wireless charging. You can only recharge this phone with a cable, but there’s good news here, too: Asus is one of the few phone makers today that still includes a charging adapter along with a USB-C cable. (It also comes with a case, though it’s not very protective.) Speaking of charging, Asus has managed to cram a 4,300-mAh battery into this little phone, which comfortably lasts all day. In fact, it usually gets me through a day and a half with average use. It’s pretty awesome!



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