Most modern smartphones prioritize everything but a small form factor, with ever-increasing display sizes, batteries, and other features that make them tough to fit inside pockets or bags.
The Asus Zenfone line, however, emphasizes form factor and portability, and this trend continues with today’s launch event for the Zenfone 9. This newest iteration of the company’s flagship mini-smartphone brings some impressive specs but, most importantly, a complete overhaul of the camera system.
The camera includes a gimbal-like stabilization system to eliminate shaky video footage and improve the results while shooting in low light. How does it work? The entire camera, lens, and sensors alike move to accommodate for poor lighting conditions and accidental vibrations.
You can actually see this movement as you use the camera, with all the various elements shifting around underneath the large outer lens.
Asus says this allows the camera to compensate for three degrees of motion, compared to one degree with the Zenfone 8. This new approach to stabilization is novel, to be sure, but in practice, it could rival many big players, such as Apple’s sensor-based stabilization found with the higher-end iPhone 13 cameras.
As for additional specs, the Zenfone 9 features the newest and greatest Qualcomm chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, and a 5.9-inch 1080p OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The base model ships with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though custom configuration is possible. The frame is made from aluminum, and the display is protected by ultra-durable Gorilla Glass. Oh, and there’s a headphone jack if you're into that sort of thing.
Pricing and availability are still up in the air, at least in the United States. In Europe, the cost converts to around $800. The Zenfone 9 launches first in Europe, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, with the US coming at a later date.