ASUS Zenfone 10 Review – The Best SMALL Phone

– The best small phone is back. This is the Asus ZenFone 10. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks, and let’s just say, size doesn’t always matter. – Nice. – So the unboxing experience is very familiar. We’ve got environmental packaging with recycled paper and soy-based inks. Inside the box, we get the device, we get a pack with a sim card tool, there’s also a bumper case included, some documentation, a USB-Type C to USB-Type C cable, and a 30 watt hyper charge adapter. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a recycled box, but it

can feel a little bit cheap and I have already managed to rip it, so I don’t know if there’s a way to get a slightly premium recyclable box. I don’t know. And here it is. It looks very much like the ZenFone 9, and it is definitely an incremental update but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because the ZenFone 9 had a great design. It is also a fresh new design from the ZenFone 8. So although we’ve got some minor tweaks like with the camera rings and some of the text at the back, everything does feel

very, very familiar. With the most important thing being the compact form factor. So the height and the width is about the same. The ZenFone 10 is ever so slightly

thicker and it’s also ever so slightly heavier, around 3 grams, but it still feels very, very compact and almost the same as the ZenFone 9. We still have IP 68 water and dust resistance and we have five colors this year. So there’s a midnight black, comet white, eclipse red, starry blue, as well as a brand new aurora green. Now there’s a black aluminum frame on most of

the colors except for the white, which I really like, and I think we should have matte black finishes on more devices. And then there is the polycarbonate back, which I actually really like the feel of. It doesn’t feel like plastic. It’s got more of a paper feel, it gives it a bit of grip. However, it can get some wear and tear as you can see on my red version here. If I compare my last year’s red version to this year’s, this year’s does seem a little bit more vibrant and brighter. Now I’m not sure if

that’s just because it’s a new color or because my ZenFone 9 has had a bit of wear and tear. Right now let’s take a look at the display. So the display, once again, is very, very familiar. It looks almost exactly the same. You probably wouldn’t be able to tell which is which if they were side by side. So 5.9 inches Samsung AMOLED with around 1,100 nits of peak brightness. So it’s not the brightest display out there. And although it’s fine for your day-to-day, when you are outdoors in bright sunlight then there are other devices which

are much brighter. We’ve got Gorilla Glass Victus. And the new thing this year is that we’ve got a 144 hertz refresh rate. Now there is a bit of a catch. This 144 hertz refresh rate can only be enabled in Game Genie when you’re playing mobile games. So we still have 120 hertz throughout the UI and everything is very smooth, but 144 hertz you will only be able to get when you have a compatible game. Now there are a few 144 hertz compatible games out there, but there’s not that many. We’ve got DCI dimming to reduce

screen flicker. And we still have that chin. Now this is something that I mentioned last year on the ZenFone 9 and I was hoping that will be gone here. If you look at all of the marketing material for the ZenFone 10, the top bezel and the bottom bezel actually appear to be exactly the same. But this is not the case in real life. So quite cheeky of you there, Asus. Now I know for a lot of people this is not going to matter at all, but there are lots of devices that are priced much lower

than this that do have symmetrical small bezels. So that’s just something that I would’ve liked to have had improved. Just quickly interrupting. If you are enjoying the video so far and you want to see more reviews like this, then maybe consider subscribing and hitting that bell icon. Now let’s talk about the camera. So we’ll start off with the selfie camera, which is a new camera. This is a 32 megapixel selfie camera and it uses pixel (indistinct) to give you an 8 megapixel output. It now uses RGBW technology and has a larger sensor size which is

supposed to reduce noise by about 50% and increase light intake by about 67%. However, I did compare this to the ZenFone 9, and although you do get brighter images generally, you do have a bit of a green tinge and you definitely have more noise. So I’m not sure why this is. Maybe with software updates this can improve so I’m not going to criticize it outright, but in my experience I actually preferred the ZenFone 9 selfies. Now let’s look at the rear-facing cameras. So the primary camera is largely the same. It’s the Sony IMX 766 50

megapixel sensor, and it has the six axis hybrid gimbal stabilizer that we saw introduced last year. It’s got a 1/1.56 inch sensor with an F/1.9 aperture, and images are really, really good as they were on the ZenFone 9. We’ve got great dynamic range, lots of detail, but I know you guys want to know about the six axis hybrid gimbal stabilizer. So it is very impressive. As you can see from this example here, I am moving the ZenFone 10 so much and we’ve still got almost tripod-level stabilization. Now, yes, there are a few shakes on the

edges, but generally speaking, it’s so, so impressive that this smartphone can do this. And this year we have real time adaptive EIS with predictive AI. So when you are using electronic image stabilization, it does crop into the image quite a bit and you don’t necessarily always want that. So the ZenFone 10 is going to be able to adapt and it will be able to go wider when you are not moving as much and it will crop in further when it needs to use that electronic image stabilization. How does it perform? So I thought the best

way to test this is actually put it up against the iPhone, which has great stabilization in my opinion. Now when we’re at 4K, the results were actually good on both, but I would say I still prefer the iPhone because the ZenFone 10 had a few jitters. Now I’m not sure if this is because of that gimbal stabilization trying a bit too hard and the software stabilization working a little bit better on the iPhone, but I also tried this with action mode on the iPhone and hyper steady at 1080 on the ZenFone 10. And once again,

I did prefer the iPhone. The ZenFone had those jitters. Now that’s not to say that the gimbal stabilization is bad on the ZenFone. I still think it’s got great uses when you are trying to hold the camera still. However, when we are doing some heavy movement or running, then you actually even get a warning saying, “Excessive shaking, please keep the phone stable.” So I don’t know why we are getting this message or why it should be there at all because the gimbal stabilizer should be stabilizing that very shaky footage. So, yes, there are certain uses

for it, but if you are planning to run with it or do some really shaky video, then, personally speaking, I still prefer the iPhone. Let’s now talk about the ultra-wide camera. So we have a 13 megapixel ultra-wide camera, and this is a new camera compared to last year. It has a wider field of view, 120 degrees, which is great, I do like a wider field of view. However, Asus, for some reason, have taken off the auto focus. So this time we have fixed focus and that means we no longer can take macro shots. I’m very

confused about this because the ZenFone 9 did have auto focus on the ultra-wide camera, and, as you can see, you can get really nice macro shots. You can’t do this on the ZenFone 10. So on this department it actually seems like a step back. So yeah, the cameras do have some improvements but I think there needs to be a lot more in terms of the software improvements. And coming from the ZenFone 9 to the ZenFone 10, there isn’t a massive leap in my opinion. Now let’s talk about the performance. So we have the Snapdragon 8

Gen 2. This is the same chip set that we’ve got on the gaming monster, the ROG 7 Ultimate. And we also have up to 16 gigabytes of LPDDR5X RAM, as well as now up to 512 gigabytes of UFS 4.0 storage. Now in terms of the numbers, that means up to 15% faster CPU performance, up to 20% faster GPU performance, and up to 15% improvement in power efficiency. Now what does that mean in the real world? Well, the ZenFone 9 is still really good because it’s got the 8 Plus Gen 1 which is still very capable.

The ZenFone 10 handles everything that you throw at it. It’s very fast, and I really like that even though this is a compact smartphone, we still have the flagship chip set. This is going to last for a few years as well. I think the main difference that I’ve noticed on the ZenFone 10 and other devices that are powered by the 8 Gen 2 is power efficiency. So the ZenFone 10 has the same size battery as the ZenFone 9, which is impressive, 4,300 milliamps in this compact form factor. But thanks to the 8 Gen 2, you

can get a 13% increase in power. For me, that’s meant I can easily get a day of full use, even maybe more than that. We still get 30 watts of wired charging, so this doesn’t change, but we get the charger included out of the box so I’m really not complaining about that. You can get some pretty fast (indistinct), and you still have all of Asus’ optimizations such as steady charging as well as scheduled charging, which Asus say around 25% of the users use on a regular basis. But my one criticism of the ZenFone 9 last

year, was that they did not have wireless charging. Asus has always steered away from wireless charging and they don’t seem to like wireless charging. However, on the ZenFone 10, we finally, finally… – Finally! – Get wireless charging. This is 15 watts and it’s the first time that we’ve got wireless charging on a ZenFone. This is something that I really was hoping for and I’m glad it’s here. Now let’s talk about the audio. So for a device this small, it’s always a challenge to get good audio. But Asus have actually done a really good job and

we’ve got very good sounding dual-stereo speakers for a device this size. They’re also optimized by Dirac. We’ve got Snapdragon sound with Qualcomm aptX Adaptive, and we’ve got Dirac Virtue for spatial sound for your wired and wireless headphones. So, yes, you heard right, we do have a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack again, which is something that I know a lot of you guys will like. Now, according to Asus, 36% of users still use a headphone jack at least once a month, and 10% use the headphone jack every single day. So that’s still quite a large number, although

it’s getting smaller and smaller, and it is great that Asus have still included this on such a compact device. (upbeat music) Now with the software, Asus is one of those manufacturers that doesn’t bloat the software. Even when you initially start the device, you can choose to go just Stock Android or go with Asus’ Zen UI which has some enhancements which just make your experience better without taking over. So just a few to mention, we do have the one-handed mode. This works like reachability on the iPhone, it’s being copied from the iPhone. So you can just

swipe down and get access to those top areas, which, I mean, are still easy to reach on this size device, but you just have that if you need. There’s also the Edge tool 2.0, so you can have easy access to all of your favorite apps. But this time you can also have access to control features like WiFi, Bluetooth. And we have the Asus Smart Key. This I really like. It has a fingerprint sensor, but you also have lots of different functions. So you can press it to power on or off, or you can actually customize

the function. You can also long press for the function that you assign. Double press, I currently use it for opening the camera, but you can use it for other things. And you can also use the button to slide… Into DMs, if you’d like. But if you want to pull down the notification slider for example, you can actually slide down twice and that’s going to fully bring it down. But you can also set it to forward and rewind YouTube videos for example. Now this is a function that you can only have one for, so you have

to assign it at the start. And Asus have also added a bunch of other features which are really useful. You’ve got a customizable always-on display, you’ve now got long screenshot which we’ve seen on other devices, and you can easily change the animation speed. This is something that you would have to go into the developer settings usually to do, but you can actually change this within Zen UI. You’ve got Game Genie which tells you the frame rates and other settings that you have within games. It’s a really, really good UI, one of my favorites. And what

about OS updates? Well, Asus has promised two years of major OS updates and four years of security updates. Now this is more than what we had last year. So the ZenFone 9 only had two years of security updates. But it’s still not as good as Samsung for example, who are offering four years of OS updates and five years of security updates. So, two years, okay, it’s fine, and it’s not bad for devices that are more on the budget side of things. But for the ZenFone 10, I would have liked to have seen more. And that

brings us on to the price. So Asus are pricing this at the same price as we had the ZenFone 9 last year, so €799 for the base 128 gigabyte version. In the UK, we’ll be getting a better deal, £750 for the 256 gigabyte version. So it’s nice that they’ve maintained the price point from last year, but there are lots of other devices in this category. However, there are not any other devices that are in this compact form factor. And if you do want the best small phone without compromises, this is the one to go for.

I love that we’ve got the 8 Gen 2 with excellent performance. We do have that 144 hertz display, although that is just for gaming. And you have excellent battery life with that gimbal stabilization. There’s also improvements like with wireless charging, which I’ve been asking for for years. However, we still have the chin on the display which I’m not a huge fan of. We don’t have the macro camera anymore, which is a bit of a step backwards. And although we do get two years of OS updates, it’s not as good as some of the competition. Now

if those things don’t matter to you that much and you want a flagship compact smartphone, then I can definitely recommend this. However, if you currently have the ZenFone 9, I don’t think you need to upgrade to the ZenFone 10. And if you are in the market for a compact smartphone and you can get hold of the ZenFone 9 secondhand maybe or can get a good deal on it, I still think that’s an excellent option with the 8 Plus Gen 1, with that gimbal stabilizer, excellent battery life, excellent build and design. So it might actually be

worth going for that. That’s what I think anyway. What do you guys think? Are you going to be getting the ZenFone 10? Let me know down in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this video and found it useful. If you did, then do smash the like button for me. Thanks for watching. This is Saf on SuperSaf TV, and I’ll see you next time.

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