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ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra announced: A Zenfone in name only?

The Zenfone 11 Ultra is a significant departure from recent Zenfones.
By

Published onMarch 14, 2024

TL;DR
  • ASUS has launched the Zenfone 11 Ultra flagship smartphone.
  • The new Zenfone device has a lot in common with the recently launched ROG Phone 8 line.
  • Expect to pay a starting price of $899 for the Zenfone 11 Ultra.

The ASUS Zenfone 10 was one of the few compact flagship phones on the market, but the Taiwanese manufacturer is changing things up with the brand-new ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra. In fact, this phone might seem familiar to some readers.

The Zenfone 11 Ultra is effectively the ASUS ROG Phone 8 with a few notable changes here and there. You only need to look at the two devices to realize that they share plenty of DNA.

ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra vs ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The two phones share a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, a 5,500mAh battery, 65W wired charging, and 15W wireless charging. We’ve even got the same flexible triple rear camera system here, consisting of a 50MP IMX890 main camera, a 13MP ultrawide lens, and a 32MP 3x telephoto shooter. The selfie camera also seems identical on paper, featuring a 32MP sensor.

ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra
Display
6.78-inch Dynamic AMOLED
FHD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080)
144Hz refresh rate (1-120Hz LTPO)
1,600 nits HBM
2,500 nits peak brightness
Gorilla Glass Victus 2
Processor
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM
12GB/16GB
LPDDR5X
Storage
256GB/512GB
UFS4.0
No microSD card support
Power
5,500mAh battery
65W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box
Cameras
Rear:
- 50MP wide main sensor (f/1.9, 1/1,56-inch sensor, PDAF, 6-axis hybrid gimbal stabilization)
- 13MP ultrawide (f/2.2)
- 32MP 3x telephoto (f/2.4, 0.7-micron pixel size)

Front:
- 32MP wide, RGBW
Software
Zen UI
Android 14
2 Android updates
4 years of security updates
IP rating
IP68
Biometrics
In-display fingerprint sensor
Dimensions
163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9 mm
Weight
224g
Colors
Eternal Black
Skyline Blue
Misty Gray
Desert Sand

Even the designs are similar across the two phones. That means the Zenfone 11 Ultra packs an aluminum frame, an IP68 rating, and a similar rear cover. It must be said that the Zenfone 11 Ultra has a glass back and a slightly tweaked camera bump compared to the ROG Phone 8’s matte back. The Zenfone also lacks the ROG line’s RGB logo.

The Zenfone 11 Ultra brings a headphone jack too, much like the ROG device. So audiophiles or those who want to use an aux cable should be happy with this inclusion.

What’s actually different about the Zenfone 11 Ultra?

ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra AI Featuers
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Zenfone 11 Ultra does away with some gaming-specific hardware additions seen on the ROG Phone 8, though. Say goodbye to that second, side-mounted USB-C port as well as AirTrigger shoulder buttons.

The new Zenfone also brings a 144Hz LTPO screen (FHD+ OLED) in lieu of the 165Hz screen seen on the ROG Phone 8. ASUS also noted during a media briefing that the new phone’s cooling system is “not quite the same.”

It wouldn’t be an ASUS Zenfone without a bunch of AI-branded features, and the Zenfone 11 Ultra brings plenty in this regard. Expect AI-based transcription for the audio recorder app, summaries of said transcriptions, an AI call translator, wallpaper generation, AI noise cancelation, and semantic search capabilities for the gallery, settings, and app search.

ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra: Hot or not?

103 votes

The best part is that most of these AI-based features run on-device, with the notable exception of transcription summaries. Other notable software features include Snapdragon Seamless support for cross-device smarts, your choice of notification shade/quick setting designs, and Phone Link support for file transfers, app streaming, and more.

Otherwise, ASUS says the Zenfone 11 Ultra will receive two major OS upgrades and four years of security patches. That’s better than the bare minimum but still disappointing when rivals are offering four, five, or even seven years of updates.

ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra pricing and availability

ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra on stand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Like the idea of this rather different take on the Zenfone? Then you can pre-order the Zenfone 11 Ultra in the UK, US, and Europe from March 14.

Expect to pay $899/€899/£819.99 for the 12GB/256GB model in the US, EU, and UK. The 16GB/512GB variant will set you back €999/£869.99, although this model wasn’t listed for the US.

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