The Asus Zenfone series has been one of the more underrated flagship lines for a few years now. The Zenfone 5Z delivered an affordable flagship experience while the Zenfone 6 upped the ante in that regard and gave us a flipping camera setup.
Last year saw Asus follow up with the Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro, building on its predecessor’s flippy foundation. There’s no doubt Asus is now working on the Zenfone 8, though, and we’ve got a wishlist of tweaks and additions we’d like to see.
1. A better update policy
Samsung, Google, and OnePlus are generally the top dogs for firmware and security updates, but Asus is way down the list. For example, the Zenfone 7 series only started receiving the stable Android 11 update in late March. And it’s not like the Taiwanese firm had a ton of other phones to update first.
We’d like to see the Zenfone 8 phones get a better commitment to system updates. Even the standard policy of two Android version updates and three years of security patches would be welcome if the company could actually roll them out in a timely fashion. But the likes of Samsung and Google have upped the ante in this regard with three years of version updates too, so Asus really should step up here too.
2. Keep the flippy cameras (or pull a Mi 11 Ultra)
Is the flippy camera setup the best thing about the Zenfone 6 and Zenfone 7 range? It’s hard to argue otherwise, as it really stands out from the usual notch-equipped and punch-hole-toting devices. This mechanism enables a full-screen experience but also delivers a few practical advantages. There’s the obvious example of having access to higher quality selfie cameras, but the motorized swivel also means you can take panoramas without actually moving the phone.
We hope Asus keeps the flipping camera setup on the Zenfone 8 range, as it’s still a standout feature today. In saying so, water resistance is tough to implement with a mechanism like this. If the company really feels the need to ditch this feature, here’s hoping it adds a secondary screen to the back like the Mi 11 Ultra. It isn’t as cool or as practical as a flipping system, but it still enables high-quality selfies.
3. Make it splash-resistant at the least
One of the biggest downsides to the Zenfone range’s flipping camera mechanism is that it makes water resistance much harder than a traditional smartphone design. Therefore, we understand why a significant IP rating isn’t available on the Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro.
More reading: The best waterproof phones you can buy right now
Still, we’d like to see Asus implement splash resistance at the very least, whether this is via an official IP53 rating or with a simple splash-resistant coating. This wouldn’t be the first time we see an eclectic design with some water protection measures, as the Motorola Razr 5G foldable has a water-repellent coating. Hopefully, Asus is more ambitious than a simple coating and gives us some peace of mind.
4. A cheaper base version (or give us a Lite model)
The Zenfone 6 launched at €499 in Europe, but the €699 Zenfone 7 represents a massive price hike for the series. We understand additions like a telephoto camera, high refresh rate OLED screen, Snapdragon 865 SoC, and more storage contribute to increased costs, but a €200 increase is still no small matter.
We’d really like to see Asus deliver a cheaper base Zenfone 8, even if the company has to make cutbacks to get there. The company could ditch the telephoto camera and/or offer a cheaper Snapdragon 870 SoC to lower its price point.
Alternatively, Asus could release a Zenfone 8 Lite that goes even cheaper and cuts back in a few more areas (e.g., offering a Snapdragon 780G chipset, less RAM) to dip below the €499 mark. A potential leak earlier this year points to a Zenfone 8 Mini in the works, featuring a 5.9-inch OLED screen.
5. Increase the charging speed
The Zenfone 7 series offered 5,000mAh batteries, much like we saw on the Zenfone 6. This means two days of usage should be possible, or at least one full day of heavy usage. Either way, you shouldn’t need to charge the phone very often.
More on charging: The top charging habits to maximize battery life
We’re glad to see Asus bring 30W wired charging to last year’s phones, as the Zenfone 6’s 18W charging was very slow even back in 2019. But one item on our Asus Zenfone 8 wishlist is even faster wired charging. After all, it takes roughly 90 minutes to charge the 2020 flagships.
Hopefully, Asus delivers higher wattage charging speeds and/or optimizes its current 30W charging solution to enable faster charging times. There is hope for improved speeds, as the firm’s ROG Phone 5 has adopted 65W charging capable of hitting 100% juice in just 55 minutes.
6. Wireless charging
In addition to faster wired charging, we’d like to see Asus bring wireless charging capabilities to the Zenfone 8 series. It doesn’t necessarily need to be on both models, as the Taiwanese firm could theoretically restrict wireless charging to the more premium Pro variant.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of wireless charging as I’d much rather have faster wired charging. But you’d certainly expect to see wireless charging on a phone when you’re paying €800 for it like the Zenfone 7 Pro.
That’s it for our look at our Asus Zenfone 8 series wishlist! We’ve also got a few honorable mentions, such as making it less bulky (the Zenfone 7 Pro weighs more than the Galaxy S21 Ultra) and improving the camera hardware/software. What would you like to see from the Zenfone 8 series? Take our poll and be sure to leave a comment.