When will the Asus ZenFone 8 be released?
With the ZenFone 7 not dropping until September 2020, many assumed that we'd be waiting a little bit longer to see the ZenFone 8 - but apparently, Asus disagrees.
The company has confirmed that the ZenFone 8 launch event is set to take place on 12 May 2021 at 6pm BST (1pm EST/10am PST), complete with the tagline "Big on performance. Compact in size." suggesting a focus on smaller handsets than previous years as rumoured.
Sadly, Asus opted not to release the ZenFone 7 and 7 Pro in either the UK or the USA, so it’s unclear whether the ZenFone 8 will follow the same pattern, but given the fact that this year's Asus ROG Phone 5 is both UK- and US-bound, we're confident that we'll be seeing the ZenFone 8 in the same regions.
To see what we thought of the last ZenFone to arrive on these shores, read our Asus ZenFone 6 review.
How much will the Asus ZenFone 8 cost?
While we're yet to hear how much this year's ZenFone 8 could cost, we can get a good idea of what to expect based on previous launches:
- Asus ZenFone 6: £499/€550/$677
- Asus ZenFone 7: £569/€634/US$749 (approx)
- Asus ZenFone 7 Pro: £725/€807/US$953 (approx)
With the standard models sitting between the £500 and £600 mark (with appropriate amounts in US dollars and Euros), it seems likely that Asus will continue this trend with the ZenFone 8, but we'll find out for sure at the event on 12 May.
What new features will there be in the Asus ZenFone 8?
The previous models have seen Asus introduce flappable camera units, so the main display doesn’t have notches or punch holes for the lenses, and we fully expect this to be the case with the ZenFone 8, although rumours - and official Asus teasers - suggest there could be a separate, smaller model.
There are few confirmed details from Asus about the new models, but we’ve seen plenty of leaks over the past few months that give us a better idea of what to expect.
One notable leak came in the form of an XDA Developer report, detailing a trio of smartphones that make up this year's ZenFone 8 Series, including a new 5.9in "mini" model teased by Asus during the ZenFone 8 event reveal.
Per the report, the standard ZenFone 8 (codename Picasso) will feature a 6.67in OLED panel sporting a Full HD+ resolution with four cameras - a main 64Mp Sony IMX686, a 12Mp IMC363, a 24Mp Omnivision OV24B1Q and an 8Mp Omnivision OV08A tailored towards telephoto shots.
The new 'Mini' model (codename Sake) is said to sport a smaller 5.92in OLED panel with the same Full HD+ resolution and (expected) 120Hz refresh rate, and it'll sport the Snapdragon 888 too. Those details were reiterated by DealNTech in late April, along with the inclusion of a top-end Snapdragon 888, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage and a 4,000mAh battery to keep it powered.
The only notable difference, aside from screen size, seems to be in the camera department, with the mini model sporting only two sensors; the same 64Mp IMX686 main shooter as the regular model, and what looks to be a new Sony IMX663 sensor too.
In fact, it seems Asus may ditch the flipping camera system altogether for the 'mini' model. A short teaser on the official Asus Twitter account depicts a ZenFone-like smartphone with a small hole punch camera in the top-left - something you wouldn't need if the rear-facing cameras can flip to face the front.
This is seemingly confirmed by a 91mobiles source that has provided not only renders of the ZenFone 8 'Mini' and ZenFone 8 'Flip', but a long list of specs too.
Along with the details leaked by other sources above, the source suggests the ZenFone 8 'Flip' will sport a 6.67in FHD+ 90Hz AMOLED display with an under-display fingerprint reader, and that it'll have a combination of 8GB RAM and 256GB storage onboard. That'll all be powered by a 5,000mAh battery with 30W fast charging, according to the unnamed source.
It's also said that the ZenFone 8 Flip will weigh in at 230g, compared to a more lightweight 170g ZenFone 8.
Interestingly, the 91mobiles source details a slightly different camera setup on the Flip variant to the original XDA Developers leak, suggesting it'll have three cameras, not four.
When it comes to the smaller model, the source backs up most of what was detailed by XDA Developers and DealNTech, suggesting a powerful compact smartphone more than likely on the way.
Asus confirmed in a tweet that the ZenFone 8 has IP68 water resistance. Given the fact that you can briefly see a front-facing camera in the teaser video, it's likely that it's referring to the 'mini' model, and it's currently unclear whether that extends to the rest of the range - it'd certainly be hard to waterproof a phone with a flipping camera module, after all.
Not much is currently known about the expected ZenFone 8 Pro (codename Vodka) aside from the inclusion of the Snapdragon 888 chipset.
ZenFone 8 concepts
A concept video has the ZenFone 8 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, and dropping the flip cameras in favour of dual-rear shooters. One thing that’s confusing about this is that whereas this would no doubt help with reducing cost, there doesn’t appear to be a front-facing camera at all, which isn’t something we’d consider viable on any modern smartphone.
Concepts aside, it won’t be too long until Asus lets us know what the ZenFone 8 will actually bring to the table. Until then, check back regularly as we’ll be updating it when more information comes to light. In the meantime, be sure to also read our guide to the best phones coming in 2021 to see what the ZenFone 8 will need to beat.