Asus refocussed its efforts in the smartphone space with 2019's ZenFone 6, which debuted a unique flipping camera module; now it seems the company is walking things back - at least as far as the flagship ZenFone 8 is concerned.
The Taiwanese company unveiled the ZenFone 8 series on 12 May, with the range consisting of two distinct devices: the ZenFone 8 and the ZenFone 8 Flip.
As the name of the latter model suggests, fans of Asus' unique approach to camera implementation can still get their fix from this year's line, however the standard 8 forgoes the range's head-turning imaging hardware in order to offer consumers powerful internals in a more compact form factor.
Despite only launching eight months on from its direct predecessors, the 8 series looks to be Asus' attempt to compete with the other Snapdragon 888-powered phones on the market; with both entries running on what is currently one of the most powerful mobile chipsets out there.
While the ZenFone 8 is smaller than the 8 Flip (sporting a custom 5.9in 120Hz Full HD+ Samsung E4 AMOLED display, compared to a 90Hz 6.67in OLED on the 8 Flip) it's arguably the more capable of the two devices.
The ZenFone 8 launches with more RAM and storage SKUs to choose from (up to 16GB RAM/256GB), as well as boasting OIS (optical image stabilisation) on the main 64Mp camera that forms part of its rear dual sensor setup. This candy bar also sports the industry's first implementation of a Sony IMX663 front-facer, set into the corner of the display.
By comparison, the 8 Flip - which Asus bills as a successor to the ZenFone 7, not the 7 Pro - lacks both OIS and IP-certified dust and water resistance, features Gorilla Glass 6 in place of Gorilla Glass Victus, in most markets comes in fewer memory and storage configurations (8GB/128GB or 8GB/256GB), and possesses a number of other downgrades by comparison, which held it back from full marks in our 8 Flip review.
The ZenFone 8 will start at £599/€599 (approximately US$730), while the ZenFone 8 Flip - with that iconic camera module - demands a higher starting price of £699/€799 (around $970).
Asus is also offering up an early-bird discount on the standard ZenFone 8 that sees a £60 reduction (down to £539) on the base 8GB RAM model in the UK, for purchases made before 31 May. According to Asus, the ZenFone 8 series is launching "soon" in May.