The Asus Zenfone 8 Flip has got all bases covered with the latest top-of-the-shelf processor, a full set of cameras, a great 90Hz AMOLED with an under-display fingerprint reader and a generous battery capacity.
However, it's no longer the unique smartphone it was last year because it's mostly identical to the Asus' own Zenfone 7. The Zenfone 8 Flip (€800) not only launches for €100 more than what the Zenfone 7 used to cost at launch, but this older model is already down to less than €500. Sure, the Zenfone 8 Flip gets you twice the storage, the latest processor and an under-display fingerprint reader, but other than that - the user experience, the battery life and the camera quality are essentially the same.
Then there is the Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G. Since its release was held a couple of months ago, you can already find it for just around €800, making it a direct competitor to the Zenfone 8 Flip. It's hard to top the S21+'s gorgeous 120Hz OLED and its proficient camera setup. Battery life seems to be measurably better too. The water and dust protection are a nice bonus.
The unmatched selfie experience and the rather clean ZenUI software with niche features are the only considerable advantages over its rival. If you are reading this review a couple of months after the release of the Zenfone 8 Flip, it might even be the better deal of the two.
A more affordable alternative would be the vanilla Xiaomi Mi 11. Asking €50 less than the Zenfone 8 Flip, the phone is well equipped and offers pretty much everything a modern flagship would. Except for the telephoto camera. The display is also faster, sharper and brighter.
And if you are in for the stock-ish Android, the OnePlus 9 Pro might interest you - especially if you get it cheaper from a third-party seller and not directly from OnePlus. You get roughly the same camera experience (except for the ultrawide, which is considerably better), much faster charging, and a better and faster display. Going the Zenfone 8 Flip path will get you better battery life and, once again, a better selfie experience.
There are hardly any ways we would improve the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip. The only things we could wish for are better battery life, and, perhaps, a higher refresh rate for the display.
The Zenfone 8 Flip is already a great smartphone, and it offers a snappy user experience. Some rare-to-find features such as the dual SIM slot with microSD card support, the full-screen frontal design, the LED notification light, and the 256GB base internal storage might be just enough to tip the scales.
Camera quality is already excellent as it is, and the flip camera is an intriguing element that may lure the selfie-lovers or vloggers. Unless, of course, they already have a phone with a flip camera - because last year's Zenfone 7 offered the same formula.
In this sense, the Zenfone 8 Flip is neither cheap nor unique, and that might make it a tough sale for a challenger brand like Asus. Unless they somehow make the Zenfone 7 vanish into thin air, it's tough to recommend the new, more expensive model for the few upgrades it offers. The good news is Asus probably wouldn't mind whichever model you pick up - and both deserve a consideration.