ASUS Accidentally Reveals The ZenFone 9 Compact Flagship Phone

Asus has infused its expertise in laptops and PC peripherals to craft compelling smartphones such as the ROG Phone 6. Besides its ROG series dedicated to gamers, Asus also sells its flagship ZenFone series, which is admittedly much less popular despite rare and remarkable features, including cameras that can flip 180°. With the last series — the ZenFone 8 — Asus also introduced a small and wieldy smartphone with flagship specifications. It appears that trend is set to continue with the ZenFone 9, which was recently leaked by none other than Asus itself. 

ASUS accidentally shared a video of the ZenFone 9 on YouTube. Although the video has since been taken down, it was captured by Hong Kong-based publication Tech Going. Besides giving us a wholesome glance at the design of the upcoming compact flagship smartphone, the leaked video also reveals many of its specifications. With the iPhone mini model likely being dropped this year, this appears to be your best option for a compact smartphone if you really yearn for one. 

Focus on improving cameras

This is the first Asus ZenFone 9 leak that gives us a look at its design in different colors. Noticeably, it follows the ZenFone 8 from 2021 and features only two cameras on the back, albeit with much bigger cutouts. The choice to consciously limit camera sensors to only two is supposed to maintain a small footprint. The latest leak corroborates the leak from December 2021 when we saw schematics of the design for the first time — and once again, leaked officially.

Based on the leaked video, the ZenFone 9 uses a 50-megapixel primary camera with a Sony IMX766 sensor. The camera is equipped with a six-axis gimbal-like optical image stabilization (OIS) that is expected to ensure smooth and jitter-free panning while recording video. Unlike a regular OIS in which a sensor moves when the phone is moving, a gimbal OIS stabilizes the image when the phone is slightly tilted, ensuring the camera continues to calibrate itself in response to even the slightest of movements.

Power-packed yet compact

The size of the display hasn't changed from the previous generation, and the ZenFone 9 is reported to also feature a 5.9-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. Among other external features, the phone also bears a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and swiping over will allow you to scroll up and down on pages. Interestingly, the ZenFone 9 will feature a headphone jack and might be the only flagship smartphone to still feature one.

Inside, the ZenFone 9 is reported to rock a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, which is the same as its beastly sibling, the ROG Phone 6. As a trade-off of the smaller design, the smartphone also has a 4,300 mAh battery, which can be considered smaller than most other flagship devices. There is no mention of the charging speeds, but we can expect them to be at least 30W, which is what the ZenFone 8 supported.

Lastly, the video also shows a few accessories for the ZenFone 9, including a rugged case tethered to a shoulder strap and a perforated flexible case that will allow you to add more accessories like a tiny wallet on top of it. The Asus ZenFone 9 is expected to come in four colors: red, white, blue, and black. As for pricing and the launch, there is no word yet, but we expect to be around the corner since the marketing presentation appears to be already ready.