ASUS ZenFone 8 Flip leak shows the camera gimmick is back

There was a point in time in the mobile industry's history that smartphone makers were scrambling to figure out ways to push out almost all the bezels from a phone's face. Some utilized popup cameras while others settled for small punch-hole cutouts. ASUS, however, employed a somewhat unique and quirky "flip camera" system in the ZenFone 7 Pro that hit two birds with one stone. While most popup cameras have seemingly disappeared, ASUS is bringing the flip back in its 2021 flagship, at least based on this latest leak.

The idea behind the flip camera isn't actually new, just that this particular design hasn't actually been used before. In 2014, the OPPO N1 also allowed to use of the same main camera for normal photos and selfies but rotated its forehead to make that possible. After the ZenFone 7 Pro, Samsung launched the Galaxy A80 with almost the same principle but used a sliding mechanism instead.

Given how popup cameras have gone out of fashion, it's a bit surprising to hear that ASUS hasn't given up on that yet either. 91mobiles reports that the flip camera will make a comeback, this time under the name ZenFone 8 Flip. It sheds the "Pro" moniker to align with the plain ZenFone 8, which will have nearly identical specs save for the flipping camera and displays.

Both phones will be powered by the latest Snapdragon 888 with an expected 8GB of RAM. The flip-free ZenFone 8 is the "mini" of the two with a 5.92-inch FHD+ screen while the ZenFone 8 Flip gets a more massive 6.67-inch screen. Both phones get a 64MP main camera and 12MP macro shooter, with the ZenFone 8 Flip getting an extra 8MP telephoto camera and, of course, the motorized flipping mechanism.

Whether or not that mechanism will help sell the phone this year is, of course, a different question entirely but it's clear that ASUS is betting heavily on it. Details about the ZenFone 8 Flip and the ZenFone 8 are expected to land next week on May 12.