Asus Zenfone 10 vs Zenfone 9: Should you upgrade?

  • Asus / Pocket-lint

    Asus Zenfone 10

    Editor’s Choice

    The Zenfone 10 offers a display, has a good display and camera, but squeezes it into a comfortable one-handed, compact form factor. Is it compatible with Zenfone 9?


    • Small and practical design
    • Flagship speed and performance
    • Not too expensive

    • Funky back design
    • Ultrawide camera could be better
    • A small screen is not for everyone

  • Asus Zenfone 9 - big tag

    Asus / Pocket-lint

    Asus Zenfone 9

    Worth saving

    Zenfone 9 is a compact smartphone that offers stealr functionality. It will soon be replaced by the Zenfone 10, however. Which begs the question: is the new one worth the upgrade?


    • Solid construction
    • Great performance
    • 3.5mm headphone jack

    • Software explosion
    • There is no telephoto camera
    • A small screen will not be for everyone

Small smartphones are disappearing as people move to larger devices, but there are a few good smartphones out there, and the Asus Zenfone series is among the best. The Zenfone 9 received much praise upon release and has now been replaced by the new, more powerful Zenfone 10. reviewed the Zenfone 9 when it came out and loved it, and we already got our hands on it Zenfone 10 is a review and equal levels of praise. This begs the question: should you go for the Asus Zenfone 10? If you don’t have a Zenfone yet, is the Zenfone 9 still worth carrying, or should you opt for a new model?

Price, features, and availability

Right now, we’re in the middle of the Zenfone segment, with last year’s Zenfone 9 on the way out and this year’s Zenfone 10 nowhere to be found. The Zenfone 9 retails for $699.99 direct from Asus in the US and £619.99 in the UK. The Zenfone 10 hasn’t launched in North America yet, but it’s available in the UK for $749.99 (its MSRP is $819.99, but it’s cheaper during the launch window).

  • Asus Zenfone 10 Asus Zenfone 9
    SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
    Show it 5.92 inch, 2400 x 1080, 144Hz 5.9 inch, 2400 x 1080, 120Hz
    Battery 4300mAh 4300mAh
    Operating system Android 13 Android 12
    Front camera 32 MP 12 MP
    Rear cameras 50MP wide, 13MP Ultra-wide 50MP wide, 12MP Ultra-wide
    Dimensions 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.4mm, 172g 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1mm, 169g
    Species Starry Blue, Midnight Black, Aurora Green, Eclipse Red, Comet White Midnight Black, Moonlight White, Starry Blue
    IP value IP68 IP68
    RAM and Storage Up to 16GB RAM, up to 512GB storage Up to 16GB RAM, up to 256GB storage
    GPU Adreno 740 Adreno 730


Zenfone 10 in the front screen

Asus Zenfone 10 vs Asus Zenfone 9: these small phones are similar in terms of looks and features. Asus made some smart changes to the Zenfone 10, but the similarities are apparent when you look at the two devices side by side.

Both phones have prominent rear cameras, which are perhaps the most divisive. Both have a back that may not be for everyone but makes the phone stand out crowded market.

The thing that makes the Zenfone 9 and 10 unique is the size of the body. They don’t make many small phones anymore, especially ones with a good reputation. Fortunately, the size of the phone hasn’t changed much, the Zenfone 9 comes in at 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1mm and 169g. Zenfone 10 is 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.4mm and 176g. The latest version is a bit thicker and heavier, but it’s not a big enough difference to feel when using any phone.

Zenfone 10 bottom bezel

Zenfone 9 and 10 offer Gorilla Glass Victus and IP68 dust and waterproof level, so you can count on phones that offer solid stability regardless of which one you choose to buy. Both have a plastic back and aluminum sides, which is standard for phones at this price point.

At the bottom of both phones is a 3.5mm headphone jack, something missing from modern phones, with Sony Xperia phones being some of the only providers of features.

Show it

Zenfone 10 face changer

Both Asus Zenfone models have a smaller screen than you’ll find on most phones, but that’s a necessary trade-off to make a phone with a smaller screen. The Zenfone 10 has a 5.91-inch AMOLED display, while the Zenfone 9 has a 5.9-inch AMOLED screen. Both devices have a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, resulting in a 445ppi pixel density – the highest image quality for an FHD+ display. They also seem more powerful than other phones with the same specs.

The main difference between the two Zenphone models comes down to revival cost: The Asus Zenfone 10 has a refresh rate of 144Hz compared to the Asus Zenfone 9’s 120Hz. Both are fast, but the extra speed offered by the Zenfone 10 makes a slight difference.

You won’t notice the difference in brightness between the two phones, as they both come with a maximum brightness of 1100nits.

Hardware and specs

Zenfone 10 headphone port

The Asus Zenfone 10 has a processor upgrade that is impressive. It includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor compared to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 found in the Asus Zenfone 9. If you are serious about performance, you will notice the additional speed provided by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 compared to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. In the Zenfone 9, you can go down to 6GB of RAM and reach to 16GB. In the Zenfone 10, the amount of RAM is the same as 16GB, but you can only go down to 8GB. If you’re worried about performance, you’ll want to get one of the 16GB models, as that extra memory will really help you do more with your phone.

Storage on the two phones is similar at the low end, both coming out at 128GB. However, at the lower end of the scale, you can go up to 512GB of space in the new Zenfone 10, while the Zenfone 9 only offers up to 256GB of space. If you store a lot of photos, videos, music, and apps locally, this might be the last choice, because you might just get more space in the new version.

The battery life between both phones should be similar, as they offer 4300mAh batteries. There may be a slight difference due to the power of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 compared to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, but we cannot expect a big difference in life. Both devices support 30W charging, so you won’t notice a difference in how fast the two charge.

The Zenfone 9 comes with Android 12 out of the box, while the Zenfone 10 starts with Android 13. Having one new OS means you’ll get another version of the OS in the future, so if you want to have the latest version of Android on your phone, you’ll want to get the new Zenfone 10. , although the Zenfone 9 should also see an upgrade.


Zenfone 10 camera closer

Smartphone manufacturers push things forward every year with their cameras, although Asus has kept the updates small. The Zenfone 9 has a 50-megapixel, f/1.9 aperture primary lens, just like the Zenfone 10. f/2.2 shooter compared to the Zenfone 9’s 12-megapixel, f/2.2 camera. Neither phone features a telephoto zoom lens, which is disappointing and expected for such a cheap device.

The most notable change comes to the front camera, 32-megapixel on the Zenfone 10 and 12-megapixel on the Zenfone 9. If you like taking selfies, this alone makes buying a new model worth it. Another great feature that both phones offer is gimbal-like 6-axis stabilization, which produces smoother videos and better night photos.

Apart from the big upgrade to the selfie camera, Asus hasn’t changed much, so the cameras won’t be the biggest factor that determines which phone you choose to take home. There are tweaks and upgrades, but for the most part, they’re minor.

Which one is right for you?

Most of the changes from the Asus Zenfone 9 to the Zenfone 10 are minor, but when you put them together, you get a slightly better phone. If you’re the type who feels like they’re missing out on the latest and greatest, you’ll want to check out the Zenfone 10.

Asus Zenfone 10 big tag

Asus / Pocket-lint

Asus Zenfone 10

Editor’s Choice

If you don’t already have a Zenfone 9, the price between phones is so close that we can recommend getting the new Zenfone 10.

However, if you can get a good deal on the Zenfone 9, it’s still worth getting as it performs well, has good cameras, and comes with the svelte design that the Zenfone series is known for. If you have an Asus Zenfone 9, it is not worth getting a new model. The changes are nice, but not enough to justify spending the money if you have the same model.

Asus Zenfone 9 - big picture

Asus / Pocket-lint

Asus Zenfone 9

Worth saving

Although the Asus Zenfone 10 has some smart upgrades, there aren’t enough of them to replace the Zenfone 9. If you’ve got a phone this fun, it’s better to stick with it than spend new money.

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