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If there's one thing that catches my attention, it's compact smartphones, and the ASUS showed that it knows how to make smaller cell phones like the excellent Zenfone 9, and now presents its new Zenfone 10. The new model brings subtle design updates to the manufacturer's top of the line, but encompasses current technologies such as the processor Snapdragon 8 Gen2 and operating system Android 13. In other points, we'll see that it still remains the best compact smartphone on the market, but let's see if it's worth it compared to the other premium models on the market. Check out the full review of the Zenfone 10 now!
Talk about Zenfone 10 without mentioning its predecessor is impossible. After all, they are the same device, but with improvements necessary for an annual release. Starting from its rear, it maintains the look with two cameras Giants and a very beautiful recycled plastic finish.
The difference is due to the decorative elements, such as the company logo and the new positioning of the name “ASUS Zenfone”. Otherwise, the same design remained, without any differences.
The body of the device is very well built and has practically the same measurements as the previous version. In terms of weight, we had a small increase, now 172g compared to 169g for the previous one. This makes the Zenfone 10 the perfect upgrade for compact smartphone lovers like me.
When using the device, we have the same volume buttons on the right, but with a difference in the power button that had already been inserted in the previous version. Called Zen Touch, this button serves not only as a fingerprint reader, but also as a reader for various gestures, whether to turn on the flashlight, scroll through the web feed or social networks, or simply pull down the notification bar.
It is a resource that works as a blessing or a curse. It's interesting at first and can even be useful, but there comes a time when your finger starts accidentally bumping it there and activating it without you wanting to, so in my case, I deactivated it after testing.
At the bottom, the smartphone has a USB-C port for charging, with a drawer for carrier chips. At the top, the much-missed 2mm P3,5 headphone jack remains, giving you more options for listening to audio from your cell phone.
The Zenfone 10 arrives in Brazil in five colors: Starry Blue (Blue), Midnight Black (Black), Aurora Green (Green), Eclipse Red (Red) and Comet White (White). In addition to the smartphone, the box also includes a 30W charger, a case, USB-C cable and manuals.
Although it is a small smartphone, it still stands out with the technologies included on its screen. Some good examples are protection Corning Gorilla Glass Foods: HDR10 +The display Super AMOLED and brightness of up to 1100 nits when at its peak.
And how small is the model? The screen is 5,9 inches — slightly less than the 6,1 inches of the iPhone 15 and Galaxy S23 — with resolution Full HD + (1080×2400 pixels), a perfect match for this model. As for the refresh rate, it supports up to 144Hz, but such speed is only achieved in specific games. The default setting is between 60Hz or 120Hz — which is already great, let's face it.
Whether scrolling through your Instagram feed or playing videos on YouTube and streaming services, in addition to not having any type of choking, the colors look great and are easy to use, as it is super compact. Of course, in games it doesn't lack anything either and in specific games it can reach up to an incredible 144Hz refresh rate, something very impressive for a smartphone.
O Zenfone 10 It's really an incremental improvement from the previous year. The battery also doesn't bring anything new and remains at 4300 mAh, which can easily last a long day of use. Good system optimization makes a difference here in order to have this performance, but be warned, it arrives at the end of the day asking for mercy and begging for a power outlet.
Now, if you use it a little more calmly, you can easily go almost two full days unplugged. Due to the idea of being a smaller device, there would be no way to put such a large battery here. However, the feeling of using the same device permeates me with each new topic I test.
Even the charger is the same: a 30W model from the line HyperCharger, far from being bad, but in the midst of this sea of sameness, it remains just another item on the list.
Performance and interface
This is where the Zenfone 10 has its main novelties and is its only real reason for existence. The processor chosen is the powerful one Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2, the company's top-of-the-line SoC for 2023. To help with the task of performing everything without crashes, I tested the version with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage UFS 4.0 — which has double the reading speed compared to the UFS 3.1 standard, used in last year's model.
The refrigeration technologies used in the previous model return here, using a vapor chamber. This makes the Zenfone 10 a perfect device for games and heavier tasks, always maintaining a good temperature, even under pressure. Because it has a lot of RAM, no app will close while you are using it. By having UFS 4.0 standard storage, apps and updates are installed much faster, as well as the function of moving files from one folder to another.
This also makes a big difference in games, after all, with good hardware, software tends to perform better. Games like Genshin impact They run very well, even with everything at maximum. All this without the smartphone getting hot in your hand, a sign that the cooling system really works.
When entering games, game mode is activated and in it you can configure all your preferences, ranging from disabling notifications while playing to using the full power of the device's CPU and GPU. Very useful and interesting to explore. I didn't experience any lags or crashes when browsing the system and social networks — on the contrary, it remains one of the best smartphones for this type of task. The good work of optimizing ZenUI, based on Android, also makes all the difference here.
A ZenUI underwent a redesign this year. Starting with the version based on Android 13, it has a little more identity and lets you decide whether you want to use the system with the ASUS or Google look, something I particularly loved.
These options spread to the device's volume system, notifications area, home screen and others. However, the most interesting thing for me is seeing how this software has evolved over the years, from a polluted system full of unnecessary apps to a super advanced and aesthetically simple interface.
Just like many other topics we talk about about this smartphone, the cameras are also on the list of things that have not undergone practically any changes from the previous model to this one.
The only real improvement on this topic is the selfie camera, but otherwise, we have the same lenses and the same technologies. Don't get me wrong, they are great camera applications, especially with video and gimbal mode, but again, it made me question why this device was being released.
In the previous version, we had a 12MP lens, capable of taking good selfies and with good colors. On Zenfone 10, this is repeated, but with a little more detail and now with the quad-pixel improved, after all it is 32 MP.
The aperture is f/2.5, very similar to the one seen on the Zenfone 9 and these are the highlights of the new model. In videos, it can reach a maximum of 1080P (Full HD) with 30 frames per second, far from being bad, but let's face it, as it is top of the line, you could have 4K here.
As for the rear camera, the only new thing is the increase from 12MP to 13 MP in the ultra-wide camera — yes, just 1 MP difference. The rest is the same configuration, with two lenses, the main one with 50MP with a Sony sensor that delivers great results, except in the dark.
The ultrawide lens, although it gained another 1MP improvement, in practice, it didn't change anything. This means that it will be a good secondary camera for when we need a wider frame, but nothing that we don't see all the time on simpler smartphones.
The highlight of the rear cameras is, in fact, videos. Just like last year, this new Zenfone has a built-in gimbal system, allowing greater image stabilization in your videos. Due to its size, being able to record with high quality and without shaking at all is something very interesting and makes all the difference.
Unlike the front camera, the rear videos reach up to 8K and with it you can create cinema scenes, if you so wish. Of course, this also requires knowledge in the area, but it is certainly the main highlight here.
Like a good top of the line, the Zenfone 10 continues to grace us with two excellent quality stereo speakers. They are great for consuming all types of entertainment and perform very well in music.
ASUS, unlike much of the market, does not use the Dolby Atmos, but the DIRAC Audio. This certification guarantees audio enhancement as good as Dolby Atmos, as well as equalization customization options and specific headphone settings.
Another great feature for the Zenfone 10 is that it has a 2mm P3,5 wired headphone output. Thanks to this connection, you can enjoy both a good Bluetooth headset and also excellent wired headphones, if you prefer.
Completion and availability
O Zenfone 10 It is, without a doubt, an excellent smartphone and remains the best compact smartphone we have on the market. ASUS repeated the success recipe of the previous model and made it almost like a Zenfone 9 “2.0”, something that is good and bad in equal proportion.
This decision impacts precisely the reason this device exists. It is a standard for brands to launch their devices every year, but since the only difference between one year and another is the processor update, the question arises whether the product has acquired the maturity for such an incremental update.
Don't get me wrong, it's one of the best smartphones on the market, especially if you're looking for a small device. Plus, if you don't have the Zenfone 9, this is an even better choice. My point is that perhaps this model could have waited a little longer and perhaps brought us more interesting changes.
O Zenfone 10 was officially launched in Brazil today (31) for the price of R$5.399 in the version with 256 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM, and it's worth it for anyone who wants to update their smartphone that's more than 2 years old. Who knows, who knows, maybe there will be bigger developments next year, right?
|Dimensions||146.5 x 68.1 x 9.4 mm|
|Fabric||120Hz Super AMOLED and HDR10+;|
5,9″ with 1080 x 2400 px resolution and up to 1100 nits brightness;
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection;
144Hz support in specific games
|Processor||Qualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4nm)|
|Rear cameras||50 MP, f/1.9, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, multi-directional PDAF, gimbal OIS;|
13 MP, f/2.2, 120° (ultrawide), 1/3.06″, 1.12µm
|Frontal camera||32 MP, f / 2.5, (wide), 1 / 3.2 ″, 0.7µm|
|Memory||128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 16GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM;|
|Operational system||Android 13 with ZenUI|
|Conectividade||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7, tri-band, Wi-Fi Direct;|
Bluetooth 5.3, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive;
GPS (L1+L5), GLONASS (L1), BDS (B1I+B2a), GALILEO (E1+E5a), QZSS (L1+L5), NavIC (L5);
USB Type-C 2.0, OTG;
Fingerprint sensor (side), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass
|Charge||30W on wired charging;|
PD 3.0, PPS, QC4;
15W wireless charging;
5W wired reverse charge;
30W charger included in the box
|Water resistance||Yes, IP68 (protection against water and dust and resistant to diving up to 1,5M for 30 minutes)|
|Colors||Starry Blue (Blue), Midnight Black (Black), Aurora Green (Green), Eclipse Red (Red) and Comet White (White).|
REVIEW: ASUS Zenfone 10REVIEW: ASUS Zenfone 10
Back camera7/10 Good
Frontal camera7/10 Good
- Compact design smaller than 6"
- Excellent screen and performance
- Good stereo speakers
- Charger could be a little faster
- Play it safe a lot
- ZenTouch is not that interesting