Asus Zenfone 7 Pro review: Flip Camera doesn’t want to flop

0
275
Zenfone 7Pro

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro arrives at the end of summer 2020 with its Flip Camera to offer both a design that stands out from the competition but also an interesting photo versatility with this swivel module using a motor. Here is our full test of this smartphone.

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro persists and signs with the Flip Camera. As on the previous generation, the phone is equipped with a rotating photo module as original as it is incongruous. We tested this smartphone to find out what it was actually worth.

Technical Sheet :

ModelAsus Zenfone 7 Pro
OS versionAndroid 10 Q
Interface constructeurZenUI
Screen size6.67 inch
Definition2400 x 1080 pixels
Pixel density395 ppp
TechnologyAMOLED
SoCSnapdragon 865+
Graphics Chip (GPU)Adreno 650
Random access memory (RAM)8 GB
Internal memory (flash)256 GB
Camera (back)Sensor 1:64 Mp
Sensor 2:12 Mp
Sensor 3:8 Mp
Camera (front)
Video recording8K@30 fps
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (ax)
Bluetooth5.1
NFCYes
Fingerprint sensorYes
Ports (Inputs/Outputs)USB Type-C
Battery5000 mAh
Dimensions77.28 x 165.08 x 9.6mm
Weight230 grams
ColorsBlack, White
Price955$

 

READ ALSO : MacBook Pro 2020 & Huawei Mate 40 Series

An Original, But Heavy Smartphone :

Uncommon. Here is a short and sober summary of the design of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro. This is both a big advantage and a potential drawback. Indeed, the smartphone is equipped with a Flip Camera, like the one we had already seen on the Zenfone 6 in 2019. It is a rotating photo module that does not leave you indifferent. On the one hand, it should be noted that this system allows both to avoid a notch or a hole in the screen and to offer the same image quality to your classic shots and your selfies. On the other hand, the aesthetics of the thing can be puzzling: having a rectangle overhanging the phone when taking a selfie or using facial recognition is not necessarily to everyone’s liking.

Pleasant sign of distinction and generator of a “wow” effect or a cumbersome and impractical system? As often, we prefer to let you make up your own mind on the matter. What we can tell you that said is that this Flip Camera looks pretty robust. I handled it by hand to force the rotation and it didn’t damage the engine in any way. Engine which is moreover strengthened compared to last year, Asus promising 200,000 flips without malfunction, or 100 uses per day for more than 5 years.

The front of the Asus Zenfone 7 ProThe Flip Camera in action on the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro The back of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

For the rest, we note especially that the Zenfone 7 Pro is a very heavy smartphone with its 230 grams. Added to this are the imposing dimensions of 165.08 x 77.28 x 9.6 mm which give it a size quite similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. In other words, you don’t have to be afraid of big, wide and thick smartphones to appreciate this one. Conversely, it can be quite a barrier to comfortable use for people with small hands.

The absence of notches and holes in the screen favors the user’s immersion in the content being viewed, since it is not cut off anywhere. However, it’s quite a shame that Asus has failed to further remove the borders around the display area. These still remain clearly visible when one could have hoped for more marked benefits from this Flip Camera.

The 90-degree Flip Camera on the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro The recess hosting the Flip Camera on the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro The borders of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

At the back, there is nothing really special to report. When the rotating camera is in its conventional location, you can see the three lenses (and flash) at the top center aligned horizontally. When you direct the motor to spin the module, a large gray rectangular indentation appears.

Apart from that, the back of the Zenfone 7 Pro is stamped with the name Asus and a small microphone under the housing of the Flip Camera to perceive and dampen surrounding noise during your calls. On the right side, the unlock button also acts as a fingerprint reader. The volume controls are positioned on the same side, while on the left is the location of the nano SIM and microSD.

The Flip Camera deployed seen from the back on the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

Unfortunately no jack in sight for those who love wired audio. At the bottom, the USB-C port is placed next to a speaker and an indicator light to let you know you have notifications. Note also that the front face of the Zenfone 7 Pro is protected by Gorilla Glass 6 when the back face is covered with Gorilla Glass 3. Finally, the phone is not certified water and dust resistant (no IP68).

Some Adjustments For A Very Beautiful Screen :

Unlike last year, Asus finally made the choice to integrate an AMOLED panel that it bought from Samsung. We therefore have here a diagonal of 6.67 inches for a panel offering a definition of 2400 x 1080 pixels (Full HD +). Also, the Zenfone 7 Pro tastes the refresh rate at 90Hz.

This 90 Hz option is felt quite well and is useful for giving a little boost to the fluidity of the user experience. In addition, AMOLED offers both perfect contrast and a very high maximum brightness. To confirm this last point, our probe associated with the CalMan software from Portrait Dispalys tells us that the Zenfone 7 Pro screen can go up to 670 cd/m², which guarantees you good readability even in a particularly bright environment.

The AMOLED screen of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

Be careful, however, the ambient light sensor can sometimes play a few tricks and when you turn on the screen in a poorly lit place, the brightness of the panel may take time to decrease and therefore dazzles the eyes for a short second.

One nice thing: the Zenfone 7 Pro’s screen is capable of displaying a satisfactory number of colors. Thus, the RGB color space is covered up to 149% with the default settings. More difficult, the DCI-P3 space is covered 100% all stack. This device is not the best in the year, however, as we have seen other smartphones do better, even in this price bracket.

READ ALSO : IPhone 12 AND 12 PRO RELEASE DATE & Fitbit Inspire 2 

The Zenfone 7 Pro also displays colors more or less faithful to reality. Let’s say they don’t come close, but they don’t stray too far away either. Indeed, on the DCI-P3, the average Delta E is 4.78, while the ideal for this index is rather located at 3.

The average screen Delta of the Zenfone 7 Pro on the DCI-P3 is 4.78

The graphic above shows that the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro screen moves away from reality primarily in white and fifty shades of gray.

In addition, in its default configuration – called “Splendid”, the panel tends a little too much towards blue with a temperature measured at 8195 K – while the ideal is located around 6500 K. For a better balance, you can adjust the dedicated slider to redder tones.

You can also see if any of the natural, kinematic, standard, or custom modes work best for you.

A Clear Interface Full Of Options :

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro runs Android 10 with an in-house ZenUI interface that comes very close to the sleek experience Google offers on its devices. Everything is therefore very intuitive and easy to learn.

In addition to the gesture navigation and responsive dark theme, you can choose the interface font, option highlight color, and app icon shape.

Additionally, the tiles on the shortcuts panel can be lowered to be easier to use with one hand. To do this, you must activate the “Quick configuration layout” option in the display settings.

You can lower the elements of the shortcuts panel on the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro for one-handed use

The unlock button can also be configured. Depending on your preference, he can launch Google Assistant or an application with a long or double press. You will find these options in the “Smart key” section.

Asus has well thought out its interface to make it very fluid and pleasant. However, it should be noted that the Taiwanese manufacturer adopts, by default, a fairly aggressive management of applications in the background. These will in fact tend to be closed by the system if they are not used for a certain time, which can lead to a longer startup of said apps. This helps conserve battery power, but if you don’t want to compromise on this, you’ll need to turn off the “Hibernating apps” feature in the battery settings.

Speaking of the battery, there are several options available to you. A Performance mode is available to boost the power of the phone, but Asus mainly relies on features that preserve the battery over time. So, if you’re used to charging your phone overnight, you can turn on trickle charging so you don’t “stress” your battery too much when it can take its time to reach 100%.

READ ALSO : MI True Wireless Earphones 2 & Deebot Ozmo 920

You can also plan the time when the phone should have regained all of its energy with the new possibility of making this time correspond to your waking up.

Also note that the energy saving mode allows you to create two presets where you can adjust the brightness, refresh rate, connectivity, etc. So, depending on your needs and if the battery soon dies, you can set the Zenfone 7 Pro to one of the two modes you created with one click.

Mode Battery

A game genius option allows you to make the most of your games by rejecting calls, for example. On a negative point, it should also be noted that the smartphone has preinstalled third-party applications such as Netflix, Instagram and Facebook. Fortunately, these services are quite popular and therefore should be relevant to several people, but you can always uninstall them if they are not.

For the unlocking of the device, I recommend that you use the very fast fingerprint reader rather than the facial recognition which, in addition to being less secure in the absence of a 3D system, takes more time with the rotation of the photo module.

Regarding SVoD videos, a priori you will not encounter any problem to enjoy HD quality since the Zenfone 7 Pro benefits from the adequate level of security on the Widevine DRM. Finally, UFS 3.1 internal storage amounts to 256 GB and is expandable up to 2 TB.

Audio: Quality Sound, But False Stereo

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro won’t replace your speaker, but it does deliver great audio power with overall clear sound. The reproduction is satisfactory, even if you feel that the phone is more comfortable with the mids than with the high and low tones that it sometimes attenuates.

The real little flaw of the Zenfone 7 Pro in terms of audio quality lies in the stereo appearance it wants to give itself. There’s not much to complain about the bottom speaker, but the top one, used for calls, lacks the power to provide true stereo. By plugging the bottom grille, you will drastically muffle the music playing. The spatialization of sound is therefore not the great strength of this phone.

Large Photo Qualities And Small Flats :

As has been said, the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro does not have front or rear photo modules. The three sensors it has are used both for classic shots and for selfies. The configuration is as follows:
  • 64-megapixel (f/1.8) Sony IMX686 main sensor with optical stabilization.
  • 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle (f/2.2).
  • 8 megapixel x3 telephoto lens with optical stabilization.
To rotate the module 180 degrees, simply press the camera rotation button.

The Flip Camera fully deployed on the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

To make it move at the speed you want, hold your thumb on that same button and drag it up or down. The camera app interface also lets you set up to three preset tilts. You will then only have to press the corresponding button to make the Flip Camera move to the desired position.

Indeed, a small icon representing the Flip Camera is displayed when the module is stored in the back. Tilt the camera as you want, click on said icon and then keep pressing C1, C2 or C3 to set a favorite tilt.

In fact, what do we get as a result of this Asus Zenfone 7 Pro? Well, this phone is very good at producing pretty classic shot shots that are well detailed and in colors that stand out quite well without distorting the scene either. It’s a really great job.

                           

One small flaw can however be pointed out: the dynamic management, although far from being bad, could be improved a bit to better expose the shadow areas of certain contrasting scenes.

On this sunrise, the Zenfone 7 Pro could have pushed more brightness to the foreground to improve rendering, but the sky and the mountains are well exposed

In low light, the phone will automatically activate night mode. You will therefore have to press the Moon icon to deactivate this option. In this case, the images produced by the Zenfone 7 Pro are far from bad. They logically suffer from a higher noise level, but they manage to maintain a lot of detail so crisp. However, this comes at the expense of a little sacrificed brightness in the darker areas of the scene. Without night mode, the phone won’t really bother to retrieve information from these areas.

With night mode – let’s say it again, this activates itself by default in low light – you immediately feel a big difference in the exposure of the scenes. With a four second exposure time during which you have to stay still, the camera captures more light and shines much more light on areas that should normally have remained in shadow in the shot. Be careful, however, this feature distorts the scene a little in terms of colorimetry as shown in the comparison below.

READ ALSO : Lenovo Smart Display 8″ & Tesla Model S

The Zenfone 7 Pro has a 64 megapixel mode, but this is clearly not highlighted. Obviously, Asus has integrated a sensor with this definition mainly to capture more light thanks to pixel binning and not really to encourage its users to take more detailed photos, but also heavier on storage space.

Anyway, to take advantage of it, you will have to go to the camera’s settings and choose “4:3 (64 MP)” in the “Resolution” section.

The ultra wide angle of the Zenfone 7 Pro is very classic. It allows more elements to be captured in the scene, but offers less detailed images, especially at the edges and in distant elements. Don’t overdo this low light shooting mode, without being really bad, the dedicated sensor isn’t really that good either (the night shots in the gallery below were taken without the night mode).

On the telephoto lens, the x3 zoom and stabilization are optical. Enough to ensure beautiful images most of the time. Depending on the situation, a slight blur may occur, but this is quite rare.

             

For portrait mode, the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is very effective in its bokeh effect, but the line between the sharp person photographed and the blurred background lacks a bit of precision and some flyaways or a few hairs at the top of the head. suffer. The overall rendering is however pleasing to the eye.

Interestingly, in automatic mode, the camera gives you the option of locking the exposure regardless of the focus. To do this, keep pressing on the circle indicating where the exposure occurred until a smaller circle inside appears. You can then move it to take stock elsewhere in the scene.

You can focus independently of the exposure setting

Also note that the automatic panorama mode is still in the game. As you can imagine, this feature allows you to take a panoramic shot without having to move the phone, it is the rotary module that moves for you. Personally, this is my favorite (totally gimmicky) feature on this Flip Camera.

Finally, the quality of selfies is the same as that of classic photos. We therefore take advantage of pretty renderings. On the other hand, if the ultra-wide angle has an obvious interest in group selfie photos, it is difficult to justify the interest of the x3 zoom on your paper clip.

Also note that the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro can shoot in 4K at 60 frames per second. You can rotate the Flip Camera during recording to switch between rear and front shots relatively smoothly and back again.
You can also edit up to 8K (30 fps) resolution for video. However, you will not be able to activate the SuperSteady function for further stabilization. It should also be remembered that this recording mode remains very gadget for most users today.

Excellent Performance :

The Snapdragon 865+ leaves no nasty surprises on this phone. The chip has no trouble deploying great power, especially in the most demanding games like Fortnite. The Epic Games title runs smoothly with “epic” graphics quality, at 30 fps and at 100% 3D resolution.

Fortnite runs in epic quality on the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

Same observation on Call of Duty Mobile: the game runs perfectly with the graphic configurations pushed to the bottom. This observation is confirmed by the benchmarks below – let us simply point out that these were carried out with the Performance mode activated.

été effectués avec le mode Performances activé.

ModelAsus Zenfone 7 ProSamsung Galaxy S20OnePlus 8 ProXiaomi Mi 10 Pro
AnTuTu 8629173510024584217590027
AnTuTu CPU183666N/CN/CN/C
AnTuTu GPU242192N/CN/CN/C
AnTuTu MEM107333N/CN/CN/C
AnTuTu UX95982N/CN/CN/C
PC Mark 2.015082101141136410606
3DMark Slingshot Extreme7457661670897126
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics8938837881038263
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics4719381149294810
GFXBench Aztec Vulkan high (onscreen / offscreen)32 / 22 FPS16 / 20 FPS18 / 20 FPS30 / 20 FPS
GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen)46 / 55 FPS45 / 41 FPS26 / 51 FPS45 / 50 FPS
GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen)89 / 128 FPS60 / 111 FPS59 / 123 FPS88 / 122 FPS
Sequential read / write1729 / 771 Mo/s1512 / 679 Mo/s1731 / 754 Mo/s1652 / 738 Mo/s
Random read / write62338 / 61672 IOPS51000 / 57000 IOPS52800 / 50000 IOPS57300 / 53800 IOPS

 

For an “optimized system”, during your games, you can ask the game’s engineering function to allocate as many resources as possible to the smooth running of the game in progress.

I did not observe any particular heat up except when the phone was in Performance mode. Finally, be aware that 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM comes into play on the Zenfone 7 Pro.

A Very Enduring Smartphone :

With a 5,000 mAh battery, Asus intends to put the package on autonomy. In fact, the mission is quite successful. With fairly active use, the device can take a day and a half quietly, or even two full days, depending on the appetite of the applications launched.

On our ViSer custom test protocol, the Zenfone 7 Pro lasted 10 hours and 2 minutes. This is a good result testifying to a reassuring phone on the question of autonomy, even if it does not rise to the level of the biggest endurance monsters. This will allow you to take photos, watch videos, hang out on social networks, surf the web and make multiple calls without having to wonder every time if this is going to rush you to the terrible 0% battery.

The triple photo module of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro fingerprint reader The USB-C port of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

On a personal note, I took the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro on a two-day hike to take plenty of photos and still had a comfortable mattress to start the third day without charging the phone I put in airplane mode. for a good part of the journey (to be sure you don’t get stuck in the middle of the mountains).

The comments on the good battery life of the Zenfone 7 Pro, however, are no longer very true when you activate the performance mode. This drains the battery significantly. Be sure to turn it off when you don’t need it. Finally, the large charging unit that comes with the phone can go from 10 to almost 60% in 30 minutes. In total to find 100% of battery, it takes about 1h30.

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Network And Communication:

On a call, the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is very good at reducing noise around you so that they don’t interfere with the other party, except for a horn or two. On the other hand, the person to whom you speak will hear a well saturated voice, the audio processing carried out by the telephone is felt.

While using the phone, I have been lost on several occasions, first at high altitude in Haute-Savoie and then in the vastness of Disneyland Park in Marne-la-Vallée. In these two radically opposed settings, the Zenfone 7 Pro has always been able to geolocate me with precision, saving me a few cold sweats.

Finally, you should know that the phone is both compatible with all the 4G frequency bands, but also works on the 5G network. Also note that you can use two nano SIM at the same time as one. microSD, you simply cannot insert two 5G cards into the device at the same time. Also, eSIM is not supported, but you do enjoy Wi-Fi 6.

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Price And Availability :

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is announced for 799 euros (about 955$ ). Its marketing is scheduled for September 10. Two colors will be offered: white and black.

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here