The Zenfone 7 series upgrades the basics & fixes the core issues present in the Zenfone 6. A better display, a better set of cameras & a slightly refined software experience take the devices one step ahead of their predecessor while the absence of IP68 water resistance and Wireless Charging pushes them behind other flagships in similar tiers.
Breaking out of their comfort zone, ASUS has launched two models under the Zenfone 7 series. The Zenfone 7 Pro is the top-tier flagship with all the perks ASUS has to offer for 2020. The regular Zenfone 7, while being very similar to it's elder sibling, has a couple of major features chopped off. The other thing that has changed is the pricing. These devices are now significantly more expensive compared to the Zenfone 6.
Let's get to the generational improvements right away. The Zenfone 7 series now comes with a 90Hz 6.67-inch AMOLED Display from Samsung. This is a significant improvement over last year's 60Hz 6.4-inch IPS LCD Display. The display gets a 100 nits brightness boost, now rated at 700 nits and ASUS also claims that it covers 110% of the DCI-P3 color space. There is also support for HDR10+ just like the ROG Phone 3.
The SOC powering the Zenfone 7 Pro is the Snapdragon 865+ while the regular Zenfone 7 has a regular Snapdragon 865 instead. The rest of components are evenly shared among the devices including LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 Storage. Now, the configurations are actually different as you can get the Zenfone 7 with 6 or 8 gigabytes of RAM with 128 gigabytes of Internal Storage while the Zenfone 7 Pro is only available in an 8GB RAM configuration with 256GB of Internal Storage on board.
ASUS has also improved the camera setup heavily compared to the Zenfone 6. There are three cameras now built on top of a better flip mechanism. Alongside a 64MP main camera (IMX686, f-1.8) there is an improved 12MP wide-angle camera (IMX363, f-2.2) and an 8MP Telephoto Camera that can do 3x Optical Zoom and 12x Digital Zoom. The wide-angle camera can also do super close Macro photography going up to 4 centimetres. Also, because it's the IMX363, it does support Phase-detection Autofocus. The Zenfone 7 Pro also comes with OIS for the main & telephoto cameras with the Zenfone 7 skipping on those.
The other improvements are minor but, still important. The Zenfone 7 series now support the same 30W fast charging like the ROG Phones with support for Quick Charge 4. There is also a connectivity revamp with support for sub-6 5G, Wi-Fi 6 & Bluetooth 5.1. If you live in India, Zenfone 7 series will support NAVIC navigation system. On the software side, there is now ZenUI 7 which is a minor revamp on the earlier ZenUI 6.
Things That Remained Unchanged or Got Removed
The biggest thing that wasn't really changed a lot is the Design. Zenfone 7 series looks almost exactly the same as the Zenfone 6. The only changes here are slightly altered color palettes, three cameras on the flip mechanism, a relocated fingerprint scanner & a slightly taller form factor. I don't want to be too picky but, I can't give ASUS any points for their efforts in design.
Although ASUS is using an AMOLED panel this time, they are still using a capacitive fingerprint scanner which now has been relocated at the side of the device, on top of the power button. They have also dropped the smart key and integrated some of it's features in the power button. Speaking of dropping things, there is no 3.5 mm headphone jack. This doesn't make sense as the body is now longer & it still has the same 5000 mAh Battery. So there definitely wasn't a space issue.
That being said ASUS did retain the stereo speakers with each speaker having it's own NXP TFA9874 smart amp. The notification LED has also been moved from the top right of the display to the bottom left (beside the charging port) of the device.
Pricing & Availability
The global pricing info is still unknown but, we do know the Taiwan pricing for all of the variants. The 6GB RAM variant of the Zenfone 7 costs a whopping NT$ 21990 (~ ₹55628) and the 8GB RAM variant will set you off at NT$ 23990 (~ ₹60688). The Zenfone 7 Pro on the other hand costs NT$ 27990 (~ ₹70806). These are significantly higher prices compared to last year's Zenfone 6 so, we still need to see if that's going to be the case for the global pricing and if that's the case, how the consumers react to that.
Speaking of availability, both the Zenfone 7 & Zenfone 7 Pro are up for pre-order in Taiwan. There is no official word on other countries but, the inclusion of NAVIC indicates that the devices should launch in India and hopefully in other countries as well pretty soon. In India the devices will probably be called ASUS 7Z and ASUS 7Z Pro. We will update all the information here once we get a confirmation from the company.