Asus Zenfone 10 looks set to drop its predecessor's best feature

Asus Zenfone 9
(Image credit: Future)

Asus is set to debut a new Zenfone-branded flagship smartphone in the Zenfone 10, if patterns hold. Now, according to a report from Price Baba – citing leaker Paras Guglani – the upcoming Zenfone 10 is set to supersede last year's Zenfone 9 in one important way. The report says that the brand is set to replace the compact 5.9-inch phone with a 6.3-inch model, abandoning its pursuit of the ironically small compact phone market.

Asus’s Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 9 had broken ground as powerful compact smartphones which boasted clean Android software, up-to-date hardware, and small frames. The Zenfone 9 was 5.9-inches, as we mentioned, as was the Zenfone 8 before it. The Zenfone 10, for its part, is rumored to sport a 6.3-inch display; the same size as the Google Pixel 7. It’s also to come with a 120Hz AMOLED display, though there are no resolution details shared in this latest report. 

Other than the size, the Zenfone 10 is set to be a powerful phone, on track to sport Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which powers the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S23 and the OnePlus 11. Buyers can expect excellent performance and battery life, based on that alone, though Asus isn't content to coast on its laurels. A rumored 16GB of RAM means that all your apps and games should launch in moments and stay in memory. Similarly, a 5,000mAh battery, paired with 67W fast charging means that your phone should last a long time while charging up rapidly.

In addition, the camera is rumored to leverage a 200-megapixel sensor, while internally between 256GB and 512GB of storage is expected to be on board, built-in liquid cooling should keep the phone cool when gaming, there’s promised fast charging, and IP68 resistance should keep it safe from dust and rain.

 Smaller phones do the dodo 

iPhone 13 mini

The iPhone 13 Mini is another small phone that was replaced by a larger one.  (Image credit: TechRadar)

All those specs – impressive as they are – are increasingly table stakes for Android phones. What is notable here is the increase in size. Compact phone fans have had it rough in recent years. Apple's iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini appeared to be the savior of smaller phones,  but the company moved away from them and adopted the iPhone 14 Plus instead. Not that the iPhone 14 Plus sold gangbusters instead, but it's likely a change that had little to do with its size.

At the same time, the Asus Zenfone 9 was touted as an excellent small Android phone as well. And now it's being replaced by a larger smartphone. Big phones offer space for larger batteries, better cameras, and bigger screens. Certainly, size and weight are a consideration, but the commercial repudiation of sub-six-inch phones has been sure to send a message to smartphone manufacturers – and it's not one smaller phone fans would like to hear.

Michael Allison
Staff Writer, Phones

A UK-based tech journalist for TechRadar, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a primary focus on mobile phones, tablets, and wearables.

When not writing on TechRadar, I can often be found reading fiction, writing for fun, or working out.