Asus has emphatically dismissed recent rumors that it's planning to kill its Zenfone series, with the company hinting that we'll likely see an Asus Zenfone 10 successor next year.
Rumors about the demise of the Zenfone series, which have consistently ranked among the best small phones you can buy, started circulating on August 25 after the Taiwanese site TechNews claimed an “organizational restructure" at Asus would result in layoffs, which would make the Zenfone 10 the last model in the range.
Asus has now dismissed those claims in a short press release, saying that speculation about the Zenfone 10 being the last model in the series, and that it'd be shutting down the Zenfone line, are "not true". The company added that it will "continue our two main phone business product lines, the ROG Phone and the Zenfone" because it has a "strong commitment" to smartphones.
To underline its point, Asus said we should also "stay tuned for our 2024 product lineups", suggesting that an Asus Zenfone 11 and more ROG Phones will be en route next year.
The latter is backed up by an IMEI listing for the ROG Phone 8 series that was recently spotted by GSMChina. We've only just finished our Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate review, but it seems that a ROG Phone 8 Ultimate will be joined by a ROG Phone 8 and ROG Phone 8 Pro, potentially next year.
So far, there haven't been any leaks of a Zenfone 11, which isn't surprising considering the Zenfone 10 was only announced on June 29. But there is certainly room for improvement, with our Asus Zenfone 10 review calling it the "the definition of an iterative upgrade" that doesn't fix "many of the issues and dubious choices of the Zenfone 9 ", including an unnecessarily powerful chipset and middling cameras.
Analysis: The Zenfone lives on, but for how long?
The apparent demise of the iPhone mini series has left the Asus Zenfone series standing alone as the only real option for those who want a small smartphone with the latest specs. But while that's in some ways good news for the Zenfone, there is also a reason why no other company is making a 5.9-inch phone.
These days, larger phones are simply more popular, and small phones inevitably come with compromises. While mini phones are cheaper than their larger siblings, the difference isn't massive (the Zenfone 10 costs $699.99, or around £550 / AU$1,090, for its base model) and they inevitably come with smaller batteries.
It's also clearly becoming difficult for Asus to evolve the Zenfone in meaningful ways, with the Zenfone 10 bringing only a few small upgrades over its Zenfone 9 predecessor, which could soon offer much better value.
So while Asus sounds confident about the future of the Zenfone series in its latest statement, the range needs change if it's remain a noteworthy choice for fans of small phones that can be used one-handed.
Based on our experience with the Zenfone 10, a lower price, less ambitious chipset and better cameras could be the way to go. While the Zenfone 10's main 50MP f/1.9 camera is fine, it uses an older, mid-range Sony IMX766 sensor with some pretty basic processing.
Whether or not Asus agrees with our suggestions is something we'll seemingly find out in 2024 with the Zenfone 11.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.