Asus Zenfone 10 arrives with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and surprisingly small display

Asus Zenfone 10 rear camera array
(Image credit: Asus / Zenfone)

Asus has officially lifted the lid on its latest premium handset, the Asus Zenfone 10 – and it has the makings of being one of the best small phones of 2023.

Owing to its unjustifiably high price, the Asus Zenfone 9 was among the most disappointing phones of last year, but its successor looks to have rectified some of those shortcomings by bringing top-end performance to the table.

Leading the charge is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset – which is the same processor you’ll find inside many of the best Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Xiaomi 13 – and the Zenfone 10 pairs that superior power with more internal storage (up to 512GB) this time around.

The Zenfone 10 ships with up to 16GB LPDDR5X RAM, and battery life is up 13% over the Zenfone 9, despite the newer phone using the same 4,300mAh power pack. The Zenfone 10 boasts wireless charging capabilities, too, where the Zenfone 9 doesn't.

Asus Zenfone 10 models lined up on a yellow background

(Image credit: Asus / Future)

On the design front, the Zenfone 10 sticks with its predecessor’s 5.9-inch AMOLED display, and the device weighs a comparable 172g, making it one of the smallest and lightest flagships to hit the market in 2023. It’s worth noting that several rumors had hinted at a 6.3-inch display for the Zenfone 10, so it’s good to see that Asus has decided to roll the dice again on what is arguably the best feature of the Asus Zenfone 9.

The only real aesthetic differences between the Zenfone 10 and Zenfone 9 come in the form of re-shaped camera rings on the former, which, Asus says, have been adjusted to offer a “more distinct and discrete design” on the newer phone. There’s a new color option, too: Aurora Green.

Disappointingly, there are still only two rear cameras on the Zenfone 10, one of which is the same Sony IMX766 50MP sensor as seen on last year's model. The Zenfone 9’s 12MP ultra-wide camera has been upgraded to a 13MP ultra-wide on the Zenfone 10, though, and the former’s 12MP selfie snapper is now a 32MP front-facing camera.

Alongside Asus’ usual HyperSteady mode, a new adaptive EIS function is available on the Zenfone 10, with AI Object Sense and HyperClarity – which ensures detail preservation at high magnification – among the other new photographic additions. Oh, and you’ll also now get an extra 2x magnification Portrait Mode.

As for the phone’s price and release date, the Zenfone 10 is available to pre-order now from £749.99 / €799, which is the same starting price as the Zenfone 9. We haven’t had confirmation of pricing in the US or Australia just yet, but judging by that European starting price, we’re confident that Asus will stick with figures around the $699 / AU$1,210 mark. We’ll update this article once we know for sure.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.