OPINION: Asus introduced the Zenfone 9 this week, and whereas I’ve solely used the system sparingly it appears to be like to be a powerful replace to one among my private favorite Android telephones of 2021. However there’s an enormous problem that leaves a bitter style in my mouth.
It may be arduous to make your Android telephone stand out from the gang. Loads of producers, notably LG, have exited the enterprise probably as a result of incapacity to oust large boys like Samsung and Xiaomi.
Extra lately, we’ve seen Nothing intention to set itself aside with the addition of the Glyph interface, a spread of LED lights on the telephone’s rear which will (or could not, relying in your emotions) be little greater than a gimmick.
Asus has set itself aside not solely by creating the finest gaming telephone round within the type of the ROG Cellphone 6 Professional, but in addition by going towards the competitors and stuffing top-drawer elements into a much smaller, rather more pocketable dimension.
The Zenfone 9, just like the Zenfone 8 earlier than it, isn’t touted as a ‘Mini’ model of the bigger flagship, nor does it really feel inferior to a ‘Professional’ model. That is Asus’ flagship, shopper smartphone for the 12 months – it simply occurs to be smaller than most of the finest telephones round.
What makes the Zenfone 9 rarer than your common small telephone is that it’s packed to the rafters with top-end tech. Operating the present is the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset paired with as much as 16GB RAM and a 120Hz show. On the again, there’s a 50MP important digital camera taken to the subsequent stage with genuinely spectacular 6-axis gimbal stabilisation.
To date, so good – however there’s an enormous problem
In his preliminary hands-on of the telephone, resident telephone knowledgeable Peter Phelps stated, “The Asus Zenfone 9 is a telephone that’s proudly completely different from the others, at the least so far as its design is worried. Its small dimension and skinny facet ratio, together with its retention of the three.5mm headphone jack, are uncommon decisions, and it’s undeniably good to see all of those make uncommon appearances on a high-end telephone and broaden the vary of choices for shoppers.”
To date, so good – however there’s an enormous problem I’ve discovered with the Zenfone 9, and that’s its poor promise of future Android and safety updates.
Asus has promised to solely assist the Zenfone 9, a telephone that may price as much as £749, for a mere two years. Meaning you’ll probably solely get two main updates and solely a few years of safety patches for the telephone. Contemplating we have to do all we are able to to attempt to fight wasted tech, I actually don’t suppose slicing off assist after such a brief period of time is sweet sufficient and Asus actually ought to be doing higher.
Whereas, in fact, the Zenfone 9 will proceed to operate after that two 12 months interval, the dearth of safety patches might go away it open to vulnerabilities – and also you received’t profit from any new options added to Android.
Two years of updates is likely to be the norm for among the finest low cost telephones, however its uncommon on the increased finish of the market. Samsung is promising 5 years of updates with its Galaxy S22 sequence, the Pixel 6a will likely be correctly supported for 4 years and even the £399 Nothing Cellphone (1) will get three main Android OIS updates and an extra 12 months of safety assist.
Apple is one other model who helps units for a very long time, with the seven-year-old iPhone 6s nonetheless in a position to be up to date to the current iOS 15.5 model.
Merely put, solely getting two years’ value of updates from Asus places a critical dampener on my pleasure for what in any other case appears to be like to be a wonderful smartphone.