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Asus Zenfone 8 Flip Camera: Good detail in video and unusual design

Reading Time: 10 min read
118
camera

Asus continues to push the design envelope with its Zenfone smartphones in 2021. The standard Zenfone 8 launched as a super-compact flagship and is now joined by the larger “Flip” model, featuring Asus’s innovative motorized flip camera solution. Basic phone specs on the 8 Flip remain top-end, boasting a Snapdragon 888 chipset running Android 11; 5G connectivity; and a large 6.67-inch, 2400 x 1080-pixel AMOLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate.

For photography, the Zenfone 8 Flip packs a primary camera, ultra-wide, and tele-lens into a module that will flip between front- or rear-facing, so you can use the same camera hardware for standard or selfie photography. In addition, the Zenfone solution does away with the notch issue.

The primary camera features a 64 MP Quad-Bayer sensor linked to a 26.6 mm-equivalent lens. There’s a standard-array 12 MP sensor with 14.3 mm-equivalent lens for the ultra-wide, and the tele is a 3x optical that captures images on an 8 MP sensor.

For video, the Zenfone 8 Flip captures 8K/30 fps on the main camera and 4K/6 0fps on the secondary camera, and offers slow-motion modes that include 4K/120 fps and 720p/480 fps.

Landing in the ultra-premium price segment, the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip is up against the best camera phones currently available. Let’s see how it gets on.

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: Sony IMX686 64 MP 1/1.73″ sensor, 0.8μm, 26.6 mm-equivalent f/1.8-aperture lens
  • Ultra-wide: Sony IMX363 12 MP 1/2.55″ sensor, 14.3 mm-equivalent f/2.2-aperture lens
  • Tele: 8 MP sensor, 3x optical zoom, 12x total zoom
  • LED flash
  • 2×1 on-chip-lens PDAF (primary), dual-PD autofocus (ultra-wide)
  • Video: 4320/30 fps, 2160p/60 fps

About DXOMARK Camera tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone camera reviews, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 3000 test images and more than 2.5 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. This article is designed to highlight the most important results of our testing. For more information about the DXOMARK Camera test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here.

Test summary


Asus Zenfone 8 Flip
118
camera
125
photo
50
zoom
108
video

Pros

  • Pleasant color rendering on indoor photos and most videos
  • Good texture-to-noise tradeoff for most photos
  • Accurate target exposure on indoor photos
  • Well-exposed tele shots
  • Nice detail in most videos
  • Effective video stabilization

Cons

  • Exposure instabilities in most photos
  • Slow photo autofocus in difficult lighting conditions
  • Visible noise in tele photos and low-light videos
  • Slightly low detail and visible noise in ultra-wide photos
  • Limited dynamic range in videos
  • Inaccurate video autofocus with people in the scene

With an overall score of 118, the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip is in the lower half of the ultra-premium ranking for Camera. Its global score is some ways behind such top-ranked devices as the Huawei P50 Pro and Xiaomi the Mi 11 Ultra, and its overall performance is more comparable to phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G (119) and the Motorola Edge+ (117).

The Asus Zenfone 8 Flip captures some nice outdoor scenes with accurate target exposure, good texture-versus-noise tradeoff, and pleasant color, although blue skies are often inaccurate.

The Zenfone 8 Flip also achieves a similar overall score to the standard Zenfone 8 at 120 points. The two devices share the same main and ultra-wide hardware, but there are differences, with Asus adding a tele-lens on the Zenfone 8 Flip, but omitting OIS. The absence of OIS is significant, as we found results for photo texture and night shots a little inconsistent as a result. Despite adding a tele-lens, we also found the Flip wasn’t quite as good for zoom shots compared to the Zenfone 8. There’s not much in it, but repeatability issues at close- and medium-range and more noise in long-range zoom shots prevented the Zenfone 8 Flip from scoring higher.

There’s nothing to separate the two Zenfone 8’s for video, with both securing a good score of 108 in this category. We found stabilization to be effective when tested in 4K/30 fps mode, with detail very high in good lighting, and both color rendering and white balance accurate.

Below you can find a detailed analysis and image samples for all Photo, Zoom, and Video sub-attributes, with a comparison between the Zenfone 8 Flip and the standard Zenfone 8.

Photo

The Asus Zenfone 8 Flip achieves a Photo score of 125. In this section, we take a closer look at each sub-attribute and compare image quality against competitors.

Exposure and Contrast

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

83

111

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (111)

In these tests we analyze target exposure, contrast, and dynamic range, including repeatability across a series of images. Tests are undertaken in a wide range of light conditions, including backlit scenes and low light down to 1 lux. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s exposure performance in a high-contrast scene.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, generally limited dynamic range and HDR instabilities often occur over consecutive shots.
Asus Zenfone 8, generally limited dynamic range and HDR instabilities often occur over consecutive shots.

Color

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

101

106

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (106)

In these tests we analyze color rendering, skin tones, white balance, and color shading, including repeatability across a series of images. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s color performance in an outdoor setting.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, generally pleasant color but unnatural blue sky color rendering
Asus Zenfone 8, generally pleasant color but unnatural blue sky color rendering

Autofocus

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

89

109

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (109)

In these tests we analyze autofocus accuracy and shooting time, including repeatability, in the lab. We test focus failures, depth of field, and tracking of moving subjects using perceptual analysis of real-life images.

This graph shows the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s autofocus performance in the lab, handheld at a light level of 1000 lux and a brightness range of 4 EV.

Under benchmark lab testing, both the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip and the standard version recorded slow autofocusing speeds of around 500 ms (0.5 sec) under challenging lighting.

Texture

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

94

111

Xiaomi Mi 11
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 (111)

In these tests we analyze texture on faces and objects, including objects in motion, in a range of light conditions, using several lab test setups and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

This graph shows the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s texture measurements handheld under different lighting conditions in the lab.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, good detail in most lighting conditions

Noise

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

82

99

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (99)

In these tests we analyze noise on faces and objects, including objects in motion, in a range of light conditions, using several lab test setups and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s noise performance in a low-light scene.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, low-light noise
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, crop: well-controlled noise
Asus Zenfone 8, low-light noise
Asus Zenfone 8, crop: well-controlled noise

Bokeh

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

60

80

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (80)

For these tests we switch to the camera’s bokeh or portrait mode and analyze depth estimation, bokeh shape, blur gradient, and repeatability, as well as all other general image quality attributes mentioned above. The score is derived from perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s bokeh simulation outdoors.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, bokeh
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, crop: depth estimation errors and noise
Asus Zenfone 8, bokeh
Asus Zenfone 8, crop: depth estimation errors and noise

Night

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

42

82

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+
Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (82)

In these tests we shoot a selection of images in pitch-black darkness as well as with city lights in the background providing some illumination. We shoot sample images with the camera at default settings in both flash-auto and flash-off modes. We analyze all image quality attributes but we pay particular attention to exposure, autofocus, and color. We do not test night modes that have to be activated manually.

These samples show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s night performance in auto-flash mode.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, auto-flash: acceptable target exposure and detail, but the background is under exposed.
Asus Zenfone 8, auto-flash: acceptable target exposure and detail, but the background is underexposed.

Artifacts

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

71

75

Google Pixel 4
Best: Google Pixel 4 (75)

In these tests we check images for optical artifacts such as vignetting, flare, lens softness in the corner, distortion, and chromatic aberrations, as well as for processing artifacts such as ghosting and fusion errors, hue shift, and ringing.

This sample shows fusion artifacts in a high-contrast image.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, artifacts
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, crop; hue shift near saturation

Preview

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

63

77

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (77)

In these tests we analyze the image quality of the preview image and the differences between preview images and captured images, particularly in terms of exposure, dynamic range, and bokeh effect. We also check the smoothness of the field-of-view changes in the preview image when zooming with both buttons or when using the pinch-zoom gesture.

These samples show the difference in the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s face exposure in preview compared to capture.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, preview: target exposure is fairly reliable
Asus Zenfone 8, capture: highlights are better exposed in the final capture

Zoom

The Asus Zenfone 8 Flip achieves a Zoom score of 50. The Zoom score includes the tele and wide sub-scores. In this section, we take a closer look at how these sub-scores were achieved and compare zoom image quality against the competitors.

Wide

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

30

57

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (57)

In these tests we analyze the performance of the ultra-wide camera at several focal lengths from 12 to 20 mm. We look at all image quality attributes, but we pay particular attention to such artifacts as chromatic aberrations, lens softness, and distortion.

These samples show the performance of the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s ultra-wide camera under indoor conditions.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, ultra-wide indoor scene
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, crop: visible noise, slight loss of detail, white balance cast
Asus Zenfone 8, ultra-wide indoor scene
Asus Zenfone 8, crop: visible noise, slight loss of detail, white balance cast

Tele

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

63

140

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (140)

In these tests we analyze all image quality attributes at focal lengths from approximately 40 to 300 mm, paying particular attention to texture and detail. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s tele performance in an outdoor scene.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, 90 mm zoom, good dynamic range
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, crop: acceptable detail with some noise
Asus Zenfone 8, 90 mm zoom, limited dynamic range
Asus Zenfone 8, crop: similar detail with less noise

Video

In our Video tests we analyze the same image quality attributes as for still images, such as exposure, color, texture, and noise, but we also include such temporal aspects as speed, smoothness and stability of exposure, white balance, and autofocus transitions.

NOTE: The sample video clips in this section are best viewed at 4K resolution

The Asus Zenfone 8 Flip achieves a Video score of 108. A device’s overall Video score is derived from its performance and results across a range of attributes in the same way as the Photo score. In this section, we take a closer look at these sub-scores and compare video image quality against competitors.

Exposure and Contrast

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

82

103

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (103)

These video stills show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s video exposure performance in a backlit indoor image.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, limited dynamic range with both highlight and shadow clipping evident
Asus Zenfone 8, limited dynamic range with both highlight and shadow clipping evident

This graph shows the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s video target exposure measurements in the lab under different lighting conditions.

Video target exposures are identical between the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip and the standard version in our lab measurements.

Color

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

101

105

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (105)

These video stills show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s video color in outdoor lighting conditions.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, white balance and color rendering are accurate.
Asus Zenfone 8, white balance and color rendering are accurate.

Autofocus

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

85

108

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (108)

These video stills show the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s video autofocus tracking performance in outdoor lighting conditions.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, focus failures occur with people in the scene.
Asus Zenfone 8, focus failures occur with people in the scene.

Texture

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

87

97

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (97)

This graph shows the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s video texture measurements in the lab.

Both devices measure excellent video texture in both outdoor and indoor lighting conditions, but with detail dropping off quickly in low light.

Noise

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

93

105

Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro (105)

This graph shows the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s video noise measurements in the lab.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, noise is visible in most videos and especially in low light.

Artifacts

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

81

94

Oppo Find X2 Pro
Best: Oppo Find X2 Pro (94)

For video artifacts, we check for the same kinds of artifacts mentioned in the Photo section, along with such video-specific artifacts as frame rate variation in different light conditions, judder effect, and moving artifacts (artifacts such as aliasing, color quantization, and flare can often be more intrusive when moving than in a still image).

This video clip shows that judder effect artifacts are sometimes visible.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, artifacts, judder effect is visible.

Stabilization

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip

97

102

Huawei P50 Pro
Best: Huawei P50 Pro (102)

In these tests we analyze residual motion when handholding the camera during recording, as well as when walking and running with the camera. We also look for stabilization artifacts such as jello effect, sharpness differences between frames, and frame shift (abrupt changes of framing).

This video clip shows the Asus Zenfone 8 Flip’s video stabilization indoors.

Asus Zenfone 8 Flip, video stabilization is fairly effective.

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