The Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro are the two successors of the Zenfone 6, launched last year by Asus (read our Zenfone 6 test). The first is priced at 699 euros and replaces the Zenfone 6 as the “most affordable model”. The Zenfone 7 Pro is now 100 euros more (799 euros), which puts it at the top of the (very small) range. This is a significant increase compared to the price of the Zenfone 6 (499 euros).
Among the competitors of the Zenfone 7 Pro, at about 800 euros, are the Xiaomi Mi 10 (799 euros) and the Oppo Find X2 Neo (700 euros).
Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide
This price increase is justified by a more high-end equipment, if only by the arrival of a 6.67 inch OLED screen (compared to the 6.4 inch LCD of the Zenfone 6). And the other components have been updated as well.
As announced last week when the Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 Pro were announced, the three main differences between the two smartphones are ;
- The processor: Snapdragon 865 for the Zenfone 7 and Snapdragon 865 Plus for the Pro version.
- 128GB of storage “only” for the Zenfone 7, compared to 256GB for the Pro.
- Optical stabilization of two of the three photoelectric sensors of the Zenfone 7 Pro (no stabilization for the Zenfone 7).
Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide
As both Zenfone can accommodate one microSD memory card, in addition to two SIM cards , the difference in storage memory is not really a problem, even for users who store tons of photos or videos.
And since the performance difference between the two Snapdragon 865 chips is 5% when playing, the “non-pro” Zenfone 7 does not demerit at all. But, Asus still had to offer Qualcomm’s latest high-end chip on its flagship .
A sober and modern design
The Zenfone 7 Pro has a rather sober design with rounded edges and a glass front and back. The black and dark green back of our test model shows subtle reflections. The metal strap adds a sophisticated touch to the overall design.
Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide
The only small drawback, some users may feel discouraged by the fact that the Zenfone 7 Pro has a weight of 238 grams on the scale! That’s 10% more than the 220 grams of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and its 6.9 inch screen. So, certainly, 20 grams more is not dramatic. However, you can clearly feel it the first time you pick it up. Especially when compared with the 180 to 185 grams of some recent models, such as the Motorola Edge (6.7 inches), the OnePlus Nord (6.44 inches), the Sony Xperia 1 II (6.5 inches) or the 171 grams of the Find X2 Neo (6.5 inches), not to mention the Google Pixel 4a, which weighs only 143 grams with its small 5.8-inch screen. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide Besides the new Flip Camera (see photo performance section) and the larger screen, the Zenfone 7 differs from last year’s model mainly by the disappearance of the multi-function button ( Smart Key ). In fact, the latter has been merged with the start button (with blue border), which in turn now integrates the fingerprint reader (which was on the back of the Zenfone 6). Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Smart Key – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide This triple button allows you to start and unlock the Zenfone 7 Pro with a single gesture, as well as launch predefined applications or functions (photo session) with a double or long press (turning off the smartphone is always possible via the notification panel).
In addition, the small LED that indicated the arrival of an email, a notification or a low battery level, which was placed at the top of the Zenfone 6 display, has been moved to the lower edge of the smartphone, next to the USB C port. And finally it is perfectly visible, when the Zenfone 7 Pro is placed on a desktop in front of you. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – LED Notification – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide On the other hand, some may regret the lack of intellectual property certification .
The Zenfone 7 does not offer any particular resistance to water or dust . A superb 90 Hz OLED display The Zenfone 7 Pro is equipped with a 6.67-inch OLED display with a resolution of “only” 2400 x 1080 pixels. Thanks to the camera module, it has the advantage of taking up almost the entire front panel. There is not a single notch on the module that houses the front photo sensor. And even less double notches, like the smartphones that recently had the idea of adding a wide angle sensor on the front panel to widen the shots during the selections (see our OnePlus Nord test). Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide We can still see that the screen is still surrounded by a fairly wide black border. We are quite far from the “infinite” screen of Motorola’s edge! As far as the quality of the display is concerned, we cannot be disappointed.
Thanks to OLED technology, the contrasts are perfect, which translates into deep blacks. And because the colors are superb, the screen is perfect for watching videos or playing games. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide The measurements we have taken with the X-Rite i1 Display Plus probe confirm the excellent quality of the display. First of all, the maximum brightness is about 600 nits , which is high, even if it is lower than what the manufacturer reports (700 nits). Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Standard Screen Color Temperature – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide As for the color temperature, it’s not a surprise, since you can see in the screen settings that the “Default” and Natural modes offer a rather cold display (very white!). And this is confirmed by measurements of around 8300°K. On the other hand, the Kinematic and Standard modes are warm just to the right (slightly more yellowish), with – in both cases – an average temperature of just over 6600°K. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – delta E in standard display mode – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide On the other hand, the average measured delta E (2.6) is very good, as it is below 3 in natural mode. It increases to 4 on average in movie mode, which delivers slightly brighter colors. Otherwise, the display can be operated at 60 Hz or 90 Hz, as has become the norm at this price level (for 120 Hz, it’s still a little more expensive!).
An automatic mode is also offered, where the display frequency is determined by the operating system according to the application used. In general, the display is very fluid in 90 Hz mode, when playing or scrolling a web page from top to bottom, for example. Great versatility in photography The new Flip Camera module is the opportunity for Asus to install a third sensor on the Zenfone 7 Pro. And this one is interesting because it has a 3x optical zoom. Remember that the principle of this Flip Camera is to integrate the rear sensors on the back of the smartphone, in a motorized module that can rotate 180 degrees, very quickly, to take classic or selection photos. Therefore, all functions (zoom, wide angle, video, etc.) are available in both cases. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Flip Camera – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide To those who fear that the longevity of such a mechanism is limited, Asus replies that the device is capable of ensuring at least 200,000 openings, i.e. 100 openings per day for 5 years.
We will be able to check this when the Zenfone 12 is released! Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Flip Camera – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide While the Zenfone 6 had a 48 megapixel (26 mm) main sensor and a 13 megapixel (11 mm) wide angle sensor, the Zenfone 7 takes it to the next level with three sensors: The 64 megapixel main sensor, which takes 16 megapixel photos by default (go to settings to activate 64 megapixel mode). It benefits from an optical stabilization system. A 12 megapixel wide-angle sensor. And also the new 8 megapixel sensor with 3x zoom and optical stabilization. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Main sensor photo – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Main sensor photo – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide In daylight, the main sensor and the wide-angle sensor provide good performance. Shots are precise, with accurate colors, not exaggerated. Optical stabilization ensures sharpness at all times (we don’t take pictures on horseback or rollerblades, though!). Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – 12x hybrid zoom and wide angle photo – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide Even the third sensor is surprisingly effective for taking pictures of slightly distant subjects (in good lighting conditions). Its 3x optical zoom provides detailed images. And as the tests progressed, we realized that we can even push the zoom in hybrid mode, at 5x, 8x, and sometimes even 12x! The results are then very acceptable.
Enough to share photos on social networks or send them by SMS to family and friends. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – 12x hybrid zoom and wide angle photo – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide At night, there is relatively little difference between the “normal” picture mode (with the “Night” scene mode activated by the smartphone) and the “Night” picture mode, with the main sensor. In both cases, images are successful as long as the light source is not too far away. The Night mode produces slightly higher quality images by accentuating the contours of the subjects. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Wide-Angle Sensor Photo & Main – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide The wide angle sensor should be used sparingly at night, as the decrease in detail is quite visible in some cases. Finally, it is better to avoid using the zoom at night! For the self-portrait mode, the Zenfone 7 Pro is also convincing. The subject is very well separated from the background, to which a blurring effect is applied, which can be chosen more or less pronounced. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Selfie with 3x zoom – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide Get in the habit of placing the sensor, which is offset to the left or to the top of the smartphone (depending on whether you are holding the Zenfone 7 Pro in landscape or portrait mode).
Because if you look at the screen, as you would do with other smartphones, which integrate the front sensor into their LCD or OLED panel, your gaze is no longer on the axis of the sensor and you don’t really get any self-control. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Selfie without and with Portrait mode – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide Note also that the motorized module allows you to create panoramas with unparalleled ease. In fact, when the button is pressed to take the picture, the module automatically scans the landscape by taking 6 pictures. It couldn’t be easier! Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Flip Camera – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide As for videos, the Zenfone 7 Pro offers great versatility. In fact, you can shoot in Full HD at 60 frames per second, or in 4K at 60 fps (or 120 fps in slow motion), or even at 8K 30 fps! These modes are available without stabilization and with a maximum 4x zoom. The latter is activated by “pinching” the screen in real time, which is not really practical when shooting. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro – Panorama – Credit: Xavier Regord / Tom’s Guide A small virtual potentiometer (like the Xiaomi Mi 10 we tested) that could be manipulated with the thumb would be more practical. In any case, since using the zoom in video mode causes a loss of quality and slight jerks, we could limit it as much as possible.
The stabilized mode (HyperSteady) is available in Full HD with 60 images per second. It can be used with the main sensor, the wide angle or with the 3x zoom (but the latter is fixed). High level performance The Zenfone 7 Pro’s Snapdragon 865 Plus chip is the fastest available today. With 8 GB of memory, it offers a very high level of performance, which is accompanied by a rather noticeable increase in temperature on the back of the smartphone. It’s convenient since winter is coming… The scores obtained in the different banks (3D Mark, PC Mark, GeekBench) illustrate this fact. For example, the Snapdragon 865 Plus score is approximately 10% higher than the Snapdragon 865 score on the Xiaomi Mi 10.
It is better not to insist on the fact that Zenfone’s components allow you to run the most demanding games in excellent conditions. Fortnite, Call of Duty Mobile or Asphalt 9 are all titles that perfectly meet your requirements.
On the audio side, the Zenfone 9 Pro is equipped with two speakers that play the sound in (almost) stereo. In fact, 80% of the sound comes from the USB port side (opposite the camera module), which produces a rather strange effect. And if the power is at the right level, the bass is a little too much in the background. This does not interfere too much with the playback or display of videos, however it is not very satisfactory when listening to music. Otherwise, the excellent behavior of the side fingerprint sensor is worth mentioning. The lateral fingerprint sensor offers impeccable and very fast recognition.
It is not necessary to make several attempts, as is sometimes necessary with the sensors placed under the OLED panel of many current smart phones. You can also use the camera module to recognize the face, but it is still less convenient! A large battery for good autonomy Like the Zenfone 6, which we particularly appreciated last year for its long battery life, the Zenfone 7 Pro has a large capacity battery: 5000 mAh! Using the PC brand application battery life test, in 90 Hz display mode and 50% brightness, the smartphone operated for 15 hours and 21 minutes before the battery level reached 20%. In a second, more functional test, with 100% brightness most of the time and a display frequency of 90 Hz, the smartphone worked almost two days (with an accuracy of 2 hours). This was a normal use (phone, email, sms, internet and little game), with however the capture of more than 80 photos. Finally, in a final test, with the screen frequency in automatic mode and the brightness adjusted to 200 cd/m2 (i.e. 80% of the maximum power), we were able to save half a day more, during which many photos and videos were taken.
Therefore, we can see that the 5000 mAh battery is not a luxury considering the components on board and that it can easily last up to two days. To optimize the autonomy, it is possible to define two personalized energy saving modes, in addition to the four traditional modes (High performance, Balanced, Energy saving, Super economy).
They allow you to precisely define the operating mode of your smartphone. On the other hand, Asus has equipped its Zenfone 7 Pro with features to prolong battery life, to ensure that the (inevitable) decrease in capacity in the long run (after several years) is as small as possible. The two proposed ways are to avoid recharging 100% of the battery all the time, or to recharge it too quickly when it is not needed. Recharging is done with the supplied 30-watt charger. Asus announces that 60% of the charge was recovered in 34 minutes and 100% in 93 minutes – good performances considering the large capacity of the battery! And in practice, these values are practically verified.
In fact, we have seen a load of 53% in 30 minutes and 97% in 90 minutes. The last 10 percent is traditionally the longest (about 30 minutes).