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Asus ZenFone 10 vs ZenFone 9: Is newer always better?

Asus finally announced the long-awaited ZenFone 10, which boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and a 50MP rear camera with an upgraded gimbal stabilisation system.

While the Asus ZenFone 9 and Asus ZenFone 10 may look pretty similar on the surface, Asus has packed its latest ZenFone with a plethora of new features and upgrades.

The ZenFone 10 will be available to pre-order from the 29th of June at a slightly discounted cost. The base model – 256GB storage and 8GB RAM –starts at £699 while the upgraded model – 512GB storage and 16GB RAM – comes out at £749. Once the phone goes on sale in July, the prices will rise to £749 and £819 respectively.

We’re going to be running through all the vital differences between these two devices so you can decide if the latest phone is really worth the upgrade.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

Both these handsets run on Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. The ZenFone 9 runs on the last generation Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, while its successor opted for the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. 

According to Qualcomm, the latest chip contains the fastest and most advanced AI ever developed by the company, with a 4.35x uptick in performance compared to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The internals has also been improved, with the Kryo CPU offering a 35% improvement in performance and Adreno GPU contributing 25% faster performance. This makes the ZenFone 10 much more powerful than its predecessor, and better suited for more intensive workloads like gaming. 

Asus ZenFone 10 rear and cameras
Asus ZenFone 10. Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

No wireless charging on the ZenFone 9

One of our biggest bugbears for the ZenFone 9 was that the phone took a long time to charge up, at up to 84 minutes, and it had no support for wireless charging

The ZenFone 10 has improved on this by supporting 15W wireless charging, which is more convenient. Unfortunately, the charging speeds are still lacklustre, taking 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach full charge. 

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144Hz refresh rate in games on the ZenFone 10

The ZenFone 9 comes with a 5.9-inch AMOLED display with a 2400×1080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. We found the screen to be colour-rich with a good level of contrast and bright enough to be used outdoors without any issues. 

Asus decided to upgrade the screen on the ZenFone 10, opting for a 5.92-inch AMOLED 2400×1080 display with up to 144Hz refresh rate, but only while gaming. Our reviewer found the higher refresh rate to be smoother and more responsive, but since it’s not an LTPO display, it can’t drop down to the battery-saving 1Hz when needed, instead switching between 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz in daily life. 

Asus ZenFone 9 display
Asus ZenFone 9. Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

ZenFone 10 comes in more colourways

We found the ZenFone 9 to have an interesting if not unusual design, with a polymer rear and thick body, at 9.1mm. In terms of colourways, it can be found in three variations: Midnight Black, Moonlight White and Starry Blue. 

The ZenFone 10 takes a lot of visual clues from its predecessor, with the same dual-material design. It opted to use a bio-based polycarbonate paper-esque finish on the back, which proved controversial in our office. On the bright side, it comes in even more colours, including Midnight Black, Starry Blue, Aurora Green, Comet White and Eclipse Red. Our reviewer really liked the Aurora Green finish, noting that the larger colour selection is more appealing than its predecessor. 

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