System Performance

System performance of the Zenfone 8 should be quite good virtue of the new Snapdragon 888. On top of that, ASUS’ 120Hz mode and 240Hz touch input rate should result in extremely fluid and responsive experiences.

One thing I have to make note of here is ASUS’s refresh rate modes. By default, the phone comes in the “Auto” mode, which in my experience simply switches between 90 and 60Hz depending on the application. I’ve never actually seen 120Hz used by the phone anywhere in this mode, which is odd. Besides the Auto mode, you can also explicitly set the phone to 120Hz, 90Hz or 60Hz modes all the time. In PCMark and also many other generic applications, Auto mode will switch to 60Hz mode while browser activity will switch to 90Hz mode. I tested that, as well as the explicit 120Hz mode of the phone.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0 PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0 PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0 PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

In PCMark which is a good representation of overall device responsiveness, we see that the Zenfone 8 tracks rather very closely to the performance of the Snapdragon 865 powered Zenfone 7, depending on the refresh rate. What’s actually a bit weird is that at 60Hz, the ZF8 is actually a bit slower than the ZF7, a point which I’ll come back to in a bit.

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebView (64b) JetStream 2 - OS Webview (64b)

In the browser benchmark, which we’ve lately started from a clean slate due to the new 64-bit browser deployments on Android in the last few months which improve performance compared to past results, we see that the Zenfone 8 tracks closely to the Snapdragon 888 powered Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is expected.

Overall Device Experience - 120Hz Good, Everything Else Bad

At the 120Hz setting, the Zenfone 8 performs extremely well as is as responsive as any other device in the market. What’s actually very strange and extremely concerning for the ZF8 is all the other operating modes, such as 90Hz and 60Hz. For some reason, beyond just a slower refresh rate, these modes have seemingly increased input lag as well as just overall sluggish feel for the device. The 60Hz mode in particular is quite horrible – it feels as if ASUS is also modulating the input touch response based on the refresh rate. Generally speaking, for the best experience, you want to keep the phone in 120Hz always mode and avoid the Auto as well as the lower refresh rate modes.

Introduction & Design GPU Performance
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  • Linustechtips12#6900xt - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    I do get it inefficient and I don't use it other than with dex but it something that's nice I was at a colts game and there was a wireless charging pad available for everyone and it happened to be i was without a charger and at about 20%, its just a convenience like a micro-sd or a headphone jack. Reply
  • nico_mach - Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - link

    I think the drawbacks are overstated. I used wireless charging nightly on my s8 and the battery is still fine all these years later. The software, otoh... Reply
  • ads295 - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    I'm really liking this thing by the looks of it. IP rating + headphone jack + compact size + 4000mAh battery is a winning combination. Hope they work on the camera though, I'm sure the mediocrity lies in the software rather than the hardware. Reply
  • skydiverian - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    Can't stand notches or holepunch displays (i.e. I only want displays that are symmetrical on 2 axes - my Pixel 3a tbh still annoys me with rounded corners. Talking of the 3a, it's as big as I want to go. Guess I'll be holding onto it for the next 10 years at this rate. Otherwise this could be a contender for a replacement but I just can't stand that holepunch. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    I hated them at first, but got used to a notch after 2.5 years of owning a phone with one. Now have one with a punch-hole, I'd say it's neither an improvement nor a step back. I'd still prefer a top and bottom bezel and better front-facing speakers, but it's not the end of the world. Might be worth contemplating when it becomes time for a replacement. Reply
  • inperfectdarkness - Sunday, May 16, 2021 - link

    This is why I love the Xperia XZ2 Compact. Bezels. The 18x9 form factor just looks better and feels better. Reply
  • c933103 - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    No. A 68-69mm wide phone is not compact. I have tried Xperia X Performance and Galaxy S10e. They don't fit in single hand. Now Zenfone 8 and Xperia 5 series are all trying to pretend they are compact but they aren't. The only option remaining is to spend 700USD to import an Aquos R2 Compact with Snapdragon 845 from Japan, or buy the Xperia XZ1 Compact with Snapdragon 835, for someone in Android ecosystem. Reply
  • ads295 - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    Both those devices aren't even in sniffing distance of 3000mAh battery capacity. Good luck with your battery life. At least the Sony uses 720p resolution which should help battery life, but the Aquos should be really mediocre with that high end chipset, high res display and relatively tiny battery size @2500mAh. I agree that phones could be still smaller but now we're talking about a fraction of an already small percentage of consumer base overall who want small phones. Reply
  • hemedans - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    xperia xz1 compact has best battery life than most flagship, better than many 4000 and 5000mah phones, usually i get 10+ hrs of on screen time. sd 835 was efficient and 720p help a lot. Reply
  • inperfectdarkness - Sunday, May 16, 2021 - link

    2700mAh for xz1 compact. 2870mAh for xz2 compact. Reply

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