The brand new Asus Zenfone 10 with a 5.9-inch screen one of the most compact flagships phone. It boasts the latest 8 Gen 2 SOC and a 50-megapixel camera. For someone seeking a more compact phone, this could be the perfect device. The Zenfone 10 is smaller than the Galaxy S23, which has 6.1-inch screen. So, can the Asus Zenfone beat Samsung Galaxy S23?
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Starting with their designs, the Zenfone definitely has some unique design choices. It features two huge cameras, although the lens inside takes up only a small portion of that space. The large size could be justified for the six-axis gimbal stabilization of the main lens, while the ultra-wide lens might be made to match aesthetically. Upon closer inspection, the ultra-wide lens is actually quite small within a big black circle. Additionally, the two camera bumps are not of the same height. In comparison, the camera bump on the S23 is significantly smaller, and personally, I prefer its sleeker look. The S23 also has fewer branding elements on the back, which gives it a cleaner appearance. And the biggest difference lies in the materials used for the backs of the phones.
While the S23 has a matte glass back, the Zenfone’s back is made of plastic. The glass back definitely feels more premium, but the Zenfone’s back has a unique texture. It can be described as a very fine-grained sandpaper, providing a grippy rough feel. It doesn’t feel like the typical matte plastic found on other phones. I’m undecided on whether I prefer this rough texture. On the other hand, I’m a fan of the color options available for the Zenfone, including white, blue, and a very dark matte black that almost appears grayish when compared to Galaxy S23.
Due to its plastic back, the Zenfone won’t offer the same scratch resistance as the glass back of the S23. The backplate of the Zenfone is so thin that when you press on certain areas, you can feel it flex. Moreover, when playing any audio out loud, the back vibrates quite strongly. Initially, I found it somewhat cool as it added to the immersive experience, but it eventually became quite annoying. The S23, with its glass back, doesn’t have this issue. Surprisingly, even with a plastic back, the Zenfone weighs about the same as the S23.
Both phones feature an aluminum frame, but the Zenfone has a matte finish while the S23 is glossy. The matte finish would make it less prone to fingerprints, but as you can see, it still attracts quite a few. Personally, I don’t find it any better than the glossy finish. Another difference is that the power button on the Zenfone doubles as a fingerprint reader, which reads very fast. However, I still prefer the ultrasonic fingerprint reader located directly on the S23’s screen. It’s more convenient because I can simply place my thumb on the screen to unlock S23, without having to search for the power button. Additionally, the Zenfone still retains a headphone jack, which is quite rare these days.
The speakers on the Zenfone are also pretty good, similar to the S23. Overall, the speakers on both phones perform well. However, the fact that the Zenfone 10 vibrates when playing music, which is something I find bothersome.
Asus Zenfone 10 vs Galaxy S23 Screen
And moving on to their screens, the Zenfone 10 has non-uniform bezels, with slightly thicker ones at the top and especially at the bottom. Once you notice it, it’s something that you can’t unsee, and it does bother me a little bit at times. Apart from that, it features a small hole punch camera at the top left corner. The Zenfone’s screen can reach a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz normally, and 144 Hz when gaming. However, it’s not limited to gaming, as you can technically force non-gaming apps like Chrome to run at 144 Hz. But honestly, browsing Chrome at 144 Hz doesn’t feel much different from the typical 120 Hz experience.
On the other hand, the S23 has an adaptive 120 Hz refresh rate. Aesthetically, the S23 boasts much more uniform bezels, which are also thinner, giving it a better overall look. In terms of screen brightness, the S23 can reach a peak of 1750 nits, which is quite impressive as it matches the peak brightness of the S23 Ultra. I don’t have the official brightness specification for the Zenfone, but when compared to the S23 in direct sunlight, it appears slightly dimmer. However, it is still usable, and indoors, both screens provide more than enough brightness. Additionally, both screens offer full HD Plus resolution.
ASUS Zenfone 10 vs Galaxy S23 Software
Another aspect that’s pretty different about these two phones Zenfone 10 vs S23 is their software. The Zenfone 10 gives you the option to use either stock Android or their Asus optimized version. Currently, I’m using the optimized one and it’s pretty good. It provides lots of extra features that make it very convenient for one-handed use. The power button, for example, has additional functions like swiping down for quick settings and double-tapping to open Google Assistant. The volume button also has a unique feature where double-pressing it when the screen is off opens the camera and takes three photos. These software enhancements add value to the Zenfone experience.
On the other hand, the S23 offers a different software experience. It has Samsung’s One UI with a plethora of customization options. The exclusive Galaxy Store provides themes, wallpapers, and functional customizations like changing the home screen layout or customizing the keyboard. The One UI software offers a comprehensive set of customization tools that enhance the user experience. Additionally, the S23’s one-handed mode is better implemented compared to the Zenfone, making it easier to use the phone with a single hand.
Another notable software feature of the Zenfone 10 is the Game Genie. It allows you to designate apps as games and customize their performance mode and refresh rate. You can even force non-gaming apps like Chrome to run at a higher refresh rate. The Game Genie menu provides easy access to performance settings and other gaming-related features, making the Zenfone a potentially better choice for gamers. However, the smaller screen size of the Zenfone might not be as desirable for some gamers who prefer a larger display.
Overall, the software experiences of the Zenfone 10 and Galaxy S23 offer distinct advantages. The Zenfone provides convenient features for one-handed use and gaming, while the S23 excels in customization options and a more refined one-handed mode. The choice between the two ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities.
Read More: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review
Zenfone 10 vs Galaxy S23 Battery life
Moving on to their battery life, the Galaxy S23 has a 3900 milliamp-hour battery, which is decently sized. However, the Zenfone 10 surpasses it with a 4300 milliamp-hour battery. To compare their performance, I had both phones play a 4K 60 YouTube video with airplane mode enabled, while keeping Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on. The screen brightness was set to be approximately the same, around 75% on the S23 and 80% on the Zenfone 10. Starting at 100%, at the three-hour mark, the Zenfone had 70% battery remaining, while the S23 had 66%. The larger battery size is definitely a standout feature of this compact phone.
When it comes to charging, the Zenfone supports a maximum of 30 watts for wired charging and 15 watts for wireless charging. In contrast, the S23 can go up to 25 watts for wired charging and 15 watts for wireless charging. An additional advantage of the Zenfone 10 is that it still comes with a charging brick, which is becoming rarer in today. It’s convenient to have the 30-watt charging capability right out of the box without needing to purchase any additional accessories. The same cannot be said about the Samsung S23.
The battery life and charging capabilities of both phones offer distinctive advantages. The Zenfone 10 larger battery capacity provides extended usage time, while its faster wired charging speed is a notable benefit. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23, while having a slightly smaller battery, still delivers decent performance, and its wireless charging options provide convenience.
|Galaxy S23||Zenfone 10|
|Best loop Score: 3843||Best loop Score: 3732|
|Lowest loop Score: 2291||Lowest loop Score: 2600|
|Stability: 59.6%||Stability: 69.7%|
As for their performance, both of these phones use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. However, the Zenfone experiences less thermal throttling compared to the Samsung S23. It can maintain maximum performance for seven minutes straight before experiencing a significant decrease, whereas the S23 exhibits a gradual decline. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip is very fast and delivers excellent performance, particularly suitable for shorter gaming sessions. In everyday use, I found both of these phones to be highly responsive and extremely smooth.
Asus Zenfone 10 vs Galaxy S23 Camera Test
And lastly, let’s take a look at their cameras, which is one area that I had high hopes for the Zenfone 10 because its main lens is 50 megapixels. So, just like last year and also on the S23, the S23’s main lens shares the same resolution and sensor size as other Zenfones, but it technically is slightly better in that it gathers more light and can focus quite a bit closer, as you can see with above shots. Overall, the level of detail in their photos is pretty similar, but I think the S23 has noticeably better processing. The colors overall are just a little bit more pleasant looking, especially flower shot.
It’s a similar story with the ultrawide photos. The level of detail is similar, but again, the Samsung has slightly better color, at least I think so. I also noticed in this Zenfone photo, there’s a doubling artifact on the plane. There are literally two planes, which is kind of weird. And this isn’t even the first time that I’ve seen this artifact. In this beach photo that I took, you can see the seagull also has this doubling artifact, and this picture was taken with the main lens. It almost seems like whenever something is moving, the Zenfone almost doesn’t react fast enough or at least processes it in a wrong way.
The video stabilization is updated on the Zenfone 10, and it’s pretty impressive. But again, the processing just isn’t quite there. I feel like the flower in above shot just looks way too red. I think it looks a lot better in the Samsung video. The S23 also has a three times telephoto lens, whereas the Zenfone doesn’t have that. It can use the 50 megapixel main camera to do what they call the hyper Clarity Zoom, but next to a real telephoto lens, it’s just not even close. The Samsung photo just shows much more detail and looks much nicer.
It’s also worth noting that even though both of these phones’ main lens is 50 megapixels, only the S23 allows you to shoot at the full 50 megapixels. There’s no option to toggle that on the Zenfone 10. So, all of the Zenfone’s main lens photos are just the regular 12 megapixels. Most of the time with the S23, you’re probably just using the default 12 megapixel mode, but the 50 megapixel mode can definitely be nice for reducing sharpening and getting more detail in a photo. So, it’s nice to have that option, and it’s unfortunate that it’s not even available on the Zenfone 10.
Asus Zenfon 10 and Samsung Galaxy S23 front cameras Just like with the back camera, the photos look pretty similar in terms of the level of detail. However, the Samsung colors are again much better.
I don’t know exactly how much the Zenfone 10 will cost, but given that last year the Zenfone 9 started at $699, I’m going to assume that it’s probably about the same. The S23 officially starts at $799, although sometimes you can get it for cheaper. I assume the S23 will be slightly more expensive than the Zenfone 10, but I think the higher price is worth it for the better cameras and having the telephoto lens. The One UI software is very well-refined, highly customizable, and has lots of features. But the Zenfone 10 does have more gaming features and slightly less thermal throttling. So, if you’re primarily interested in more heavy games, then the Zenfone could be a better option.