ASUS is reportedly looking to turn its smartphone business around in 2021, with plans to launch a high-end gaming phone alongside a ZenFone Mini (possibly the ZenFone 8 Mini). The news comes on the heels of the company’s smartphone division allegedly reporting a downturn in 2020.
According to DigiTimes (via NotebookCheck), one of ASUS’ main focuses this year will be the ZenFone Mini, which will feature premium specs in a small form factor. Think of Apple’s recent iPhone 12 Mini as an example. Unfortunately, the report doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty details, like specs, price, and possible release date.
It will be interesting to see how small ASUS is willing to go with its ZenFone Mini. Smartphones have continued to increase in size over the last several years, with most devices nowadays featuring displays that are above 6 inches. While the iPhone 12 mini received much fanfare following its initial announcement, we’ve learned the device may not be selling as well as Apple hoped, suggesting most people now prefer larger form factors—or have at least become more accustomed to them.
You have to ask yourself if the tradeoff is worth it. Personally, I don’t mind smartphone displays being a little larger. They’re more enjoyable to use when watching video and using apps, and larger form factors ultimately include larger batteries. That for me outweighs any awkwardness using the device one-handed or carrying it in a pocket.
DigiTimes also reports that ASUS is set to introduce the ROG Phone 5 this spring, with a possible release coming in March. The device will reportedly feature a Snapdragon 888 processor. Unfortunately, DigiTimes claims the premium specs will come at a price; the ROG Phone 5 is said to be more expensive than its predecessor. A few other details for the device have already leaked, including word that it may feature a dot matrix on the back for Aura Lighting.
With spring right around the corner, we’ll keep an eye out for any news related to ASUS’ smartphone business. DigiTimes claims the company took a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with no end still in sight, it’s unclear if the company’s fortunes will improve in the smartphone market.
Note: The featured image is merely a concept. It’s just a scaled down version of the ZenFone 7, not a real Zenfone 8 render.