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Asus working on compact flagship Zenfone Mini

Asus seems to be inspired by the Apple iPhone 12 mini that was launched last year with flagship specifications.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | February 8, 2021 | Updated 14:03 IST
Source: Reuters

Highlights

  • Asus is said to be working on a compact phone called Zenfone Mini.
  • Asus Zenfone Mini may have a display of under 6-inches.
  • Asus might introduce this phone this year but nothing is confirmed.

Asus may be working on a compact flagship smartphone under the Zenfone series. The Taiwanese smartphone company may bring Zenfone Mini that will be smaller than the Zenfone 6 and Zenfone 7, although a definite size is not available right now. As obvious as it is, Asus seems to have been inspired by Apple that launched its first compact flagship in recent years, the iPhone 12 mini last year. However, how fruitful this inspiration will turn out to be is something only time will tell.

The Zenfone Mini, as reported by DigiTimes, will come with a display under 6-inches. Although there is no benchmark or standard set for a phone to be labelled compact, manufacturers are showing interest in sub-6-inch screens. The iPhone 12 mini has a 5.4-inch OLED screen that is reasonably smaller than that of the iPhone 12. Since this Zenfone Mini is going to be a flagship, it could come rocking a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor inside, which is the top-of-the-line chipset right now.

While other details are scarce right now, the Asus Zenfone Mini could borrow some design elements from the Zenfone 6 and Zenfone 7. The last two Zenfone devices have the flip camera module. This module sits on the back by default but it can be flipped towards the user's face for selfies. This mechanism allows for the display to be rid of a notch or a punch-hole while being spread to edges. This mechanism could also be available on the Zenfone Mini unless Asus wants to tone things down considering the feasibility of flip cameras on a compact phone.

The Zenfone Mini may also have 30W fast charging, considering the Zenfone 7 also has this technology. Fast-charging technologies, such as those working on the 65W method, need batteries to be optimised. Currently, smartphones with 65W fast charging technology have a bi-cell structure and this needs some space inside the phone. In the case of a compact phone, it seems very difficult for phone makers to implement the 65W fast charging technology.

For now, it is not clear when Asus will introduce its compact phone. Sure, I am all in for compact phones but it seems consumers are not convinced by this solution. Apple's iPhone 12 mini may be a muse for all these Android phone makers but its lacklustre sales paint an otherwise picture. Covering only around 6 per cent of the total sales of iPhone 12 series, the iPhone 12 mini has sadly plummeted to the lowest position and become the least-selling iPhone 12 series device. In fact, Apple is said to discontinue the production of the iPhone 12 mini because it failed to convince consumers. I am not sure what Asus, Sony, and other Android manufacturers are making of this outcome.

Apart from Asus, Sony is also said to be working on this year's Xperia Compact phone. This will be a refresh to the previous model but it is not certain if this smartphone will have flagship specifications.


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