OnePlus 9 vs. ASUS Zenfone 8: Which should you buy?

OnePlus 9 vs. ASUS ZenFone 8
OnePlus 9 vs. ASUS ZenFone 8 (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

OnePlus 9

OnePlus 9 in Winter Mist

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The OnePlus 9 epitomizes value flagships in 2021: it has top-notch hardware backed by a vibrant 120Hz AMOLED screen, cameras that take great photos in any lighting, 65W fast charging as well as wireless charging, and software that's devoid of any bloatware. The icing on the cake is that the device will get three Android updates.

OnePlus 9

Flagship value

120Hz AMOLED screen
Powerful internal hardware
65W fast charging / wireless charging
Great cameras
Clean software with three updates
No IP rating
No 5G on AT&T

ASUS Zenfone 8

ASUS ZenFone 8

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With the Zenfone 8, ASUS is delivering the best compact phone in the market today. The phone has the same high-end internals as the OnePlus 9, and it also has a few extras, like an IP68 rating an d a 3.5mm jack. Combine that with a clean software and better value, and you get a great overall device.

ASUS Zenfone 8

Compact powerhouse

120Hz AMOLED panel
Latest internal hardware
Ideal for one-handed use
Better value
Clean software
3.5mm jack
Only two Android updates
No wireless charging

If you're in the market for a value flagship, you're not short of great options. This segment has flourished over the last two years, and the latest models from OnePlus and ASUS push the boundaries of hardware and camera innovation. So let's find out if you should pick up OnePlus' offering or go with ASUS.

OnePlus 9 vs. ASUS Zenfone 8 Design overview

With the OnePlus 9, you get a value flagship that gives you the latest internal hardware backed by reliable cameras at a lower price point. As true flagships have crossed the $1,000 mark, value-focused alternatives that offered similar hardware and feature-set have thrived, and the OnePlus 9 is one of the best Android phones you can get in this category.

The OnePlus 9 has a more exciting design, but the Zenfone 8 is easier to use.

That said, there's plenty of competition in this segment, and the Zenfone 8 is one of the best alternatives. In a world where phones are getting taller and narrower, ASUS has delivered what is possibly the best compact Android phone. The Zenfone 8 features the same Snapdragon 888 chipset as the OnePlus 9, and it has a 120Hz AMOLED screen, great cameras, and all-day battery life.

When it comes to the design, the OnePlus 9 features a new camera housing with large rings around the sensors, and it gives the device an upmarket look. The camera island gets the same coat of paint as the back, adding to the device's allure. The Winter Mist color option in particular looks great, and it features a lighter shade of lavender on the sides with a glossy coat.