There is a big problem with the Asus Zenfone 9

REVIEW: Asus announced the Zenfone 9 this week, and while I’ve only used the device sparingly, it seems like a solid update to one of my favorite Android phones of 2021. But there’s has a big problem that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

It can be difficult to make your Android phone stand out from the crowd. Many manufacturers, including LG, have exited the business, likely due to their inability to squeeze out the big names like Samsung and Xiaomi.

More recently, we’ve seen Nothing aim to stand out with the addition of the Glyph interface, an array of LED lights on the back of the phone that may (or may not, depending on how you feel) be little more than a gimmick. .

Asus has distinguished itself by not only creating the best gaming phone in the form of the ROG Phone 6 Pro, but also by going against the competition and packing the top drawer components into a much smaller size and a lot more practical.

The Zenfone 9, like the Zenfone 8 before it, isn’t touted as a ‘Mini’ version of the larger flagship, nor does it feel inferior to a ‘Pro’ version. This is Asus’ flagship consumer smartphone for the year – it happens to be smaller than many of the best phones on the market.

What makes the Zenfone 9 rarer than your average small phone is that it’s packed with high-end tech. The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset is paired with up to 16GB of RAM and a 120Hz display. On the back, there’s a boosted 50MP main camera with gimbal stabilization really impressive 6-axis.

So far so good – but there is one big problem

When first handling the phone, resident telephony expert Peter Phelps said, “The Asus Zenfone 9 is a proudly different phone from the rest, at least when it comes to its design. Its small size and thin aspect ratio, plus its retention of the 3.5mm headphone jack, are unusual picks, and it’s undeniably good to see all of this make rare appearances on a high-end phone and expand the range of options for consumers. .”

Image Credit (Reliable Reviews)

So far so good – but I found one big problem with the Zenfone 9, and that’s its poor promise of future Android and security updates.

Asus has promised to only support the Zenfone 9, a phone that can cost up to £749, for just two years. That means you’ll probably only get two major updates and only a few years of security patches for the phone. Given that we have to do everything we can to try and combat tech waste, I really don’t think cutting support after such a short time is enough and Asus really should do better.

While of course the Zenfone 9 will continue to work after this two-year period, the lack of security patches could leave it open to vulnerabilities – and you won’t get any new features added to Android.

Two years of updates might be the norm for some of the best budget phones, but that’s rare at the high end of the market. Samsung is promising five years of updates with its Galaxy S22 series, the Pixel 6a will be properly supported for four years and even the £399 Nothing phone (1) will get three major Android OIS updates and an extra year security support.

Another brand that has been supporting the devices for a long time is Apple, with the seven-year-old iPhone 6 still upgradable to the recent iOS 15.5.

Simply put, only receiving two years of updates from Asus seriously dampens my enthusiasm for what seems like a great smartphone.

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