With Asus' compact Zenfone 9, you can experience camera stabilization that is similar to a gimbal

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 29 Jul, 2022

This year's Zenfone 9 is one of those rare Android phones that prioritize compact design rather than maximizing screen size or battery life.

Let my heart be still! It's the phone's camera and stabilization system that's the big news this year: rather than just moving the lens element to compensate for camera shake, the entire camera - lens, sensor, everything - moves. Featuring a unique approach, the app combats two of mobile photography's biggest enemies: low lighting and shaky video.

This small but mighty smartphone maintains the 8's tradition of including top-notch specs in a compact body. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset powers the phone's 5.9-inch 1080p OLED screen with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. There is an 8GB RAM model and a 128GB storage model available, and the phone is IP68-certified.

As with last year's Zenfone 8, the Zenfone 9 is that rare Android phone that prioritizes compactness over the screen or battery size. Oh, be still my heart! It's not just the lens element that moves this year, but the entire main camera - lens, sensor, everything - that moves to compensate for camera shake this year.

Using this technique, you can combat some of mobile photography's biggest enemies: low light and shaky video. Zenfone 9 has top-tier specs in a compact design, continuing its predecessor's tradition.

The phone features a 5.9-inch 1080p OLED screen with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset is at the heart of the phone. In addition to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the phone is IP68-certified.

In addition to compensating for movement in the x- and y-axis (side to side and up and down), the main camera's stabilizer uses information from the gyro sensor to correct for sudden movements in the z-axis.

This allows the camera to compensate for three degrees of motion, compared to one degree on the Zenfone 8, which uses traditional OIS. A camera that compensates for shake should be able to use slower shutter speeds and capture more light in low-light situations, resulting in better color and detail.

Compared to OIS or even sensor-based stabilization on some iPhone 13 cameras, it's a more robust system. To implement this type of stabilization, the camera unit had to be re-connected to the processor in a different way. Instead of a folded configuration, the cable connecting the two had to be shorter and arranged in an S-shape.

In addition, the ribbon itself is softer to reduce inertia on the camera module. However, the results are visible on the surface: when the camera is in video mode, you can actually see the entire camera package moving around under the fixed, large outer lens. That's crazy, I tell you.

In the US, Zenfone 9 will sell unlocked at a price yet to be determined; in Europe, it will cost €799, about $850 USD (sorry about the exchange rate). Taiwan, Hong Kong, and parts of Europe will be the first to receive it.

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