January 31, 2023

If you’re looking for a somewhat compact smartphone these days, you don’t have a lot of options. Luckily, there are some phones out there that belong in that category. In this article, we’ll compare the ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Apple iPhone 14. These two devices do belong in that category, and they’re also quite powerful at the same time. The ZenFone 9 is actually ASUS’ flagship for this year.

That being said, these two phones are immensely different. Their differences are immediately noticeable based on how they look, but that’s not where things stop. They’re different through, and through. We’ll kick things off by listing their specs, and will then move to a number of other categories. Those categories include design, display, performance, battery, cameras, and audio. Let’s kick things off, shall we?

Specs

ASUS ZenFone 9 Apple iPhone 14
Screen size 5.9-inch FullHD+ Super AMOLED display (60-120Hz refresh rate) 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display (60Hz refresh rate)
Screen resolution 2400 x 1080 2532 x 1170
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Apple A15 Bionic
RAM 8GB/16GB (LPDDR5) 6GB
Storage 128GB/256GB (UFS 3.1), non-expandable 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, non-expandable
Rear cameras 50MP (f/1.9 aperture, 23.8mm wide-angle lens, 1.0um pixel size, gimbal OIS, PDAF)
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 113-degree FoV, 1.4um pixel size, 14.4mm lens)
12MP (wide, f/1.5 aperture, 26mm lens, 1.9um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS)
12MP (ultrawide, f/2.4 aperture, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
Front cameras 12MP (f/2.5 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 27.5mm lens, dual pixel PDAF) 12MP (wide-angle, f/1.9 aperture, 23mm lens, PDAF)
SL 3D (depth/biometrics sensor)
Battery 4,300mAh, non-removable, 30W wired charging (charger included) 3,279mAh, non-removable, 23W wired charging, 15W MagSafe wireless charging, 7.5W Qi wireless charging
Charger not included
Dimensions 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1mm 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm
Weight 169 grams 172 grams
Connectivity 5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C 5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, Lightning port
Security Side-facing fingerprint scanner Advanced facial scanning
OS Android 12
ZneUI
iOS 16
Price €799 $799/$899/$1,099
Buy ASUS Apple

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Apple iPhone 14: Design

As you can see, these two phones are quite different in terms of design. Both have flat displays and thin bezels. The ZenFone 9 includes a display camera hole in the top-left corner, while the iPhone 14 sports a notch up top. Needless to say, that notch is an eye sore compared to what the ZenFone 9 offers, but there’s a reason it’s there. It enables advanced facial scanning. The iPhone 14 doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, while the ZenFone 9’s is built into its power/lock key on the right side.

The sides on both devices are flat, but the ones on the iPhone 14 cut into your hand more. It’s due to their design, the ZenFone 9’s are tapered towards the edges, it’s simply more pleasant to hold. Speaking of which, the ZenFone 9 is made out of metal and resin (back), while the iPhone 14 combines metal and glass. Each of the three ZenFone 9 color options delivers a different feeling to their backplates, ranging from the softest to the hardest. The ZenFone 9 is considerably more grippy than the iPhone 14.

If you flip the two phones around, you’ll notice even more differences. Other than the backplate we’ve just talked about, their camera setups look different. The ZenFone 9 comes with larger cameras, each of which is its own camera island. The iPhone 14 has both cameras included in a single camera island in the top-left corner. The ZenFone 9’s back side is mostly flat, but it curves slightly towards the edges. The iPhone 14’s backplate is entirely flat.

These two phones are almost equally tall, while the ZenFone 9 is a bit narrower and thicker. The ZenFone 9 is 3 grams lighter, but that’s not the difference you’ll feel, considering it’s not really that big of a difference. The weight distribution is good on both phones, or at least it feels that way due to their size. Both phones feel like quality products.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Apple iPhone 14: Display

The ZenFone 9 features a 5.9-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Super AMOLED display. This phone’s display is flat, and it offers a 120Hz refresh rate. This panel also has support for HDR10+ content, and gets up to 1,100 nits of brightness at its peak. We’re looking at a 20:9 display aspect ratio here, and the display is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus.

ASUS Zenfone 9 Review AM AH 10

The iPhone 14, on the other hand, delivers a 6.1-inch fullHD+ (2532 x 1170) Super Retina XDR OLED display. That is a 60Hz display, so it doesn’t offer a high refresh rate, and it’s also flat. It supports HDR10 content and Dolby Vision, while it gets up to 1,200 nits of brightness at its peak. It offers a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and it’s protected by the Ceramic Shield Glass protection.

Both of these displays are really good. They offer vivid colors, do get bright enough, and also have great viewing angles. The touch response is good on both, and the blacks are deep. The ZenFone 9 does have that one major advantage, and that’s the refresh rate. Scrolling feels far more pleasant, as do various other actions when the content is moving fast on the display. That is not something everyone will notice or care about, but it’s worth noting.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Apple iPhone 14: Performance

The ASUS ZenFone 9 is fueled by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC. It also includes up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and UFS 3.1 flash storage. The iPhone 14, on the flip side, comes with the Apple A15 Bionic SoC, 6GB of RAM, and NVMe storage. Those two processors are amongst the best in the market at the moment, and the rest of the performance-related specs are also on par.

Both of these phones are really well-optimized, and they offer stellar performance. Regardless if you’re switching between apps, consuming multimedia, taking pictures, or playing games, these two devices deliver. They can handle any game on their respective stores, even the most demanding ones, such as Genshin Impact. They do get warm, but nothing that should worry you, and the performance is constant. These are some of the best-performing smartphones that you can find in the market.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Apple iPhone 14: Battery

The ZenFone 9 comes with a 4,300mAh battery pack, while the iPhone 14 includes a 3,279mAh battery. As most of you know, Apple devices handle battery consumption differently, and need less capacity to get them going. Many people instantly think that the ZenFone 9 has bad battery life due to its battery size, but do keep in mind its display size, and SoC. The ZenFone 9 actually has outstanding battery life.

During our testing, this phone usually managed to get cross the 8-hour screen-on-time mark without a problem, and often went to over 9 hours of screen-on-time. The iPhone 14 can get you over the 7-hour mark without a problem, usually. It will all depend on your usage, the apps you’re using, the signal, and so on. We didn’t really play games a lot, except when we were testing games. We do use our phones for pretty much everything else, though.

What about charging? Well, the ZenFone 9 supports 30W wired charging, and 5W reverse wired charging. The iPhone 14 comes with support for 20W wired, 15W MagSafe wireless charging, and 7.5W Qi wireless charging. One thing to note is that the ZenFone 9 does come with a charger in the box, while the iPhone 14 does not.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Apple iPhone 14: Cameras

The ASUS ZenFone 9 features a 50-megapixel main camera which is backed by a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. The iPhone 14 includes two 12-megapixel cameras, wide and ultrawide ones. The iPhone 14’s ultrawide camera offers a wider field-of-view than the one on the ZenFone 9. Both sets of ultrawide cameras manage to keep the same color science as the main camera, which is commendable for both companies.

AH ASUS ZenFone 9 KL image 2

What are the pictures like, though? Well, they’re really good on both phones, but do have their weaknesses. The ZenFone 9 tends to punch up the colors a bit too much, while the added sharpening is quite often obvious in not great lighting. The iPhone 14 has a tendency to overblow the highlights in some conditions, and also use sharpening a bit too much when you’re shooting foliage and similar scenes.

Other than that, they do a great job, even in low light. They both manage to pull out a lot of details in such conditions, and generally shoot detailed and sharp photos. Ultrawide cameras are also quite good, though not to the level of main shooters. The video recording is better on the iPhone 14, though the ZenFone 9 does keep up, and offers excellent stabilization.

Audio

There are not many flagships with audio jacks these days, but the ZenFone 9 does have one. The iPhone 14 does not. You will be forced to use a Lightning port if you want a wired audio connection. When it comes to wireless audio, the ZenFone 9 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, while the iPhone 14 supports Bluetooth 5.3.

Both phones include stereo speakers, and the speakers on both phones are good. They do get plenty loud, and they’re also well-balanced. There’s plenty of output detail, and the distortion is hardly noticeable even at the highest of volumes.

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