ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Google Pixel 6a

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If you hate huge smartphones and want to buy something more compact, this article can help you. This time we are comparing ASUS ZenFone 9 against Google Pixel 6a. Both of these phones are considered compact, although the ZenFone 9 is noticeably more compact. Note that even though we’re comparing them, these two phones are in different price categories.

That’s not surprising considering the ZenFone 9 is a flagship smartphone, while the Pixel 6a is essentially Google’s mid-range smartphone. However, they are both compelling in their own right, so it will be interesting to compare them, that’s for sure. We’ll start by listing their specs as usual, then move on to comparing their designs, displays, performance, battery life, cameras and audio performance.

specifications

ASUS ZenFone 9 Google Pixel 6a
Screen size 5.9-inch FullHD+ Super AMOLED display (60-120 Hz refresh rate) 6.1-inch FullHD+ OLED HDR display (60Hz)
Screen resolution 2400 x 1080 2400 x 1080
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Google Tensor
AZP 8GB/16GB (LPDDR5) 6 GB (LPDDR5)
Storage 128/256 GB (UFS 3.1), non-expandable 128GB (UFS 3.1), non-expandable
Rear cameras 50MP (f/1.9 aperture, 23.8mm wide-angle lens, 1.0μm pixel size, gimbal OIS, PDAF)
12 MP (aperture f/2.2, viewing angle 113 degrees, pixel size 1.4 μm, lens 14.4 mm)
12.2MP (f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4μm pixel size, dual-pixel PDAF, OIS)
12 MP (aperture f/2.2, lens 17 mm, angle of view 114 degrees, pixel size 1.25 μm)
Front cameras 12MP (f/2.5 aperture, 1.22μm pixel size, 27.5mm lens, dual-pixel PDAF) 8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12µm pixel size)
battery 4300mAh, non-removable, 30W wired charging (charger included) 4410mAh, non-removable, 18W wired charging (charger not included)
Dimensions 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1 mm 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm
Weight 169 grams 178 grams
Communication 5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C 5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
Security Side fingerprint scanner In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)
OS Android 12
ZneUI
Android 12
Price 799 euros 449 dollars
Buy ASUS Google

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Google Pixel 6a: Design

Let’s start with the design, which is quite different between the two phones. They both have very thin bezels, with the bottom panel being slightly thicker than the others. Frameworks are not uniform. Both phones have flat displays, while they both have punch holes, but in different places. The ZenFone 9 has one in the top left corner, while the Pixel 6a has a central hole for the camera. Note that ASUS has a silver ring around the front-facing camera, which is unfortunately a bit distracting. It was the same with the ZenFone 8. It’s not too bad, but it’s worth noting.

The corners of the ZenFone 9 are more curved than the Pixel 6a. The ZenFone 9 is also more comfortable than the Pixel 6a, mainly thanks to the back and frame. Its back panel almost feels like paper, although of course it’s not. Here ASUS used polymer. The sides are also flatter than the Pixel 6a’s, though not completely flat. The ZenFone 9 is a lot nicer to hold than other phones with a completely flat display, it doesn’t dig into your hand or anything like that. The Pixel 6a also feels great in the hand, but it’s quite slippery. It includes a polycarbonate back.

The Google Pixel 6a is bigger than the ZenFone 9. It’s taller, wider, and slightly thinner. It’s also a bit heavier than ASUS‘flagship. The ZenFone 9 has two separate camera islands on the back, while the Pixel 6a uses a camera visor similar to the one on the Pixel 6, but smaller. In fact, they not only look completely different, but also feel in the hand. ZenFone 9 is smaller, lighter and more comfortable.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Google Pixel 6a: Display

The ASUS ZenFone 9 comes with a 5.9-inch FullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Super AMOLED display. This display supports HDR10+ content and has a 120Hz refresh rate. It gets pretty bright at 1100 nits peak brightness (800 nits in manual mode). It is also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus and is flat. Here we’re looking at 445 ppi and a 20:9 screen aspect ratio.

On the back, the Google Pixel 6a sports a 6.1-inch FullHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display with HDR support. This panel is also flat and protected by Gorilla Glass 3. However, this is a 60Hz panel and we’re looking at 429 ppi here. This display has the same aspect ratio as the ZenFone 9, given the same resolution, a 20:9 aspect ratio.

ASUS Zenfone 9 AM AH 10 Review

That being said, the ZenFone 9’s display looks better on paper, and yes, it’s better in real life too. ASUS has done a great job here. The panel itself is bright and crisp, and feels very smooth in use. Many people have trouble keeping up with 120Hz and can feel jittery, but that’s not the case here. The ZenFone 9’s display also has great viewing angles, and overall it’s a great panel.

The Pixel 6a’s display is good, but it doesn’t compare to the display on the ZenFone 9. It’s a bit warmer, and even though it’s flat, you’ll definitely notice a lack of smoothness due to its 60Hz refresh rate. However, viewing angles are good. Another thing to note is that the Pixel 6a’s display is more prone to micro-scratches due to Gorilla Glass 3.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Google Pixel 6a: Performance

When it comes to the Pixel 6a, Google has really improved things in terms of hardware compared to its predecessor. This phone comes with the Google Tensor SoC, the same one used in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. It also includes 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.1 flash storage. The phone feels very smooth, that’s for sure, and in this price range, you probably won’t be able to find something that will perform as well.

The problem is that the ZenFone 9 is on the other side, and it’s extremely powerful and extremely smooth. Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 powers this phone, while you get 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM here. ASUS has also included a UFS 3.1 flash drive here. ZenFone 9 feels smooth to use. Everything opens instantly, and its smooth display only adds to the overall feeling of smoothness. Don’t get me wrong, the Pixel 6a performs like a champ, but the ZenFone 9’s display makes all the difference in use.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Google Pixel 6a: Battery

When you think of compact phones, you immediately assume that they have poor battery life, right? Well, it’s not about any of the phones, on the contrary. The ASUS ZenFone 9 comes with a 4300mAh battery, which is more than enough for its display size and all. The Pixel 6a, on the other hand, packs a 4,410mAh unit, which is almost more than decent, all things considered.

In fact, the ZenFone 9 gave us excellent battery life. If you can get past the 7 hour screen-on time mark and still have more than 30% battery left, you know the phone has great battery life. The Pixel 6a isn’t too far off from those numbers, but it can’t match what the ZenFone 9 offers. However, it also has great battery life. There’s really nothing to complain about, neither of these phones will leave you alone.

The ZenFone 9 supports 30W fast wired charging, while the Pixel 6a supports 18W charging. The ZenFone 9 will charge faster, while it also comes with a charger in the box, which is not the case with the Pixel 6a. Neither of the two phones support wireless or reverse (wireless) charging.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Google Pixel 6a: Cameras

The ZenFone 9 and Pixel 6a have quite different camera hardware, although both include three cameras. The ZenFone 9 includes a 50-megapixel primary camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera on the back, along with a 12-megapixel front-facing camera. The Pixel 6a, on the other hand, has a 12.2-megapixel primary camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.

Are the cameras good here? Well, yes, they are, actually. The ZenFone 9 includes the same main camera sensor as the ROG Phone 6 and Nothing Phone (1), and despite this, it manages to offer better pictures. They are quite bright and clear. When it comes to processing, it can be a little overdone, especially in HDR, but nothing that should bother you that much. Also, the ultra-wide camera matches the main camera in terms of image styles, including colors and all, which is very nice to see.

ASUS Zenfone 9 AM AH 07 Review

The Pixel 6a, despite having a really old primary camera sensor, takes great pictures. Google’s camera software is second to none, and it shows. Images look rich, contrasty and generally great. The phone’s night mode is also really great, but the ZenFone 9 also does a good job in this regard, although they have different styles of night mode. ASUS looks closer to what you see.

In fact, I’d say the ZenFone 9 has the closest style to the Pixels when it comes to cameras. It has a similar image profile throughout the day. It’s not quite the same level, but of all the cameras I’ve tested, this one is the closest. The cameras don’t disappoint, and that goes for both phones. They’re not the best, but they’re really good.

Audio

The ASUS ZenFone 9 has a headphone jack, while Google decided to remove it from the Pixel 6a after offering it with the Pixel 5a. Both phones offer stereo speakers and they are good for both phones. In fact, we preferred the sound of the ZenFone 9, to be honest, the sound is richer, as if the soundstage is wider. However, they both do a good job in this regard. The lows, mids and highs are well balanced, which is of course very important. The vocals aren’t muffled or anything like that. We also didn’t notice any audio distortion worth mentioning. These aren’t the best speakers on the market, but considering the size of these two phones, they’re really good.

ASUS ZenFone 9 vs Google Pixel 6a

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