The refreshingly compact Asus ZenFone 9 is officially getting Android 13 before Christmas
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While Samsung was already done delivering stable Android 13 goodies to several different high-end smartphone lineups from 2022, 2021, and2020, Asus barely made its rollout plans public last month, somewhat vaguely promising to kick off its first over-the-air update to the latest OS version from December.
Well, December is obviously here, and as Samsung is moving further and further down the food chain to take care of everything from the mid-range Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022) to the mid-range Galaxy A42 5G, Asus is officially making good on its commitment with plenty of time left until Christmas.
As promised (and expected), the ZenFone 9 is the company's first device to leave Android 12 behind, scoring an absolutely massive collection of "adjustments", enhancements, tweaks, add-ons, and new features detailed in the incredibly lengthy list below:
- Revamped Mobile Manager, Contacts, Phone, Emergency Dialer, File Manager, Calculator, Clock, Gallery, Weather, Sound recorder, Settings, Data Transfer, Local backup, and other Asus apps;
- Adjusted Quick Settings panel, notification tray, and volume panel to Android 13 design;
- Added the notification permission feature. You can adjust the permission of each apps in the Apps & notifications Settings;
- System clipboard added "Auto delete" and editor features;
- Added the QR code scanner option for the lock screen shortcut feature, and the “Control from locked device”feature in the Security & lock screen setting;
- If Bedtime option is set up in Digital Wellbeing, system color scheme can now be set to automatically switch with bedtime option;
- Adjusted the Vibration & haptic strength setting, Display and font size setting, and the width/length of navigation white bar when choosing gesture navigation;
- Changed to the Blocked numbers setting in Phone to stock behavior. You will not receive calls or texts from blocked numbers;
- Removed the Call duration setting;
- Added the Themed icons option in the Wallpaper & style setting Support more color combinations;
- Added “link quick share” feature in ASUS Launcher;
- Added Asus customization preferences setting. Allows applying the collection of commonly used customization settings with one click;
- Removed the 'Calm' and 'Elegant' options in the Power button menu style setting. Add the display item management option to allow the user to control the number of buttons in the menu;
- Adjusted the design of the dialpad and contacts details page in the Phone app to display information more clearly.
Analyzed individually, those may not seem like the most substantial, groundbreaking, or life-altering changes in the history of Google's industry-leading mobile OS. Collectively, however, they definitely add up to something that can make your user experience significantly better than what you can currently squeeze from the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1-powered Asus ZenFone 9.
This is easily the most compact Android powerhouse on the market today, which means it's now probably the best "small" phone to run Android 13, although it pretty much goes without saying that its 5.9-inch screen wouldn't have earned that title a few years back.
With this hot new hefty update, the ZenFone 9 is clearly more compelling than ever for potential new buyers, especially when you also consider the $50 discount currently offered by authorized seller Mobile Advance via Amazon on a 256GB storage variant with 8 gigs of RAM on deck that typically costs $749.
Unfortunately, you may not have a lot of time left to pull the trigger there, as stocks are super-limited... and Christmas is right around the corner. Of course, if you prefer larger phones with strong gaming credentials, Android 13 should be (more or less) around the corner as well for the ROG Phone 6, 6 Pro, 6D, and 6D Ultimate in addition to 2021's compact 5.9-inch ZenFone 8.