The charm of the Asus Zenfone 6 arrived more than a year ago now, with its flipping camera. Now, they’re back and we’re presented with the Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro. There is still a rotating camera on both devices, just like the 6, and the battery is still as huge at 5,000mAh. In the latest models, there’s lots that’s new, like the extra-zoom lens in the camera set, an upgraded OLED display, and a 90Hz refresh rate with it. 

A select few European countries will get the phones on September 1, but it won’t hit the US at that point. We’ve had no confirmation on the price point for Europe as yet. In Taiwan, it’ll be sold from today. In that country, the Zenfone 7’s price starts at NT$21,990 (around $749), while the Zenfone 7 Pro costs NT$27,990 (around $953) notes Jon Porter for The Verge.

This year’s flipping cameras are as standout on the Zenfone 7 as they were on the original array. Tap the button and you get three camera sensors to swing around from the rear to the front of the phone, so you don’t need a notch in the display but you still get great selfies because you have the same cameras either side.

The camera set now comes with three lenses. You get a 64-megapixel, wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide that has a 113-degree field of vision, plus an 8-megapixel telephoto lens that has a 3x optical zoom. You can have your selfies taken with a really useful, ultrawide lens which is great for group shots. The 3x zoom facility for selfies doesn’t have any immediate uses we can think of, but someone will figure out why you need it. As an extra, with the Zenfone 7 Pro, the wide-angle and telephoto camera get optical image stabilization.

Image credit: china-review.com.ua

The flipping mechanism has been redesigned, along with the better camera resolutions and sensors. Importantly, it’s not been tested to work with 200,000 flips, twice what the Zenfone 6 was rated for. You’d need to flip the camera 100 times each day for five years to get close to having problems, according to Asus. Plus, you can choose the angle that you want to flip the camera to, and the whole system is supposed to be smoother and faster than before. 

It’s worth checking out the upgraded screen specs on the Zenfone 7. The display has a refresh rate of 90Hz now and it’s OLED, which is a big change from the 60Hz LCD screen of last year’s model. Everything should look a lot smoother now. In terms of brightness, Asus says the screen can achieve 700 nits in bright conditions so you can read easier in the sun. For the screen size, it’s now 6.67 inches but the resolution is still only 1080p. 

The massive 5,000mAh battery returns from last year’s phone, and this year it supports up to 30W fast charging. We’re not getting wireless charging with this one, though, with Asus saying the priority was battery size and that needed lots of space.

Image credit: stereo-news.com

This time, you don’t get the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone. Rather, you get on that’s on the side, fitting into the power button, which has a third role as a shortcut key, too. You can customize what it does on a double tap or long hold. The headphone jack has been lost from the Zenfone 7 and you don’t get an IP rating for water resistance. Any wonder when there’s a huge, flipping camera array? The 7 and 7 Pro are both available to buy in back or white. 

Under the hood, the Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro are different. The 7 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Zenfone 7 has a slightly slower Snapdragon 865 with 128GB of storage and either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Both support Sub-6GHz 5G (with no mmWave), as well as external storage using microSD cards with up to 2TB of capacity.

It was surprising how nice the Zenfone 6 was last year, we liked it. The stuff that was good seems to have all been preserved by Asus in the Zenfone 7, and some of the little niggles from the last phone have been addressed.