Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra review: Joining the big phone bandwagon?

Asus has basically taken it's ROG Phone 8 and repackaged it into a mainstream phone as Zenfone 11 Ultra
The image shows the Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra in four different colours. — ASUS
The image shows the Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra in four different colours. — ASUS

The Zenfone used to be the go-to compact Android phone, but this year, it's transformed into something else entirely with the new Zenfone going Ultra. Asus has basically taken it's ROG Phone 8, known for gaming prowess, and repackaged it into a mainstream phone. The result is the Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra.

Presenting a bulky, heavy device priced at $899. For fans of larger phones, this might be appealing (though I personally prefer smaller phones), but after spending a week with it, I'm not convinced it stands out among other big phones on the market.

There's talk of a potential smaller Zenfone 11 release later in the year, but nothing is confirmed. So, for now, the era of the compact Android phone could be over, leaving us with another large Android option — good, but perhaps not essential.


The Zenfone 11 Ultra boasts an impressive 6.78-inch OLED display, though only achieving its 144Hz refresh rate in gaming mode, and otherwise capping at 120Hz. Despite these specs, the 1080p resolution doesn't quite match up to competitors like the OnePlus 12 or Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus.


One of the highlights is the Zenfone 11 Ultra's huge 5,500mAh battery. It easily lasted a full day and even seemed capable of stretching to two. The wireless charging feature, while not the latest Qi2, is a nice addition.


In terms of performance, the Zenfone 11 Ultra didn't disappoint. Powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset and equipped with 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage, it handled everything from gaming to everyday tasks effortlessly. However, it's worth noting that it's incompatible with Verizon.


Design-wise, the Zenfone 11 Ultra has a sleek look, but it's not exactly to my taste. The bulky build and heavyweight, combined with a tendency to slip out of pockets, made it a bit cumbersome in everyday use.


The camera, with its gimbal-like stabilization, is impressive, particularly in video mode. It effectively smooths out movements, although it does require good lighting. In regular photography, however, the camera's performance felt average, with issues like inconsistent auto white balance and occasional overexposure.

In the crowded market of big Android phones, the Zenfone 11 Ultra faces stiff competition from the likes of Samsung's Galaxy S24 series and the OnePlus 12. Each of these rivals brings something special to the table, leaving the Zenfone in a tough spot. It's a competent phone, sure, but it doesn't excel in any particular area to carve out a unique niche for itself. For now, it's just another big phone in a sea of similar devices.