Top 5 questions about the ZenFone 7 answered

With very few credible pieces of information to go with, we find this a challenging time. Sure we have a lot of experience covering ASUS product launches, but the ZenFone 7 is truly a mystery and we’re more than half way through the year! It’s curious to us why the ROG Phone 3 is widely leaked with plenty of information available. Unfair treatment we say! Let’s take the rumors and leaks to come up with some theories and answers to the top 5 burning questions on everyone’s mind.

1. Why the deafening silence?

Initially we felt that ASUS was going to slip the ZenFone 7 out without much of an event or build-up. If the early leaked photos in early January were to be believed, then the ZenFone 7 seemed rather  average and just like many other phones. If ASUS was going to drop the flip-camera it made sense to just release the ZenFone 7 with a small announcement and move on from there. This seemed like a plausible explanation considering ASUS has been far more focused on their new ROG Phone 3 release.

It’s only recently where we’ve thought differently about the deafening silence. Perhaps ASUS wanted to keep the ZenFone 7 a complete secret because it has something special that is going to give them a substantial competitive advantage.

Of course we’re talking about whether the ZenFone 7 has a flip-camera module that is even more impressive with more lenses and sensors. It would be a big achievement if true and certainly something worthy of keeping secret for as long as possible. To be honest, ASUS has done an incredible job in keeping the ZenFone 7 leaks practically non-existent.

2. Does the ZenFone 7 series have the flip-camera module?

We felt that ASUS ditched this feature due to the sheer hassle of it. Cost, supply issues and production challenges slowed the ZenFone 6 launch in a big way. We also saw those early leaks (photos) that seemed authentic, leading us to believe no more flip-camera moving forward.

The recent report from a credible website (TNNToday) says indeed, the ZenFone 7 series will have the flip-camera module. Understand that there is no supporting evidence of their claims. No links, no images and no sources listed. However, given that it’s a credible website, it’s doubtful they run with such a story if they don’t have the inside source to back it up. Imagine if they are wrong on this? A lot of people will be upset and their credibility will certainly take a hit considering they were the first and only ones to report this news.

At this stage, have we changed out opinion? There are two reason why we say yes, it’s entirely plausible to have the flip-camera on the ZenFone 7 series.

First, ASUS was quick to stop production of the ZenFone 6. It was incredible to see the product listed as “discontinued” on many retailer websites. We’re talking a long while back too. It’s like ASUS ceased production quicker than ever which struck us as odd because the ZenFone 6 is still in high demand out there but inventory is almost all gone globally.

It’s possible that ASUS has put their efforts into ZenFone 7 production to ensure adequate supply of materials this time around. It might explain the puzzling end of production on their most popular phone ever. It’s well documented that ASUS had major supply issues that slowed down their ZenFone 6 production, so stockpiling for the ZenFone 7 with a robust flip-camera with more lenses, seems critically important.

3. Is there really a ZenFone 7 and ZenFone 7 Pro?

We know previously that ASUS executives were adamant about having one model, per year. When a recent story suggested there would be two models, we were, and still are, not convinced. If ASUS executives were so impressed with the ZenFone 6 sales they changed their strategy, we can buy into that theory as well.

What we do know is that the ZS670KS has the Snapdragon 865+ processor. However, this doesn’t automatically mean this is the “pro” model. It’s entirely possible that the ZenFone 7 simply comes with the Snapdragon 865+ and that’s that. A couple days ago we were convinced the “KS”, indicative of the “Plus” version of the Snapdragon processor meant ZenFone 7 Pro was a certainty. Now? Not so much.

The news report suggested the ZenFone 7 would be priced more cheaply than the ROG Phone 3. If that is true, then a Snapdragon 865+ doesn’t seem likely for the non-pro version. We could see a scenario with an LCD display on the ZenFone 7 and AMOLED on a ZenFone 7 Pro which puts the pro model likely at the same price point as the ROG Phone 3.

If the ZenFone 7 has an LCD and Snapdragon 865+ then we don’t see it being much cheaper than the ROG Phone 3. Is that what ASUS wants? In theory if ASUS did keep an LCD display alongside the 865+ processor they could keep the price in-line with what the leak suggests.

If you look at the information that’s out there and look at the combinations and possibilities it does seem possible that there is indeed a ZenFone 7 Pro model.

4. When will the ZenFone 7 be released?

Typically it’s fall by the time North America gets their crack at the new ZenFone releases. First up would likely be Europe (late August) and North America hopefully into September at the latest.

How we see this playing out, is ASUS will not likely speak of the ZenFone 7 prior to the ROG Phone 3 event scheduled for July 22.

Will ASUS want to milk the lead up to a ZenFone 7 launch? Yes, they like to do that and is typical of their product launches. This means about a month after the ROG Phone 3 event we would expect an official ZenFone 7 unveiling. So it could be August 19th or August 26th if we had to make a guess.

Pre-orders will likely start on the unveil day, so it’s possible by late August, Europe will have ZenFone 7 pre-orders. ASUS will pick a region a focus their inventory and efforts their first. History tells us that Europe (Italy) is a most likely region although all bets are off considering the pandemic is still an issue.

Keep in mind that because of the pandemic the release dates have been pushed back substantially. Our experience with past ZenFone releases may not help this time around. It would be safe to say that ASUS doesn’t want to come up to any Apple related product releases so pre-orders should be well under way by the time we get to early September.

5. How much with the ZenFone 7 cost?

It’s going to be more expensive than the ZenFone 6 thanks to the 5G capabilities. ASUS already said previously that having 5G is going to increase their price point. If you believe there will be a “pro” model that might feature AMOLED, then you might be right up there with Apple and Samsung prices. If there is a base model ZenFone 7 with LCD and Snapdragon 865 then it likely will be just slightly more expensive that the ZenFone 6 launch price last year. Forget about cheap ASUS phones at this point. That isn’t their focus and if there is a flip-camera onboard, then you’re paying a premium for it.

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