Review: Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra

The solitary top model

The Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra deserves its name, but it's actually not the top model in the range. It is the only model.

Published 25 March 2024 - 8:00 am
Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra
John Hvidlykke

Taiwanese Asus really wants to be a mobile phone manufacturer. And you have to admire their persistence. Despite the fact that they have not yet managed to achieve great commercial success, they have made 10 model generations and a large number of variants of their Zenfone mobiles since 2014. Many of them have excelled on good data and often very inventive product details – like a rotating camera bridge or built-in gimbal stabilisation.

The Zenfone 11 Ultra is, as the name suggests, the 11th generation of the family. The name also suggests that we are dealing with the extra feature-packed luxury model in the series. However, this is not correct.

The Zenfone 11 is only available in the ultra version. There will be no standard or compact model (Photo: Asus)

Where is the standard version?

Most major mobile phone manufacturers, with Samsung and Apple at the forefront, have for several model generations chosen to make different variants of the mobile phone of the year. Usually a standard version and a slightly scaled-down and more compact economy model. And to top it all off, an Ultra, Pro or Max version with extra speed, more memory and more powerful cameras.

The Zenfone 11 Ultra pretty much has it all. But you’re looking in vain for a standard version. There is only the Ultra model.

Also check out The gaming phone is a speed monster

If speed is of the essence, a gaming mobile is the answer. The Asus ROG Phone 8 is currently the fastest phone in the world.

At Asus’ recent press briefing, several people asked if there would be other editions. And especially a compact version, which has been Asus’ hallmark for several years.

The answer from Asus was vague, to say the least. “There is no other version right now. But the Zenfone 10 is still on the market!”

Bigger and twice as bright

Asus’ Zenfone mobiles have changed their look and image like no other mobile series. Both in design and size. Sometimes the models in the same generation have even been so different that you’d be forgiven for thinking there had been a mix-up at the maternity hospital.

The last two Zenfone generations have been compact, pocket-friendly flagship mobiles. The Zenfone 11 Ultra, on the other hand, features a full-sized 6.78″ AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. The screen resolution and speed (144 Hz) are the same as the Zenfone 10, but the screen is almost an inch larger in diagonal dimensions and the brightness has doubled to a blinding 1,600 nits.

And where all previous generations have had to make do with two rear cameras, the arsenal has now been expanded with a 3x telephoto lens.

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The Zenfone 11 Ultra is available in four colours. (Photo: Asus)

The three cameras are gathered in a square camera block on the back, which is made of matte aluminium. The test model had a blue back, but more colour variants are available.

Is it a Zenfone or a ROG Phone?

While the Zenfone 11 Ultra looks nothing like any previous Zenfone model, it bears more than a superficial resemblance to the ROG Phone 8 Pro we tested earlier this year. And it’s no wonder. In fact, the two phones are practically identical!

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The Zenfone 11 Ultra doesn't look like any previous Zenfone. However, it does look a lot like the ROG Phone 8. And with good reason. The two are technically almost identical (Photo: Asus) (Photo: Asus)

This is confirmed in an official statement from Asus:

“From a component perspective they are quite similar, but from Asus’ side we see these products and lines from the end user’s perspective and here the user of ROG8 and ZF11 Ultra will be quite significantly different. ROG 8 wants to design for those who identify as “gamers” – and Zenfone for those who don’t.”

Do you want the rally model or a luxury sedan?

It’s common practice for a mobile manufacturer to make multiple versions of the same smartphone; it’s almost become the norm for major manufacturers. But the fact that the mobiles belong to different series is completely out of the question.

With its design, ROG 8 wants to address those who identify as “gamers” – and Zenfone for those who don’t, says Asus. (Photo: Asus)

From an economic point of view, it makes sense that Asus, as a very small mobile manufacturer, does not spend resources on developing each model from scratch, but instead builds almost identical mobiles that are optimised for different tasks.

Also check out It's only small on the outside

The Zenfone 10 consolidates Asus' position as the king of compact flagship mobiles. Revolutions, on the other hand, are few and far between.

The ROG Phone 8 is the “rally model” made for gaming, so it is tuned to run as fast as possible and with the best cooling. The screen can handle a refresh rate of 165 Hz, and Asus’ so-called Air triggers give a console feel to the mobile phone. Zenfone 11 Ultra is the “family sedan model” where comfort, silence and battery life are prioritised. Here you have to make do with 144 Hz screen refresh and there is no external cooler.

Now with 3x telephoto lens

Previous Zenfone models (and ROG phones too, for that matter) have had excellent normal cameras and wide-angle lenses, but have lacked a telephoto lens. Thanks to a 32 Mp lens with 3x optical zoom – and pixel binning – you can now take pictures from a little further away. In addition, there is up to 30x digital zoom. The images with digital magnification are actually usable, but the light sensitivity decreases proportionally with the degree of zoom.

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1X standard optics (Photo: John Alex Hvidlykke)

The main camera has 50 Mp wide-angle optics with a 120-degree field of view for most things. The camera is equipped with Asus’ excellent integrated gimbal, which provides six-axis image stabilisation and makes it possible to shoot video even in rather choppy conditions.

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30X digital zoom on the Zenfone 11 Ultra. Colours are blurred and the image is heavily pixelated. (Photo: John Alex Hvidlykke)

Dertil er der 13 Mp ultravidvinkel til landskaber og andre situationer, hvor det hele skal med.

Med frontkameraet på 32 megapixel, kan man vælge mellem to forstørrelser på henholdsvis 0,7X og 1X.

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The selfie camera is excellent. (Photo: John Alex Hvidlykke)

Wireless charging and large battery

The battery is a solid 5,500 mAh, which is a significant upgrade from the Zenfone 10’s 4,300 mAh. It can be charged with the 65 W cable. Wireless Qi charging at 15W is also supported. However, it was more than a little difficult to find the right point where the charging pad and phone recognised each other. And if the Qi charger has high edges, it may in practice be impossible to find a position where the phone charges without falling off the charger.

15W Qi wireless charging is also supported. However, it was difficult to find the point where the charging pad and phone recognised each other. (Photo: Asus)

Asus has always included a charger in the past. Also on the ROG Phone 8, which is the twin of the Zenfone 11 Ultra. But now Asus has unfortunately decided to follow the example of its competitors and make the acquisition of a suitable charger an extra cost.


Since the Zenfone 11 Ultra is identical to the ROG Phone 8 beneath the elegant surface, the result of our speed measurements is a deja vu with the results from the ROG test.

In the Geekbench 6 processor test, the Zenfone 11 Ultra scores 2,286 in single-core and 7,065 in multi-core. That’s within a one per cent chance of the ROG Phone 8. And it’s only surpassed by the iPhone 15 Pro Max. And only by a narrow margin.

Where Asus really gives everyone else a run for their money is in the 3D graphics test AnTuTu 10, where the Zenfone 11 Ultra, like the ROG Phone 8, achieves a score of 2.1 million. No other mobile phone from any manufacturer has come close. The closest “competitor” is the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra with 1.6 million.

The screen is a hefty 6.78″. Just like the competition (Photo: Asus)

The AI computing capability is also quite excellent: 1.4 million in the AItuTu 3 test. That’s slightly better, but not dramatically better than Samsung’s top model. But it still makes Asus the world champion in AI calculations.

According to Asus, the Zenfone 11 Ultra is tuned for long battery life rather than extreme performance. The battery test could suggest that this is true. The Zenfone ran almost a third longer than the ROG Phone 8. And with a battery life in the PCMark test of eleven and a half hours, Asus is far ahead of all competitors’ flagship mobiles.

Zenfone 11 Ultra is IP68 certified. (Photo: Asus)


The Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra is an excellent, but also very strange Asus smartphone. It looks like its ancestor. However, that parent is not the Zenfone 10, but the ROG Phone 8, with which it is identical in almost all respects.

The engine in the two mobiles is also the same, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. This makes the Zenfone 11 Ultra one of the undeniably fastest mobiles on the market right now. It also makes it expensive, but Asus has still managed to keep the price below €1,200. This makes it one of the cheapest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobiles.

With three rear cameras, including one with Asus’ ingenious gimbal image stabilisation, the Zenfone 11 Ultra is a super powerful phone that should be considered by anyone looking for a high-end Android phone. But mobile buyers are loyal to Apple, Samsung and OnePlus. So it’s likely that the Zenfone 11 Ultra will also remain a well-kept secret.

(Photo: Asus)

Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra
High End

We think

Thanks to Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, this is one of the fastest mobiles on the market. Priced slightly cheaper than the big competitors. Now finally with 3x telephoto camera. It's still an awful lot of money. In reality, this is a ROG Phone 8 in civilian clothing.

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