Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro: Raw power versus brains

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Intro

The Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra is officially out, marking the first attempt at the Ultra by the Taiwanese company. Many may think that it’s just a toned down ROG Phone, but in reality, you’re getting a very fast phone for not a lot of money.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro, on the other hand, is now a seasoned player in the smartphone scene and has a lot going for it. The model is without a doubt the best Pixel phone out there. And guess what? These two phones come with the same exact price tag: $899. So, which one to get, then?

Today, we’re pitting against each other the Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra and the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Let the best one win!

Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro differences explained:

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

Glass and metal
Well, these two are quite different at first glance, but the more you look, the more similarities you can pick out. The materials are similar; of course, we have the usual glass sandwich design, but the overall shape, colors, and feel of both phones are rather similar.

Speaking of colors and size, the Zenfone 11 Ultra is just a millimeter taller, but both phones feel quite similar in the hand, as both have rounded backs. The colors are also very similar.

Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra colors:

  • Eternal Black
  • Skyline Blue
  • Misty Gray

Google Pixel 8 Pro colors:

Of course, the Zenfone 11 Ultra relies on a more traditional camera bump, inspired by the ROG Phone 8, while the Pixel 8 Pro follows in the footsteps of its predecessors with the camera bar design.

Display Measurements:

As far as display quality goes, both phones sport excellent displays that are very bright and vivid. The Zenfone 11 Ultra comes with a 6.78-inch AMOLED panel that can do 1-120Hz dynamically and 144Hz in games, while the Pixel 8 Pro sports a 6.7-inch AMOLED with a 1-120Hz refresh rate and very similar color accuracy and brightness to its competitor.

If we really have to nitpick, the Zenfone 11 Ultra scores higher in our brightness test, while on the other hand, it has lower resolution and lower PPI density (388 vs 430 for the Pixel).

Both phones use under-display fingerprint scanners, and both work very similarly regarding speed and accuracy. All in all, the display shouldn’t be a deciding factor if you’re wondering which phone to get. The Zenfone 11 Ultra is a tad brighter, while the Pixel 8 Pro is a tad crisper, but that’s about it.

Performance and Software

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 wins the speed race
The big difference between the Zenfone 11 Ultra and the Pixel 8 Pro is the hardware heart of both systems. The Asus comes with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, while the Google phone gets the proprietary Tensor G3. And there is a difference. While the Tensor is not a slow chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 runs circles around it.

Performance Benchmarks:

It’s debatable whether the AI chip inside the Tensor platform is more capable than what Qualcomm is doing in the Snapdragon 8 chipset, and of course, real day-to-day performance is different than synthetic benchmarks, but we think that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is still the better chipset.

 
When it comes to software, things are pretty straightforward. The Pixel 8 Pro offers seven years of major Android updates, and you will also get them first. The Zenfone 11 Ultra, on the other hand, offers only two major OS updates and four years of security patches. The Pixel 8 Pro also has the potential to utilize AI better through further updates, so we think that Google wins the software round.

Camera

Computational photography wins
There are three cameras on the back of both phones, and they serve similar purposes. The main shooter is 50MP on both phones, but the Pixel 8 Pro has a larger sensor (1/1.31″) with larger pixels (1.2μm). The aperture is also different; the Zenfone 11 Ultra has f/1.9, while the Pixel 8 Pro comes with an f-stop of 1.7.The ultrawide camera on the Pixel 8 Pro has more megapixels at 48MP, compared to the 13MP one on the Zenfone. And the telephoto on the Pixel 8 Pro is more sophisticated, with a periscope system and 5.0x optical zoom over a 48MP sensor, while the Zenfone has a regular 32MP telephoto camera with 3.0x optical zoom.

But as we all know, smartphone photography is highly computational these days, so without putting too much weight on the hardware, let’s check some side-by-side samples.

Main Camera – Day

Even though both phones sport 50MP sensors under the main camera lens, it seems that the Pixel 8 Pro does a better job at preserving details and it also offers wider dynamic range. The Zenfone 11 Ultra produces softer and darker images (probably due to the smaller sensor and pixel size) and the phone also tends to smear the details a bit.

Main Camera – Low-light

The low-light samples just reinforce what we already learned. The bigger sensor and better processing algorithms of the Pixel 8 Pro give the Google phone an edge with brighter and clearer images, with more detail and better dynamic range.

Zoom Quality

Another win for the Pixel 8 Pro, at least in our book. Both at 5x and 10x the Pixel offers much clearer image with lots of detail. The Zenfone, on the other hand, introduces some artifacts at 10x, and even at 5x the image suffers from noise issues.

Ultra-wide Camera

Things are much more on par in the ultrawide department, although the Pixel 8 Pro still manages to output brighter photos. But when it comes to details and overall picture quality, both phones are pretty close in this category.

Selfies

Selfies look great on both phones. The Zenfone 11 Ultra has a new 32MP front camera with RGBW pixel arrangement and it shows. The image is clear, bright and detailed. It looks a bit cold next to the selfie taken with the Pixel 8 Pro but other than that, both look great. It’s a draw!

Video Quality

Video Thumbnail

What do you think about the video sample above? Which phone does a better job? The super-stabilized Zenfone 11 Ultra or the AI-clad Pixel 8 Pro? Our preference leans toward the Pixel 8 Pro, as we feel it has wider dynamic range and captures more detail.

Audio Quality and Haptics

We were really impressed with the stereo speakers in the Zenfone 11 Ultra. Being a ROG Phone relative, the sound level and quality are both excellent. You can feel the bass through the phone’s chassis, and the sound remains clear even at max volume. As a bonus, you’re getting a 3.5mm audio jack to use your favorite wired headphones.

The Pixel 8 Pro, on the other hand, doesn’t sound bad or something, it’s still decent in the audio department. But it lacks the aforementioned audio jack, and if we have to pick a clear winner here, it will be the Zenfone 11 Ultra.

Battery Life and Charging

Similar but fast charging wins
The battery situation is similar between the two devices: the Pixel 8 Pro comes with a 5,050mAh cell, while the Zenfone 11 Ultra rocks a slightly larger battery at 5,500mAh. Real life longevity is also pretty similar on both phones, with a full day of heavy use, and 1.5–2 days if you keep your foot off the throttle.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Quite unsurprisingly, our battery benchmark reinforces the notion from above. The Zenfone 11 Ultra has a 25-minute advantage over the Pixel 8 Pro in web browsing; it can play 2 more hours of YouTube, and you can game 45 minutes longer as well. The difference isn’t huge, and it is completely in line with the 450mAh capacity disadvantage for the Pixel 8 Pro.

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

PhoneArena Wireless Charging Test Results:

When it comes to charging, the Zenfone 11 Ultra has the edge with its 65W fast wired charging support. The phone is able to fill its hefty 5,500mAh battery in just 47 minutes. The Pixel 8 Pro doubles that time, and a full charge takes around 90 minutes.

Both phones support wireless charging, and the results are closer between our two contenders. A full wireless charge takes 2 hours for the Zenfone 11 Ultra and 2 and a half for the Pixel 8 Pro.

Specs Comparison

You can check out our detailed phone comparison here.

Summary and Final Verdict

So, there you have it. Our Zenfone 11 Ultra versus Pixel 8 Pro comparison. Which one should you buy? The Asus phone is faster, brighter, and its battery lasts longer. It also charges faster. On the other hand, getting a Pixel device will grant you seven long years of fast OS updates, more AI tricks inside the UI, and a more potent camera system.

Both phones are priced identically at $899, but you can get deals on the Pixel 8 Pro, while the Asus is bound to be stuck at this launch price for a little while. If you want the fastest Android experience on the market, the Zenfone 11 Ultra is the right choice for you. If you don’t care all that much about raw power and prefer software longevity, the Pixel 8 Pro is better suited to fulfill your needs.


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