It could be the end of the road for this Android phone

 Asus Zenfone 10 review
Asus Zenfone 10 review

It looks like the upcoming Asus Zenfone 10 will be the company’s last in the series.

According to the Taiwanese site TechNews, the company is undergoing an “organizational restructure,” which initially involved moving employees from the PC department to the smartphone division, but ultimately resulted in layoffs instead.

Asus’ mobile division is divided into two teams: those who work on Zenfone and those who work on the ROG Phone. An insider source told the site that the restructure turned into layoffs because the Zenfone 10 will be the last of the series.

The good news is that it doesn’t seem Asus is withdrawing from the smartphone market completely, as LG did in 2021. The same source suggested the ROG Phone department would be a possible destination for those staying on, implying that the gaming-focused handset isn’t at risk just yet.

The end of the Zenfone may seem a bit premature, given that Asus’ latest has only just become available to pre-order in the United States. But it's been out in other regions for a few months, and it’s likely that the writing has been on the wall for some time.

According to some estimates, Asus holds just a 0.26% share of the global smartphone market. Nobody could say it hasn’t been given a chance: The original Zenfone came out nine years ago, after all.

It’s likely that the Zenfone is actually a fraction of that fraction, given Asus is apparently keeping ROG phones alive. With the gaming handsets occupying a more obvious niche and boosting a premium price point for enthusiasts, it’s likely a more profitable option in a crowded marketplace.

If the report is true, it’s a shame. Asus is one of the few companies making smaller Android handsets for those who favor portability over screen size. And we gave the latest a glowing 4.5-star rating in our Asus Zenfone 10 review.

It packs a 5.9-inch, 144Hz AMOLED screen making it very pocketable indeed. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and 8GB or 16GB RAM with a 4,300mAh battery keeping things running. It can be configured with 128, 256 or 512GB RAM with prices starting at $699.99.

“If Android's the software for you and small phones are your preference, there's little else that would suit you better than the Zenfone 10,” concluded our senior writer, Richard Priday.

Nonetheless, you may be wary about taking a chance on Zenfone now if Asus is indeed moving away from it. The good news is that the company has promised two Android updates and four years of security patches, which may still make it worth a punt if you’re weighing up the best small phones. Just be aware you’ll likely have to swap brands when it comes time to upgrade.

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