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Forget Galaxy Note 20 — this rival could be just as powerful for half the price

Asus Zenfone 6
(Image credit: Future)

Asus' ZenFone 7 will debut next week. And based on new information from leaker Roland Quandt, it should be a pretty good deal.

According to Quandt, the Snapdragon 865-powered ZenFone 7 will begin at 500 euros, which translates to about $600. For that price, you'll get a phone with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Spend 550 euros (about $650), and Asus will reportedly bump both amounts up to 8GB and 256GB, respectively. Quandt's findings arrive to us by way of PhoneArena.

Those aren't bad performance-for-dollar values by any stretch, and solidify the ZenFone as a compelling OnePlus alternative for people chiefly concerned with getting the most powerful hardware for the absolute least amount of money. The Snapdragon 865 chipset reportedly included in the ZenFone 7 is still a very capable chip, even if its been outshined by the 10% faster Snapdragon 865 Plus inside a small but growing number of super-premium handsets, like the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20.

The difference is that the Note 20 starts at $999 and goes all the way up to $1,299 for the far better-equipped Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — more than double what the ZenFone 7 is said to start at.

Of course, a great mobile device is about more than specs alone. However, as the top end of the market continues to balloon in price, it's nice to see companies like Asus offering attainable alternatives, often times with a few nifty special features.

Last year's ZenFone 6, for example, implemented a dual-camera system that flipped from the back to face you when capturing selfies. It was a neat trick that also made the ZenFone 6's front-facing photography far better than of rival phones, and it was employed in a device that cost just $500 when new.

Asus hasn't confirmed whether the flip camera system will return for the ZenFone 7, though a teaser image the company posted  top Twitter depicts a lack of a separate front camera in the top bezel, so it would seem that we'll see it again. We certainly hope to — while the ZenFone 6's camera wasn't perfect, the flip camera system presented a legitimately useful addition, and was one of the device's leading features, alongside its killer battery life.

The potential $100 price hike for the ZenFone 7 is a bit disappointing, though even at $600, the phone could still undercut the $700 OnePlus 8 by a considerable margin. If Quandt's leak bears out, it'll be one of the least expensive devices with a Snapdragon 865 chipset — certainly making it worth a look for bargain hunters. Stay tuned for more on that front next week; the ZenFone 7 is slated to debut in a virtual event via YouTube on Aug. 26.