ASUS has built the Zenfone series into something of a pop culture item in the past few years. There are dedicated followers of the Zenfone series who swear by them and eagerly wait for new releases. ASUS has been incrementally upping their game with the series. We spent some time with the Zenfone 4 Selfie which is the latest addition to this series. Here is our review of this selfie centric device.
The ZenFone 4 Selfie (Dual Camera Version) features a superb sleek design with Metallic back-finish featuring Nano-molding technology (NMT). On the front, it features a 0.3s fast fingerprint sensor that supports 5 fingers and detects fingerprints in all 360 degrees, and also features haptic feedback every time you access the fingerprint reader. Adding to the curve ergonomics of the device is the 2.5D curve glass, with 5.5” HD IPS Display. Powering the device is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with 4GB of RAM and with 64GB of internal storage. A 3000mAh battery ensures that you get more than a day worth of battery backup effortlessly.
The phone (Dual Camera Version) comes with a triple-slot tray that accepts two SIM cards for dual data connections, with speeds of up to 150Mbps and an additional MicroSD slot to expand storage by up to 2TB. Its convenient design lets users install both SIMs and a MicroSD card in one easy step.
The device (Dual Camera Version) also features a 5-magnet loud-speaker with dedicated outdoor mode that boosts audio level without sacrificing fidelity.
To summarize, it feels great to hold in the hand and does not slip out. The design has enabled single hand use with ease. The metallic finish gives it a very premium feel. The design is practical and simple. There are no standout screaming points in the design. There are areas where it will radically cry out to you. This is a plus and a minus, while one may argue that simple is the best, the counter point is that ASUS hasn’t done anything noticeable with the design department in the last few years and it shows. This one looks like every other phone that is out there. The days of the Zenfone 2 series devices where ASUS made heads turn with the design are now firmly in the past. This is very worrying as ASUS has been know to innovate and that is not seen in the recent devices. Having said that, there is no minus as such with the design.
Let us get to the real goop in this device or the USP of this phone. It boasts of a dual camera enabled selfie experience that gives you a lot of options and facilities. The company even said that the phone will make you ditch the selfie stick. Before we get into that, let us try and understand how the dual front camera setup works on this phone.
The ZenFone 4 Selfie has two cameras on one side, this is similar to how professional photographers use separate fixed focal length lenses with their DSLR cameras for the best possible quality, and to allow them to compose photos with different perspectives. The big difference of the ZenFone 4 Selfie is that its cameras faces the front, so that it can shoot perfect self or group portrait photos (wefies).
What this means to the layman is that there are two front cameras, one that can capture wide angled shots for your group pictures and there is another that can capture your facial details vividly for selfies and even enhance your facial beauty when you are streaming yourself online.
The ZenFone 4 Selfie’s second front facing, 120-degree wide angle camera allows you to capture photos and videos that fit more of your environment into the frame, so you can include a scenic background in your shot or gather even more friends together and have fun taking wefies – without needing to use an inconvenient selfie stick!
There are the usual modes that you find on all mobile cameras now-a-days. There is also support for a selfie panorama using the front camera. It looks like Oppo and Vivo seeing great success in the selfies game has spurred ASUS to run in the selfie race. The hardware isn’t only thing that ASUS has worked on with this device. The all-new SelfieMaster app lets users apply real-time beautification effects to selfies, videos, and live-streams, and the cameras’ Beauty mode enables professional-quality adjustments — such as skin softening, eye enhancement and facial-feature balancing — with just a few taps. With its compelling combination of dual cameras and beautification features, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Series provides very significantly noticeable all-round selfie photography experiences, letting users have fun, express themselves and portray the picture perfect version of themselves to the world.
The 16 MP rear camera is no slouch either. The camera consistently produced good and well rendered pictures. The reds, greens, blacks and whites were are all done properly. There were no visible washed out colors or jaded images. Low light is a tad bit on the disappointing side though, as is with most mobile cameras that come out today, barring a few exceptions like the Pixel and Galaxy S8+. While the front camera is the USP, the back camera isn’t bad either. Here are a few pictures we shot with the phone
The octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with 4GB of RAM and with 64GB of internal storage that the phone comes with is adequate in terms of performance and ability to do multiple tasks at the same time. There wasn’t any noticeable lag or stutter when gaming with this phone. There was slight heating near the rear camera though on extended gaming. Given the price and the overall package of this phone, we are not complaining about that at all.
There is a 3000mAh battery ensures that you get more than a day worth of battery backup if you are a moderate to average user of the smartphone. One a single charge, with a fair bit of 4G and WiFi mixed with above average social media and video consumption, we were able to get 13 hours of battery life. That is pretty nifty considering the price and how young people today use the phone.
The ZenFone 4 Selfie (Dual Camera Version) is priced very aggressively at INR 14,999/ – and given that price and the overall package that the device offers, it will be very attractive to the selfie-crazed young ones of today who want to document every minute of their lives photographically using selfies. As a mid-range device also, this phone packs enough punch to be a worthwhile buy. The price pits it against many tough competitors, time will tell who wins this race.
I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.