ASUS has been consistently delivering with its ZenFone series smartphones for past few years. The series is in its 4th iteration, so there are huge expectations from the Zenfone 4 series smartphones. This time around Asus wants to win the hearts of the selfie lovers with its new lineup of Selfie smartphones. The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro comes at the top of this lineup and, therefore, we want to know how Asus tries to deliver on the expectations of the selfie lovers.
We have our hands on the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro. With the 24 MP DuoPixel technology, let us see how it fares in the real world under real conditions. Let’s start with the review.
Build & Design
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is a stunner when it comes to design. The all glass unibody metal design looks and feels great. It is 2017, a year full of bezel-less smartphones with an aspect ratio of 18:9. Asus doesn’t look to be interested in keeping up with this trend. The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has quite thick bezels at the top and bottom similar to the Zenfone 3 and has a 16:9 aspect ratio. Even though it is made up of metal and glass, it is still very light but is also very slippery because of the glass back.
When you look at the smartphone, the two front camera immediately catches your attention. We will go into that later. This time Asus has gone with a front fingerprint scanner below the display which also works as the home button while using the smartphone. The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has nice rounded corners that shine when light falls on it.
On the lower side, it has all the ports including Micro USB 2.0 port (I really wished it had Type-C port), 3.5mm headphone jack (I’m glad that Asus hasn’t removed it yet), a microphone and single set of speakers. The left side of the smartphone has the hybrid sim slot. On the right side, there are the volume rockers and the power buttons. So, overall, I completely love the design and build quality of the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.
Display by far has got a big update this time as Asus decided to go with an AMOLED display. The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display which looks really awesome. The colors are much more vibrant and warm and the black color does look really black and not greyish. Images and movies just look better on this display.
The display is covered by a 2.5D curved Corning’s Gorilla Glass which feels good to tough and responds extremely well. This display isn’t one of the brightest, therefore when you go under direct sunlight, you may find it hard to see it even when you turn the brightness level to full.
This is the most talked about feature of the Zenfone Selfie Pro. it has two front-facing cameras of 12 MP (f/1.8) and 8 MP respectively with LED flash on the front as well. The 24 MP DuoPixel dual-front camera setup is touted to be the best Selfie Camera in the market by Asus. Let’s see if it is as good as it sounds.
As you can see above, these images are clicked using the 24 MP DuoPixel setup. The surroundings are well lit and so you can see that the images are quite sharp and have vibrant colors.
Above images are from the main front facing camera. The difference between these images and the ones with DuoPixel setup is evident. From the contrary belief, I found the images from the main camera a bit better than the images clicked from the DuoPixel technology. The colors just seem more real and the exposure is just right.
The DuoPixel setup images seem like overexposed. Even when you zoom in, the images look better from the main camera. When the surroundings aren’t properly lit, the images just come out grainy as you can see below.
These images were clicked from the main selfie camera which has 2x light sensitivity, but as you can see, there is absolutely no sharpness and the colors captured aren’t very good too.
The rear camera, on the other hand, is a 16 MP shooter with dual-tone LED flash. I loved this camera as it took great images everytime I clicked. The images have vibrant colors and are quite sharp in well-lit conditions. It is just that sort of camera that you just pull out, take a picture and forget about it, and when you get back home and look at it then you see that the image is quite good. However, it does suffer in low light. Below are some images I clicked on it.
As you can see, these images are really good and there isn’t anything to complain about. What do you think about these camera images? Do tell us in the comments section below.
Asus has been compromising a lot when it comes to the hardware of it Zenfone series smartphones. Until now, I was okay with it, but now I seriously think that it is high time now that Asus should bump up its hardware specifications. The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core 2 GHz chipset with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage that can be increased up to 256 GB.
Gaming performance was good as it didn’t stutter at any point while the gaming sessions. The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro does not get heated up to a point of discomfort even after long gaming sessions. The experience was great thanks to its amazing display and fast response to touch and movements.
Call quality is great and signal reception is also very good. The speakers are loud enough but not too loud and they do get distorted on maximum volumes. The benchmarks are as expected from a 625-chipset, therefore, nothing is new here. The fingerprint scanner is extremely fast and accurate when compared to the older Zenfone 3 which had impressed me a lot.
Asus does a lot of work to make ZenUI much better and it really pays great attention to very small details. With Android 7.1.1 Nougat, the ZenUI as gotten a lot better. It has apps like Audio Wizard that is able to make your music listening experience even better by allowing you to do small tweaks in the settings. The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro also support Hi-Res audio, therefore you can enjoy that too if you have compatible headphones.
It also now supports Twin apps that lets you have two instances of the same app and register them to two different mobile numbers and use them independently. Many useful apps like Instagram, Facebook and Messenger come pre-loaded with this device. The ZenUI looks very refreshing and clean and much easier to use when compared to its older iterations. The only downside is the Zen Keyboard. It is very hard to use due to so many features been squeezed into such small space. When compared to GBoard, it is far from perfection and a lot of work needs to be done on it.
The ZenUI also has an overlay called Page Marker that you can use in the browser. It allows you to download web pages, highlight some sections of the page that are important to you and can create future tags which will help you with your future searches. This is another little feature that makes your life much better. It also has the split screen mode, though certain apps still don’t support it.
Overall, I feel that the performance of the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro could be much better when compared to its competitors. Yes, it does get all your job done and doesn’t break a sweat whenever you throw any task at it, there’s always this feeling of wanting more which comes from the price tag of this smartphone. There are many competitors that charge a couple thousand bucks more but offer the Snapdragon 835 chipset which is far more superior and faster than this one. Therefore, I really wished that Asus should’ve gone with the 835 chipsets even if that has caused some rise in the final pricing.
The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has the same non-removable Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 3000 mAh which was on the Zenfone 3. It supports fast charging, therefore, it gets charged from 0% to 100% in around 90 minutes. This should last you for over a day with adequate calling sessions, minimal gaming, average use of social media and emails etc. So it has a decent battery backup.
The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is a great smartphone as it has the perfect combination of design and specs. Where things don’t work out is the hefty price tag. At Rs 23,999, it is definitely not the cheapest by any means. Asus does want the consumers to buy it for its selfie cameras, but honestly, I don’t think even the most selfie lovers will go for this smartphone as the Duo-Pixel technology isn’t that good as it looks on the paper and the overall experience just doesn’t justify the price.
Well, it can still be useful for vloggers who use the front cameras for the most of the time and can shoot in 4k. That’s the only kind of people I think this smartphone will be the most practical for.
Buy on Flipkart.