Review: Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is a powerful take on the selfie craze
After impressing with the ZenFone Zoom S, Asus is back with another dual camera smartphone called the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Only, this time, the dual cameras are placed on the front. Targeted at selfie enthusiasts, the smartphone is available at Rs 23,999 on Flipkart.com.
Camera: Treat for selfie fans
The main talking point of the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is the dual front camera setup. There is a 24-megapixel camera powered by a Sony IMX 362 sensor and a 5-megapixel wide angle camera. The former was used in the back camera in the ZenFone Zoom S (Rs26,999). It has an aperture of f/1.8 and supports 4K recording. Its ability to capture crisp selfies even in low-lit rooms makes it a treat for selfie fans. It automatically lights up images without involving the front-facing flash. The second front camera has a 120degree wide angle lens so one can accommodate multiple people in a single selfie shot.
For regular photography, there is a 16-megapixel rear camera with aperture of f/2.0 and phase detection support for quick focus. It locks focus and captures shots quickly. Daytime shots look well balanced. Images look crisp even in landscape shots. Colours look rich without feeling oversaturated. There is a significant noise in low light shots, though.
Design: Solidly built unbelievably light
The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro has a metallic unibody design with a closed battery. The rounded edges give it a touch of style. The volume and power buttons are easily accessible and respond to the slightest pressure. Due to the lustreless finish, sleek (6.8mm) and light (147g) form-factor, the smartphone grips well and fits comfortably into small hands.
The fingerprint sensor is integrated with the non-clickable home button on front. It is easy to access, accurate and quick in response.
The only niggle in the design is the slightly protruded rear camera which makes the back wobble a bit when placed on the back.
Display: Sharp and bright
The 5.5-inch AMOLED screen packs a resolution of 1,920x1,080p, which is what most smartphones offer at this price. Colours look rich and text looks crisp, which makes the screen ideal for practically everything from watching movies to gaming. The display offers a range of useful customisation options. The Bluelight filter reduces stress on eyes and the Super contrast enhances colours in videos a bit for more effect. We were a bit disappointed to see Asus switch back to 2.5d Gorilla Glass after the ZenFone Zoom S, which has Gorilla Glass 5.
Software: Custom UI with subtle changes
It runs Android 7.0 (Nougat) with Asus’ new ZenUI 4.0. Asus has made a few minor changes in it. The home settings panel looks a lot simpler. Its notable features include the two layer mode, which allows user to switch between the app drawer mode and the one without one.
The lock screen animation makes the always on feature more fun. You can activate it in Settings-> display-> always on section.
Performance: Powerful, ample storage
The smartphone packs in Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clubbed with 4GB RAM. It is dependable processor but available in more affordable smartphones such as the Moto G5 Plus (Rs 12,999) and the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Rs 14,999) these days. Despite having a bloated UI, the phone ran smoothly without any hiccups. Games such as PES 2017 and Asphalt Xtreme didn’t slow it down or make the back and side panels heat up. The phone offers 64GB as internal storage and supports microSD cards of up to 256GB. The card slot is built on one of the nano SIM trays. One of the reasons for the slim form factor is the size of the battery. It has a 3,000mAh battery, which lasts a day at the most in one go.
Among smartphones with dual front cameras, the Gionee A1 Plus (Rs 26,450) and the Vivo V5 Plus (Rs 27,980) are two of the closest rivals. The former includes 13+5 megapixel front cameras with flash support, while the latter has a 20+8 megapixel front camera with flash support. In terms of other features, the V5 plus comes close. It offers a 5.5-inch Full HD screen with more rugged Gorilla Glass 5 and is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor. The Gionee smartphone has a bigger 6-inch Full HD screen but runs on MediaTek’s Helio P20 processor. It is also quite bulky and weighs 227g. This makes the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro the best front camera smartphone you can buy right now.
The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro offers a big and bright screen, stylish looks, light form factor and steady performance. But you can get these at a much lower price in the Xiaomi Mi A1 too. The real attraction and the feature which makes the Asus smartphone stick out in the crowd is the dual front camera. If you are bored of the average looking selfies that most front cameras have to offer, this one can lift your entire selfie experience to a new level. In case you are not much into selfies, you can go for the OnePlus 3T (Rs 25,999) for its more powerful hardware (Qualcomm Snapdragon 821) and clean Android interface.