TAKING selfies has become a favourite past-time of many, especially the millennials. “Selfie” was named Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionary in 2013, for its role in lifting up social media. Nowadays, the camera at the back isn’t the only thing people care about; they care about the selfie camera too, which might be the reason for the rise in demand for such models.
Asus has joined the selfie war with its latest flagship model of the ZenFone 4 Selfie series, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, to enhance user experience with its dual-front camera function.
The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro features a beautifully slim, metal unibody that is surprisingly light yet feels premium enough. Wrapped in a white box packaging with the logo and model name on top, it is good that Asus also provides a clear protective case for the phone.
There’s a physical home button/fingerprint sensor at the bottom front display, while 3.5mm audio port and microUSB port with the speakers are placed at the bottom part. Meanwhile, the fingerprint sensor can also be configured to allow fingerprints to answer calls, or call specified contacts.
The selfie cameras are arranged horizontally, situated at the top bezel that is near the right side of the earpiece speaker. On the other side are the sensor and softlight flash. The rear camera is nicely placed at the top of the back cover, next to the LED flash.
The volume key is located at the right side of the phone, together with a power button. On the left side is where the dual-SIM tray is. As usual, you can choose to fit between a second Nano-SIM or an expendable microSD card.
PERFORMANCE AND DISPLAY
The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro has a 5.5-inch AMOLED Full HD (1920 x 1080) display and is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass, which is contoured at the edges. It is only 6.85mm thick and weighs 147g.
The phone is fuelled by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and Adreno 506 GPU. It comes standard with 4GB of RAM, 64GB expendable storage, and 3000mAh battery with fast charging capability. It lasted a whole day for me, given my average use of social media and mild browsing of the Internet.
Running on Android 7.0 Nougat at start, the phone is equipped with Asus’s latest ZenUI 4.0 system. ZenUI 4.0 features an entirely new visual design with a minimalist layout that highlights only the most used and essential apps to help with a user’s daily needs.
Its Twin Apps feature allows users to create copies of the same app on their phones, so as to stay logged in to two accounts on the same app simultaneously! These may include social or messaging platforms to separate work and play, or two gaming accounts to boost player scores, reduce wait-to-play times or get faster upgrades.
Another useful feature is the Safeguard SOS — a personal safety app that lets the user’s friends and family track their path online. If any dangerous situation occurs, SOS mode can immediately call pre-set contacts or local emergency services as well as record the user’s conversation to help them stay safe.
The selling point of Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is obviously its two front-facing cameras, each with its own special lens, so you get the best-looking selfies in any situation, alone or with friends.
The dual selfie camera system of the device is composed of a 12MP Sony Exmor RS IMX362 primary image sensor and a 5MP secondary sensor from OmniVision 5670. Now what’s interesting is that Asus has used a technique called DuoPixel technology which forces the primary sensor to output 24MP pictures without a drop in quality — that’s 29MP in total! The large f/1.8 aperture on the primary lens also allows users to capture more light, meaning clearer and brighter pictures in darker areas.
Not only photos, but the dual lens can shoot 4K Ultra HD selfie videos. Just like your 4K TVs, the video shot using Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro will look beautiful and lifelike; playing it on a 4K TV will feel like watching a movie. This feature is perfect for vloggers who constantly record themselves in front of the camera.
Meanwhile, it also has a wide-angle 120°C on its secondary lens which is great for wefie. No need to use a selfie stick anymore as the feature can fit more of your environment into the frame, and gather even more friends together when taking wefies. The secondary lens also assists in creating the blurred background (bokeh) effect in Portrait Mode.
Besides the Beauty Mode in the selfie camera feature, the phone also has a dedicated preinstalled Selfie Master app to give ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro users even more creative options and flexibility to use its powerful front facing cameras.
The 16MP rear camera also works well to capture beautiful images and record videos. Also endowed with the camera are shooting features such as Professional mode, Panorama, Slow Motion, Time Lapse, Gif Animation and supports RAW format file. The LED flash will help brighten images in off and low-light conditions.
The Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is available in three gorgeous colours — rouge red, sunlight gold and deepsea black, and is reasonably priced at RM 1,799.
But is it worth the buy? I would recommend this phone to all selfie junkies, and social media influencers or vloggers who use front-facing cameras most of the time. It will give users all the photo and video features required for the perfect shot.