ASUS recently released a slew of ZenFones and for someone like me who gets lost in the sea of specs, I naturally gravitated towards the ones they named after selfies.
Out of six ZenFone 4 models, it was the Selfie Pro I got excited over most — a midrange phone with top-notch selfie capabilities is definitely something I wanted to test drive.
Look and feel
The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro looks like your typical smartphone, nothing revolutionary in terms of design. The review unit I got to test out came in red; look at how pretty it is:
The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro feels premium enough and it features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display.
Although I appreciate this — a bigger screen that’s better to check my selfies with — the phone’s size isn’t as friendly to my teeny hands. My thumbs still struggle to reach certain buttons on the phone’s front, and it’s not the easiest to grip for one-handed selfies.
The phone’s bottom houses a micro-USB port, an audio jack, and speakers.
Now, on to the star of this ZenFone 4 show.
The dual-cam front-facing cameras are the highlights of this selfie machine. Unlike other smartphones which only have either a bokeh mode or wide-angled photos, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro allows for both. This is a selfie game-changer, ladies and gents!
ASUS’ built-in camera app gives countless beauty mode options: changing your skin tone, softening or brightening your skin, enhancing your eyes, or even thinning your cheeks — you’re allowed varying levels of filter possibilities.
ASUS offers the capability to take 24-megapixel photos with their DuoPixel technology. This may seem like a big deal, but unless you plan to blow up your photographs to epic proportions, there really is no noticeable difference between the default 12-megapixel photos and the 24-megapixel DuoPixel shots.
Also, DuoPixel doesn’t activate on wide-angle and beauty mode — which are the modes that count. But despite that, it’s good to know I’ll always be billboard-capable.
Here are more photo samples (because you can never take too many selfies!):
This phone’s 16-megapixel rear camera is a capable shooter. I had no issues with photo quality under great shooting conditions; however, low-light scenarios were a different story.
Additionally, this new ZenFone line comes with a pre-installed Selfie Master app which allows users to shoot video or go live on social media, all with a beauty filter.
My Instagram Story game totally went up a notch because of the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro. The second wide-angle selfie camera didn’t only mean wider selfies, it also meant wide-angle videos! This is an especially great thing for people who like vlogging with smartphones– no need for selfie sticks to get a wider shot.
Both front and rear cameras are equipped with electronic image stabilization (EIS), which means the phone stabilizes your shaky footage automatically — a definite must for those who, like me, walk, talk, and shoot at the same time. 4K video recording is also available on both cams.
Other things that matter
The Selfie Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor. For a medium to heavy social media user, such as myself, this ZenFone was powerful enough to run my daily social media fix (which includes, but is not limited to, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat).
It runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat and has 4GB of memory and 64GB storage. This ZenFone series also boasts of a cleaner ZenUI and less bloatware. The 3000mAh battery capacity means a whole day’s worth of uninterrupted selfies.
ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro vs ZenFone 4 Selfie
The ZenFone 4 Selfie is the budget alternative to the Selfie Pro. The question is: What does a US$ 100 price difference mean?
The ZenFone 4 Selfie is fitted with a Snapdragon 430, a more entry-level processor, and the same amount of RAM and storage. That being said, the Selfie Pro is more efficient than the Selfie, with apps launching noticeably faster and lasting slightly longer before needing to be refreshed.
As opposed to the Selfie Pro’s 24-megapixel DuoPixel photos, the Selfie is equipped with a 20-megapixel main selfie shooter. But, does this really make a difference?
The answer is yes. Compared to photos from the ZenFone 4 Selfie, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s photos are brighter and richer. The Pro gives you that extra glow, which is what’s most important when taking ultimate selfies.
Both phones have 16-megapixel rear shooters.
The photos above were shot in the worst lighting conditions, but the Selfie Pro won out in the end. Despite taking multiple shots and focusing on the same area in the photo (the frame in the middle), the two phones took very different photographs. Zooming in would show that the Selfie Pro’s photo has more detail as opposed to the Selfie counterpart.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
If you’re not someone who utilizes the front-facing camera, you’d find nothing special with this phone.
For the Selfie lovers, however, it’s a different story. Choice matters, and this smartphone gives you a lot of them for your photo needs. The slew of options are boundless — wide-angled selfies, bokeh selfies, beauty mode selfies, wide-angled selfie videos — meaning this ZenFone has it all. For it’s midrange price tag, that’s looking like a very good deal.
This ZenFone 4 wasn’t named Selfie Pro for nothing.
It retails at US$ 379 in the US and PhP 18,995 in the Philippines.