Her GadgetMatch

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro review: The ultimate selfie phone

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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.

Girl taking a selfie with the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

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:

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro back

The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro feels premium enough and it features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display.

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

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.

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro close up of camerasSpeaking of buttons, the Selfie Pro has a capacitive home button with a built-in fingerprint sensor, plus the back and multitasking buttons.Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro butons

The phone’s bottom houses a micro-USB port, an audio jack, and speakers.

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro bottom ports

Now, on to the star of this ZenFone 4 show.

Taking photos

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 ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro photo sample

Beauty mode plus bokeh

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 ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro photo sample #wefie

Wide-angled selfie with friends!

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.

Shooting video

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).

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

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?

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie left; ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro right

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie left; ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro right

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.

Girl using the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

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.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie hands-on and camera review

[irp posts=”18790″ name=”ASUS ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Pro Hands-on”]

Her GadgetMatch

Habitat Horticulture Gromeo: Self-watering plant system for busy bees

Turn your smart home into a green and sustainable space

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Gromeo
IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

Forget the bland, white walls filled with smart lighting yet no sign of greenery. As our cribs transform into smart homes, the appreciation for a well-lit, open, green, and airy space grows.

However, nurturing greenery can be a difficult task. Though, people still try to foster potted plants, in hopes of making their homes breathable and beautiful.

Fret no more, experts at Habitat Horticulture — an award-winning design firm — designed Gromeo, a copious spot of greenery attached to your walls.

A sustainable living wall system

Gromeo is a ready-to-hang, fully planted palette that has a self-watering living wall system, without the need for plumbing and electricity.

Gromeo

IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

It uses Habitat Horticulture’s signature geotextile called Growtex — using 100 percent recycled water bottles — to combine soil and a hydroponic blended system. This makes plants passively absorb water to maintain their ecosystem.

Gromeo

IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

In short, no drainage is needed, making it the perfect low-maintenance plant to nurture, especially for busy people.

Beneficial in the long run

Living wall systems like Gromeo can help improve a busy bee’s physical and mental well-being. The presence of natural greenery can enhance self-esteem, reduce levels of stress and anxiety, and produce feelings of revitalization.

IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

It increases happiness, productivity, focus, and concentration — prompting a person to work smarter. More importantly, it cleans the air and removes volatile organic compounds found indoors, most of which causes headaches, fatigue, and respiratory problems.

There’s a Gromeo for every type of space

Admit it: we all check the lighting before taking the perfect selfie. The same should apply to plants if you do consider getting one. Some can handle basking in sunlight, some find it too much.

This is why each Gromeo is designed depending on the levels of light available. A High Light Gromeo is recommended for walls that get full, direct sunlight. Or at least very bright lights.

Meanwhile, walls that get dappled sunlight suits a Medium Light Gromeo. For those who have walls that get no direct light at all, consider getting a Low Light Gromeo.

IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

Price and availability

Gromeo starts at US$ 265. It’s available at shop.habitathorticulture.com. One percent of each Gromeo sale goes to Feeding America. Meanwhile, teachers and healthcare workers can avail a 10 percent discount upon purchase.

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Her GadgetMatch

Sharp’s new lineup of smart refrigerators look classy AF

Matching your interiors and spaces

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Sharp

Sharp unveils a new lineup of refrigerators and we are loving it. Aesthetically speaking, it’s pleasing to look at with its sleek coating and classy appeal. But Sharp’s focus isn’t just the looks.

Being at the forefront of innovation, Sharp’s new models come with a host of innovative features to keep you and your family in tip-top health and shape. For instance, the new lineup is powered by Sharp’s J-Tech Inverter — which helps reduce wastage of energy and saves on energy consumption.

Sharp’s unique Plasmacluster Technology also found its way to the new lineup, using its powers to eliminate 99 percent airborne bacteria and 97 percent airborne mold in the refrigerator.

Additionally, the fridge comes with a Mega Freezer which is larger than usual compared to common fridges. The extra space helps homemakers store large containers and bulk purchases — like stocking up on fresh frozen food.

Sharp

In lieu of stocking up, the refrigerators run on a Hybrid Cooling System to keep the food fresh. The feature is helping prevent excessive dryness, uneven cooling, and over-cooling.

Meticulous homemakers can also keep their fridges free of odor through the Ag-Nano deodorizer filters equipped inside the appliance.

Lastly, the refrigerators come with smart features such as door alarms that alert you when you leave the door open, and an External Touch Control Panel. This makes it easy for anyone to control and regulate the appliance’s settings.

Pricing and availability

Sharp’s new lineup of refrigerators under the PG series comes in three models: SJ-PG60P2 BK/DS (Priced at SGD 1599), SJ-PG55P2 BK/DS (Priced at SGD 1499), and SJ-PG51P2 BK/DS (Priced at SGD 1399).

All models come in two colors: Black or Dark Silver. The new lineup will be available at major electronics retailers and online stores.

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Health

Fitbit’s special edition of the Ace 3 makes physical activities fun for kids

Time to get them active!

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With the advent of smartphones and other distracting technology, keeping kids active might be a challenge — especially if you aren’t the type to engage in physical activities. But starting ’em young can help build a healthy, fit, and sustainable lifestyle.

Fitbit’s kid-oriented smartwatch, the Ace 3, comes with a special edition that will catch your kid’s attention. And it might just make them excited to do a bit of sport and exercise.

Meet the Fitbit Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions. It comes with an engraved band with an embossed Minions design that will make any kid eager to wear it. Built with a kid’s behavior in mind, the watch is comfortable and secure to wear even when using a silicone band and bumper. Moreover, it can be even submerged in water with its swim-proof design!

Fitbit Ace 3

For those who aren’t keen on having yellow on their wrists, there are two more Minions-themed bands that kids can wear: Despicable Blue and Mischief Black.

Smart features

Just like every adult’s smartwatch, it comes with nifty features we need. There are hourly alerts to move and reminders to reach your daily goals. More importantly, the Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions ensures there are extensive safeguards to secure a kid’s privacy.

Fitbit Ace 3

Parents, for instance, can set up a family account to have more control over privacy and protection. The Parent View in the app will let parents track their kid’s activity and manage the kid’s app experience.

Kids, on the other hand, can enjoy Minions-themed activity badges in the app. The badges serve as a reminder for kids to keep chasing daily activity goals. Along with that, the Kid View allows kids to view important data such as their activity and sleep stats, as well as parent-approved friends, clock faces, and avatars.

Price and availability

The Fitbit Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions is powered by eight days of battery life. It’s available in the Philippines at Fitbit.com, Digital Walker, and Lazada for PhP 4,790. Meanwhile, accessory bands are sold exclusively on Fitbit.com at PhP 1,390.

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