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

The Fitbit Charge 5 might be your companion for holistic wellness

Fitbit’s most advanced health and fitness tracker yet?

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Fitbit fans, rejoice! The Fitbit Charge 5 is now officially in the Philippines.

As a refresher, the Fitbit Charge 5 is the company’s most advanced health and fitness tracker yet. The fifth iteration of the Charge lineup comes with new features. And a thinner, sleek design built to empower you to focus on your health.

It’s equipped with tools and metrics to help you monitor your holistic well-being. Additionally, it sports new features such as Daily Readiness Score and EDA Sensor.

It retails for PhP 11,990 and includes a six-month Premium membership for both new and returning customers. The wearable is available for purchase online at Fitbit.com and comes to major retailers such as Digital Walker and Fitbit’s Official Store on Shopee and Lazada.

Fitbit Premium just got even more fun

Fitbit Premium has already partnered with actor, producer, and musician Will Smith. If you haven’t joined his mindfulness sessions and workouts, get going now.

Apart from that, Fitbit has partnered with Calm, a popular sleep and meditation app. The effects of calming sessions can reflect on your tracker’s heart rate and EDA responses via a guided session — so it’s worth checking out if you’re stressed lately.

Moreover, Fitbit Premium comes with Snore & Noise Detect, albeit for Sense and Versa 3 users only, to help users understand their sleeping environments. And hopefully, improve their sleep.

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Her GadgetMatch

Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire

Your survival guide to a crazy season

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Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming.

When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back in our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.

More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.

But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.

Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories

Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them on a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.

Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure

Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.

Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputations from being smeared!

Double check what you type and say

Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.

P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.

 

Keep your emotions in check and block your exes

If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.

Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.

Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)

If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.

Take a moment to slow down

Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.

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Louvre at home? It’s possible with Samsung’s The Frame

Match made in art heaven

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This news could be thrilling for art enthusiasts and lovers of anything premium. Samsung is teaming up with the iconic Musée du Louvre in Paris, France for an exclusive artwork partnership.

With this collaboration, artworks from the Louvre will join the collection that you can display on Samsung’s The Frame. This brings The Frame’s catalogue to over 1,500 works of art from 42 different countries that you can bask in at stunning 4K resolution.

The overall collection also includes the following:

  • Prado Museum in Madrid
  • Albertina Museum in Vienna
  • Tate Modern in London
  • Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
  • Hermitage State Museum in Saint Petersburg and LUMAS

Louvre at home

Some collection you might want to enjoy at home are must-see masterpieces, such as the Mona Lisa and The Wedding Feast at Cana, as well as photos of the majestic Louvre galleries, its architecture, and museum grounds (Louvre Pyramid, Tuileries Garden, etc.). A short description of each work gives users a glimpse into their background and history.

Samsung and the Louvre also plan to unveil other exclusive content for The Frame users later this year.

Louvre

Take The Frame home

The Frame is part of Samsung’s lifestyle TV lineup. It’s aim is to offer an elevated TV experience. And nothing feels as elevated as blessing your eyes with luxurious art pieces right in your living room.

The 2021 version of the lifestyle TV offers new custom options to complement every space and style, with two frame designs: modern (available in white, teak, beige, and brown) and beveled (available in white and brick red).

The Frame can be hung flush to the wall on an ultra-slim mount and connected to a One Connect box via a single translucent cable that integrates all TV connectors including the power source. Users can also set The Frame anywhere in the room on a Studio Stand.

Watch our Samsung The Frame review.

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