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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

Accessories

Father’s Day Gift Guide: Give back to our dads!

We made you a list so you won’t have to worry

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Father’s Day is just around the corner!

Take the chance to give back and send some love. Here’s a quick list of things you can give your dad:

Give him a smartwatch to track the important things in life

The Fossil Q Commuter is a hybrid smartwatch that doesn’t look like one. It’s classic and stylish, and it uses smart technology to keep your dad updated with all the important things in life.

Fossil Q Commuter (Dark Brown Leather) – US$ 155

A camera to capture all the moments and experiences

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic has that timeless retro look that even I really dig. It instantly prints your photos and is perfect for those who treasure every moment.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic – US$ 179.99

Give him a smartphone that gets things done

They always give their best for us, and it’s our chance to give them back the best. The Huawei P20 Pro is a leading smartphone in the market today, a match for the dad who’s always aiming to be on top!

Huawei P20 Pro – US$ 899

A wireless speaker he can bring wherever he goes

If he loves to move and groove, a JBL Flip 4 might be what he needs. It’s loud and it’s waterproof so he’ll have his sounds anytime, anywhere.

JBL Flip 4 – US$ 99.95

Give him a power bank so he’s always charged up

Make sure he’s connected by having his devices charged all the time. The Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 is pocketable and it’s packed with power. He’ll never be disconnected again!

Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 – US$39.99

Get him a wallet that protects his valuables

Give him the SERMAN BRANDS 1.0 wallet, equipped with RFID secure technology that will protect him from any unauthorized scans. It also comes in Texas Brown and is stylishly slim in genuine leather.

SERMAN BRANDS 1.0 (Texas Brown) – US$ 34.99

Give him the gift of adventure

If you’re feeling really generous, give him the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. It’s a tough vehicle made for adventures. When was the last time your dad went to the great outdoors for some fun? Surely, that was ages ago. Let him enjoy his time!

2018 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor – US$ 50,675

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-T100 hands-on: Serious looking with a selfie screen

Yep, a flip-out screen and an EVF!

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Fujfilm’s latest camera release, the X-T100, looks like the traditional Fujifilm cameras we know and love, plus it has a flipitty screen (a term I’ve used to refer to that camera screen that flips out).

Full disclosure: I’m a sucker for flippity screens, and, in fact, I got myself Fujifilm’s entry-level X-A3 last year precisely for that reason. But, what can the new X-T100 do? Is it my next vlogging camera? Who is this camera made for? I got a chance to get handsy with the new device and here are some thoughts on the new camera.

This is the Fujifilm X-T100 announced just last month. It looks more like it’s from the X-T line than the entry-level, fun-colored X-A line. It’s definitely a serious-looking shooter.

It has a solid textured black body and metal details that come in black, dark silver, or gold. This particular unit is the champagne gold version.

In true Fujifilm fashion, controls and dials are up top. There’s also a new function dial on the camera’s left side with 18 assignable functions. Perfect for users who like their cameras personalized — more shortcuts to make this camera truly your own! This thing also has a hot shoe unlike some of Fujifilm’s entry-level cameras. This means you can attach an external mic since this camera has an audio port.

It also has a pop-up flash up front. I still find it amazing that it comes out of nowhere, though I never really use the flash on cameras anymore.

The rest of the buttons on the camera are as follows…

The battery and SD card slot are found at the bottom, while HDMI and micro-USB ports are on the camera’s right side.

This shooter also has a grip, but unlike higher-end Fujifilm cameras, this is just an attachment you can screw on and off. Having it on does give this thing a better feel, though.

To the delight of photography enthusiasts, there’s also an electronic viewfinder on this.

But the best part is that despite that viewfinder, the screen can do this…

… this…

… and even this. Yes, there’s a flippity screen for vlogs and selfies on this and there’s an electronic viewfinder — two things only a few cameras have together.

Of course, the screen has touchscreen capabilities and touch focus is still a thing.

Fujifilm’s signature filters are, of course, here, too. The interface is simple and it looks more like the one found on the X-A line than the prosumer X-T line.

Having spent a little time with this camera, it seems that Fujifilm is attempting to bridge the gap between beginners and more serious shooters. The X-T100 lies in the space found between the X-A5 and the X-T20.

This entry-level camera looks good and feels good, but it’s designed not to be too daunting to those who are starting out in photography or film. It’s looking like it’s aimed for aspiring vloggers and those who want more than just a point-and-shoot camera.

As to how this camera actually performs, we’ll have to wait and see.

The X-T100 retails for US$ 599 in the US and PhP 39,990 in the Philippines.

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Accessories

Titus&Wayne Luft Qi is a portable filter-free air purifier

Clean air everywhere!

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Literally breathe easy with this portable device, and never have to deal with allergens and foul smells again.

This is the Luft Qi air purifier from startup company Titus&Wayne. Announced first on Indiegogo, the purifiers debuted at InnoVex during Computex 2018. I got to check them out at the event.

These tiny things, the size of a soda can, can filter the air to get rid of germs, toxic chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and even bad odors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re lightweight and come in different colors — there’s even a limited edition handmade wood version available to Indiegogo backers that look especially classy. Because of their compact shape and size, they’re also ideal for those who travel. It’s particularly useful to those who are extra sensitive when it comes to allergens since you can bring it anywhere you go with ease.

Just one plug into a micro-USB power source and you’re all set; the purifier covers the surrounding 16 square meters. It’s pretty quiet, too. You won’t even know it’s running.

These things do not use filters. Nanotechnology is instead used to break down whatever impurities are in the air. This means that more than 80 percent of bacteria and mold are destroyed with this device on in just 30 minutes (according to independent studies). This also means you’ll never have to clean it out.

Here’s a quick and simple illustration of how it works:

Think about it: In your own room, in your car, or even in a hotel room, you get the luxury of clean air all the time.

The Luft Qi won a GadgetMatch Best of Computex award!

The Luft Qi ships this July, you can back their campaign on Indiegogo here.

SEE ALSO: Best of Computex 2018

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