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.
[irp posts=”18790" name=”ASUS ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Pro Hands-on”]
Taylor Swift and Katy Perry made up and Twitter is not calm
Peace at last
Pop queen and LGBT ally Taylor Swift just dropped the music video for her new pop anthem You Need to Calm Down and unsurprisingly, the fans cannot calm down. The star-studded video features queer icons like Laverne Cox, Ellen de Generes, Adam Rippon, and Queer Eye’s Fab Five living their fabulous lives despite the anti-gay protests in front of them.
The surprise that shook us and the internet, albeit many eagle-eyed speculated last week, is a Katy Perry cameo.
me explaining my friends
all of the details of and family
the katy/taylor situation
and how there has to
be a collab coming pic.twitter.com/8dcbEjAiWA
— allison 🎈 (@taysbadrep) June 12, 2019
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the two pop stars had a years-long public feud that eventually ended when Katy extended an olive branch last year, by sending Taylor an actual olive branch.
A happy meal 🍔 🍟 💗 pic.twitter.com/hPAbOZEsKF
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 17, 2019
The music video is their first public reunion, and Katycats and Swifties all over are having a Twitter party:
— ale 🏳️🌈 (@alelovescamila) June 17, 2019
— miks💗 (@elis926) June 17, 2019
We’ll tell all our grandchildren one day.
— Camille® (@HerWonkEye) June 17, 2019
— sarah🍓 (@thelasttay) June 17, 2019
Can’t calm down.
— 🅰 (@bonapetitbaby) June 17, 2019
Anyone having an awful year so far can relate.
Taylor Swift and Katy Perry just singlehandedly saved 2019 https://t.co/HrU8yb5jwF
— Should’ve Said Noah (@noahlevy13) June 17, 2019
Took the words out of my mouth.
— EdK. (@edmondkirsch) June 17, 2019
— Ghem (@GhemKurt) June 17, 2019
War is over, if you want it.
Taylor Swift and Katy Perry just ended homophobia, poverty and the World War III. Icons and queens of gays. #YNTCDmusicvideo
— 🔥🦅 (@feliperodrigoc) June 17, 2019
— Yap Teck Loong 🇲🇾🦋 L💖VER (@YTL_2000) June 17, 2019
Give us what we need!
WE NEED A FCKING COLLAB😭 pic.twitter.com/Ky5KbovUbY
— niko (@nikodizon_) June 17, 2019
There are many important moments in the whole video but this one featuring drag queens as this era’s pop queens is for everyone who take pleasure in pitting women against each other.
THIS SCENE HAS JUST ENDED ANYONE WHO THINKS THEY CAN COMPARE OR START WARS OR TRY AND TEAR DOWN ANY OF THE POWERFUL WOMEN OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, SO THANK YOU NEXT #YNTCDmusicvideo pic.twitter.com/3M1C2EMkIe
— “omg, lucy HIIIIIII” (@starbeamswift) June 17, 2019
5 coolest Airbnb places you can rent in Tagaytay
For when you want to escape Manila’s heat
Tagaytay is one destination you can visit when you’re looking for a weekend getaway. It’s popular for its cold weather, picture-worthy cafes, and an overlooking view of Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano. In addition, it’s just a two-hour drive away from Manila.
If you’re planning to stay in this city for a couple of days, here are our top five Airbnb rentals:
Dalton’s Lakeview Point
Dalton’s Lakeview Point is a stylish, modern-themed Airbnb. It’s spacious enough to fit groups up to six people, and its artistic interior design gives you that cozy and calming feeling. Stay here when you want a refreshing view of Taal Lake.
Couples might enjoy staying at Nordic Jewel, a Scandinavian-inspired Airbnb located in Tagaytay Prime Residences. Despite being small, every corner is Instagrammable. If that doesn’t convince you, let me tell you this: Small spaces make you closer with a person. Now go and have a good time with the love of your life!
Unit 217, Tower 1, Wind Residences
Even though it looks like a hotel room, Unit 217 in Tower 1, Wind Residences exudes an elegant, contemporary vibe. Its yellow accents give life in this Airbnb’s dominantly black and white design, and its patio invites you to relax and take a peek outside. This is perfect for those who want to feel that hotel vibe with a touch of the usual bed and breakfast.
Chalet de Tagaytay
If you want to retreat from the hustle-bustle of life, Chalet de Tagaytay is a rustic Airbnb that oozes privacy. Perched on a mountainside, it has the perfect view of Taal Lake for when you want to contemplate about life. Take the time to forget the world and your problems, and just relax during your stay.
Windsor Vacation House
Windsor Vacation House is the perfect place for get-togethers. It’s spacious enough to let everyone have their own space, and every corner is definitely picture-worthy. Next time you have an occasion to celebrate, bring your families and friends here for a wonderful experience. It can comfortably fit people up to 12 people, and it’s guaranteed you’ll make new memories with a beautiful Airbnb like this!
4 reasons the new Instax Mini LiPlay is perfect for any occasion
Small but packed with features
Fujifilm recently announced their new hybrid instant camera, the Instax Mini LiPlay. It’s the newest addition to the company’s lineup of Instax instant cameras and by far the smallest and most lightweight in its series.
Despite being small, it’s packed with features that every girl would love to have in different situations. Here are the reasons why:
1. You get to celebrate occasions in a special way
The Instax Mini LiPlay is not your typical instant camera. It comes with an LCD so you can review photos you’ve captured, and choose which one to print.
It also has a “Sound” button which is capable of recording up to ten seconds of audio. The Instax Mini LiPlay then converts the audio’s data into a QR code and adds it to the photo printed. Users can play and replay for at least a year by scanning the QR code. This function is perfect for adding greetings, songs, and other messages you’d love to share through the printed photo.
2. Definitely a travel companion
This hybrid instant camera is different compared to Fujifilm’s instant cameras. Its promise of being the smallest and most lightweight makes it an easy-to-carry travel-sized camera (that won’t take too much space in your bag).
In addition, solo and group travelers can enjoy the remote shooting feature, which remotely takes a photo and print it on the spot using your smartphone. Furthermore, it has a direct print feature so you can transfer your photos from your smartphone and print it using the instant camera’s film. Whatever device you use, the Instax Mini LiPlay is a travel companion you’ll love to bring anywhere you go.
3. For the times when you want to express yourself
If you love shooting flat lays or OOTDs, the Instax Mini LiPlay may be useful as a prop or as an accessory. It has a stylish design that matches your aesthetic, and it comes in three beautiful colors: Stone White, Elegant Black, and Blush Gold.
Moreover, it has an array of design frames. The camera comes with ten pre-installed frames, which you can select during or after taking a photo. When you download the free Instax Mini LiPlay app, you get to enjoy 20 additional design frames.
4. Enjoy taking photos wherever you go
Say goodbye to AA batteries that make you feel like you’re using a device from the early 2000s. The Instax Mini LiPlay uses micro-USB for charging and takes two to three hours to fully charge the device. Its battery can last up to 100 printed photos. Photos are also saved onto a microSD card so you can keep on shooting until your memory card is full!
The Instax Mini LiPlay is priced at PhP 9,999 and will be available around late June to early July in the Philippines.
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