Taiwanese smartphone-maker Asus launched three Zenfone 4 Selfie variants — a high-end Pro (ZD552KL), a generic DC model with dual camera (ZD553KL) and a low-end (ZB553KL)— in August in India. It is a bit difficult to remember all the model numbers, but the company's novel intention is to cater to every possible budget segments for the buyers.
We had reviewed the top-end Zenfone 4 Selfie variant last month and it did live up to the 'Pro' tag. Now, we are ready with the review of the standard version of Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera (ZD553KL), which we used for a week and here's how it fared.
Also read: Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro full review: THIS premium camera-phone lives up to its 'Pro' tag
Display and design:
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC comes with 5.5-inch HD LCD IPS screen with 2.5D curved glass cover, which not only offers protection from screen getting cracked at the edges, but also adds value to the visual appeal of the phone.
On the back, it features smooth metallic-finish shell. And when held in the hand, it is surprisingly light and offers good grip. Also, the material is of premium quality.
As far as the display quality is concerned, Asus phone has 400nits brightness and offered rich viewing experience. It was a delight watching high resolution videos and also I did not feel any strain in my eyes while viewing the screen contents in the outdoor conditions.
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC houses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core with Adreno 505 GPU, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.
It has a standard system configuration for a sub-Rs 15,000 phone category, but the processor makes Zenfone 4 Selfie DC sub-par compared to rival brands, which come with Snapdragon 625 octa-core.
Having said that, Zenfone 4 Selfie DC works smoothly in terms of app loading, switching between the multiple applications and playing high resolution videos. But, expect the device to stagger while playing graphics-intensive games.
It scored 44,411 points on AnTuTu, whereas on the Geekbench, it got 2,470 and 657 points on multi-core and single-core tests, respectively.
We were particularly happy with the minimalistic interface of the Android v7.1.1 Nougat-based ZenUI 4.0; it is refreshingly less cluttered compared to previous version and comes with value-added features such SOS emergency button, page marker for Chrome, Twin app that lets the owner to have two different accounts in same applications such as WhatsApp, and Smart Gallery, which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to group photos based on facial patterns and mark them as family or friends.
The highlight of the device is its front camera and it did not disappoint at all. Asus phone houses a feature-rich 20MP (Primary with f/2.0 aperture)+8MP (with wide-angle lens) dual camera module having dedicated Softlight LED flash, Instant cameras switching capability, proprietary ASUS SelfieMaster technology for smart beautification in selfies, videos, and livestream.
To make photography experience more delightful, Asus has incorporated PixelMaster camera modes: Auto mode with low light and HDR features, Beauty, Portrait, Selfie Panorama, GIF Animation and nine other various filters.
During our tests, it managed to capture exceptionally high quality pictures particularly in natural bright conditions and also at night conditions too. But, in the indoor, especially in office with several LED lights in the ceiling on, the camera is a bit slow to adjust, but eventually gets us a decent selfie picture.
On the back, Asus phone comes packed with 16MP camera with PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus), 26mm focal length, f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree FOV (Field Of View), LED flash and PixelMaster modes: Auto mode with low light and HDR features, Beauty, Portrait, Pro mode for 32 seconds long exposure and Super Resolution for 64 megapixels photos.
The primary camera does a pretty decent job of capturing good quality pictures especially in the bright sunny environments and indoor lighting condition, but the clarity of the images deteriorates and auto-focus feature begins to slow during night. But, for a device priced under Rs 15,000, it fares well compared to the rivals.
The Zenfone 4 Selfie DC comes packed with a 3,000mAh battery and we are pretty impressed with the battery life, as it maintained steady full day battery life continuously through the week. During the review period, in the active hours (5:00 am to 10:00 pm) I took/made five-to-ten calls with an average talk-time of 3 minutes, browsed at least 15 minutes of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, half an hour of YouTube videos with mobile data. It consistently lasted a whole day. That's pretty good for a phone with such battery capacity.
The Asus' new mid-range phone comes with all the basic features, a selfie-camera phone should possess. It has a really good front-snapper that succeeds in capturing good quality pictures in almost all lighting conditions and the Beauty app makes a valuable addition, which we believe is on par, if not better (in some conditions), than more expensive self-proclaimed selfie phone rivals.
However, the Snapdragon 430 processor in the Zenfone 4 Selfie DC is quite subpar for a phone priced Rs 14,999, considering the fact that competitors such as Redmi Note 4, Moto G5 series offer better CPU series.
Having said that, it performs well under normal working conditions, such as loading of apps, and most importantly, the phone works without any sign of lag while using camera.
If you are looking for really good selfie-camera phone under Rs 15,000 price-bracket, the Zenfone 4 Selfie DC will not disappoint you.
- Excellent dual front-camera and 120-degree wide-angle lens help capture great group selfies
- Good design language and decent build quality
- Day-long battery backup
- Not happy with the use of Snapdragon 430 quad-core processor in a Rs 14,999 phone and it is prone to tough competition from rivals.