Asus launched the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro in September, a first of many Zenfone 4 series phones, which are expected to land in India in the coming months. It is also the top-end model among three Zenfone 4 Selfie series and costs Rs 23,999.
As the name suggests, the highlight of the device is the front-camera. The brief encounter with the phone on the launch day, impressed us a lot. But we reserved our final verdict for full review. I used the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro for close to a week, as my primary phone. Here's our take.
Design and display:
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is undoubtedly one of the best looking smartphone in the upper Rs 20,000 price-range. Its smooth metallic shell on the back exudes premium feel, and also when held in hand, we can feel the sturdiness. It is slim and offers good grip to grasp, as well. Though there is a little camera bump on the back, it's not deal breaker. It does not create any obstruction while pulling out or slipping in to the pocket. And also when kept back-side facing on the table, it hardly wobbles.
On the front, it houses gorgeous 5.5-inch full HD AMOLED display, which is not energy efficient compared to the LCD screen, but also offers best viewing experience. Watching high resolution video is a delight on the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.
Additionally, it is protected by 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass cover on the front. Also, it boasts Bluelight filter option to lessen strain on the eyes during the night time.
Another advantage of using AMOLED screen is that it allows mobile manufacturers to incorporate the Always-on display. Though it has so much appeal among consumers, many companies seldom think of using them in their phone, but Asus has listened to the customers' needs. Users can just go to Settings >> Display >> enable 'Always on' and guess what Asus offers several creative widgets. Try them, you'll enjoy...
One of the key change over the predecessor Zenfone 3 series is the translocation of the fingerprint sensor to the front. It acts home button-cum-biometric sensor to unlock the screen.
Only thing which disappointed is that the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has type 2.0 micro USB; its kind of step down for the phone, whose predecessor had Type C. But, all-in-all, the design language and display are of top-notch.
Performance and user experience:
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie comes with decent configuration for its price-tag. It houses 2.0 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core backed by 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. While using the phone, it responded swiftly to tasks such as opening apps, switching between multiple apps and playing normal games like Angry Birds, Temple Run etc... did not slow the phone a bit. Though, it showed some lag while playing graphics-intense Asphalt 8, but it's not deal breaker at all, as there was no over-heating issue. [Note: It does get little hot, but it's normal for any metal-clad phones and not overwhelming as seen in other phones, especially the ones with Snapdragon 615 v1.0]
We tested the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro on benchmark apps. On AnTuTu, it scored 65,407 points, whereas on the Geekbench, it got 870 and 4,259 points on single-core and multi-core tests, respectively.
As far the user-experience is concerned, the Android Nougat-based ZenUI has greatly improved in the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro. It is clutter free as it removed several unnecessary pre-installed apps and it is going get better with the Android Oreo update, which is expected to be released in the coming months. We appreciate the company's efforts in bringing cell and RAM optimisation features, which add great value to the user experience and also extending the battery life.
The standout feature of Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is its front-camera. It houses 24MP snapper with duo Pixel Camera Technology, Sony IMX362 sensor, f1.8 aperture,1.4µm pixel size, EIS (Electronics Image Stabilisation), 4K video recording, DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging) Technology, Super Pixel Technology and is assisted by secondary 5MP shooter with f/2.2, 120-degree wide angle angle field of view and softlight LED flash.
And, it doesn't disappoint at all. It took some stunning images in bright natural light settings. We can see the objects in the back with clearer, but with saturated colour renderings, especially the green grass and the leaves in the back drop; check the images below. The portrait mode and group selfie images are good enough for its price-range. Furthermore, it has Selfie Master app and brings a truckload of tools to enhance the selfie image. All-in-all, it truly lives up to its 'Pro' tag.
On the back, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro comes with a 16 MP snapper with Sony IMX351 sensor, f/2.2 aperture, Dual Pixel PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus), EIS, 4K video recording, Raw File Support, DTI technology, Super Pixel technology, Portrait Mode (Bokeh Mode), and Softlight LED flash.
Though it has less fancy hardware compared to the front module, Asus phone primary camera did not disappoint us. It took pretty good quality images both in well-lit and pitch dark environments. It is certain to give a serious fight to its very own sibling Zenfone Zoom S, which is just a rupee shy of Rs 27,000 price-mark.
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro comes with a standard 3,000mAh battery and during our routine-day (reporter's active hours: 5:30 am to 10:30 pm) simulation, it easily lasted a whole day. If we cut down on some activities like binge watching YouTube video, it will go additional half day. It also boasts fast charging feature, as well.
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro: Verdict (4)
Overall, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is a reliable camera phone, especially the Selfie Master app is praiseworthy and does justice to its 'Pro' tag. Even the primary camera takes decent quality images for a device priced under Rs 24,000.
Another best thing about the phone is its exterior looks. It has visually appealing design language with sleek body and despite the use of metal, it is feather-like in weight. The build quality is of top-notch and we believe it is on par, if not more premium, with some of the upper mid-range phones, which cost more than Rs 30,000. Guess what? The company bundles a silicone case in the package offering additional protection from metallic shell from getting dent during accidental fall and thereby increasing the durability of the device.
If you are looking for a selfie camera phone, Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro won't disappoint you at all. It has the best of internal hardware and software (guaranteed to get Android Oreo with minimalistic ZenUI) compared to rival brands in its price-band.
- Good camera hardware and Selfie Master app is praise worthy
- Gorgeous design and solid build quality
- Comes with full-day battery life and if used little conservatively, it can last a half day more
- Type 2 USB port for a Rs 26,000 phone is kind a step down as the Zenfone 3 series which cost less than the former has Type-C series, but it is not a big deal