After I unboxed and reviewed the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser 5.0, I also had an opportunity to have my hands on the other new Asus smartphone which sports a staggering 13MP front-facing camera powered by PixelMaster technology, the Asus ZenFone Selfie. There are actually few new things I learned about this device apart from having the same camera configuration both in front and back panels which I will share to you through out this article.
In case you are not familiar yet, this ZenFone Selfie was formally launched together with the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone 2 Deluxe at ZenFestival in India in August. And as the name suggests, this device is aimed at people who love taking photos of themselves or selfies as many of us call it. Selfie is more of a girls' activity than men's but I tell you, this phone is also for both sexes. This is actually my favorite after the ZenFone 2 Deluxe.
The unboxingThe ZenFone Selfie bears the same package design as its siblings in the ZenFone family. On front you will immediately be showed of the device's official name which is ZenFone Selfie, on the side a quick key specs run down like the network connectivity, screen display resolution, Bluetooth version and the laser autofocus functionality.
Inside the box is also a familiar setting, the Selfie's 5.5-inch Full HD screen greets you after sliding off the outer box jacket then the rest of the peripherals are underneath it. Take a quick look below which shows all the things that comes with the box after unboxing it.
If your eyes are quick, you might have already figured out that one important thing is missing in the package. Can you guess what it is? Unlike the other ZenFones including the Laser, the Selfie does not come with a pair of earphones. At first I thought it would also come prepacked with the new Asus ZenEar like in Laser which I love so much due to its superb audio quality, I was wrong. And that's a turn off for me, so if you are planning to buy this device be ready to shell out extra cash for headset.
Setting aside my sadness with the lack of earphones, I was surprised with the type of charger this ZenFone Selfie that comes with. It's a fast charger as the output says "5V/2A", now to compare that with my original ZenFone 2 (2GB/16GB)'s wall charger it has "5.2V/1.35A" and it usually takes me three hours to fully fill up a 3,000mAh battery. With Selfie it also has 3000mAh battery pack so I am excited to know how fast this charging experience going to be for this device, we'll see that when my full review comes out.
So it is basically the Asus ZenFone Selfie and it's charger with USB cable connector. But the smartphone itself has a lot to offer in addition to the massive front facing camera. The design, although it has similarities with its siblings, the Selfie is very easy to spot when sitting alongside with other ZenFone devices and the front panel will give a "big" clue.
There is no Asus branding on this side of the phone where it is usually found at the top part right below the camera and calling speaker, but instead we see the big camera module standing out and joined by the dual-tone flash on the left and the speaker for calling on the right. As a ZenFone 2 owner, this is another thing I envy ZenFone Selfie users of, the inclusion of dual-tone flash in front panel. Although I won't be really using the flash of the phone because the PixelMaster technology is more than enough to product brighter photos in low light scenes, it's still feel better to have a flash sitting there in case you really need it or just feel like using it.
Then below are the three unlit and soft-touch capacitive Back, Home and Widgets keys. And of course the big 5.5-inch screen sporting a very clear and well detailed Full HD (1080p) resolution and an upgraded Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for added screen protection, with the whole system running on Android 5.0 Lollipop mobile operating system.
On either sides of the phone is nothing, I mean there are no other keys to be found there, just like on other ZenFone devices. Instead the rest of the outside actions are taking place on the back panel, top and bottom sections of the ZenFone Selfie. See photos below for your reference.
Okay let's start at the top, there we see the power key which also serves as the device's wake and sleep button. As usual it is still awkwardly placed there. Tobe honest, I rarely use this key, most of the time only for taking screenshots on the phone. Like I have said, this physical key also works as a wake/sleep key, but since it's uncomfortable to reach either with one of two hands I don't use it for that purpose a lot. Thankfully there is this Double Tap functionality built inside the software, so I just set that up and whenever I need to wake, sleep or lock, unlock the Selfie I would just double tap anywhere on the screen. I find this Double Tap feature to be very useful and convenient, and this also works on other ZenFones so if you have one and don't have this feature activated yet, you should try it.
Together with the power key is the standard 3.5mm audio jack port and the noise cancellation mic on the other side of the power button. Down below at the bottom is the one and only microUSB port for charge, file transfer functions and many others. You may ask, "Does it support USB OTG?", oh yeah it definitely does I have tried it myself, another very useful feature. And of course the microphone is also found here, which I almost forgot since its very small to be noticed but yes its in there. I have to say that whenever I make and receive calls on this phone, the audio quality on both ends are very good provided that the cellular connection is at least okay.
Now on the back, this is the busiest part of the device. At the lower part there is still the speaker grills lying horizontally with ZenFone branding above it. This speaker works very well in terms of producing sound whether its a song or a movie you are listening to, very loud I would say especially in closed rooms and does not distort sound quality even in full blast. I even sometimes think that this ZenFone Selfie provides better audio quality than my ZenFone 2, but I think I am wrong since both devices are equipped with Asus SonicMaster technology which enhances the quality of the audio to the next level. And I tell you, the audio is even much better with Asus ZenEar. I have a ZenEar that I got with the ZenFone 2 Laser.
Let's climb at the upper section of this rear cover, there we are greeted with the very familiar scene. The volume rocker sits below the 13MP PixelMaster main camera. On the sides of this shooter are the Laser Autofocus and the dual-tone LED flash. Now regular ZenFone 2 does not have Laser Autofocus functionality which allows the camera to focus on a subject in the picture for the fastest possible clarity. How fast? It's almost an instant or as fast as 0.3 seconds.
One thing I also noticed on the Selfie is it's a bit taller than the regular ZenFone 2 smartphone and that's because of the front facing camera. It's not that much and barely noticeable even when you are holding the two phones in each of your hands but when you place them side by side or face to face, you will see it.
Antutu Benchmark, Screenshots and Sample Photos
|Camera pre-set modes you can use. I love and I use a lot the Auto and Manual modes. Asus really knows what its consumers want when it comes to camera capability, those are all here.|
That's it for my unboxing for now. I will be writing a review article for this Asus ZenFone Selfie too, so watch out for that. My friend who is a fashion and lifestyle blogger at Everybody's Sunshine just posted a review of her ZenFone Selfie Experience, you check her post out and see what she has to say about this incredible smartphone from Asus.