ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie hands on and initial impressions

Here comes a new selfie challenger!!! 

Well in fact it's more of a "return of the selfie king" after being absent from the scene last year. The first selfie-centric smartphone that ASUS ever released was the ZenFone Selfie two years ago which offered 13MP rear and front cameras. From the way I saw it, it was actually a success which is why I was wondering how come we never got a ZenFone 3 Selfie last year. But on August 17, ASUS has officially announced not one but two selfie-focused handsets through an event held in Taiwan - the ZenFone 4 Selfie and ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. In this post, I will be talking about the Zen 4 Selfie.

Yesterday at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City was the official local launch of the ZenFone 4 series in the Philippines and one of the newly arrived smartphones is the ZenFone 4 Selfie. Just like all the devices in this year's series, this phone also sports dual camera configurations. However, instead of having the two cameras side by side sitting on the rear, they are on the front panel, hence the name.

If you have already seen the other and more high-end ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, you will be having a hard time distinguishing the difference between the two in terms of physical design. They are almost identical to each other. So how can you tell which is which? Well this Selfie has two front cameras sitting apart from each other, while the Selfie Pro has them closed to each other. Plus, the antenna bands on the Selfie's back plate is thinner than those of Selfie Pro.

It appears that while the front panel sports a pretty basic smartphone design, it is the busiest part of the ZenFone 4 Selfie as you can see in the image above. At the top are the 20MP main shooter with f/2.0 aperture lens with a dedicated Soft LED Flash siting next to it, and then right across the Call Speaker is the secondary 8MP camera equipped with 120-degree wide angle lens which is perfect for selfie with wider background or group photos.

Also unique to the ZenFone devices, especially in this latest series, is the Beautification mode in the camera. It allows users to "beautify" themselves before taking the photo, this includes adjusting the skin tone, size of eyes and cheeks and many others. The new Selfie series also comes with the all-new Selfie Master, see image below, which provides five different functionalities allowing users to take their selfie photos and videos, even livestreaming, to a whole new level. BeautyLive, for example, gives users the ability to apply beautification enhancement on live videos, perfect for livestreaming on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

Down below are the Back and Recent Apps capacitive buttons, and then instead of the usual capacitive Home button like those found on the previous ZenFone offerings, this year's lineup has a physical Home button in between the other keys. This Home key doubles as a Fingerprint Scanner, plus it does not press down. A simple tap will bring users straight to the home screen.

Further down at the bottom are the speaker grills, microphone, and a microUSB port for data transfer and charging. Unfortunately, ASUS has not granted the Selfie series, even the Max, a USB Type-C port. The truth is, only the ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Pro only have USB-C, but that's not a big deal as of yet for mid-range smartphones. Then on the other side are the 3.5mm earphone jack and another microphone.

The three-slot SIM tray is found on the left side of the ZenFone 4 Selfie. Yes it has three slots, which means you can use two nano SIM cards and a microSD card all at the same time. Speaking of microSD card, ASUS said it can hold up to 2TB of memory card. On the other side are the power key and volume rocker, perfectly placed where I prefer them to be.

Now on the back side, the ZenFone 4 Selfie has its own distinct looks among the series, though it slightly resembles last year's ZenFone 3 Deluxe minus the Fingerprint Scanner (which is now in front). Plus those thinner antenna lines just add more style to the back plate of the device. It's an all metal casing in case you wonder, that makes the handset feel solid in the hands.

On this side of the phone is the 16MP  camera equipped with Phase Detection Autofocus and an LED real tone flash.

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie sports a 5.5-inch HD IPS display with 2.5D curved glass. Inside the phone is a Snapdragon 430 processor clocked at 1.4GHz, and paired with this octa-core chip is 4GB of RAM and a default 64GB internal storage right out of the box.

Software wise, it runs on the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat with the also-latest ZenUI 4.0. ASUS confirmed during the launch that the upcoming Android O is planned to roll out to all ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 3 devices.

In terms of color options, ASUS said it will be available in four variants namely Deepsea Black, Sunlight Gold, Rose Pink, and Mint Green.

Final Thoughts

Now that ASUS has returned with the ZenFone 4 Selfie and Selfie Pro in the selfie scene which have been being dominated largely by OPPO and Vivo, selfie loving users will definitely have a hard time choosing one. And these two Chinese companies will now have a worthy challenger in almost every area of their selfie-focused smartphones, most especially in the pricing department. For example, the Zen 4 Selfie and Zen 4 Selfie Pro are priced a lot lower than OPPO F3 and F3 Plus, respectively.

As soon as ASUS revealed official pricing for the entire ZenFone 4 series, fans and enthusiasts have been already rooting either for the ZenFone 4 Max or these two ZenFone 4 Selfie devices mainly because of price vs specs. It is going to be exciting how these new ZenFone smartphones are going to perform in sales and reviews from bloggers and users alike.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie specs:
  • 5.5-inch HD IPS Display
  • 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 2.5D Curved Glass
  • 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor
  • Adreno 505 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card up to 2TB
  • 16MP rear camera with PDAF and LED flash
  • 20MP + 8MP dual front cameras with f/2.0 aperture lens, Soft LED Flash and 120-degree wide angle lens
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, GLONASS
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G LTE
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Deepsea Black, Sunlight Gold, Rose Pink, Mint Green
  • 144 grams
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Php13,995
The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie is now available for purchase nationwide through ASUS concept stores, kiosks, and authorized retailers for only Php13,995. You can also buy one from ASUS Philippines' official store on Lazada here. Each package also comes with free clear jelly case worth Php699.

In case you missed it, you can also read my hands on and initial impressions post about the ZenFone 4 Max here.



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DUGOMPINOY: ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie hands on and initial impressions
ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie hands on and initial impressions
The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie is one of the newest smartphones from ASU that just got launched in the Philippines. Read my initial hands on and impressions of this device.
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