A Zenfone fit for a selfie pro
By Chong Jinn Xiung September 15, 2017
- Dual front-facing selfie cameras offer brighter pictures and wider-angled shots
- Performance isn’t the best but there is ample storage and decent battery performance
IT SEEMS that people just can’t get enough of themselves, giving rise to the selfie phenomenon. Fuelling this desire to capture images of themselves are smartphones that place greater emphasis on flipping their best camera to the front.
Asus is one of those manufacturers that want in on this sweeping sensation and have placed their money on a phone that is designed to snap the best selfies.
At its recent regional launch held in Taiwan, no phone in its line up so evidently epitomises the selfie trend than their latest phone the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.
Taking a deep breath, we are going to dive into the world of a selfie lover with this phone.
Let us run through the basics on the Selfie Pro -- this is the higher end cousin of the Zenfone 4 Selfie. As such, it boasts better features and all around better specs to boot.
From the outside, you get an all-metal body that wouldn’t look out of place in a lineup of flagship smartphones from 2017. The Selfie Pro definitely takes after other high-end models and infuses it in a package that is still befitting of a mid-range model.
The Selfie Pro keeps very slim dimensions with a 6.85mm thin body and a light weight of 147g.
It is worth noting that Asus provides users with a plastic phone case right out of the box to help protect it.
The casing certainly isn’t the best and isn’t guaranteed to protect it from a fall but it is serviceable and it will keep your greasy fingerprints away.
We can appreciate the choice of a matte back finish which is smooth to the touch yet comfortable to hold in hand and doesn’t pick up smudges easily. Two antenna lines punctuate the otherwise plain design and frame the 16-Megapixel main rear camera.
It has an eye-catching 5.5-inch AMOLED display with full HD resolution up front and is protected with a 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass. This isn’t quite an edge-to-edge screen but it is still pretty good to look at. The black is pure and, at the very least, is above an IPS display.
Asus has not touched the bottom layout of the Selfie Pro opting to keep the fingerprint reader/ capacitive home button right where it is, at the centre of the device with the ‘back’ and ‘recent apps’ button flanking it.
The fingerprint reader’s performance is admirably fast and accurate, almost unlocking the phone the moment your finger makes contact.
Also in front are the main stars of the Selfie Pro’s feature set, the dual front-facing camera along with a LED flash.
Along the sides, you get a metallic volume rocker and power button on the right. The left side is devoid of buttons though it houses the hybrid SIM card slot.
On the bottom, you will find a micro USB port with the 3.5mm headphone jack on the left and microphone and speaker grill on the right.
As far as specs go, the Selfie Pro doesn’t come with the highest spec processor on the market but you do get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. Again, this isn’t the latest in Qualcomm’s range of power-efficient processor but it is still a very capable chipset supported by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
The Selfie Pro runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Asus’ latest iteration of ZenUI 4.0 running on top of it which Asus says has much less bloatware compared to the previous version.
Admittedly, the interface certainly has cleared up appearing more stock like in looks, as is the case with most other manufacturers. A more modern interface is certainly welcome.
We could do without the pre-installed apps but you still get around 52GB of usable space out of the box so that is good enough for installing all your apps and storing photos and videos. But if ZenUI 4.0 is anything, it is an indication of a step in the right direction.
Coming down to the cold hard benchmark numbers, the Selfie Pro’s performance isn’t going to blow anyone away. The Selfie Pro under-performs compared to its contemporaries that share the same price range.
Generally, the benchmark for work and productivity, is satisfying enough but it certainly struggled when it came to graphics performance, chugging along at a frame rate that is akin to a Powerpoint slide show when pushed to its limits under the 3DMark benchmark.
Performance aside, the Selfie Pro packs a modest 3,000mAh battery which honestly doesn’t sound like much but paired with the power-efficient processor, the handset was able to comfortably cope with a full day of use.
Next page: It’s all about being picture perfect