Double the fun

ASUS launched its ZenFone 4 family of Android smartphones in Taiwan recently. The lineup consists of six phones, each equipped with a dual-camera.

Two of those phones – the ZenFone 4 Selfie and its Pro variant – took the novel approach. The dual cameras on these devices are pointed towards the face of the phones instead.

Let’s take a closer look at the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (right). Like all the other phones in its line-up, the Selfie Pro is fitted with a 5.5in screen. The Amoled panel used here is capable of producing a full high-definition resolution.

At 147g, the phone feels very light for its size. It is also thin at only 6.85mm. This makes perfect sense for a phone designed to be held at arm’s length for selfies.
Additionally, it comes with a transparent phone cover that adds protection and much-needed grip.

Like most phones of its ilk, the design of the Selfie Pro, with its glass display and rounded sides, does not stand out. However, it does come in the colours of discerning deepsea black, the popular sunlight gold, and the distinctive rouge red.

Within its cool exterior is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor that is paired with 64GB of expandable storage, and 4GB of memory. These specifications put the Selfie Pro firmly in the mid-range category.

I had no issues with the Selfie Pro’s performance, as its apps and menus work smoothly and as expected.

Nevertheless, certain persistent apps, such as podcast streaming and custom alarm, will not function properly unless you tweak the settings.
This is because of Asus’ powerful and fully customisable, but sometimes fussy, memory management system.

Additionally, the new Zen UI supports app cloning, which means you can have two instances of certain apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook – a feature that I think is a must-have for any dual-SIM phone.

Despite the mid-range specifications, Asus has not held back when it comes to the cameras on the Selfie Pro.

A Sony flagship IMX362 12-megapixel dual-pixel image sensor furnished with an f1.8 lens and a wide 120° lens justifies the phone’s Selfie Pro moniker.
The dual front-facing camera setup gives users a wide variety of shooting options.

The wide lens lets you shoot groups at arm’s length when compared to the more detailed standard lens; and the portrait mode introduces a synthetic bokeh by blurring the background.

There’s also a wide range of settings you can fiddle with to get the selfie look that you want.

Still, those who just want to point and shoot can opt for the Asus SelfieMaster app.

When the conditions are just right, the selfies taken with the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro can be impressive.
Lighting plays the biggest factor followed by settings.

The standard lens with the DuoPixel feature turned off looks to give the best results, but tastes may differ.

The front-facing camera is also capable of recording video in 4K UHD 3840-by-2160 resolution. This is after a software update that greatly improved the camera’s performance.

A 16MP Sony image sensor functions as the rear-facing camera and the results are exactly what you would expect from a midrange phone.

Colours pop when well lit, but washes out in low light. Details levels are more than acceptable for sharing on social networks, but not under scrutiny.
If you are looking for an affordable everyday driver that is better than the average Android, the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is a solid option.

However, if you are a selfie fiend, this phone, at RM1,799, should be at the top of your list.
For more, visit the Asus Malaysia website.