What we liked about it:
* Very nice, bright display
* Thin, light, and premium body
* Dual front cameras with wide-angle
* Decent battery life
What we did not like:
* Dated chipset
From among the lineup of new smartphones that ASUS Philippines launched this month, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro can be considered as the premium mid-range device thanks to its all-metal body, large AMOLED display, and a dated yet proven to be capable Snapdragon 625 processor. But its main trick up its sleeve is the dual front cameras which aim to indulge users who are fond of taking selfies. Check out our review of the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro below.
Design and Construction
The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has a strong design lineage that can be traced back to last year’s Zenfone 3 Deluxe. It’s got a very slim all-metal body, a manageable 5.5-inch display, and a pretty nice yet simple design.
Up on the front is an all-glass panel that covers the 5.5-inch full HD AMOLED screen with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The twin front-facing cameras are up top, along with the sensors and LED flash. Down below is the fixed capacitive home button that also serves as a fingerprint scanner, along with lit capacitive keys on its left and right sides for navigation.
The metallic volume rocker and power button are on the right side, while the hybrid SIM slot is on the left. The noise-canceling mic is up top while the 3.5mm audio port, micro-USB charging port, main microphone, and speaker grills are all at the bottom.
At the back is an all-metal panel with a smooth, matte finish. The antenna bands cut across from the top and the bottom end while the 16MP main camera is in the middle together with the LED flash, and just below it, the ASUS logo.
The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro’s body is a treat to look and hold thanks to its slim and light body measuring 6.85mm thin and 147g in weight. It is cool to the touch, has a glossy chamfered edges surrounding the whole frame, which blends nicely with the 2.5D curved glass on the front.
Display and Multimedia
ASUS rarely uses AMOLED displays and when they do, they’d set it aside for their more premium offering. Good thing it made its way in the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro, sporting a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen with a Full HD 1080p resolution and a solid 401ppi pixel density. The result is a display that is crisp and clear, with very bright and well-saturated colors.
As for its audio quality, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro can get really loud but lacking when it comes to bass. That said, the sounds are trebly but not distorted, which is good enough for hands-free voice calls, watching videos, or gaming.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software for the Selfie Pro is Android 7.1.1 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0. ASUS massive changes in its UI to make it less bloaty and more responsive. The interface can still be recognized as the ZenUI but it’s cleaner, simplified, and more “material” compared to its predecessor.
Pre-installed apps are still present like Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. The rest are essential tools from ASUS like the Mobile Manager which is a one-stop-shop for your device’s monitoring and maintenance. Google’s apps are more predominant here as the ZenUI 4.0 depended on them for essentials like Android Messages, Google Chrome, and Google Calendar.
Storage-wise, the Selfie Pro comes with 64GB of storage with 51.18GB as usable. It can be expanded via a microSD card using the second slot in the hybrid tray.
The camera department is one of the highlights of the Selfie Pro, sporting dual front cameras consisting of the main shooter with Sony IMX362 12MP Dual Pixel sensor, and an OmniVision 5670 5MP wide-angle, as well as an LED flash. The rear camera, on the other hand, uses a 16MP Sony IMX351 sensor with LED flash.
Although the concept of dual front cameras is no longer new to us, taking selfies on the Selfie Pro is still a fun experience. It has face-tracking, HDR, Selfie Panorama, and Beauty. There’s also a Portrait mode if you want a selfie with artificially blurred backgrounds. For group selfies, you can switch to the wide-angle camera with a simple tap. The Beauty Live feature is also present here which you can access in the SelfieMaster app.
Quality-wise, the main selfie camera has better details and colors than the secondary, which is already expected given the sensors. The main selfie camera also offers a mode called 24MP DuoPixel which takes your photo at a higher resolution. We prefer this mode as it gives us a sharper result. As for its performance, the front shooters of the Selfie Pro is a bit slow when shooting indoors even when there’s sufficient lighting, but performs really well outdoors. The rear camera, on the other hand, can produce images with good details and accurate colors but gets peppered with noise when there’s not enough light.
As for video recording, the rear and front main cameras can shoot up to 4K resolution, while the secondary front camera can only record up to Full HD. So far video recording capabilities are good with decent output, although there’s still no way to seamlessly transition between the two front lenses while recording. If you’re doing a selfie video while using the main camera and want to switch to the wide-angle, you’ll have to stop recording, switch cameras, then start recording again.
Performance and Benchmarks
The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is powered by a rather dated chipset from Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 625 has been around for a year and a half, and though it’s still a very capable chip, ASUS could have used something like the Snapdragon 630 which has better power-efficiency and graphics performance (~30% more). That would have also helped justify the pricing.
Nevertheless, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro still performs well with most tasks, thanks to the generous 4GB of RAM. Our synthetic benchmark scores also showed pretty good results.
• AnTuTu Benchmark: 63,273
• Quadrant Standard: 27,692
• PCMark: 5,656 (Work 2.0), 7,486 (Work 1.0)
• PCMark Storage: 5,804
• 3DMark: 465 (Sling Shot Extreme)
• Geekbench 4: 864 (Single core), 4,160 (Multi-core)
• AndroBench: 285.18 MB/s (Read), 202.15 MB/s (Write)
Connectivity, Call Quality and Battery
The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has the basic connectivity options — LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and an FM radio tuner. It does not come with NFC though. So far, call quality and mobile data is good as long as we have good coverage, while the GPS locks in quick whenever we use apps such as Google Maps or Waze.
Powering the Selfie Pro is a 3,000mAh Li-Ion battery. We’re not expecting much from it, but based on our experience with using it for over a week, we can definitely say it can last an entire day on moderate use.
Using our synthetic benchmarks, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro got 8 hours and 50 minutes on PCMark Battery test at 50% brightness, 0% volume and in airplane mode. That’s already on the average side. However, in our standard video loop test, the phone managed to last 12.5 hours on a single full charge using the same settings.
ASUS is definitely back in the selfie game with the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. It came a bit late, though, considering that its competitors, namely OPPO and Vivo, have already established a strong presence in the market with their selfie-centric devices. Still, it’s a worthy offering given its slim and premium body, AMOLED display, fun yet capable cameras, and improved ZenUI 4.0.
The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro has a suggested retail price of Php18,995/$374 and is available in stores nationwide. It is also available at Widget City for Php17,995/$354 (Store Warranty).
ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (ZD552KL) specs:
5.5-inch full HD AMOLED display @ 1920×1080 pixels, 401ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 2.0GHz octa-core CPU
Adreno 506 GPU
4GB LPDDR3 RAM
64GB internal storage
expandable via microSD slot up to 128GB (dedicated)
16MP rear camera with LED Flash
12MP + 5MP dual front camera (120-degree wide-angle)
4G LTE Cat4
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, EDR, LE
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
ASUS ZenUI (Android 7.0 Nougat)
3000mAh Li-Ion battery
154.02 x 74.83 x 6.85 mm (dimensions)
145 grams (weight)
Deepsea Black, Sunlight Gold, and Rouge Red