The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie (Dual Cam) is a dual front camera for clicking on standard and wide-angle selfies. But is the quality good? Read our review to discover it.
Approximately three years ago, manufacturers such as Oppo and Vivo began to focus on a specialized audience with self-centered smartphones. At that time, many people doubted that there was even a market for the niche audience served by these phones that used selfies. Fast forward today, and both brands are satisfied with their respective series of smartphones. Asus has also focused on smartphones focused on selfies, and after recently reviewing the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro, today we have the most affordable variant, the Zenfone 4 Selfie (Dual Cam).
With a price of 14,999, the smartphone is available to buy exclusively through Amazon. At its fixed price, the smartphone will compete with the likes of Redmi Y1, Oppo F5, and OnePlus 5T. Other options include the Infinix Zero 5 and LG V30 among others. Like the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro, the Zenfone 4 Selfie (ZD553KL) also comes with dual camera configuration in the front, but with lower resolution sensors. I’ve been playing with my smartphone for the past few days, and this is my opinion.
Design and build Of The Zenfone 4
The Zenfone 4 (Dual Cam) is very lightweight and comes with a metallic monocoque design. The front side houses a 5.5-inch HD screen, which is disappointing since smartphones priced less than 10,000 rupees also come with a Full HD panel. Just above the screen, you have the headset, the LED flash and the dual camera configuration with the proximity, while the fingerprint scanner is under the screen. It is flanked by Android’s capacitive navigation keys for the back switch and the task, but unfortunately, they are not backlit.
On the right, you have the sleep/power button with volume control, while the double SIM card slots and a dedicated microSD card slot are on the left. The micro USB port is on the bottom, while the 3.5mm audio connector is on the top. On the back, with having the camera module and an LED flash
Dual front camera configuration
The highlight of the Zenfone 4 Selfie (ZD553KL) is the dual camera configuration in the front. The main sensor has a resolution of 20 megapixels with opening f / 2.0 and is complemented by a secondary sensor of 8 megapixels aperture f / 2.4, a wide-angle lens with a field of view of 120 degrees. The combination allows you to take standard selfies and wide-angle selfies. Asus has also added portrait mode, allowing you to add DLSR type bokeh effects to your selfies. But it works? Well, let’s look at some sample photos below.
I did some indoor and outdoor selfies, both in standard and wide-angle mode and in portrait mode. I’ll start first with outdoor shots: standard photos look good because the sensor can capture enough details and skin tones. However, things go for a moment when you activate the wide-angle mode. In addition to the fall in quality, the photos were discolored and added a dark tone to the skin. The same thing happens when you activate the selfie mode. Look at the comparison shots below.
Next, we advance in the indoor shots. I clicked on two photos, one in standard mode and one in portrait mode. The quality of standard images seems decent, but details are lacking, and there is a slight reddish hue on the skin. The portrait mode, once again, works well to blur the background and keep the subject in focus. The style also adds some beauty effects to your skin by making it look a little brighter, while also minimizing smudges and dark circles. Below is a comparison photo.
I also clicked on a couple of photos inside in standard and wide-angle mode. Now, while the images look good, with enough detail, the camera tends to keep the other person slightly out of focus. It is not visible unless you get too close to the photos to inspect them closely. And taking into account that most users will upload these images to their social networks, it should not be a great opportunity. You can consult the examples below.
The Zenfone 4 Selfie also has a front LED flash that allows you to click on good selfies in low light conditions. I clicked on a couple of photos in low light conditions, one with flash and the other without it. The result is that the one that does not have flash apparently does not work well, but the other one with flash seems average, with a large amount of visible grain in everything. But if you’re indoors with artificial lighting and then use the flash, the amount of grain is reduced, and it’s a good thing. Here are some sample shots.
Asus has also added the “live embellishment” mode that allows you to add 10 levels of embellishment to your skin. While level zero has no makeup, level 10 adds full makeup to soften the skin completely. I am not a great admirer of these effects, and they look entirely artificial. The mode also works when you broadcast a video on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
The rear camera is pretty decent. The daylight shots look decent, but with a warm tone. Low-light shooting allows for a full shot, while close-up shots taken outdoors under proper lighting conditions are detailed, with accurate colors and good depth of field effects.
Under the hood, the Zenfone 4 Selfie is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core SoC (eight Cortex A53 cores at 1.4 GHz). It is combined with Adreno 505 GPU, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of integrated storage. The chipset and the combination of RAM guarantee uniform performance most of the time, along with good battery life. However, with competing devices such as Redmi Note 4 and My A1 with a better Snapdragon 625 SoC, it is disappointing to see that Asus chose the Snapdragon 430 SoC, especially considering the prices.
The smartphone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS, with the September patch and the Zen user interface running at the top. It is good to see that Asus has not joined many bloatware applications, as in the previous case. Instead, the company has now moved to Google applications, such as Documents, Drive, Calendar, Gmail, Keep, Duo, Photos, Play music, Maps, and Messages.
There are other applications such as Asus WebStorage, Weather, and Go2Pay that can be uninstalled. Asus has also added Mobile Manager, where you can check the battery statistics, the amount of RAM your phone consumes, data usage, battery modes, clear the cache and also manage security and permissions.
In general, the performance of the smartphone is decent, and even with some multiple tasks, you will not notice much delay. But as you perform some great functions, such as live videos or intense graphics games, the stuttering is noticeable, and the back of the device gets a little warm. Battery life is average to acceptable, depending on its use. With a very moderate use, I could use it a little more than a day, while, with heavy use, the phone would need a charge by the end of the day.
Zenfone 4 Price
The smartphone cost about $350 (N100,000)
Where To Buy The Zenfone 4
In general, the Zenfone 4 Selfie is a decent smartphone focused on the selfie in its price range. The smartphone can capture good selfies and portraits using the front cameras in right lighting conditions. Wide-angle shots tend to look off, especially in bright outdoor conditions, but that’s a small compensation due to the decrease in resolution. Otherwise, the overall performance is decent, and the battery lasts all day.
If you are not obsessed with the selfie and you are looking for a better Android smartphone in the price range, the Oppo F5 is a good alternative. It comes with Android One OS, two cameras on the back with 2X optical zoom, along with a better chipset and specifications. The Nokia 6 and the Moto G5s Plus are other interesting alternatives that you could choose.