ASUS ExpertBook B9

We went over to Taipei, Taiwan to attend the grand launch of the ASUS ZenFone 4 family of smartphones. Gong Yoo was there, and the place was like Train To Busan as people flock to the venue just to meet him. After the grand launch, we hung out for a while before heading over to dinner, and that’s when the surprise struck us – we’re getting the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro right then and there!

With ASUS’s new focus on photography and dual-camera systems, let’s take a deep dive on the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro.

Acer Nitro 5

Unboxing

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

We did a live unboxing in the restaurant (yes, right after we got the phone) and it was rather loud at that time. Fret not – it’s the phone that matters, not where it is unboxed.

Anyway, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro does indeed come in a beautiful yet minimal design. All necessary accessories are in there too – including a TPU case.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

Overall, I’m very satisfied with everything ASUS has packaged inside the box itself. Seems like they’ve been taking feedback from the community. 😉

And by the way, there’s actually a pair of earphones with in-line controls included in the box itself. It’s definitely something nice to have!

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
With 3 sizes of ear tips included too!

The TPU case is actually looking pretty good as well. Adequate to be used day-to-day.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
The included TPU case is rather thick.

[nextpage title=”Design”]

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro takes on a familiar look, as the front of it looks… well, pretty generic when compared to other selfie-centric smartphones. Especially with that front-facing fingerprint scanner-cum-home button.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
Also, the buttons light up now!

With that new fingerprint scanner placement, I find myself always touching the camera at the back and thinking that it’s the fingerprint scanner… Personally, would prefer it to be placed at the back below the camera instead.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

Either way, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro had some tweaks in terms of its geometry compared to its predecessor. It’s now slimmer, a lot lighter, and slightly smaller too. Still using a 5.5-inch screen, by the way. And it just feels a lot lighter and thinner than its predecessor.

Looking at the back, this time around the camera cutout is about the same size as its predecessor, but this time with near zero protrusion. This design is definitely better, as the included TPU case does offset the camera from the surface quite a bit to prevent the lens from scratches.

There is one issue that I found out with the included TPU case – it makes the power and volume buttons extremely difficult to press. It somehow wraps around those buttons in a way that the TPU case suppresses tactility. When the case is removed, those buttons feel very good.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
All buttons are placed on the right side. Volume rocker at the top, power button is right below it.

In my honest opinion. I think that the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is really thin with the new body. It’s a lot easier to hold and definitely less bulky than before even when the TPU case is installed.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

It’s not a particularly flashy design, but it’s always the little tweaks that improve the overall experience that matter.

[nextpage title=”Connectivity”]

While I do know USB-C is the future, the transition is slow.

First of all, I really don’t understand why ASUS reverted from USB-C on the ZenFone 3 back to micro USB on the ZenFone 4. It seems… weird, to be honest.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
Micro USB?

In terms of other connectivity, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro does have Bluetooth and WiFi obviously, but once again just like the ZenFone 3 Zoom, it only has support for up to 802.11n and only supports 2.4GHz.

Like I’ve mentioned before in the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom review, 2.4GHz on N-WiFi is sufficient for day-to-day use and even 1080p video streaming through YouTube. Just don’t do gigabytes of file transfer through WiFi and you’ll be fine.

The cards supported on the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is still the same as before – it has a single dedicated nano SIM card and another nano SIM/microSD combo slot.

By the way, no NFC once again if you’re wondering.

[nextpage title=”Display”]

Let’s take a look at the display first. This time around, ASUS has opted for a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display on the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Coupled with the superbly power efficient chipset, its battery life is quite challenging to drain off – which leads me to the most important point of this segment.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
Hello, Always On screen feature!

Coupling AMOLED with this power efficient chipset, the “always on” feature can actually be used without worrying it will drain the battery dry.

ASUS is smart enough to include something called “always on display”. We’ve seen this on Nokia Lumia smartphones in the past few years where it displays some information on your phone’s screen when it’s asleep. This can only be done reasonably effectively with the help of AMOLED screens. There are a few different built-in “watch faces” which you can select too. It doesn’t that much flexibility, but they’re definitely there for you to pick and choose.

With that said, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro does have a setting to control the screen color mode. By default, it’s on “Super Color” mode – which really does make all the colors vividly pop out. ASUS did include a blue light filter option within the screen color mode menu too. Too bad that ASUS didn’t implement a scheduled blue light filter mode so that it’s automated.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

I don’t really mind that the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is using a 1080p display, actually. In a way, I think it’s more sensible as it can retain an overall low power consumption. Also, there isn’t much of a perceivable difference between 1080p and 4K on a 5.5-inch screen.

[nextpage title=”Camera”]

Ah, the camera. It is the one thing that ASUS focused dearly in the ZenFone 4 family.

I honestly don’t think the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s camera is as good as I expected. The selfie camera is noisy, and the rear-camera is just… a downgrade from the ZenFone 3. Seriously, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro doesn’t have ASUS’s signature TriTech AF and OIS!

For the full album of all pictures that we took with the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro and all the metadata, visit our Flickr album here!

Let’s run through its camera specs. We also have a list of specs here of all the other smartphones within the ZenFone 4 family, by the way.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

  • Selfie
    • Dual-front facing camera
    • 24MP (2*12MP) Sony IMX362 sensor for DuoPixel sensor technology with f/1.8 aperture and 83° angle lens
    • 5MP f/1.8 Omnivision 5670 sensor with f/2.2 aperture and 120° wide angle lens

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

  • Rear-camera
    • 16MP Sony IMX351 sensor with f/2.2 aperture and 80° angle lens
    • Phase-detection autofocus technology

We went over to somewhere near Taipei 101 and then to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall entry gate for a short photography session. In the next morning, we went to the Grand Hotel for another quick photography session. It was indeed an impromptu session, but thanks to this guide here, we’re ready!

Let’s take a deep look at both the selfie and rear-facing cameras.

Dual-selfie cameras

Specifically for the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, it’s using what I call the hybrid lens dual-camera system, as we’ve explained it here. Instead of using the hybrid lens dual-camera system for the rear camera, ASUS is implementing it for selfies.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

 

Huge shoutout to ASUS Malaysia for this trip and to my friends for taking pics with us!

These selfies/wefies were taken with the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro at Taiwan (most of it), and prior to the software update that we got after we came back from Taiwan. Most of these are impromptu shots when we’re learning about the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, too.

To be fair, many of the night selfies were taken in pitch black dark conditions. Noise is expected.

P_20170817_215527_vHDR_Auto

P_20170817_220338_vHDR_Auto

P_20170817_223613_vHDR_On

P_20170817_223700_vHDR_On

P_20170817_223958_vHDR_On

This image is taken with the built-in GIF mode and sped to to the max.

P_20170817_224126_vHDR_On

P_20170818_115821_vHDR_On

P_20170818_120204_vHDR_On

P_20170818_121620_vHDR_On

P_20170818_221834_vHDR_On

P_20170818_221842_vHDR_On

P_20170819_154405_vHDR_On

P_20170819_160740_vHDR_On

I’m quite disappointed as both selfie cameras do not have autofocusing given that the original ZenFone Selfie from two years back that I loved a lot actually has an autofocusing selfie camera. Noise levels are pretty high, too.

Right – there’s one more feature that I want to highlight – the wide-angle selfie. These two pictures were taken in succession, but one with the normal lens and another one with the wide angle lens. You can see how much more things we can see through that wider angle!

P_20170817_224147_vHDR_On

P_20170817_224150_vHDR_On

Rear camera

This time around, I went to the trip well-prepared. I did take my Nikon D7000 with me, but I ended up not using it at all. I wanted to test what the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is really capable of in taking pics other than selfies.

When we’re at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, most of the lights were switched off. Well, no matter. Since we do know how manual mode works, we just switched over to Pro Mode and cranked the ISO all the way to its lowest value.

To my surprise, its lowest ISO is at 25. Twenty-five. That’s really low. Shutter speed? Well, it can go for as long as 32 seconds or as short as 1/10000 of a second!

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

I took a few shots of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, National Concert Hall, and the National Theater with the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro in Pro Mode while mounted on a gorilla pod.

Pictures actually look fairly decent, with sharp details and very little noise thanks to ISO 25. Other than that, we’re pretty much on full auto point-and-shoot mode. Take a look at the pictures below.

Check out our full ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro picture album with metadatas on Flickr here!

P_20170817_222720

P_20170817_222957

These pictures are straight out from the camera, so there’s no realignment or straightening of picture too.

P_20170817_223310

P_20170817_223435

P_20170817_224445_vHDR_On

P_20170818_115642_vHDR_On

P_20170818_115726_vHDR_On

P_20170818_115736_vHDR_On

P_20170818_120506_vHDR_On

P_20170818_121001_vHDR_On

P_20170818_121358_vHDR_On

P_20170818_121428_vHDR_On

Overall, I’d say that the rear-camera on the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is is decent – especially if a tripod is used to capture a picture with manual mode.

Camera interface

The camera interface has been improved quite a lot in ZenUI 4.0 in terms of the logos and icons too – which I’m really happy. Generally, ASUS is making use of those extra space around the borders of the screen.

So far, I’m liking what ASUS is doing with their camera app.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie ProASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

[nextpage title=”Software”]

ASUS has improved their software a lot and it’s time for the latest iteration – ZenUI 4.0. To be honest, it’s more fluidly-animated overall. Though, this is true in most of the Nougat-powered phones that I’ve used thus far.

With that said, the all new ZenUI 4.0 that’s found in the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is indeed something that I’ll personally describe it as non-intrusive. In a way, ASUS made it complement stock Android in terms of aesthetics and features. Especially with certain features like App Twinning and also the removal of many bloatware.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
Use up to two instances of Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger at once!

With the removal of many of those ASUS-developed in-house apps that used to be built-in, I actually just logged in my account, updated the apps and firmware, and started using it right then. I don’t have to uninstall a bunch of crap software anymore before I start using the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro!

ASUS actually implemented a few noble features right into ZenUI 4.0 as well. Both Report Location and SOS are similar in both of what they do, but its usage is totally different. Report Location is more similar to sharing your current location to get tracked by your close ones – be it your family or friends.

The SOS feature on the other hand, as the name already suggested, is meant to send a distress signal to the list of people you want to notify when things happen.

Pretty neat implementations.

[nextpage title=”Performance”]

In terms of performance, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro isn’t that much different from the ASUS ZenFone 3. In fact, the hardware is exactly the same!

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (MSM8953) with 8x ARM Cortex-A53 cores @ 2016MHz max
  • Adreno 506 graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB of storage. Expandable up to an additional of 2TB microSD card

Is it a bad thing? Well – no. Like we’ve mentioned before back in the original ZenFone 3 review and ZenFone 3 Zoom review, the Snapdragon 625 chipset is sufficient for everything except for high-end mobile games, and it offers a surreal amount of battery life as it is made with the FinFET process. Learn more on why FinFET matters here.

In terms of benchmarks, there’s nothing really much to say. Its performance is pretty similar to both the ASUS ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 3 Zoom, as both of them uses the same chipset and processors anyway. However, that still performs extremely well in day-to-day usages.

Upon further stress testing the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, it barely reaches 50℃ – which is just magnificent!

It also means lower battery usage while offering more-than-enough performance. I’ve been using the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom as my daily driver ever since, and I personally have no complaints about its performance. I just think that most people are blinded by the desire of high-end specs that they don’t need, and burn off a lot of battery charge unnecessarily.

[nextpage title=”Battery”]

Like we mentioned back during the original ASUS ZenFone 3 review – the battery is pretty difficult to deplete entirely. As a standard of our review, we did use PCMark for Android and test out the battery life.

Review - ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro : An Upgrade? 1

It scored more than 9.25 hours. Nine hours and fifteen minutes. That’s seriously impressive, considering that other smartphones that we’ve tested here in Nasi Lemak Tech can barely last for 8 hours in this test.

Charger

However, the charger is a little disappointing once again. Just like its predecessor, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro does not come with any sort of faster charging standards. Instead, there’s only 5V 2A charger included. To be fair, not having higher voltage charger is a first world problem.Besides, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro doesn’t really need to be charged every day anyway thanks to its extremely power efficient chipset.

Besides, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro can last the day thanks to its extremely power efficient chipset.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
Takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to charge from near zero to 100%.

Though, there is one point that I shall make – the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s battery life isn’t as good as the ZenFone 3. Why? I don’t know the exact cause, but I’m going to put the blame on software optimization. ZenUI 4.0 is still fairly new.

[nextpage title=”Wrapping up the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro review”]

Again, the name of this smartphone is a mouthful. A-SUS Zen-Fone 4 Sel-fie Pro. That’s a total of 8 syllables and saying it quickly will cause some potential tongue twisting. Either way, I digress.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is aimed towards those who like to take selfies. Not just selfies, but wefies as well. Or maybe just scenic selfies with friends’ and/or family’s faces in it. And hey – its rear camera is actually quite decent as well!

As for its chipset, I seriously have zero complaints here. Some might say that Snapdragon 625 is underpowered, but I think that it’s more than enough for most of us. For me personally, I honestly think it’s more than enough.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

For the price of RM1,799 and what it offers, I think it’s a pretty good deal. That dual selfie camera is seriously something special, and with that battery life, we can all take a whole day of selfies together without worrying the battery going kaput.

And hey – ASUS has an exclusive deal for the ASUS ZenFone 4 series of smartphones going on now – and the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro has it too. 😉

Where to buy?

First, let’s talk about the price of ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. It is priced at RM1,799 and is available in both Red and Gold (the one I have).

Pre-order it from Lazada right now and get some exclusive gifts too!


Like our Facebook Page here at NasiLemakTech.com for more news and in-depth reviews! Also, join our Facebook Group for insightful information and memes!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel too!

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Materials
9
Software
9
Connectivity
7
Screen
9
Specifications
8
Camera
7
Battery
9
Value
7
The enthusiastic nanoelectronic engineer who found his way into simplifying the world of tech for everyone. Introverted, but noisy. Nice to meet you!
review-asus-zenfone-4-selfie-proThe ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro touts one major difference compared to the competition - dual selfie cameras. While the cameras are indeed decent, it does feel lacking compared to the first ever ZenFone Selfie. Either way, the battery life is exceptionally great thanks to the chipset used!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.