Asus hasn’t really been at the top of its game when it comes to mobile phones. It is perhaps more renowned for its computer hardware. The name Asus brings a feel of satisfaction and quality at a decent price when we see it. It has amazing PC hardware which we enthusiasts swear by the quality. Now although Asus isn’t an uncommon name among us fellow Indians, we don’t really go to them as often to buy mobile phones, which is a shame because they do have some very unique devices up their arsenal.
Asus recently lifted the curtain off the Zenphone 4 Selfie, its dual front camera phone for the masses. There are actually two versions of this phone, one mentioned here with the dual front cameras and another with a single front camera. Also, one can see this phone as a cut price Zenphone 4 Selfie Pro as the latter is a beefed up version of the same device. As someone who doesn’t take a lot of pictures, I find the concept of over the top front cameras hard to grasp but amazingly the masses love it. So let’s delve into the Zenphone 4 Selfie and see what you are getting.
Design and Display:
The Asus Zenphone has a unibody construction. It is made largely out of plastic, painted to look like aluminium. It is slightly on the heavier side weighing in at 145 Grams and comes with a fingerprint sensor on the front. I like the approach of integrating the fingerprint sensor on the front as I find it a more natural position for unlocking the phone. The fingerprint sensor also doubles up as a home button placed alongside the task manager and back button in traditional Asus style. Other than that it doesn’t have much thinner bezels as compared to the competition as The 5.5 inch screen takes nearly 70% of the front facia. On the plus side, it is available in three colours namely Deepsea Black, Rose Pink and Sunlight Gold. The entire device however is incredibly thin, measuring in at 155x76x8 (L*B*H) in total volume.
The display is a straight downer though. It is a 5.5 inch 720 IPS panel with a max resolution of 720×1280. The display clearly isn’t as sharp as its 1080p rivals and considering the price, we have seen better display’s from much cheaper phones. It has a maximum pixel per inch count of 267 which is fair.
The ASUS Zenphone 4 Selfie comes pre-loaded with Android 7.0 Nougat. Although I’m a bit curious as to why Asus held itself back from loading it with the newer 7.1.1 or 7.1.2 update which comes with many performance and bug patches. This one of the primary reasons why I dislike phones with custom factory skinning because essentially when an update comes along, the company cannot send it immediately. It’s the same case here because the Asus comes loaded with its default Zen UI 4.0 which is just full of unnecessary bloatware. And add to the fact that there’s little to no 3rd party development for these devices, meaning that you won’t actually be able to flash it to a newer android version even if it comes along unless it’s directly by the company or some keen enthusiast developer.
The ASUS Zen phone 4 selfie has a very strange choice of hardware considering its price bracket. It is powered by a relatively low performance Snapdragon 430 CPU which is a low end SoC by any regard. It’s an octacore unit with 8x Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz and while multi-tasking won’t be much of an issue, the phone isn’t made for high number crunching or high end gaming. It is a power efficient chip which is meant to aid battery life than outright performance, nevertheless you should easily get relatively lag free experience in day to day usage and moderate multi-tasking won’t pose much of an issue. I said relatively because custom skinning does tend to slow down devices considerably and the fact that it is loaded with bloatware won’t help much in this regard. The device does come with a modest 4GB of RAM which is comparable to what the competition is offering but my biggest complaint is that it excluded the inclusion of a faster Snapdragon 630 CPU which would’ve made it the ideal device for its price.
Camera and Storage:
What the Asus lacks in terms of spec sheet wow factor, it more than makes it up with its cameras. Let’ start with the front camera for starters, since it is the party piece here. It has a dual front camera setup with a bigger 20MP sensor and a smaller 8MP sensor with an aperture of f2.0. It takes very good images and unlike many other “selfie” phones, it comes with the inclusion of a font LED flash which many front camera advertised phones miss. However it lacks any sort of OIS which is a big let-down for me because I would rather have a decent image stabilisation system and a single good front cam rather than dual camera setups. It’s the same story at the rear too, because it does a have a very good 16MP shooter at the back with a bunch of shooting modes like ISO, exposure and filters but again no OIS. So your videos will be shaky.
Battery and connectivity:
Battery wise, the Asus comes with a relatively small 3000mAh battery. It is a shame because Asus does have a history of packing in decent sized batteries in its mobiles and the fact that it weighs so much kind of makes you wonder where all the weight is located.
Connectivity wise, it is already launched in India and supports all the Indian telecom bands of 4G (VOLTE), 3G and 2G included in the package. It also gets Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11, b/g/n, Micro USB connectivity and GPS with A-GPS support.
The Asus Zenphone 4 is a strictly meant for the consumer that takes a lot of selfies and puts performance next. It is a great device if you’re looking for good cameras in this budget but average for all other purposes. The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie price in India is around Rs.14999, which puts it in direct competition from the likes of Mi and Motorola. Depending on your usage, you may have an extensive option to choose from in this price bracket.