Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera Review – ZenUI 4.0 is Impressive

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera (ZD553KL) was launched in September 2017 in India, and is currently available on Flipkart with a price tag of Rs. 13,999. Asus also launched a much cheaper Zenfone 4 selfie and an expensive version – Zenfone Selfie Pro along with this model.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC image 2

Today we have the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera with us and it is the sea black version ( looks more like deep sea blue or very dark navy blue). The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera was launched during the big billion day sales and was priced at Rs. 14,999 but now is available for Rs. 13,999.

The Key Highlight of Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie

  • 16 Megapixel rear camera
  • 20 Megapixel + 8 megapixel Dual Front Selfie Camera
  • Android Nougat and Zen UI 4.0
  • Asus has added countless features and tweaks.

The smartphone on paper comes with great specs and especially the higher Megapixel cameras at the front and back are top bragging points, lets find out how it does in the real life testing.

Design and Display

The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera phone looks beautiful and a lot premium for the price tag. The design and build is impressive and when I opened the box, I was fairly impressed with the first look of this budget mobile.

It does not feel low cost the back panel and buttons are well fitted, no loose fittings. The bottom side has 2 speaker grills and the micro-usb port. The front home button comes with a fingerprint scanner which works with good accuracy but is not the fastest.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera Review

The rear side has a back panel which comes with a metallic finish and is actually a poly-carbonate material. The rear camera design looks very similar to the OnePlus 3T and adds to the look of the device.

On one side we have the power button and the volume rocker which works flawlessly and is very well fitted in the casing.

The device comes with a large 5.5 Inch Display with HD resolution (1280*720). Though it is an only HD display and I would have liked a Full HD resolution, this display is better compared to most HD panels and don’t feel to be pixelated when reading text in Chrome browser or watching videos.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC image 3

The display comes with 400 nits of maximum brightness and also has a good color reproduction. There is no mention of Corning Gorilla Glass protection but it comes with a 2.5D curved glass.

There is an oleophobic coating to prevent fingerprint marks on the display but the back panel is prone to attracting fingerprints.

The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera is quite sleek measuring just 7.85 mm in thickness and weighs 144 grams. Very easy to hold and use.

UI and Experience – Much Better Compared to Older ZEN UI

I have tested and reviewed alot of Asus smartphones in the past, and the UI always have been a low point in Asus phones, which has changed with the Zen UI 4.0. The mobile runs on the Android Nougat 7.1.1 (with Zen UI 4.0) along with the September 2017 security patch.

One thing which totally impressed me with this Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie is it’s much better UI compared to all previous iterations. The Zen UI 2.0 and earlier versions were least impressive with large text with odd color choices.

The Zen UI 3.0 improved alot of things but the Zen UI 4.0 is impressive and looks great even compared to most modern interfaces on Android phones. I have been a fan of stock Android, Oxygen Os and to some extent the new Samsung UI and I can surely now add the Zen UI to the list.

But Asus has also done a great job with the UI – a new dialer, new look to SMS APP, changed fonts. The quick pull bar, settings menu and mobile manager App, everything is new and more refined.

Here are some of the shots of the new Zen Ui 4.0.

To sum it up – it is very pleasing to the eye and I am usually the type who will find faults with the type face, icon size and even minor details. But Asus has done most of it right and much better compared to previous iterations.

To make things Better there are a myriad of features like Asus Mobile Manager which can take care of battery optimization and do a clean up and free up ram etc.

There is gesture support which is again fantastic and comes with features like double tap to wake and sleep and drawing alphabets on the screen to launch apps.

Page Marker – It allows you to read the webpages at a later time and you can push open them in a non-obtrusive reading mode if the website is offering a bad reading experience.

Zen Security – You can send your coordinates to someone with a tap using the zen security which is also a very handy security feature.

Themes – This is a big one as far as the customisation goes, you can download many new themes from the theme store with just one click and apply them with 100% compatibility on the phone without any bugs. People who like custom themes will love this.

And there are many more features like the Audio Wizard, motion gestures etc ..etc.

If you find the stock Android experience plain and boring – the Zen UI 4.0 along with the latest Android Nougat is sure to impress you. Good work Asus.

Gaming and General Performance

The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera does not come with the fastest chipset like a Snapdragon 625 or higher but offers a Snapdragon 430 which is clocked at 1.4 GHz.

There is Adreno 505 GPU, along with 4 GB of Ram. There is 64 GB of internal storage and is expandable upto 2 TB using the micro-sd card slot.

In terms of general usage – browsing or scrolling through Facebook or Twitter feed it is fluid but at times there is occasional lag. Open too many apps or tabs in the chrome and you can also feel some slowdown.

I don’t think it is due to the UI which I think is very impressive but due to the processing muscle on this phone.

We Tested the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera on Geekbench as well as Antutu benchmark.

Geekbench Mark Score

The Zenfone 4 Selfie DC scored 671 on the single core test and has a score of 2502 for the multi-core performance.

Antutu Benchmark Score

On the Antutu Benchmark test the Zenfone 4 Selfie scored 42785, which is a decent score considering the processor.

Playing the games like Asphalt 8 Airborne the smartphone had no issues and things are smooth for the most part. The 5.5 Inch HD display also makes the gameplay more enjoyable.

We played the Asphalt 8 on high settings and game play is absolutely smooth and there is no issue of frame drops.

Heating – There is no excessive heating observed during the gameplay, the smartphone becomes mildly warm from the top side near the camera.

Dual Selfie Camera

The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie comes with a Dual Front Camera setup with a dedicated front flash. There is a 20 Megapixel front selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture and has ASUS Selfie Master technology for smart beautification while clicking selfies.

Along with it, there is a 8 megapixel camera which has a wide 120 degree, 6P lens. On paper this is stunning combination and it even comes with a bokeh (portrait) mode.

Now I tested the front camera in outdoor settings and indoor settings which has been a standard practice for me. Some cameras are impressive in one situation and fail to impress in others.

Here are some of the Camera Sample shots

Below 2 images were clicked using the front 20MP camera and we enabled the portrait mode for these images.

Front camera shot without the Bokeh Mode

Front Camera Shot taken Indoor with the Bokeh Mode

The 8 Megapixel camera lacks details and is only suited when you need to click a selfie for a group. The 20 Megapixel camera sensor though can retain more details, suffers from bad overexposure. The images look more dreamy rather than natural and more bright compared to the natural settings.

I am not sure if this was an issue with my unit or Asus need to do an OTA update to fix the amount of overexposure in images.

The bokeh shots also suffer from overexposure and loose natural color profile due to that. The indoor shots are better when the light is not direct which reduces the overexposure issue.

Rear Camera

The rear camera comes with a 16 Megapixel camera lens which has f/2.0 aperture and comes with HDR as well as a PRO mode. The rear camera image samples are shown below.

     

The images are passable, and some tend to be over exposed while others are underexposed depending on where you are focusing.

Connectivity and Sound

I used the Reliance JIO sim card with the Zenfone 4 Selfie and it worked flawlessly for HD voice calling using VOLTE and the data connectivity is also as desired.

No issues for connecting to my home WIFI network or using 4G data. The good part is there is a sim card tray which can hold 2 sim cards and also has a dedicated slot for the micro-sd card.

Sound – The bottom speaker is good and produces rich sound. It is not very loud but has a good voice clarity when you receive a call on speaker or when you want to listen to music.

There is also an outdoor mode which can boost the volume. Asus has also added an Audio Wizard in the settings which can help you choose some presets like – Music, gaming or movies to improve the sound profile.

Battery Life

The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC comes with a 3000 mAH capacity battery which is sufficient to last all day on moderate usage. Asus has not provided any fast charging support and it comes with a 5.2 volt and 1 Amp charger which takes about 1 hour for charging it upto 33% and over 3 hours to fully charge from 0 to 100%.

Concluding Thoughts : Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera

There are some hits and some misses for the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC. It is not very expensive and for 14k price there a lot of things to like about it and some which could have been better.

Major Pros

  • A Good design and build Quality.
  • Fantastic User interface and countless tweaks and customisations.
  • Display and Sound is also good, despite being only HD.
  • Good Gaming Performance.

Major Cons

  • Sub Par camera performance

Though the hardware on the device is promising and may be a software update may fix the over exposure issue in the images but till then the camera performance is underwhelming. Overall the UI and experience is good and you may love the new Zen UI more than anything else. I am fairly impressed with the new Zen UI and look forward for next updates and features.

Rating and Summary

Asus-Zefone-Selfie-4-Review-and-rating

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