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. It is currently available on Flipkart with a price tag of Rs. 13,999. Also, Asus launched a low-cost phone Zenfone 4 selfie,  and a more expensive Zenfone Selfie Pro, along with this model.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC image 2

I have the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera, and it’s the sea black version ( looks more like deep sea blue or very dark navy blue). Further, 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.

Notably, the phone on paper comes with great specs, and especially the higher Megapixel cameras at the front and back are top bragging points, let’s find out how it does in the real-life testing.

Design and Display

For starters, the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera phone looks beautiful and a lot premium for the price tag. The design and build are 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 fitted well, to repeat, no loose fittings. The bottom side has 2 speaker grills and the micro-USB port. The front home button comes with a fingerprint scanner that works with good accuracy but is not the fastest.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera Review

The rear side has a back panel and comes with a metallic finish but is made of polycarbonate material. The rear camera design looks very similar to the OnePlus 3T and augments the look of the device.

On one side we have the power button and the volume rocker that works as intended.

The device comes with a large 5.5 Inch Display with HD resolution (1280*720). I would have liked a Full HD resolution. However, this display is better compared to most other HD panels. It doesn’t look pixelated when reading the text or watching videos.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC image 3

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

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

Additionally, it 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 a lot of Asus phones in the past, and the UI always has been a low point in them, which has changed with the Zen UI 4.0.

Notably, the mobile runs on the Android Nougat 7.1.1 (with Zen UI 4.0) along with the September 2017 security patch.

One thing that impressed me most is it’s much better UI compared to all previous iterations. Further, the Zen UI 2.0 and earlier versions were least impressive, use to come with large text and odd colors.

Moreover, the Zen UI 3.0 improved many things, but the Zen UI 4.0 is a far major upgrade. It looks at par, compared to most modern interfaces on Android phones. Anyways, I am a fan of stock Android, Oxygen Os, the new Samsung UI, and now can add the Zen UI to this list.

To highlight, here are the things that are improved – a new dialer, new SMS APP, changed fonts. Even, 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 up, it is very pleasing, and I am usually the one, who will find faults with the minor things such as typeface, icon size. But Asus has done most of it correctly.

To make things better even there is a myriad of features like Asus Mobile Manager that can take care of battery optimization and even do a clean up to free up ram etc.

There is gesture support that is fantastic and comes with features like double tap to wake and sleep. Also, you can draw alphabets on the screen to launch apps.

Page Marker – It allows you to read the web pages at a later time, and you can even open them in a non-obtrusive reading mode. A handy tool, if the website you are reading is offering a bad reading experience.

Zen Security – You can send your coordinates to someone with just a tap using the zen security, an important 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. Moreover, people who like custom themes will love it.

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

Besides, if you find the stock Android experience bland and boring, the Zen UI 4.0 along with the latest Android Nougat will surely 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, but offers a Snapdragon 430,  clocked at 1.4 GHz.

Besides, there is Adreno 505 GPU, along with 4 GB of Ram. Also, it has 64 GB of internal storage, expandable upto 2 TB using the micro-sd card.

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

I don’t think it is due to the UI that I think is fluid, but due to the processing power on this phone.

I tested the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera on Geekbench, as well as on 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, that is a decent score considering the processor.

Surprisingly, playing games like Asphalt 8 Airborne, the phone had no issues, and things are smooth mostly. The 5.5 Inch HD display also makes the gameplay more enjoyable.

I played the Asphalt 8 in high settings, and the gameplay is smooth, even there is no issue of frame drops.

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

Dual Selfie Camera

For photography, 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 even has ASUS Selfie Master technology for smart beautification while clicking selfies.

Along with 20 MP Camera, there is an 8-megapixel lens that has a wide 120 degree, 6P lens. On paper, this is a stunning combination. Additionally, the camera comes with a bokeh (portrait) mode.

I tested the front camera in outdoor as well as indoor settings which are 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 20 MP camera, and we enabled the portrait mode for these photos.

Front camera shot without the Bokeh Mode.

Front Camera Shot Clicked 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. Although, the 20 Megapixel camera sensor can retain more details, but suffers from overexposure. The photos 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 needs to do an OTA update to fix the amount of overexposure in images.

The bokeh shots also suffer from overexposure and as a result, loose natural color profile. The indoor photos are better when the light is not direct that reduces the overexposure issue.

Rear Camera

Moving to the rear camera, it comes with a 16 Megapixel lens that has f/2.0 aperture and comes with HDR as well as a PRO mode. For consideration, the back camera image samples are added below.

     

The images are passable, and some are overexposed, while others are underexposed. The overexposure depends on where you are focusing and taking the image.

Connectivity and Sound

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

I found no issues when connecting to my home WIFI network or using 4G data. The good thing is, there is a sim card tray that can hold 2 sim cards and even has a dedicated slot for the micro-sd card.

Sound – The bottom speaker is audible and produces a rich sound. It is not very loud but has voice clarity for receiving calls or even for listening to music.

Additionally, there is also an outdoor mode that can boost the volume. Further, Asus has also added an Audio Wizard in the settings that 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, sufficient to last all day on moderate usage. However, Asus has not provided any fast charging support. And it comes with a 5.2 volt, 1 Amp charger, that takes about 1 hour for charging it upto 33%. Moreover, it takes over  3 hours to charge from 0 to 100%.

Concluding Thoughts: Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera

In conclusion, there are some hits and some misses for the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie DC. Also, it is not very expensive, and for the 14k price there a lot of things to like about it.

Major Pros

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

Major Cons

  • Sub Par camera performance

Although the hardware on the device is promising, it requires a software update to fix the overexposure issue in the images. But till then the camera performance is underwhelming. Overall, the UI and experience are enjoyable and most of all, you may love the new Zen UI. I am fairly impressed with the new Zen UI, and look forward to the next updates and features.

Rating and Summary

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

Also, you may like to read some our latest smartphone reviews like Nokia 6, Moto G5s Plus, 10. OR G – Read Top Reviews

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