“See the perfect in you”
Asus Zenfone Selfie is another phone of the Zenfone bloodline series. With Asus signature concentric-circle detailing and elegant eggshell finish, the phone is targeted to audience crazy about selfies and photos. The phone houses 13MP camera both at rear and front along with dual LED flash. Having specification comparable to high end phones but at a cost below Rs. 20,000, does this phone really “captures true beauty in you“, let’s find out.
|Model||Asus ZenFone Selfie (ZD551KL)|
|Display||5.5 inches, Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels (~403 PPI pixel density), Corning Gorilla Glass 4|
|CPU||1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 Octa Core Processor|
|RAM||2GB/3GB LPDDR3 RAM|
5GB free lifetime ASUS Web Storage
|Memory||Micro SD card (up to 128 GB)|
|Camera||Front 13 Mega-Pixel, Auto Focus, Wide View, LED Flash, F2.2 Aperture, Pixel Master
Rear 13 Mega-Pixel, Auto Focus, LED Flash, F2.0 Aperture, Pixel Master
|Battery||3000mAh battery (Removable)|
|OS||Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop, Out of the box)|
|Dimensions||156.5 x 77.2 x 10.8 ~ 3.9 mm (LxWxH)|
|Weight||170 g (with battery)|
|Sim||Dual Sim (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by, 4G supported in both sims)|
|Connectivity Technology||WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ac
|Sensor||Accelerator/ E-Compass/ Gyroscope/ Proximity/ Ambient Light Sensor/ Hall Sensor/ GPS /GLONASS & AGPS|
|Launch Price||Rs. 17,999|
Design and Display
Asus has given three color options for the device, Pure White/Chic Pink/Aqua Blue, to chose from. Although the phone weighs 170gms yet it does not feel that heavy. Being about 10.8mm thick at the center to 3.9mm at the both the edges forms the Ergonomic Arc design. This curved back design helps to maintain a good grip and also facilitates to press the volume rockers, placed directly below the rear camera. The back cover is made of flexible plastic materials and any smudge marks are quite noticable.
The other hardware button, i.e., the power button is placed at the top, alongside the 3.5mm audio jack. Knowing these you might feel that locking the phone manually would be tough job…!!! No, it’s not. Asus Zenmotion takes care of this. Just double tap on vacant screen area of the screen and voila, phone is locked. Again double tap and its back. Zenmotion provides few other such features to Zen UI, like ‘S’ for Selfie, ‘V’ for phone dialer etc.
ZenFone Selfie has 5.5-inch screen, equipped with Full HD IPS 1980×1080 display. Offering view angles of about 178 degrees wide, the display is quite illuminated and feels good for the eyes. Watching movies or videos on the display is soothing and the crispness of the colors is maintained. Even using it under noon Sun I had no problem to look into the screen. I think Asus has done a brilliant job with the device. Although the 3.3mm bezels, if reduced further, would have definitely made me give it 10 out of 10.
The back button, home button and recent apps button placed at the bottom the screen have no backlit feature which makes it difficult to use in dark places. The front and rear 13MP camera have their dual LED flash placed right next to them. The front camera has earpiece on its other side. The Corning Gorilla Glass 4 saves the phone from tricky pocket scratches but for people with sweaty hands like me smudges would become a problem, requiring to be wiped after every use.
The phone works on ZenUI wrapped over Android 5.0. Although Google has recently launched Android 6, a.k.a., Marshmellow, but we have no word from Asus when the phone update will be aired.
ZenUI has classy animations and ZenUI launcher has customizable features that can be easily accessed when swiping over the home screen. ZenUI gesture based shortcuts to launch apps can come quite handy, if used. During my hands on experience on the phone the double tap lock/unlock feature misbehaved so I had to use the power button to unlock the phone. Hopefully future updates of UI might take care of this.
Customizable wallpapers, both home and lock screen, font and themes are good to have features provided by the UI. Themes can be downloaded from the ZenUI online store. Whereas the apps shortcut present on the lock screen can disabled via settings.
Asus phones comes pre-loaded with lots of Asus apps like weather, notes, easy mode, data transfer, Do it later etc. The apps not only takes lots of available phone memory but have regular OTA updates that consumes your net pack. Since all of these apps cannot be uninstalled, the only work around is to either disable them or set the Google apps store to ask before download.
Camera is the main USP of this phone. Having 13MP camera both front and rear supported by dual-LED Real Tone flash. Asus calls its camera tech as Pixel Master.
In terms of hardware, Pixel master 2.0, both the camera have Toshiba Sensors , Blue glass filter and 5P Largan Lens . The rear camera has f/2.0 aperture, 0.2sec. Laser ultra fast auto-focus while front camera f/2.2 aperture, 88 degree wide angle viewing range. With 16 instant presets, like Selfie Panorama, Super resolution, Miniature, Smart Remove, Time lapse and time rewind etc., for both front and rear Pixel Master cameras, configuring ZenFone Selfie for the best shots is too easy. For photography masters the camera also supports the manual mode.
With illuminated shot and dual tone LED flash the camera quality at good or natural light is awesome but at low lights noise increases. But considering the price segment it lies in, it is still superior to its competitors. Selfie lovers would definitely like the Selfie panorama, Beautification and the Super HDR mode. Asus have added a functionality to its volume control buttons. When the camera app is launched these button act like camera click button. And with little practice they would help you capture photos with ease and quality.
A key point that should be kept into consideration while taking clicks is too hold the camera still like an professional photographer to capture the best moments in best possible camera stills.
Zenphone Selfie has Snapdragon 1.7Ghz Octa core processor to handle running apps. The handset I am using has 3GB RAM but approximately 1.5GB of it is free. I think this is because of the Asus apps installed, as few are configured to run in background. The Adreno 405 backs the CPU well and rendering is impressive. I have played the popular Asphalt 8 and Marvels Contest of the Champions and no glitches were observed. Although the phone heated up and battery drain was fast.
Asus claims that its 4G can reach up to 150Mbps speed, which I cannot confirm. Although on the connectivity front the GPS and 3G worked fine and accurately. The call connection and voice quality were as per my expectation. The speaker grills placed at the back in lower section may seem to be stereo but they actually are not. The speaker output comes more from the left side but the quality is good and loud. Due to curved design the speaker output is not crushed even on rough/non-flat surface.
In terms of storage Zenfone Selfie presents two options- 16GB and 32GB. Out of the two I would suggest 32GB as it also has 1GB RAM extra compared to 16GB model. But if 16GB model seems to fit your pocket then both the handsets have an option of expanding the memory using an external micro SD card up to 128GB. Memory card slot is placed directly above the Sim 1 slot. This arrangement could be confusing for people who are less into technology, but anyways, once done then no problems later.
On reading that the phone has a 3000mAH battery one might say – “Awesome…“. But my personal experience was not good. On minimal usage the phone easily crosses the day with demanding its charger but with normal usage like 1-2 hours call, 2 hours music, normal social networking and playing games, almost brought the battery life to half a day.
The company has still not claimed much on this section but I think even with such a large battery backup one would require to either carry the charger or a power bank.
If you are looking for a change and your pocket keeps you under 20K budget phones then Asus Zenphone Selfie is worth a try. But let me summarize the pros and cons, as then you would be confident enough in your decision.
|Ø Classy animation and customizable screen options||Ø Heating problem in high resolution based games|
|Ø Customizable themes||Ø Slippery plastic body|
|Ø Awesome cameras||Ø Below expectation battery backup|
|Ø Sleek design||Ø Comparatively heavy in its segment|
|Ø Dual sim and both equipped to support 4G||Ø High amount of Bloatware, reducing RAM usage|
|Ø Expandable memory card slot||Ø No LED for screen bottom buttons|
|Ø 3GB RAM option|
|Ø Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protected screen|
|Ø Removable battery|