Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review – From A Photography Enthusiast


My 1-year old Asus Zenfone Selfie (released 2015) have given up on me – the charging port is damaged. Good thing is that this smartphone has removable battery so I have to charge it externally. It’s a hassle so I then decided to buy the upgraded version – Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro. Read on for a quick review on Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro’s camera capability.

Last August 2017, Asus has released 4 Zenfone 4 series – Zenfone 4 Pro, Zenfone 4 Max, Zenfone 4 Selfie (upgraded of the old Zenfone Selfie), and the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro (obviously, Pro version of the Zenfone 4 Selfie). I was actually confused which of the 2 Selfie should I buy. All I know is that I love Zenfone Selfie because it offers photography functions like the manual setting of ISO, shutter speed, AWB, etc.

 

Zenfone Selfie vs Zenfone 4 Selfie  Selfie vs Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Comparison

Here’s a quick comparison on the specs that I usually look into when getting a new smartphone:

Zenfone Selfie                    Zenfone 4 Selfie             Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro

Obviously, there isn’t really a major update when it comes to the camera. However, I was quite disappointed when they weren’t able to maintain the display resolution of Zenfone 4 Selfie, in fact they have downgraded it to 720×1280. Also, there was also a slight change on the chipset from Snapdragon 615 to Snapdragon430. These two are one of the major reasons why I then ditched the Zenfone 4 Selfie and chose the Selfie Pro.

 

Selfie (Main Camera)

Aperture: F1.8

Did it live up to its name? Yes! The quality is pretty decent especially when the Duo Pixel Technology is enabled.

I do think that the camera can make someone photogenic (even without the beauty mode on). If in great lighting, it can make your skin tone lighter! It can deceive the eyes, really! HAHA! It may distort reality I suppose.

 

However, I really think that the focus can be a little too hard to handle. What I also don’t like is that the selfie camera didn’t include the PRO mode. The only options in the selfie camera is the Auto, Beauty, GIF, Selfie Panorama. I hope in future updates, Asus will be able to add more modes including Depth of Field mode, a.k.a, blurring the background. The Selfie Pro has a Portrait mode but I have observed that it is only applicable for humans not objects not unless you tweak it on the Pro Mode.

selfie camera modes (swipe left for this function)

 

pre-installed filters for both rear and selfie cameras (swipe right for this function)

Rear Camera

Aperture: F2.0

While its front camera is capable of producing 24MP, the rear or back camera is only capable of 16MP. Is that really bad? Nope, I do think sometimes that the quality of a photo is really not dependent on its MP or size.

rear camera modes

The rear camera has more modes than the selfie camera. These are Pro Mode, Beauty, Super Resolution, GIF Animation, Panorama, Slow Motion, Time Lapse. I’m glad they’ve included time lapse.

Pro Mode (Rear Camera)

When accessing the PRO mode in the rear camera, I noticed the latency especially when adjusting the shutter speed, ISO, etc. For Auto mode, latency isn’t really noticeable. The Selfie Pro was also having difficulty when adjusting the focus – I don’t think it has that laser focus. I never really have this problem with the Asus Zenfone Selfie.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro sample photos/videos:

One thing I did appreciate with the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is that it can produce quality images like the following. These are in manual mode. It was quite a hassle with the obvious latency when setting the ISO, shutter speed, and AWB in this.

P.S. The Nov. 26, 2017 system update of the Zen UI includes fixes on the latency in the Pro Mode of the rear camera.

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: ASUS_Z01MD
  • Focal length: 3.46mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/4s

 

manual mode (close up for static object)

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: ASUS_Z01MD
  • Focal length: 3.46mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/5s

another manual mode (close up for static object)

The following is azoomed image. It wasn’t performing well obviously. There was an ample light in that area as you can see in the pic but the result is disappointing.

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: ASUS_Z01MD
  • Focal length: 3.46mm
  • ISO: 81
  • Shutter speed: 1/40s

Auto mode (zoomed pic); not good result

 

In the previous photo, we have a solid black background. With the following pics, the background is mostly white. As you can see, the background seems to be more exposed.

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: ASUS_Z01MD
  • Focal length: 3.46mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/12s

closer (manual mode)

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.2
  • Camera: ASUS_Z01MD
  • Focal length: 3.46mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/11s

exposed white background (table color is white)

It blurs out the background but it didn’t have that much of an effect with the mode Depth of Field effect (available in the old Zenfone Selfie).

 

Outdoor

(auto)

 

In other aspects aside from photo/video:

Gaming – it runs smooth when playing Mobile Legends even with High graphics on. There’s a little frame lag but it’s not noticeable.

Browsing – it’s pretty fast actually but it is still dependent your net connection. Opening multiple tabs is easier compared to the old Asus Zenfone Selfie.

Battery – it’s decent enough for moderate use. It’s fast charging too.

Quick summary/review of Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro:

What I like:

  • Great with selfie on decent light
  • Performs well in low light (selfie cam); not much with the rear cam
  • Can lighten the skin tone of a person (LOL) even with the Auto mode

What I don’t like:

  • limited camera modes in the Selfie camera (no Pro Mode).
  • obvious latency in setting the shutter speed, ISO in Pro Mode
  • it has difficulty in focusing the subject (both selfie and rear camera)
  • can have too much white/exposure to the background (it whites out background)
  • can be hard to use with fast moving objects (not blur resistant)
  • bokeh/portrait mode only good for human/people not static object

Bottom line: it’s a pretty descent camera phone but it needs more improvement with its camera software. Autofocus and latency are  pretty much of my concern as a photography enthusiast.