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Review: ASUS ZenFone Selfie

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Filipinos love their selfies. In fact, we love it so much that Makati, the Philippines’ business hub, was named the Selfie Capital of the World. ASUS took it one step further and released a smartphone for the self-photograph enthusiast. Armed with a 13MP Pixel Master front camera, the ZenFone Selfie was born.

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ASUS ZenFone Selfie Key Specs:

  • 5.5 inch Full HD IPS display (1920 x 1080; 403 ppi) with Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • 64-bit octa-core processor Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 (1.5 GHz quad-core and 1 GHz quad-core)
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 3 GB / 32 GB (+microSD up to 128 GB)
  • 13 MP Pixel Master front and main camera; laser autofocus; f/2.0 aperture; dual LED flash
  • Dual micro SIM
  • LTE, 3G
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth v4.0; GPS
  • 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with Zen UI
  • PHP 11,995

Design

I always liked the ZenFone 2’s design, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I like this one too. The Selfie is a beautiful device. The clean look and minimalistic approach make it an unmistakable member of the ZenFone series. It feels good in the hand with great build quality, and features distinct design elements like the general shape, the curved back panel, the concentric circles on the chin, and the volume rocker on the back.

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The Selfie is named the Selfie because of the 13MP front facing camera. As you can see, the front facing camera is huge. To make room for this, ASUS moved the earpiece from its usual place in the middle to the right of the lens (the move has no effect on call quality). On the left is the dual LED flash.

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Display and Performance

The Selfie sports a 5.5 inch full HD IPS display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a pixel density of 403 ppi. The screen is beautiful with rich colors and good detail. You could even adjust the warmth and saturation under display settings to suit your taste. I have this one set on Vivid with a warmer tone.

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In terms of performance, the octa-core Snapdragon 615 does a good job of keeping the phone fast and snappy. The UI is very smooth with almost no lag. The 3MB RAM ensures multitasking won’t be a problem. During my day to day, I found the phone to be quite pleasant to use. I have not experienced any problems with the apps I use or the games I play.

Benchmarks

The ZenFone Selfie got a score of 37,352 on the 64-bit AnTuTu Benchmark. On Geekbench 3, it scored a 647 on the Single-Core test, and 2,561 on the Multi-Core test. The results are pretty good and the score is justified in actual performance.

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I don’t really recommend judging devices through benchmark scores, but it does give us an idea of the chip’s performance in this setup.

Camera

The Selfie is equipped with two 13 MP Pixel Master cameras. It’s the same one the ZenFone 2 has, so the results are similar. Take note that the test photos taken in Auto Mode. No editing or post-processing was done, just resized for web.

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The 13MP Pixel Master back camera’s photos have warm, natural colors with good detail. The laser auto focus is fast and accurate. I did experience some annoyances while focusing in close distances. In the “Cap vs. Iron Man Outside” shot, it took me several tries before I got what I needed. Here are some test photos.

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The front facing “Selfie” camera also comes with a 13MP sensor. Images have the same good colors and detail. Here’s a test shot.

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The photos are good, but it could still improve if you delve deeper in the camera app settings. It allows for deeper refinement of quality, colors, etc. For those serious in mobile phone photography, you could try Manual Mode. Here, you can adjust shutter speed, ISO, exposure and white balance.

Conclusion

I certainly enjoyed my time with the ZenFone Selfie. The smartphone is easy to recommend. It has the good looks and shooting prowess of the ZenFone 2. Performance is great and it’s fun to use. Plus the 13MP Pixel Master front facing camera will certainly delight selfie enthusiasts.

The ZenFone Selfie has an SRP of PHP 11,995. It is available in stores and online shops.

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