Design and Build
The Asus ZenFone Selfie sports almost a similar design to that of companys's ZenFone 2 which was unveiled earlier this year. Right above the display lies a stunning 13 MP camera module along with dual-tone LED flash and a speaker grille. The soft-touch Back, Home and Task keys are not backlight and we just wish that Asus will do a slight improvement and make these buttons backlit. Nonetheless, it seems the current design is here to stay, and fortunately it is not too difficult to adjust to.
The rear comes with a matte finish look but which is in fact a plastic build. Sporting a slight curve at all the edges makes the handset rest comfortably on your palm. The rear houses in a camera module on the top in between the laser auto focus hardware and the dual-tone LED flash. Right below the camera the volume rockers are spotted which is followed by the Asus branding logo. Moving downwards the rear panel, you will come across the speaker grille. The top edge equips the power button which is accompanied by a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone on either sides. On the bottom edge there is a micro-USB port and a primary microphone. The sides however are devoid of any buttons.
The phone is pretty big to the hands as well. Measuring 156.5 x 77.2 x 10.8mm in dimension and weighing in at 170 grams. If you have tiny hands then this may be a problem for you.
The Asus ZenFone Selfie flaunts a large 5.5 inch full HD display with a screen resolution of 1080x1920 pixels. As in for a precaution to stay protected from scratches the display has been layered with Corning's Gorilla Glass 4. The display is highly responsive and the colors are clear and warm. We did not however find the viewing angles to be great and accurate even with the use of IPS technology. Even in direct sunlight with the brightness turned to the maximum the display is crisp and the contrast too is pretty amazing.
You can change the quality of the warmth in the colors via the settings option but that may somehow result in adding a bluish tinge to the display instead of fixing the warmth.
Most of the smartphone manufacturers has began to use Qualcomm processors and the Asus ZenFone Selfie is not an exception to it as the handset is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor which is bundled with 3GB of RAM space. The processor is designed on a 64-bit CPU which is clocked at a speed of 1.7GHz.
The handset equips 32 GB of internal storage which can be further expanded to 128 GB. The support for an expandable memory makes the device more appealing for all the power users. The ZenFone Selfie features only the regular connectivity features which includes 4G LTE / 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS support. USB (OTG) option can also be found in the device. The dual-SIM technology supports India's 4G network bands on both the SIM cards.
The ZenFone Selfie draws juice from a massive 3,000mAh battery which can provide up to 11 to 12 hours of power usage. But with the powerful octa-core processor the battery seems to get drained out quickly.
Software and Performance
The ZenFone Selfie gets its charm from the Android Lollipop 5.0 which is indeed layered with the ZenUI which has been used by Asus since long. The UI comes pre-loaded with a number of apps which unfortunately cannot be uninstalled. Even though the UI has a lot of bloatware and duplicate apps it comes with several interesting features.
Gesture features, double tap to wake up the screen, one -hand operations and glove mode are all equipped in this UI. The highlight of the ZenUI is that you are provided with the liberty of customizing it as how you want it. The Easy mode helps you to use the handset in a simpler way by removing most of the UI elements and replaces them with big icons and uncomplicated layout. The Home screen can be modified with all your favorite apps and widgets.
The handset allows you to select the homescreen options, the menu layout, and gives a number of themes, wallpapers, scroll effects, and icon packs when you long-press the homescreen. In terms of performance, we have always been pleased with the ease-of-use and how smooth the user experience is. As was the case with ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 2 , we suffered no lag while operating Zenfone Selfie.
The Snapdragon processor is just a mid-level one and we should not be expecting the performance of a flagship from it. With 3GB of RAM space the ZenFone Selfie is able to perform without much lag and easily handles all the apps and games. Even heavy games such as Asphalt 8 did not makes the handset to shudder. The only issue we had was with the battery life. The battery as such is good but the processor seems to drain off the juice too quick. The battery life remains for a day and half with moderate usage and just over a day with powerful usage.
Another factor which we did not like about the Zenfone Selfie is the multimedia performance. The less-than-perfect viewing angles makes it unsuitable for sharing the handset with a friend while watching videos. Moreover, the loudspeaker on the rear is not loud enough as how we want it to be, even though the sound quality is pretty good and remains crisp and clear even at high volumes.
The major highlight of the handset is its camera for sure. The ZenFone Selfie flaunts two 13 MP cameras which comes equipped with five-prism Largan lens and Toshiba sensors which is supported by dual tone LED flash. The laser autofocus hardware on the rear helps the camera to focus subjects much quicker. However the LG G4 and the OnePlus Two seems to have better speed when compared to the ZenFone Selfie.
The selfie camera features the Asus's PixelMaster imaging technology with an aperture of f/2.2. The stunning 88-degree wide angle lens helps you to capture perfect groupies and selfies without missing out on any details. The images taken in the daylight looks natural and good. But images taken in a low-light was not that impressive but with the help of the low-light mode this problem can be solved. The LED flash which accompanies the camera module helps you to capture images even in the dark. The camera UI is pretty simple and comes with ample options to experiment with. You will get to use variety of shooting modes like Beautification, Auto, Manual, Night, Low Light, and HDR and even Depth of Field.
The image quality is notable. Both the rear and the front snapper is close to perfect with its features. Even though the handset takes quite sometime to process the images the camera is worth every peny that you spend since at this price point you couldn't expect more from a device.
Asus ZenFone Selfie is a cool competitor to the sub-Rs 20,000 segment and will give OnePlus One , Xiaomi Mi 4 and the ZenFone 2 a run for its money. The camera is outstanding and will give you the best of quality pictures. The 4G support for both the SIM cards will be an added advantage to get hold of this handset.
The design and build is quite good as the slight curves makes it more handy and easy to use. The massive display makes multimedia usage more fun and memorable. The processor along with the OS which is layered with the attractive ZenUI is worth talking about. W ewould like Asus to think more about the button placements which is in fact causing a slight inconvenience to the users.
If you are considering to buy this selfie smartphone, then you would be more than satisfied with the performance and the price tag.