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The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (ZD552KL) Review

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (ZD552KL) Review Rev. 2.0

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro was one of the key smartphones revealed at the ASUS “We Love Photo” event in Taipei. In fact, it is the top-of-the-line model in their Selfie line of smartphones, with two selfie cameras – one of which is capable of taking 24 MP photos! Let’s take a close look at the new ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie (ZD552KL) smartphone, and see if this is the ultimate selfie smartphone!

Updated @ 2017-10-24 : Added a selfie video comparing the viewing angle and video recording quality of the two selfie cameras. Made various other updates and minor corrections to the review.

Originally posted @ 2017-09-14

 

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro Specifications

ASUS launched the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (ZD552KL) together with a lower-end ZenFone 4 Selfie (ZD553KL) model. What’s the difference? Here is a comparison table of their key specifications :

SpecificationsZenFone 4 Selfie ProZenFone 4 Selfie
ModelZD552KLZD553KL
Design2.5D contoured Corning Gorilla Glass display with metal unibody & multiple colour selections2.5D contoured glass display with metallic-finish unibody
Display5.5" Full HD AMOLED display (1920 x 1080)
Greater than 500nits brightness for excellent outdoor readability
Capacitive touch panel with 10 point multi-touch sensing (support glove touch)
5.5" HD IPS LCD (1280 x 720)
400 nits brightness for excellent outdoor readability
74.2% screen-to-body ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 625Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Processor8 x ARM Cortex-A53 (up to 2 GHz)8 x ARM Cortex-A53 (up to 1.4 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 506Qualcomm Adreno 505
Memory3 GB RAM / 4 GB RAM4 GB RAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
One microSD card slot (up to 2 TB)
64 GB internal flash storage
One microSD card slot (up to 2 TB)
Main Camera16 MP Sony IMX351 sensor
- 1.0 μm pixel size
- f/2.2 aperture
16 MP Omnivision 16880 sensor
- 1.0 μm pixel size
- f/2.0 aperture
Front CameraDual Camera System

Main Camera (25 mm)
- 12 MP Sony IMX362 sensor
- 1.4 μm pixel size
- f/1.8 aperture
- Supports 24 MP DuoPixel, instead of Dual Pixel PDAF

Wide-Angle Camera (12 mm)
- 5 MP Omnivision 5670 sensor
- 1.12 μm pixel size
- f/2.2 aperture
Dual Camera System

Main Camera (31 mm)
- 20 MP Omnivision 20880 sensor
- 1.0 μm pixel size
- f/2.0 aperture

Wide-Angle Camera (12 mm)
- 8 MP Omnivision 8856 sensor
- 1.12 μm pixel size
- f/2.4 aperture
Connectivity4G : CAT 7 - up to 300Mbps download / 100Mbps upload
WiFi : 802.11n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.2
Micro USB 2.0 - supports OTG
4G : CAT 4 - up to 150Mbps download / 50Mbps upload
WiFi : 802.11n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
Micro USB 2.0 - supports OTG
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, dual standby
SIM1 : nano SIM (2G / 3G / 4G)
SIM2 : nano SIM (2G / 3G / 4G)
Dual SIM, dual standby
SIM1 : nano SIM (2G / 3G / 4G)
SIM2 : nano SIM (2G / 3G / 4G)
Fingerprint Sensor0.3 sec ultrafast unlocking, supports 5 fingers and 360 degree recognition0.3 sec ultrafast unlocking, supports 5 fingers and 360 degree recognition
GPSGPS, AGPS, Glonass, BDSGPS, AGPS, Glonass, BDS
AudioHi-Res Audio 192kHz / 24-bit support (4 X CD quality)
5 Magnet Speaker for louder sound and less distortion
DTS HeadPhoneX: 7.1 Virtual surround
5 Magnet Speaker
Battery3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
Available ColoursRogue Red / Sunlight Gold / Deepsea BlackRose Pink / Mint Green / Sunlight Gold / Deepsea Black
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Unboxing The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) comes in a white cardboard box with a sleeve cover. As it comes in three colour options (at launch), you should check for the correct colour using the helpful colour sticker at the lower right corner of the sleeve’s back.

Inside, you will find the following items :

  • One ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (ZD552KL) smartphone
  • One ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro bumper case
  • One set of User Guide, Warranty Information Form and IMEI stickers
  • One 10 W ASUS USB charger with micro USB 2.0 cable
  • One set of ASUS earphones and four earbuds
  • One ASUS SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro Up Close, Two Selfie Cameras, DuoPixel Technology

 

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The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro Up Close

Thanks to its thin bezel design, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) has a 5.5″ full HD AMOLED display in a form factor that is smaller, thinner and lighter than the iPhone 7 Plus. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass with a 2.5D contoured edge that merges seamlessly with the diamond-cut chamfer.

Everything is packed into a metal unibody chassis that is just 6.85 mm thick, and weighs only 147 grams. And yes, it has the 3.5 mm audio port. ASUS obviously put a considerable amount of work into the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check).

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, which they used most recently in their ZenFone 3 Zoom smartphone. Like the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom, it also comes with 4 GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM and 64 GB of internal flash storage.

 

Two Selfie Cameras!

This is the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s killer feature – two front cameras for the perfect selfies. They consist of a main high-resolution selfie camera, and a wide-angle selfie camera for group shots. They are both supported by a soft LED flash that is designed to deliver enough fill light for selfies without overexposure and harsh shadows.

The main DuoPixel selfie camera (on the left) has a high-resolution Sony IMX362 sensor paired with f/1.8 lens. This camera boasts twice the light sensitivity of competing selfie cameras, and the astounding capability to take 24 MP photos. Heck, it can even record 4K selfie videos!

The wide-angle selfie camera (on the right) has a 5 MP Omnivision 5670 sensor paired with f/2.2 lens. With a 120° field of view, It allows you to capture a group shot (a wefie) without using a selfie stick.

The two cameras work individually – you switch from one camera to another, depending on whether you want a close up selfie, or a group wefie..

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The 24MP DuoPixel Technology

You may be wondering how the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) takes 24 MP pictures with a 12 MP Sony IMX362 sensor. Note that these 24 MP pictures are taken in a single shot, not stitched from multiple shots (e.g. ASUS Super Resolution). And no, they didn’t just double the pixels.

What they did was make full use of the Sony IMX362 sensor.

The IMX362 is a Dual Pixel Autofocus sensor, which means each pixel has two photodiodes. Usually, the two photodiodes are used separately to speed up autofocus, before being combined to capture the pixel data.

When you enable the ASUS DuoPixel Technology for 24 MP photos, the signals from the two photodiodes are not combined to create the final pixel. Instead, they are used to create two pixels, effectively doubling the resolution to 24 MP.

DuoPixel does not merely duplicate the pixels. The two photodiodes are effectively two pixels sharing the same microlens, each recording different beams of light. This is an elegant way to double the effective resolution of the photo. The only drawback – low light performance will suffer because each “pixel” now receives only half of the light. Not to worry though. You can disable DuoPixel for maximum low light performance.

Next Page > The PixelMaster 4.0 Camera, Hybrid SIM & Fingerprint Sensor, SonicMaster 4.0

 

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The 16 MP PixelMaster 4.0 Camera

Even though the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s main focus is the front camera capabilities, ASUS did not neglect the rear camera. It has 16 MP Sony IMX351 sensor coupled with f/2.2 lens and an LED flash. It is capable of recording 4K videos. The camera does not support OIS (optical image stabilisation), but is electronically stabilised on 3 axes when it records full HD videos.

If 16 MP is not good enough, this camera supports the ASUS Super Resolution technology that captures and combines four 16 MP photos to create a 64 MP photo. The camera also supports a new Time Lapse Mode with Power Saving, which lowers the screen brightness and puts the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro into the Airplane mode. Now you can take long Time Lapse videos without worrying about running out of power.

 

Hybrid SIM & Fingerprint Sensor

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) has dual SIM, dual standby capability. It has a hybrid SIM tray for two nano SIM cards. The second SIM card tray (SIM2) doubles as a microSD card slot (up to 2 TB). Both SIM1 and SIM2 support 3G and 4G connectivity, but only one SIM card can connect to the 3G / 4G network – the other can only connect to a 2G network.

The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) has a fast, all-aspect fingerprint sensor integrated into the Home button. Our tests showed that it requires just 12 finger presses to register a fingerprint, and is very fast and accurate in recognising the registered fingerprint.

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ASUS SonicMaster 4.0

The audio aspect of smartphones is often overlooked. The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) has an impressive set of hardware and software audio technologies, which ASUS markets as SonicMaster 4.0.

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) is Hi-Res Audio-certified, so you can enjoy 24-bit / 192 kHz audio. It also supports DTS Headphone:X for virtual 7.1 channel surround sound over your headphones. It has a 5-magnet speaker driven by the NXP Smart Amp with 40% more power output and less distortion.

Next Page > Initial Setup, Ergonomics, Available Memory & Storage

 

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Setting Up The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and ASUS confirmed that it will be upgraded soon to Android 8.0 Oreo. It also comes with 100 GB of free Google Drive storage for 1 year. Let’s show you just how easy it is to set-up the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro.

 

The Ergonomics

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) may have a large 5.5″ display, but it is svelte at less than 75 mm wide and slim at less than 7 mm, even with the camera bump. It is surprisingly light at just 147 grams.

The large display with its full HD resolution is just perfect for watching movies. We also applaud ASUS for using an AMOLED display – it is generally more vivid and power-efficient.

We especially like the satin finish of the anodised chassis. It is smooth and comfortable to touch, and is resistant to fingerprint smears. The provided bumper case increases grip while protecting the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) without making it overly bulky, or covering up its look.

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Available Memory & Storage

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) comes with 4 GB of LPDDR3 memory, of which 1.8 GB (45%) is free to use. That is about as much memory as some smartphones ship with, so don’t worry about running out of RAM with the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro!

The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) also comes with 64 GB of internal flash memory. Of that, just under 51 GB is available to use. If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photos

 

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Main Camera Performance – Photos

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) uses the 16 MP Sony IMX351 sensor for its main camera, paired with f/2.2 lens. The full 16 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio. Each picture has a resolution of 4640 × 3480 and a file size of between 6 to 8 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

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Selfie Cameras Performance – Photos

The main selfie camera has an excellent 12 MP Sony IMX362 sensor with fast f/1.8 lens, and a resolution of 3928 x 2944. The wide-angle selfie camera has a 5 MP Omnivision 5670 sensor with f/2.2 lens, and a resolution of 2552 x 1912.

Here are three examples demonstrating the difference between the 12 MP main front camera, and the 5 MP wide-angle front camera.

The Omnivision 5670 sensor lacks the resolution of the Sony IMX362 sensor but did surprisingly well. While we naturally prefer the greater detail and colour saturation of the main selfie camera, the wide-angle selfie camera sure is useful in packing in more people, or more of the scenery in the background.

The wide-angle camera is best used in bright conditions. While it may not produce very high resolution photos, they are absolutely perfect for social media.

Next Page > Camera Performance – Video Recording

 

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Main Camera Performance – Video Recording

We tested the main camera’s video recording performance in both 1080p and 4K resolutions. It supports EIS (electronic image stabilisation) but only when it records 1080p video.

While it supports Hi-Res Audio, that’s only for playback. It does not support Hi-Res Audio recording. The noise cancellation is decent, but the recorded audio is a little too bright and lacks punch.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

The electronic image stabilisation worked well, greatly reducing the amount of hand shake in this video. However, the image itself appears to be somewhat blurred, with the colours muted and highlights overblown.

 

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The image quality when recording at 4K is so much better – sharp, with much greater detail and well-saturated colours. It’s worth trading the hand shake for the much better image quality.

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Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

The image quality in this test was better than what we saw in the Piano test, although the highlights were still overblown. The 3-axis EIS worked well though.

 

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

The resolution is really good – you can take very good screenshots from the video. But the lack of image stabilisation means that 4K recording is best done when you are stationary… or well, just use the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro with a gimbal.

 

Video Recording Test #5 : Video Selfie Test

Both front selfie cameras can record videos at the full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. The main selfie camera is noticeably brighter, but the wide angle camera has better control of the background highlights. The video from the wide-angle camera has a noticeable fisheye effect – you get a much wider view, but the corners will be distorted.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life & Recharging Performance

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) OPPO F1s
Work Performance Score
(Average)
7837 6655 4954 3884
Web Browsing 8623 7595 5143 3688
Video Playback 5282 4545 4515 3789
Writing 7692 7264 4948 4141
Photo Editing 10766 7824 5243 3933

Both the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Checkand the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, but the Selfie Pro is almost 18% faster. In any case, they both did much better than the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017), and the OPPO F1s in this test.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) has a relatively small 3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery. It lasted 10.25 hours in our battery test, which is pretty good considering its higher performance. Incidentally, you can see that the battery is calibrated to show 100% for the first 7-8% of its total capacity.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) comes with a 10 W fast charger. It takes about 128.5 minutes (2 hours 8.5 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%.

That’s a battery life : recharging ratio of just 4.8:1 – which is rather disappointing. After all, the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom uses the same 10 W fast charger to deliver a battery life : recharging ratio of 6.5:1.

Next Page > Gaming & Overall Performance, Our Verdict & Award

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) OPPO F1s
Gaming Score 14015 13844 13540 7666
Graphics 13470 13372 13548 7511
Physics 16328 15797 13510 8265
Graphics Test 1 80.7 fps 80.3 fps 81.1 fps 49.4 fps
Graphics Test 2 46.0 fps 45.6 fps 46.2 fps 24.4 fps
Physics Test 51.8 fps 50.1 fps 42.9 fps 26.2 fps

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) uses the same Qualcomm Adreno 506 GPU as the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom, so it performs at about the same performance level.

 

Overall Performance

AnTuTu is a nice benchmark for testing various performance aspects of Android devices.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) OPPO F1s
TOTAL SCORE 65302 63218 56431 41486
3D SCORE 13431 12966 15458 4868
– 3D (Marooned) 8230 7878 10511 3188
– 3D (Garden) 5201 5088 4947 1679
UX SCORE 24848 24089 18496 17640
– UX Data Secure 6226 5713 5295 4885
– UX Data Process 3404 2991 2612 2542
– UX Strategy Games 4611 4193 3671 2829
– UX Image Process 7291 7893 3373 3885
– UX I/O Performance 3316 3299 3545 3499
CPU SCORE 21357 20683 16459 14336
– CPU Mathematics 4304 4264 3132 3142
– CPU Common Use 7150 6673 5199 4805
– CPU Multi-Core 9903 9746 8128 6389
RAM 5666 5480 6018 4643

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) did well in this test, beating the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) by 16%, and the OPPO F1s by 57%. It even beat the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom by 3.3%.

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Our Verdict & Award

While the smartphone industry is focused on dual-lens main cameras, ASUS is taking a chance with the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Instead of placing two cameras at the back, they placed two cameras in the front. Now you have the choice of a high-resolution selfie camera, and a wide-angle selfie camera to fit more people or background into your picture.

The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) is targeted at the Millennials who show a clear preference for taking and sharing selfies and wefies on social media. They generally do not care about the resolution of their pictures because they almost exclusively share their photos and videos with their family and friends on social media and instant messengers.

What matters far more is the ability to take good selfies and wefies. Even better if they can create dramatic shots without resorting to ungainly selfie sticks. That’s where the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s wide-angle selfie camera comes in.

Its 120° field of view allows you to really pack in more people, or more of the background, into your selfies. And you can now take wefies, and more dramatic shots without using a selfie stick. Once you tried it, you will wonder how you ever “lived” without wide-angle selfie cameras!

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Of course, not all selfies require a wide-angle camera. For close-up shots with your loved ones, you will want a regular selfie camera with a field of view of 80° to 90°. You will also want the photos to be in high resolution for posterity. For that, you use the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s DuoPixel camera.

Not only can it take 24 MP selfies, it is paired with a fast f/1.8 lens and the awesome Sony IMX362 sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels. This makes for great selfies even in low-light conditions.

Even though it is a selfie-focused smartphone, ASUS did not skimp on the rear camera – it has a 16 MP camera with an LED flash. Neither did they skimp on its performance, memory and storage. It boasts a fast octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. And all that is packed into a thin and light chassis, with a very nice 5.5″ AMOLED display.

It’s not all perfect though. We did not like the 1080p video recording quality of the rear camera, and its battery recharging speed is rather slow. And we wish ASUS would have paired the wide-angle selfie camera with a faster lens for better low-light performance.

All that in mind, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is a great smartphone for those who love to take selfies. The wide-angle camera alone is worth the switch because it gives you better flexibility and creative options. For that reason, we think the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check) deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award.

 

Other ASUS ZenFone 4 Articles

Here are the links to our other ASUS ZenFone 4 previews and articles :

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home

 

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