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ASUS launched their Zenfone 4 lineup last month with no less than Korean superstar Gong Yoo as their newest brand ambassador. Part of their newest offerings was the selfie-centered Zenfone 4 Selfie (ZD553KL) and the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro (ZD552KL).

In these times when even your grandmothers are (literally) taking selfies, you’d wonder why the brand took so long in releasing a follow up to their relatively successful Zenfone Selfie (ZD551KL).

Was it worth the wait? Let us give you the low down.

What’s in the box

  • ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro
  • ASUS ZenEar with Microphone
  • Micro USB
  • Ejector Pin (SIM Tray Needle)
  • USB Power Adapter
  • Documentation (User Guide, Warranty Card)
  • Clear Soft Bumper

Specifications

  • 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) AMOLED display
  • 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core processor
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB Internal storage, expandable to 2TB via MicroSD
  • 100GB free space on Google Drive for 1 year
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with LED real tone flash
  • 24-megapixel dual front camera (12MP x 2) with Softlight LED flash, and 120-degree wide-angle
  • 4K UHD video at 30 fps for front and rear cameras
  • 3-axis Electronic Image Stabilization for front and rear cameras
  • 4G, LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • WiFi direct
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Front fingerprint sensor
  • 3000mAh battery with fast charging
  • Android 7 (Nougat) with ASUS ZenUI 4.0
  • 154.02 (L) x 74.83 (w) x 6.85 mm (T)
  • 147 grams (weight)
  • Hybrid Dual Nano-SIM or MicroSD slots
  • 2.5D Gorilla Glass
  • Finger and smudge-resistant oleophobic coating

2017 asus zenfone4selfiepro x1

Design

The ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is a good looking phone. The gold one we tested sported a white face, while the red and black versions feature black fronts. Its all-glass fascia with the seamless metallic matte-finish sides and back make for a sleek phone, with enough weight to give it a solid, premium feel.

It sports a 5.5-inch full HD display with 1080x1920 pixel resolution and is coated with 2.5D Gorilla Glass screen that provides protection from scratches. The face of the camera features its dual selfie cameras and its Softlight LED flash, on top, while the home button/fingerprint sensor is below the screen, with the back and recent buttons that light up when needed, located on its sides.

The back of the phone is clean with just the center-weighted rear camera and flash, as well as two antenna lines. Unlike the brand’s previous selfie phone, this newest iteration doesn’t come with a removable backplate. This may be a major issue for some as the battery is not easily replaceable. Another difference with these slimmer phones is their hybrid SIM trays which limit usability to either being able to use the second SIM slot or expanding the phone’s memory via MicroSD.

This hybrid SIM slot is located on the left side of the phone, while the metallic volume rocker is on the right side, together with the power button.

The top side of this slim phone is pretty bare, save for what looks like a secondary mic, but its bottom real estate is busy as it houses the headphone jack, primary microphone, USB port, and the built-in speakers.

User Experience

The first thing you notice when you hold the phone in your hand is that it feels nice. At 147 grams, its both light enough to be convenient, but heavy enough to maintain its premium feel.

The screen is bright, colors are crisp, and it comes with an auto-brightness option that helps with battery drain (although admittedly, I actually never use this feature). While the screen tends to wash out in intense direct sunlight (as most screens do), this can easily be remedied and isn’t too much of an issue.

The camera is snappy – and this is really crucial because most shots are taken on the fly, and it is easy to miss out on those “Kodak Moments” with slow focusing clickers.

You may notice that the front-facing camera seems to have better specs than the rear one. On paper, that may be true, because while the rear camera shoots 16-megapixels, the front-facing cameras are a combination of two 12-megapixel cameras that are stitched together with a Sony IMX362 dual-pixel image sensor plus other proprietary software that promise better low light photos, and overall performance.

Other features include the 120-degree wide angle for selfies, 10-point beautification for both photos and videos, portrait mode, HDR, Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), as well as 4k videos for both front and rear cameras.

Out of the box, it the phone runs on Android 7.1 (Nougat) and comes pre-loaded with ZenUI 4.0 that includes many (arguably too many) useful apps.

Voice quality is clear, and signal strength is strong even in problematic areas such as our concrete townhouse home base. Its 3,000 MAh battery lasts throughout the day with moderate-to-heavy use (data on, moderate Pokemon Go hunting), and the fast charging feature is much appreciated.

Value / Price / Availability

With an SRP of PHP 18,995, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is in the upper spectrum of the mid-range market, but still reasonably below the 20k mark. It’s available where ASUS handhelds are sold, and comes in three colorways: Deepsea Black, Sunlight Gold, (gorgeous) Rouge Red.

Verdict

ASUS phones are known to be workhorses that provide good value for money, and the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro does not disappoint. It’s a good mid-range phone that balances work with pleasure and definitely worth your hard-earned bucks.

What we like

  • Form factor, metal, slim
  • Solid build
  • Premium look and feel
  • Bright screen
  • Battery lasts more than a day with data on and moderate gaming (Pokemon Go, don’t judge)
  • SIM ports are located on the sides, no need to remove back plate

What we don’t like

  • Almost 20k price point
  • Internal battery, can’t swap out
  • Hybrid SIM slot