Asus ZenFone Selfie Review - The Best ZenFone Yet!

2015, this year is undeniably the best year for Asus in the smartphone industry. From numerous successful releases that started with the beastly ZenFone 2 with a minimal price tag. With those initiatives and innovations Asus was able to change the market and they were able to establish themselves as a force to be reckon with.
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Asus ZenFone Selfie Review

And are not yet done this year, they released other ZenFone's like the ZenFone 2 Laser, ZenFone Go, ZenFone 2 Deluxe and the our topic for this article the highly interesting ZenFone Selfie. And it's our favorite among the bunch, find out why as we go through this review. :)

Asus ZenFone Selfie Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ Gorilla Glass 4 protection at 403 ppi
CPU: 1.5 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 615 processor
GPU: Adreno 405
RAM: 3 GB
ROM: 32 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 64 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP f/2.0 w/ laser AF and dual real tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 13 MP f/2.2 w/ 24 mm 88 degree wide angle lens and dual tone LED flash
Battery: 3,000 mAh Li Pol
OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop w/ Zen UI
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass, light, gyroscope
Others: Colors: Pure white, chic pink, aqua blue
Dimensions: 156.5 x 77.2 x 10.8 mm
Weight: 170 g
Price: 11,995 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
The standard box of Asus ZenFone

The ZenFone Selfie just like most ZenFone devices comes in a familiar looking box with a different print. When you open the box you'll get the paper docs, ZenFone Selfie itself, wall charger adapter and micro USB cable. It will also come with a ZenEar w/ flat cables for calls and decent musical enjoyment. What I'd love to see in the package that's not here is the inclusion of even just a jelly case as it is quite hard to find in the market.

Build Quality / Design

ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Side by side with a regular ZenFone 2 with the speakers visible below

To be honest, Asus took a bit of a step back with the build and design of the ZenFone Selfie. While it still feels solid and made out of durable materials, it made me miss the better back cover finish of the ZenFone 2 Laser and the regular ZenFone 2. It just comes with a regular slightly matte like finish. (It's good overall, I'm just nitpicking too much)
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Slimness of ZenFone Selfie

The arc back design of this device just like all the other ZenFone 2 devices give a good illusion of it's slimness. It also features a slightly taller frame due to the inclusion of a front camera sensor. Fortunately, it isn't a bad thing as the ZenFone Selfie still feels great to hold and still not as big as most 2013 - 2014 5.5 inch phablets.
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
At the back showing the camera, laser af, dual tone flash, camera and volume rocker

As usual, the volume rocker is ergonomically fitted at the back with the power button on a weird middle top placement.
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
The power button, earphone jack and mic on top

Just like the ZenFone 2 Laser, this device is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 that's probably the toughest glass as of the moment. I actually dropped the unit face down and it didn't even have a scratch. With the ZenFone Selfie, all you need to do is get a good silicon case for a better grip and added protection. Then I'm sure that this device won't break that easily unless you force it.
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Micro USB port and another mic below

In general even with some weaknesses, the ZenFone Selfie is still one of the best looking phones in the market today with better than average build quality.

Display Quality

ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
The display of ZenFone Selfie

While others in this price point still on 720p, Asus made sure that you'll experience midrange to flagship type of display with the ZenFone Selfie. It comes with a 5.5 Inch big enough screen with OGS IPS FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution at 403 ppi. Making it one of the sharpest looking display you'll see in this price category that has great viewing angles.

Just like the ZenFone 2 and ZenFone Selfie, this device packs a warm tone by default that prevents your eyes from hurting even after hours of straight usage. The color tone can also be adjusted depends on your taste and lighting condition. It also has the bluelight filter mode that lessens the harmful effect of bluelight especially when reading at night.

So far my only complaint here is the max brightness isn't as bright compared to the other phones and bezels is also slightly thicker than most 2015 phones. Fortunately, those are just minor things, the ZenFone Selfie is great in totality for viewing the photos you took, watching movies and etc.

To sum it up: FHD screen + 403 ppi + Gorilla Glass 4 = Even better display than ZenFone 2.

Audio Quality

I won't elaborate on this too much, but what I experienced with the ZenFone Selfie is very much like the ZenFone 2 4 GB RAM version and better than ZenFone 2 Laser.

The speaker out is loud, detailed and has minimal distortion. The audio out thru headphones is one of the better tuned and loudest so far that I've tried. It has a warm soothing sound signature that can be adjusted the way you like it via audio wizard and equalizer and has one of the best sound layering for a phone. In general it's a near HiFi experience expect this can't play 24 Bit / 192 KHz audio.

Battery

This is probably the main reason why I use this ZenFone more compared the regular ZenFone 2. Asus was able to do something terrific here, even with the use of a full HD screen and the should be power hungry Snapdragon 615 chip, this device was able to last me almost 2 days of casual usage where I do calls, social media, taking photos and browsing most of the time.
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
ZenFone Selfie heavy battery usage

Under heavy usage, it also performed better than expected. Other phones with similar setup normally last for almost 5 hours, but this device lasted a little under 7 hours! There was even one occasion where I was able to play 4 movies in one charge on max volume, brightness and WiFi on setting. 

The battery life of ZenFone Selfie is simply that good making it one of the longest lasting phones we tested this year together with ZenFone 2 Laser.

Note: The ZenFie also has a fast charging tech that enables you to have over 50% of charge under 50 mins and full charge in less than an 1:50 hours.

Camera

The best part of the ZenFone Selfie is of course, the front camera. It boast the same capabilities and mega pixel power of the rear camera at 13 MP. The only difference is the aperture size as the rear camera is still slightly better at f/2.0 against f/2.2. It also has probably the best flash I've tested in the front camera that was able to give me almost natural like results.

Quality-wise the result is just as expected, the laser auto focus provides the very fast focusing experience for a phone and a faster than average shutter speed. The delay going back to the photo view of the phone is also almost non-existent with the unit I have compared with the ZenFone 2 Laser.

It can produce better than average to excellent pro camera level camera shots especially when you mastered using it. The color tone is a bit on the warmer vivid side with great sharpness of the image. The ZenFone Selfie also doesn't have a hard time taking photos even when you're very near the subject, beating even the likes of the Note 4 and iPhone 6 in macro focusing performance. Then as usual it also has the burst mode function that can take up to 100 photos by long pressing the volume rocker either up or down.

Note: You can only use the 13 MP setting on 4:3 ratio just like most devices. I would have liked it better the full 13 MP can be used even with 16:9 resolution.

When it comes to video recording, the ZenFie is also a pretty capable recorder especially for video chats and even doing on the go pod-casting.


Lastly, the best part of its selfie camera is it has all the features you can see in the rear camera of the phone. From manual, hdr, super resolution, lowlight, night depth of field, effect, selfie, beautify, gif, panorama, time rewind, miniature, time rewind, panosphere and smart remove features.

Sample Shots (Rear)

ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Classic ZenFone HDR vs regular shot
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
The lovely mural at Satchmi Store
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
DOF shot after the rain, look at the background blur and details
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Let's eat! ZenFone devices are great for food shots

Sample Shots (Selfie)

Wide angle test
Wide angle mode at 10 MP is great for groufies!
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Yes this is a selfie shot :)
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
The not overly done beautify feature that most girls and even men would love
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
It's time (Selfie time), on HDR
Yes HDR in front
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Selie DOF mode in dim light
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Selfie DOF mode after the rain, the quality of the photo will speak for itself
Even my pores is visible in this image (LOL)
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Selfie flash function in action

Performance

ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
It has all the features found in most ZenFone devices

The overall performance of this phone is smooth and consistent. Thanks to the use the stable and efficient Zen UI even with bloatwares as it remains to be one of the better UI available for Android today.
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Mortal Combat X with no lag at all
It also features capable 64 Bit Snapdragon 615 chipset and 3 GB of RAM for better multitasking. I can switch from one app to another with ease, open multiple apps with almost no hiccups, and gives me an almost flagship level performance. The 4 GB RAM Intel variant of the ZenFone 2 is still faster, but this one is not that far behind that's hardly noticeable even for some heavy users.

Another thing that surprised me here is the heating issue I had with several Snapdragon 615 units we tested is almost non-existent. Asus did a terrific job with the cooling system of this phone that can enable you to play for hours without worrying about that. When it comes to connectivity, I never had a problem with this phone while using WiFi, LTE, 3G and Bluetooth connections.

That makes this device a great daily driver for gaming, multimedia and social media phone due to it's balanced power and great battery life. 

Benchmarks

ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Antutu and multi touch score
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
Geekbench and quadrant
ZenFone Selfie Review, The Best ZenFone Yet!
GPU Bench score

Pros - Long battery life, fast charging tech, efficient performance, good audio quality, great rear and front camera, selfie flash, fantastic value for money
Cons - The usual bloatwares, not that bright display

Verdict

All of the above mentioned traits, makes the "Asus ZenFone Selfie the best ZenFone yet" for my lifestyle. It was was able to fix the battery life issue I had with the ZenFone 2 Intel variant and the lack of power for the heavy users with ZenFone 2 Laser. Priced at just, 11,995 Pesos, you'll get a perfectly balanced phone that has good performance, near HiFi grade audio, great camera and long battery life. That makes this phone the cheapest smartphone to boast this powerful setup as of today.

To sum it up the, ZenFone Selfie an incredible value for money even when compared to more expensive midrange even against some of the higher end phones. A surefire must buy under 12,000 Pesos.

GIZ Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
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