ASUS has just taken the wraps off its next generation ZenFone 4 smartphone range at its “We Love Photo” launch event in Taiwan. The series includes the standard ASUS ZenFone 4, ZenFone 4 Max Pro, ZenFone 4 Selfie, ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro and top rung ZenFone 4 Pro.
The Taiwan tech giant continues to put primary focus in the camera department, although what’s clearly missing is the official ZenFone “Zoom” variant. You’ll want to wait for the ZenFone 4 Pro, for that.
It’s sticking to its tested strategy of targeting different segments using one key feature (e.g. “Selfie” or “Max” for battery life) and pricing them accordingly.
On the aspect of pricing though, the ZenFone series continue to be priced at a premium over its competitors in its segments.
The ZenFone doesn’t look drastically different from its predecessor, sporting a glass-metal body with ASUS’ signature concentric circle finish. It’s probably just me, but I find it resembles the honor 8.
Talking about the rear camera specifically, ASUS takes the LG approach and uses a standard lens + wide angle lens approach.
As you know phone makers have executed dual-camera setups differently. Huawei puts and RGB + monochrome sensor in its Leica co-developed execution; while Apple (and previous generation ZenFone 3 Zoom) takes the standard lens + zoom lens approach.
ASUS has integrated a 12MP + 8MP camera, where the primary 12MP f/1.8 is a Sony IMX362 sensor while the 8MP unit uses an Omnivision sensor. The 8MP wide-angle lens has a 12mm focal length and 120-degree field of view.
The front camera is an 8MP unit with a f/2.0 24mm lens.
On the front, the ZenFone 4 sports a 5.5-inch FHD Super IPS+ display, and is powered by either a Snapdragon 630 or more powerful Snapdragon 660. It gets 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and 3,300mAh battery.
BTW, the fingerprint sensor is integrated into the home button.
It’s a nice all-round package, but if you’re in the quest for more powerful and willing to shell out for a flagship, then wait for the ZenFone 4 Pro.
Available colours: Midnight Black, Moonlight White, Mint Green
ZenFone 4 Selfie and Selfie Pro
ASUS gets serious about selfies (not that it hasn’t done before) with a duo of selfie-centric devices. Taking on “selfie experts” like the OPPO F series or the vivo V5s is clearly no mean feat.
The affordable ZenFone 4 Selfie is a Snapdragon 430-powered device, while the Pro version gets the excellent Snapdragon 625.
Both devices sport 5.5-inch IPS displays (FHD for the Pro, HD for the standard), 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and a 3,000mAh battery that charges up via microSD.
In the camera department is where it gets interesting. Both feature dual-lens set-up on the front (yes you read that right), with the Pro version topping with a 24MP DuoPixel f/1.8 + 5MP f/2.2 (120-degree FOV) camera together with LED flash.
The standard ZenFone Selfie on the other hand, boasts a 20MP f/2.0 + 8MP f/2.4 setup with an LED flash.
ASUS explains that the 12MP ZenCamera has two photodiodes per pixel which essentially lets the sensor capture double the resolution of photos. 24MP selfies? Why not.
The rear camera is a 16MP f/2.2 unit with LED flash.
Available colours: Rose Pink (Selfie only), Mint Green (Selfie only), Sunlight Gold, Deepsea Black, Rogue Red (Selfie Pro only)
The ZenFone Selfie and Selfie Pro runs Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0.
ZenFone 4 Max Pro
Just as it was positioned before, the ZenFone 4 Max is for those with a light wallet but want something with a huge battery.
This device delivers that in droves with a 5,000mAh battery that can deliver up to 40 hours of 3G talktime or up to 46 days of standby time. It charges via microSD.
It packs a 5.5-inch HD IPS display, Snapdragon 425 with 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage. Apparently, India will get a Snapdragon 430 version.
It features a 16MP f/2.0 + 5MP f/2.2 dual-camera setup with LED flash on the rear, and a 16MP f/2.2 front camera.
Available colours: Deepsea Black, Sunlight Gold, Rose Pink.
The ZenFone 4 Max Pro runs Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0.
And… coming soon ZenFone 4 Pro
The top-of-the-line ZenFone 4 Pro is what you’ll want if you’re looking for ultimate power, and most importantly a camera with a zoom lens.
The Pro will sport a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon 835, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and 12MP Sony IMX362 f/1.7 + 16MP (2x optical, 10x zoom, 50mm lens) dual-cameras. It will rock the world’s fastest Dual Pixel PDF—part of ASUS’ Tritech Auto Focus system with 0.03s instant focus. Also included are 4-axis OIS (photos) and 3-axis EIS (video).
Also, the front gets an 8MP f/1.9 2mm unit and comes with PDAF and EIS.
It comes with a 3,600mAh battery which charges up via USB Type-C.
Pricing and availability
Here’s a quick breakdown of pricing:
- ZenFone 4 Pro – USD599/MYR2,686
- ZenFone 4 (SD 630/660) – USD399/MYR1,979
- ZenFone 4 Selfie – USD/MYR1,413
- ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro – USD379
- ZenFone 4 Max – TWD5,990/MYR847 (unconfirmed)
The ZenFone Selfie, ZenFone Selfie Pro and ZenFone Max Pro are hitting Malaysian shores on 25 August 2017. The ZenFone 4 will be made available starting 1 September 2017. ASUS said it is working with Lazada and Shopee for the sale of these devices.
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