Asus is a Taiwanese company. It makes computer hardware, phone hardware, and other electronic items. ZenFone is their smartphone range. Asus ZenFone 4 has dual cameras like most smartphones this year. According to Asus, Zenfone 4 will give you an unparalleled mobile photography experience. Is that true? Let’s find out in our review!
Zenfone 4 comes after the success of the past phones by Asus. It comes with many hardware and software enhancements, various refinements in the phone line that the Taiwanese brand started with Zenfone 2 and is moving forward slowly and gradually. But, with phone upgrades come price rises! Asus ZenFone 4 is costlier then the phones before. This is the price you pay for proposed enhancements! In the box of Asus ZenFone 4 you will get a USB / Type-C cable, a pair of cheap invoice headphones, and a 5V-2A wall power adapter. To be honest, this doesn’t meet expectations and the charger should have had QC 3.0 standards at least. Not a good start.
The ASUS Zenfone 4 has some good hardware. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, the heir of the 625 and 626, and is appreciated greatly for its power management skills. It is accompanied by the Adreno 508 GPU and 4 GB of RAM. The memory is 64GB, which is great, and is expandable through micro SD (giving up the second nanoSIM slot). You also get a good range of sensors including gyroscope, magnetometer, accelerometer, light sensor and proximity sensor. On the front you see a fast fingerprint reader. Aptic feedback is missing on it. This means it is superficial and dry. An RGB LED is embedded in the headset and is clearly visible. It also has soft-touch buttons, that are touch sensitive and retro-illuminated.
The connectivity is good because of LTE data transfer of Cat. 12, WiFi ac and Bluetooth in version 5.0, NFC, GPS, but there is no FM radio. The Asus ZenFone 4 wins in the department of connectivity. There will never be connectivity problems. GPS navigation is also pretty good. The call quality is also very good. Both the stereo and the headset provide good quality.
Performance wise, ZenFone 4 has no problems. It performs the basic and advanced functions well. It will not go into a frenzy with heavy use. No matter how long you use it for, it will perform great. The phone is very responsive and performs every operation you want it to without freezing. The web browsing and gaming experience is also good. The loading time is only slightly more than that of top of the range phones. The user experience is excellent.
Unfortunately, the phone could have benefited from a better design. It seems to have no personality of its own. The designers should have been more creative and daring. The lines are balanced and soft but trivial. It is nothing you haven’t seen before. There is no optimization of the front frames. This is something which has been done and it has reduced the already missing aesthetic impact. On the front you see a Gorilla Glass 3 glass with 2.5d machining. The same thing is replicated on the back with a concentric circular frame beneath the glass that creates special light games. Ergonomics is of Asus ZenFone 4 is not good because of its size (155.4 x 75.2 x 7.7 mm). The phone is high in view of the diagonal screen of the 5.5 inches screen. The poor optimization is not helping at all.
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The display is 5.5-inch IPS FullHD LCD and the quality is great. The colors are vivid and the readability is high even in the sun. The calibration may not seem so good at first but a few tweaks in the settings will help you adjust the color rendering. So, it’s all good. Compared to ZenFone 3, the screen is great. Asus has done a good job here. The audio compartment which plays in stereo mode with headset and stereo capsules divides low and high frequency playback. The main speaker is not that deep though. There could have been some improvements here, but sound pressure and roundness compensate for it.
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The ASUS Zenfone 4 has 2 back cameras, a 25mm standard with F / 1.8 stabilized lenses and a 12 megapixel Sony IMX 362 sensor, and a 12mm wide aperture with F / 2.4 aperture and an 8 mega pixel sensor. Both can count on a color spectrum sensor and a dual flash LED. Pictures are good when there is enough lighting. There is a lack of detail with close-up photos. The picture quality drops significantly at night. This is surprising, when we consider the fact the hardware of the phone is great. The wide-angle camera is not that good. 120 degrees does adds a bit of amplitude but it does not distort the shooting experience.However, it is something more and a convincing solution to double cam. Selfies are pretty good, but only during the day time. The videos are just OK and can benefit from good optical stabilization and HDR.
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The battery is 3300mAh battery is fine. The phone will last for 5h30min with constant, intense use. If you use the phone moderately, the battery will last you whole day and may even have some left for the next day.
The ZenUI 4.0 is also there, which is a custom interface from ASUS which offers you a completely new software. The base is Android 7 Nougat but it will probably be updated to Android Oreo as soon as possible. Graphics have been improved, compared to the past, and the settings have been rationalized. This has eliminated the superfluity and made the system more enjoyable.
There are no advanced options which make the phone 4 very enjoyable since the first boot. There are no customizations either. The preinstalled app suite has also been minimized (but you can still download from the PlayStore any ASUS brand integrations). The system optimization is great. The phone is snappy and there are no bugs or inaccuracy. ZenFone 4 works great. Asus has done a good job and software improvements have worked wonders. The mobile management app gives you a single control center for all the smartphone management features.
Asus ZenFone 4 is available for 585 USD. The phone is very reliable and concrete. It is great in all aspects, from connectivity and phone, to autonomy and performance. The camera is fine but could have been better. However, the dimensions could have been designed and optimized better. The designers should have put in a little more effort.
Apart from the camera and the design, the phone is pretty good. I am actually amazed that the camera is not great, as the camera is on of the main proposition of ZenFone 4. It has PixelMaster technology too. The recording is also just OK. Maybe a software update will fix it.
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