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Asus Zenfone Selfie Hands on: Banking on the selfie generation; similar to Zenfone 2, but better front camera

Asus Zenfone Selfie Hands on: Banking on the selfie generation; similar to Zenfone 2, but better front cameraAsus announced the ZenPad series as well as the Asus Zenfone Selfie smartphone addressed at the selfie enthusiasts. While the Zenfone 2 series was announced earlier this year, Asus decided to add on a selfie-focussed camera at Computex. We spent a short while with the Asus Zenfone Selfie on the show floor and here are our first impressions.
This phone looks exactly like its other siblings in the Zenfone 2 family, having the same plastic body with a brush metal finish on the rear side, curved arc back, the power button on top and volume rocker behind and so on. Our issues with the power button placement remain. However, the build quality isn’t bad.
The one major addition is the placement of a 13MP front-facing camera along with dual-LED flash, the same setup that is also there on the rear side of the Zenfone Selfie.
The Asus Zenfone Selfie sports a 5.5-inch screen with a 1920×1080 resolution along with a 403 ppi. It is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor. The new smartphone will come in two RAM variants – 2GB RAM and 3GB RAM. It also comes with an option to choose between 16GB or 32GB of inbuilt storage and can be further expanded up to 64GB via microSD card.
It also sports the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS with Asus’s proprietary ZenUI skin atop it. As we had mentioned in the Zenfone 2 review, there is a lot of bloatware, which was also visible on this phone. The model that we were trying out was quite smooth in operation and there was no unnecessary lag.
The main USP of the phone is its 13MP front-facing camera. It employs a 1/3.2-inch Toshiba sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and a 24mm focal length where as the rear camera has a 1/3.2-inch Toshiba sensor with an f/2.0 aperture with a 28mm focal length. Both the cameras also come with the laser autofocus system which helps acquiring focus quickly.
The user interface of the camera is similar to the one we saw with the Zenfone 2. The front-camera gets features such as HDR mode, selfie-panorama mode, selfie low light mode and so on. The image quality looked decent considering we clicked the image below on the show floor where the lighting is not always ideal. We will need to review it properly to give a verdict on its performance as a selfie-camera.
Asus hasn’t announced a price for the Selfie yet, and we have no idea when it will be launching in India. But considering it sports a 13MP front-facing camera and has 2GB RAM / Snapdragon 615 SoC, the pricing should ideally stay under Rs 20,000. We just saw a Micromax Canvas Selfie this week which also comes with a 13MP front camera but has a MediaTek MT6592 SoC along with 2GB of RAM and that is priced around Rs 15,999. So all things considered, Asus already has a competitor unless Asus takes the high road and decides to price it like the HTC Desire EYE, which comes for around Rs 35,500.
It will be interesting to see how Asus prices the Zenfone Selfie in India considering it already has the Zenfone2 selling across three price points for different specifications. Agreed the Selfie is catered at selfie-enthusiasts, but will its pricing cannibalise the Zenfone 2 series or vice versa? We will have to wait and watch.
Disclaimer: This correspondent was invited for Computex by Intel. Travel and accommodation expenses were borne by Intel.

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