Thursday, November 26, 2015

Review: Asus Zenfone Selfie

Oh yes, the Asus Zenfone Selfie. Some of you may be aware that I attended the event recently, and had a taste of some of its cool functions. Here’s my account. Fast forward a couple of weeks later, I finally got the phone in my hands and I’ve been playing with it for the past month. 

Fun, fun fun. I took selfies, but I think the Zenfone Selfie has made me want to take more. To the point where my kids would just look at me as I hold the phone in front of me, and sigh. They must be thinking ‘here mummy goes again’. But being the tech-savvy generation, they can’t resist taking selfies with me either. The little one keeps moving a lot though, and so far, we haven’t managed to get a proper clear shot! 

Alright, back to selfies. Yes, I hate to admit it, but now I enjoy taking selfies more and more. Usually, I look quite pale and tired, with terrible eye bags (blame it on the boy who likes to cuddle in the middle of the night), so I was not exactly a fan of selfies. Now, I’m amazed at just how good I can look, even though I only put on some foundation and blusher, with a little help from technology, specifically a photo mode called ‘beautification. So as I’m looking at myself on the phone, I can toggle with the different options to brighten or soften my skin, remove blemishes magically, say goodbye to the extra flesh around my chin, and even add more blush if I don’t look cheery enough. 

Selfie 5

See here? I was having a pimple on the right side of my cheek, but it magically disappeared! I think my skin has never looked so smooth and slim for a long time. Of course not, since I’ve never really been one to spend hours before a mirror ‘painting my face’ before venturing outside. But wow! The ‘beautification’ function really did wonders on my face. I think this is also because of the capability of the front camera itself. It is as powerful as the rear camera, an added bonus with the 13 megapixel imaging quality. In some ways, the front camera is more powerful, with a f2.2 aperture for taking photos in low light conditions, a 88-degree wide angle lens with dual-LED flash, a 140-degree Selfie Panorama for taking selfies with a scenery behind you, or just for those wefies with lots of friends. While I think the ‘beautification’ function will be the go-to mode when using the front camera, there are also 16 other camera modes such as slow motion, time lapse, low light, and GIF animation to have fun and to make photos or videos look wacky. It looks like the Zenfone Selfie is made for taking selfies and wefies with my sister. 

Selfie 1

I think I’m getting hooked on selfies. Yes, I even tried a ‘try to look sleepy in bed’ kind of selfie. That was how ‘inspired’ I was. I think I spent almost 30 minutes trying to get everything such as the pillow in the right position, while worrying that the kids will barge in and pounce on me, and look at me with wide eyes thinking ‘what weird thing is mummy up to now?’. But I did pull it off, I think. Skin quite clear hor? You can still see the little lump of a pimple there, but it sure looks less obvious than it does in reality.

Selfie 3

Now let’s talk about the rear camera. It’s just as exciting. Why? Because the 16 photo modes can also be used on the rear camera. You can really spend a long time taking photos of a single subject, and then deciding which ones are better later, which is what I did with this little yellow flower that I chanced upon one sunny day. I played around with the effect mode, which had effects such as sepia, edge detect, cartoon, pencil, hue, vintage and even LOMO. The kids? They kept themselves busy at the playground nearby.

Photo modes
Another evening, DaddySay and I brought the kids to another playground, where the playground was only lit by the park lights. I took photos using the low light and night modes. Below are the results. Not too bad for a mobile.

Playground 1

Playground 2 

And here are some photos I took during rare me-time lunch recently.

Arteastiq

Chestnut

At the rate that one will take photos with the Zenfone Selfie, memory is a key factor. This phone has 32MB of built-in memory, with a lifetime 5GB Asus Webstorage. It also supports up to 128GB Micro SD Card memory. One just has to remember to regularly sync and back up these photos, so memory will not run out.
IMG 7737
So, fun aside. How’s the hardware like? It’s as sweet as it looks. I got the Aqua Blue unit to play with, but the colour that tugs at my heart is Chic Pink. Plus, its sweet factor is heightened by the Lollipop. What? I meant it’s run by the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. So far that I’ve used been using the 170g phone, there’s been little lag, and it responds rather fast to finger touches on the scratch-resistant, anti-fingerprint Gorilla Glass 4 that, according to Asus, is 85% less likely to break. The 5.5 inch full HD display has a wide 178-degree viewing angle and I like how red and blue colours pop out vividly. The phone’s back case is thickest at the middle and tapers to a thin 3.9mm at the sides, so it’s really easy to hold. See? Even our in-house dinosaurs can’t help but climb all over it.

IMG 8122

Parents like myself will find the Kids Mode extremely useful. The mode comes with built-in parental controls and a timer to limit how much time the kiddos spend on the phone educating and entertaining themselves. There’s no need to repeatedly keep track of how long they’ve been having screen time. It may also help in cutting down the whining and begging for ‘Five more minutes please? Pretty please?’.

I definitely had an enjoyable time with the Asus ZenFone Selfie this past month. At a list price of $399 (without line contract), it’s quite friendly to the pocket. Now I’m really tempted to get one for myself, just so I can take even more selfies and photos.

Selfie 2

Disclaimer: We were provided with a unit of Asus Zenfone Selfie for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

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