Asus Zenfone Selfie review: Vanity light
The Asus Zenfone Selfie has got to be the company's most straightforward attempt at product naming. Sure, it does have the mandatory 7-symbol alphanumeric model string at its tail, which means zip to the uninitiated, but unlike the piles of different Zenfone 2's, in this case a simple Selfie will suffice to describe the specific model.
The title does well to advertise the smartphone's headline feature and in person the handset isn't shy showing it off either. Selfie could very well come before Zenfone with this one, as the front 13MP shooter has pushed the earpiece out of its customary central position.
A dual-tone front facing flash further emphasizes the device's priorities and is a bit of an exclusive feature. Setting aside rotating camera trickery like on the Oppo N3 and Honor 7i, you'd be hard pressed to find a smartphone with more than a single LED to shine at your face. The HTC Desire Eye is one, the only one perhaps.
At this point you'd be forgiven to think that the Zenfone Selfie is a one-hit wonder, but you'd be wrong. It can take on most any midrange competitor - after all, in 2015 the majority of those are equipped with the same Snapdragon 615 chipset anyway. Up to 3GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch FullHD display and a 13MP primary camera mean that the Selfie won't be shorthanded against all but the best-equipped rivals.
Asus Zenfone Selfie ZD551KL key features
- Dual-SIM, Dual Standby capability
- 5.5-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen with 1080p resolution and 403ppi density, Gorilla Glass 4 protection
- 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset; quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU; Adreno 405 GPU
- 2/3GB of RAM, 16/32GB of storage and a microSD slot for further expansion, 5GB free lifetime ASUS WebStorage
- 13MP main camera with f/2.0 lens, laser autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash, 1080p@30fps video recording
- 13MP front camera with 88-degree wide-angle f/2.2 lens, contrast detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash, 1080p@30fps video recording
- Android 5.0.2 Lollipop out of the box with Asus ZenUI overlay
- LTE Cat.4, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth; GPS with A-GPS; GLONASS; microUSB 2.0 port, USB host
- 3,000mAh user-replaceable battery
- Plastic build, back covers in a choice of colors and textures
- No 2160p video recording
- No NFC
- Rather large and hefty
For the record, the model number of the Zenfone Selfie is ZD551KL. We have here the version with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and there's a lesser 2GB/16GB option and surprisingly, both share the same model number. We're not big fans of the concept that the two numbers should be interdependent, but let's say that it allows for a more affordable base model, and that's a good thing where the Zenfone Selfie is positioned.
We are happy that the Zenfone Selfie has a few features, which are slowly going into oblivion in the high end segment. The smartphone takes microSD cards for expansion, and it also has an easy-to-access swappable battery - batteries on Zenfone 2's have so far been guarded by a dozen screws despite the misleading removable back.
So as you see, the Asus Zenfone Selfie is an intriguing handset and we all but ready to put it through our customary review routine, with unboxing and hardware overview first up on the next page.