Words and photos by Mark Escueta
Hello selfie-lovers, this one’s for you. Introducing the ASUS Zenfone Selfie. Running Android 5.0 Lollipop, powered by the Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 processor, Adreno 405 GPU, 3GB internal RAM, 32GB internal storage (expandable to 64GB via microSD), you can tell there’s much more to this phone than just photo solitaire. ASUS is, without question, a brand trusted by millions (myself included) so though I’ve never owned an ASUS/Android phone, I knew that this was going to be an interesting and enjoyable experience.
I’m never instantly impressed by spec sheets because it does not automatically translate to good performance. The only real-world way to find out is to try the new device with something you’ve been using for a long time. It could be your favorite app(s), accessing the internet, making calls, sending messages, taking photos, stuff like that. In my case, there’s no better (and fun-ner) way to test how “powerful” a phone really is than with a graphic intensive 3D game.
Driven by my newfound interest in racing quadcopters, I immediately installed FPV Freerider. This is a really helpful 3D simulator for anyone who wants to get into flying FPV (first person view). You learn the basics, without burning your wallet every time you crash. I was quite surprised that this ran very smoothly on the Zenfone Selfie. The movement, control response, and graphics handling was similar to how it ran on my MacBook Pro Retina. The driving game Colin McRae Rally also ran quite impressively, like a PS3 in your pocket. As expected, this phone had no problem at all handling simpler phone duties such as calls, messaging and internet browsing. Apps open quickly and transitions from page to page are very smooth.
The ASUS Zenfone Selfie is about the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus (5.5-inch 1080×1920 pixel resolution to be exact), dual-SIM, LTE capable and its major selling point is that the front-facing cam is the same as the rear cam – both 13 megapixel cameras with dual-tone flash (yes, there is also a flash on the front cam). Focusing is quick because of ASUS laser focusing, same as the Zenfone V2. There’s also ton of photo enhancements integrated into the camera software that are applied in real-time, as you shoot. All this for under P12,000, welcome to selfie heaven.
The verdict? I’m keeping this one as my second phone. My wife was equally impressed so I got her one too. Cheers ASUS!