We review the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite!
The Lite Version of the ZenFone 4 Selfie is aimed at those who want a taste of ASUS’ selfie-oriented features but are on a tight budget. At Php 7,995, you get identical front and rear cameras, both sporting a f/2.0 aperture, ensuring that you get great shots all the time. But does it live up to our expectation as a budget Selfie Master? Let’s take a quick look at its specs:
ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite Specs
- Snapdragon 425 Quad-Core Processor
- 2GB RAM
- 5.5-inch HD IPS Display
- 16GB Internal Storage
- 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera with LED flash and PDAF
- 13-megapixel f/2.0 front camera with LED flash
- 4G, LTE
- Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Fingerprint Scanner
- 3000mAh battery
- Android Nougat (7.0) with ZenUI 4.0
Looks like the regular ZenFone 4 Selfie
Upon first glance, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite definitely looks like the ZenFone 4 Selfie, which is Php 5K more expensive. The differences come with the screen and front camera setup: On the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite uses a single 13-megapixel selfie camera instead of a dual front camera. As for the screen, you also get the same HD panel that is used for the ZenFone 4 Selfie. Likewise, you also get a front mounted fingerprint scanner as well.
The same goes for the rear: The ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite uses the same plastic back used in the ZenFone 4 Selfie, but trades in the 16-megapixel rear camera for a 13-megapixel unit. It is the same unit used for the front camera, in case you may ask.
The ports are also the same: On the bottom, you have your microphone, MicroUSB port, and speaker. On the right side, you have your power and volume buttons. On the left, you have a full-size SIM tray, where you can use two Nano SIMs and a MicroSD at the same time. Lastly, you have your headphone jack on top.
Good display, but adaptive brightness needs calibration
Even if it only uses an HD panel, the display delivers vibrant colors that are pleasing to the eyes, making it suitable for watching videos and playing games. However, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite’s Adaptive Brightness needs some calibration, as it sometimes is dimmer than usual in some situations. To remedy this, we would set the brightness to the maximum setting while Adaptive Brightness is turned on.
Average budget level performance
Equipped with a Snapdragon 425 processor and 2GB of RAM, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite is good for most tasks. With an AnTuTu Score of 36519, it falls a bit below the average of comparable phones within its price range. Multitasking with the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite is doable, but expect some hiccups when opening RAM-heavy apps like games.
As for games, ASUS’ Game Genie does wonders in optimizing the phone for playing games even if it is only equipped with 2GB of RAM, just like the interface used with the Samsung Galaxy J7 Core. Results from GameBench confirm the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite’s capabilities for gaming
Improved ZenUI, but bloatware slows it down
One of the biggest improvements with ZenUI 4.0 is that it has drastically reduced the number of bloatware installed in order to speed up their phones. It’s a commendable effort on ASUS’ part; however, they could have reduced the amount of bloatware on the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite further, as you are left with only 7GB of internal storage (from its advertised 16GB storage), which is way smaller to comparable phones with 16GB of storage. We do think that had they increased the usable internal storage on the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite, it could have made the phone faster overall.
Fortunately, the MicroSD slot is a life saver, as you can choose to install your media files (and some apps) via the memory card to free up space on the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite’s diminutive internal storage.
Average cameras, but portrait mode does wonders
With its 13-megapixel cameras, we managed to get decent photos with the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite. On daylight and harsh light, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite does things well. During the period that we had the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite, ASUS issued two camera-related updates, and we noticed improvements in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite’s way of processing photos and on the overall speed of its camera UI.
However, the cameras do struggle a bit with mixed lighting and low light; Photos we shot in low light resulted in smudgy images when you zoom into the details. Even with the two camera updates, photos taken in lowlight situations remain smudgy but we notice some improvement in preserving color detail
As for its portrait mode; the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite gets the job done especially with selfies. Whether it may be a selfie or (as ASUS would put it) wefie, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite is a great shooter. Its bokeh effect for selfies is cleanly executed even if it uses a single camera setup.
Check out some of the photos we shot with it:
Impressive battery life
Even with a 3000mAh battery, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite’s use of an HD display and a power-efficient Snapdragon 425 processor gave it long legs. With PCMark’s battery test, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite scored an impressive 10 hours and 12 minutes, which should last you for at least a day on heavy use, and close to two days if you are a light user.
The slight catch with its power efficient battery is that the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite does not have fast charging. Charging it from 15% to 100% would take around 2 hours.
Verdict: A suitable selfie shooter for the budget-conscious
While updates on its camera helped improve the way it processes photos, ASUS should consider issuing updates on its display, since the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite’s Adaptive Brightness option is not that accurate.
We give props to ASUS for reducing the amount of bloatware with ZenUI 4.0; however, we that as a “lite” version, ASUS could have reduced bloatware on the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite so that users can make better use of its 16GB internal storage.
Even if ASUS downgraded the spec sheet on the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite to keep prices down, it is a good buy if you are looking for a selfie-centric smartphone on the budget. Don’t underestimate its 2GB of RAM, as the ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite performs well on most tasks—games included.
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