Revisiting the ASUS ZenFone 4: A Formidable Premium Mid-Range Phone?

by Duey Guison  November 24, 2017

Is it Worth the Price Tag?

When the ASUS Zenfone 4 launched last August, it was met with a lot of heat due to the Php29,000 price tag. The premium level of the device was mostly hinged on their flagship-caliber dual camera set-up, which even had the “We Love Photo” tagline. Some people felt it was lacking though due to the 5.5-inch Full HD display as opposed to other smartphones in the same price range that brandished 18:9 near bezel-less displays. The question lingered on — was the Zenfone 4 worth the Php29,000 price that it commanded or was it grossly overpriced?

We revisited the ZenFone 4 after using it as a daily driver for a few more weeks and today we have our findings. Read on.

Build: Premium Gorilla Glass Back and Front

ASUS went all out with the build. They literally wrapped almost the entire phone in Gorilla Glass. Even the rear cameras were encased in Gorilla Glass to keep with the look and to prevent it from sticking out like a sore thumb. The combination of glass and aluminum metal for the chassis gave the phone a fantastic look and a solid heft and feel to it. With the exception of the Full HD display, this device definitely was in the caliber of flagships when it came to hardware.

If you want to keep it pristine, you can use the supplied clear case which came with the box.

UI: Constant Updates to keep it smooth

Staying true to being a premium smartphone, ASUS provided the ZenFone 4 with several updates to further improve the phone as a whole. During the time we had the unit, we received around four updates, and we noticed subtle improvements to the ZenFone 4’s overall performance. With those updates, the biggest improvement we noticed is the ZenFone 4’s wide-angle camera.

A standout feature, it was a no-brainer for ASUS to make minor adjustments for the ZenFone 4’s camera UI to take the best quality photos possible, regardless of which camera was used.

Cameras: OIS and EIS work seamlessly together

As a premium photo-centric smartphone, ASUS added all the best tech on the ZenFone 4, and that includes both Optical and Electronic Image Stabilization for its cameras. As they work in tandem, these premium camera features helped the ZenFone 4 capture video with minimal shake. This tech brings the ZenFone 4’s cameras at par with the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8. That being said, it is possible to take stable video footage with the ZenFone 4 without the need for a gimbal. Check out this video we made during ASUS’ Iloilo junket. Do note that all of the footage was shot handheld:

Multimedia: It has secret Audio Powers

ASUS is serious in marketing the ZenFone 4 as a premium mid-range smartphone. Aside from its photo capabilities, ASUS did not scrimp in giving the ZenFone 4 the best possible audio features. Aside from AudioWizard, you get additional goodies like DTS Headphone:X and Hi-Resolution Audio. You rarely find these features on smartphones within its price range, which makes it a strong point with the ZenFone 4’s premium pricing.

In addition to those nice audio features, you can optimize your headphones by selecting the right profile via AudioWizard. The ZenFone 4 has over a thousand headphone profiles from different brands.

Read: 5 Power Tips for Your New ZenFone 4


Verdict: It’s Underrated But Pricing is a Challenge

Here’s the thing — the ASUS Zenfone 4 is underrated. People don’t get to see how good it really is because they’re immediately turned off by the price. Other flagship devices are just a few thousand pesos more so it’s hard to not consider other options. The hard reality is that the ZenFone 4 faces a tough competition at its current price point.

Our suggestion? ASUS should test the waters for a discount this coming holiday season. If it picks up then they have proof to show that it sells well at a certain price point and then they can make it their permanent price. It won’t hurt to try.

Don’t forget to read on our full review of the ZenFone 4:

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    few more thousand you can get huawei mate series with that or get a huawei p or a samsung mid range with better resale value. the price is absurd for a mid range.

    underrated? baka overrated? lol.

    in the first place, it won’t be “underrated” kung hindi overpriced. Asus is overrating their shit, antayin nyo lagyan nila ng ROG logo ang next zenphones nila mas lalong magiging overrated yan.
    i mean you don’t even wanna recommend for people to buy this thing instead of just getting a flagship from other brands.

    Revisiting the asus zenfone 4 is also like revisiting the consumers’ comments. nothing changed really. And i still do think that this phone is grossly overpriced. Add <1k and you can already get Nokia 8 which has so much better specs than this phone.

    And if ever they cut its price to 50%, its too late for them. And nova 2i and oppo f5 will eat this phone for breakfast.

    They had great timing of releasing phones. but they have very bad pricing scheme. Walang competition ng ilabas nila ZF4 line up. sinayang nila chance sa sobrang taas ng presyo. kaya luge na naman sila.

    A few weeks after asus release the ZF4 line up, they announced they will releaseZF5 early 2018 and will concentrate on mid segment. An indication that their phones are not selling.