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ASUS goes dual-camera crazy for its ZenFone 4 series

August 17, 2017 11:25 AM
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ASUS goes dual-camera crazy for its ZenFone 4 series

The smartphone maker is trying a bit of everything here.

The similar-looking ZenFone 4's (ZE554KL) fancy concentric circle pattern on the back (except for the mint green version) may mislead you into thinking it's the higher-end model, but its innards tell a very different story (ASUS has a tendency to apply this design to its mid-range models like the ZenFone 3). Its 5.5-inch 1080p display uses LCD instead of AMOLED, though it does have a higher 600-nit brightness. It also packs the mid-range octa-core Snapdragon 660 or Snapdragon 630 chipset instead, and it uses a slightly smaller 3,300 mAh battery, a single speaker plus dual-mic noise cancellation only.

Most notably, though, its dual camera serves a very different purpose. You still get the nice 12-megapixel Sony IMX362 for the main sensor (albeit with a slightly slower f/1.8 aperture, likely due to a different lens used here), but its secondary sensor here is for a 120-degree super wide view -- a massive jump from the main sensor's 83-degree view. It's as if ASUS has taken a page out of LG's book here. This consists of an 8-megapixel OmniVision 8856 (1.12um pixels) with a slightly slower f/2.2 aperture. And due to the nature of this camera, the portrait mode here uses software instead of hardware like on the Pro. The front camera also uses the same OmniVision sensor but with the more conventional 84-degree wide-angle view plus f/2.0 aperture.

Like the Pro model, the ZenFone 4 also comes with up to 6GB of RAM but only up to 64GB of storage, though the latter can also be extended via microSD using the second SIM slot. The starting price for this model is $399.

We're not done yet. As you can tell by the name, the ZenFone 4 Selfie series is all about taking selfies and "wefies" (ASUS' word, not ours), hence the use of a dual camera on the front here for toggling a super wide view. Out of the two models, you can easily spot the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (ZD552KL) by its slick aluminum unibody which comes in at just 6.85mm thick.

The dual camera's main sensor packs the same flagship 12-megapixel, 1.4um Sony IMX362 sensor, though its dual-pixel AF has been cunningly rejigged to output 24-megapixel sefies, because apparently there are users who want to print their selfies. Furthermore, you'll also be able to take 4K selfie videos. For the 120-degree super wide angle selfie capture, you'll have to switch to the secondary sensor which, for some reason, comes with a disappointingly low 5-megapixel resolution (OmniVision 5670, 1.12um, f/2.2). The f/2.2 main camera here uses the 16-megapixel, 1um Sony IMX351 which we (keep up!) already saw in the ZenFone 4 Pro's dual camera.

The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro runs on an octa-core Snapdragon 625 chipset and packs up to 4GB of RAM plus 64GB of storage, along with microSD expansion via the second SIM slot. It also comes with a 3,000 mAh battery which is pretty good given its thickness. The only odd thing about this new phone is its micro-USB port, but ASUS reps reasoned that the main markets they are targeting with this series are still mainly using micro-USB, which would make sense. It'll be available in red, gold and black, and prices here start at $379.


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