After being wildly successful with bang-for-your-buck smartphones, ASUS decided they wanted to go down the premium route instead so in came the ZenFone 3 series, bathed in glass and metal like no ZenFone had been before. While it certainly turned heads, there was that group of people who couldn’t accept that they had to pay a premium price tag for an ASUS badged phone.
Was that the right choice for them? I don’t know quite yet, but one thing’s for sure, the company’s brand new ZenFone 4 lineup proves that the premium-ness is here to stay.
Today, the company is launching a whole host of smartphones and sitting at the top of the range is the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro. It looks like this year, the company may be ditching the Deluxe name for the more popular Pro moniker.
As expected from a 2017 flagship smartphone, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro will be powered by Qualcomm’s powerful 10nm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor. It’ll also feature up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage with the option to expand that storage further via microSD for up to an additional 256GB of storage.
In front, you’ll find a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display that has a peak brightness of 500 nits. Keeping everything running is a 3,600 mAh battery which is quite impressive considering the battery capacities most of this year’s flagships ship with.
One other interesting thing is that the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro will also support 802.11ad WiFi for the single-SIM variants of the handset, which would make the ZenFone 4 Pro the first smartphone in the world to do so. That said, considering the rarity of 802.11ad routers, you probably won’t be able to benefit from this just yet — but hey, talk about future proofing right?
ASUS is also touting the ZenFone 4 Pro’s camera capabilities as the company has decided to fit nearly every one of their new phones with a kind of dual-camera system. On the ZenFone 4 Pro, you’ll get a 12MP + 16MP camera combo with the 16MP f/2.6 aperture unit shooting short telephoto, granting the smartphone 2X optical zoom and of course access to Portrait Mode. The main sensor, though, is a 12MP an IMX362 unit from Sony and comes with a fast f/1.7 aperture lens and large 1.4-micron pixels. Its camera also packs 4-axis optical image stabilisation and an RGB sensor.
But that’s not all, the ZenFone 4 Pro’s camera also features the company’s TriTech+ autofocusing system that utilises the abilities of Dual Pixel AF, 2nd Gen Laser AF and contrast detection autofocus depending on the situation. ASUS claims that the smartphone is able to autofocus as fast as 0.03 seconds. In front, you’ve got an 8MP f/1.9 aperture selfie-shooter.
The ZenFone 4 Pro, then, has a lot of the high-end goodies you would’ve come to expect from a flagship smartphone for 2017. However, I am a little disappointed to report that water-resistance is not on that list. It does have a fingerprint sensor, though, it has moved to the front now.
The ZenFone 4 Pro will have prices starting from USD599 (around RM2,570).
If, however, you’re someone who doesn’t like the whole telephoto craze many manufacturers are currently having with their dual-camera systems, you can instead opt for the stripped down base-model ZenFone 4 instead.
This mid-ranger sports a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display (600 nits peak brightness), a Snapdragon 660 or Snapdragon 630 processor with up to 6GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.
Much like the Pro variant. the ZenFone 4 also features a dual-camera setup at the back. However, instead of having a telephoto lens, the ZenFone 4 comes with a 120-degree wide-angle 8MP f/2.2 aperture camera to complement the main 12MP Sony IMX362 f/1.8 aperture unit instead. In front, you’ll find an 8MP f/2.0 selfie taker.
It’s also featuring the flagship’s premium glass and metal body with a very noticeable concentric circle design at the back. One nice thing I did notice about the ZenFone 4 is the presence of backlight for the capacitive navigation keys which is a nice addition.
Battery, however, takes a hit as the ZenFone 4 only sports at 3,300 mAh cell inside to keep everything powered. For biometric security, the ZenFone 4 had it fingerprint scanner moved from the back to the front.
The ZenFone 4 will see prices starting from USD399 (around RM1,712).
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