Since so many people use their smartphones to take selfies, why not make a phone with that ability as its specialty? That's probably why Asustek Computer Inc. (Asus) just rolled out an Android smartphone with 13-megapixel cameras in the front and back.
Among a group of products debuted at the 2015 Computex conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Asus showed off the ZenFone Selfie (pictured on left), designed to capture the best possible selfies quickly and simply. The phone’s two 13-megapixel PixelMaster cameras come with dual-color, dual LED "real tone" flash. The rear camera features a large f/2.0 aperture lens and laser auto-focus technology that promises near-instant focusing even in low-light conditions.
The Selfie also includes a feature called ZenUI Beautification mode that lets users employ live digital cosmetics in a few taps, such as softening facial features, slimming cheeks, and enhancing skin tone, all in real time. ZenFone Selfie also has Selfie Panorama mode that uses the camera’s f/2.2-aperture front lens and 88-degree field of view to capture panoramic selfies of up to 140 degrees.
The Selfie has a large 5.5-inch screen in a body similar to that of most 5-inch smartphones. It also includes a high-resolution 1920 x 1080 full HD IPS display with a wide 178-degree viewing angle and 403 ppi pixel density. The screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Asus said the phone has the industry’s first octa-core, 64-bit processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615.
We reached out to Jan Dawson, chief analyst for Jackdaw Research in San Jose, to get his take on the Selfie. He pointed out that this is not the first attempt to feature the camera as the difference-maker for a new phone.
"None of them have ever sold enormously well (without) other compelling features," Dawson said. "The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a great example of that -- an amazing camera, but it never sold all that well, because users weren't convinced by all the other features."
The Selfie phone comes on the heels of Asus’s Zenfone 2, which was released a month ago in the United States. The the difference between the two is the Selfie's upgraded front-facing camera and photo editing software.
Asus also added a quick way to access the Selfie’s front-facing camera: When the screen is off, a user just writes the letter S on the display, and the phone will move into selfie-mode. The phone's power button is on top and the volume buttons are on the back cover.
The Selfie connects via Bluetooth 4.0, GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, and micro USB. It will be available in a variety of colors, including white, pink, red, gold, and black.
The 4G phone, which will be released in the third quarter of 2015, can come with 2 GB or 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB or 32 GB of storage. It has a 3,000mAh battery. No pricing details have been released.
At Computex, Asus also introduced the ZenPad 8.0, an 8-inch tablet; ZenPad S 8.0 (pictured on right), a tablet with 4 GB of RAM; the Zen AiO Series, an all-in-one PC; and the ProArt PA329Q, a 32-inch 4K ultra-high-definition monitor.