- Poor battery life
- Poor viewing angles
- No flash
- No LTE connectivity
The Asus Zenfone 4 is Asus's first attempt at a basic budget smartphone. At 4.9 x 2.4 x 0.4 inches, the Zenfone 4 is downright small compared to many of its competitors. Reviewers point out that the petite size combined with the curved, soft-touch back panel make this a very ergonomic and manageable phone. They add that while the device is made entirely of plastic it is well constructed and has a nice heft that makes it feel more premium than it actually is.
In a market saturated with 5-inch+ displays, the Zenfone 4 sports a comparatively small 4-inch LCD screen. In order to stay in-line with the budget price, the display doesn't have the best resolution around at 480x800, but thanks to its small size it still manages a respectable 233ppi pixel density. For the most part, the screen delivers a solid experience with critics pointing out the fairly accurate and vivid colors. They mention, however, that the screen suffers from contrast shift when viewing it at different angles and poor bright light legibility.
With a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, the Zenofone 4 isn't going to wow anyone with its blazing speed. Still, it is powerful enough that experts had no problem performing routine tasks like browsing web pages, navigating the home page and launching apps. The 1GB of memory is on the higher side for phones in this category and allowed critics to have several apps in the background without a significant hit to performance. The device also comes with 8GB of internal storage and an expandable microSD slot. Sadly, it does not come with 4G LTE connectivity.
Despite its fairly solid performance, the one drawback of the phone is its poor battery life. The 1600mAh battery barely lasted reviewers a full day of standard web browsing and use. When they put video streaming into the mix, it only lasted a mere 3 hours. Luckily, the battery pack is removable so users can have a spare charged pack on hand if necessary.
For its price-range, critics were sufficiently happy with the 5MP rear camera. It comes packed with a slew of different modes like: HDR, Selfies, Panorama, Beautification and Smart Remove, which are generally reserved for higher-end devices. For the most part, reviewers were very happy with the image quality in good lighting situations though Recombu noticed some blurring and color inaccuracy. They were also fairly impressed with low-light pictures, though the lack of flash makes it impossible to take photos in extremely dark situations.
Although experts bemoan the battery life, overall they were pleasantly surprised with the Zenfone 4. NDTV states, "…the Zenfone 4 is a fantastically capable device…" Gearbun adds, "…the Zenfone 4 is one of the best Android smartphones to be released in recent times…"