Asus’ ZenFone 4 Pro offers high-end photography and networking

With a ZenFone 4 Pro in your hand, Asus wants you to be taking tons of photos and sharing them at blazingly-fast speeds. The company's latest phone has a big focus on photography, and some impressive network connectivity you probably don't even have at home yet.

Like many of the other popular phones this year, the ZenFone 4 Pro is a dual-camera device. The phone's main camera combines a unit with a 12-MP Sony IMX362 sensor with a second eye containing a 16-MP Sony IMX351 sensor. That second snapper has a 120° wide-angle lens that offers 2X optical zoom and up to 10X total zoom. The two lenses combined allow you to take portrait shots with bokeh-effect backgrounds.

The phone is capable of capturing 4K video at 30 FPS, and has electronic image stabilization to smooth out your shots. If you want to capture slow-motion shots, the camera can also do 120 FPS at 1920×1080 resolution. There's also a time-lapse mode that can turn off the phone's display and radios to save battery while recording those gorgeous Yosemite stars.

On the networking side, the phone's Snapdragon 835 SoC contains an X16 LTE cellular modem that supports download speeds of up to 1Gbps over a compatible network connection, Bluetooth 5, and 802.11ad wireless connectivity—better known as WiGig. The list of routers that support the fledgling network standard is pretty short so far, but it's good to have support for it nonetheless.

The phone's design feels pretty standard otherwise. The screen is a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 1920×1080 resolution, and the handset is wrapped in curved glass, making it a bit heavier than some competitors at 6.2 oz (176 g). Inside, the SoC is paired with up to 6 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of storage, expandable with a microSD card. Asus says the memory and storage specs may vary by region.

The dual speakers are complemented by a headphone jack that offers DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtualization and support for 192kHz audio. The handset's powered by a 3600 mAh battery that Asus says will charge up to 50% in about half an hour. The ZenFone 4 Pro will be available in black and white models. Asus hasn't yet announced a price or release date.

Comments closed
    • Major-Failure
    • 2 years ago

    “high end photography” … 1/2.55″ sensor … something doesn’t fit.

    Maybe it should read “high end snapshots” instead of photography. For the latter, I’d have expected a 1” sensor at least.

    • ikjadoon
    • 2 years ago

    802.11ad; that is, WiGig? Didn’t Intel just abandon that?

    I guess routers (i.e, Qualcomm, Broadcom, etc.) are still implementing it.

      • backwoods357
      • 2 years ago

      Yep. Tech that currently has no footprint and won’t during the lifetime of the phone. Intel abandoned it in 2015 IIRC, and it’s really only used in a few purpose built wireless dock setups.

      • mdkathon
      • 2 years ago

      IIRC, the 802.11ad spec is more for wireless display, and wireless serial (docking…) functions.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 2 years ago

    cool phone. given the price premiums that phones have shot up to this past year and assuming a certain level of quality… if they nail the price they could get some great volumes.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 2 years ago

    EIS is not a suitable alternative to actual Optical IS, and in every sample I’ve seen implemented thus far, actually makes footage much worse (though stable, it’s damaged by a watery pattern). The big-boy camera EVA1 by Panasonic *might* have solved this problem, but no comparative footage has yet surfaced. That’s about an $8K camera. I certainly don’t expect to see the problem solved in a mid-range phone by a second or third-tier mobile phone maker.

    EIS also crops the image, FYI.

    OIS or GTFO, if you care about your video quality at all.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    For those who want a phone with a yuge battery you may wanna check out the Zenfone 4 Max. It has a 5,000mAh battery. Once you’ve tried it you’ll never look back. In my country it goes by the model ZC554KL.

    • ozzuneoj
    • 2 years ago

    Why do I bother reading about all these phones? Even if I for some reason wanted a new phone to replace my LG G2, only the most common phones are ever supported on the Verizon network these days, and anything other than Verizon isn’t worth using in my area.

    It must be nice to have good GSM service everywhere you go. It also seems to never work inside large buildings in places that Verizon does… maybe due to older towers or something.

    I’m on Tracfone, and I’ve considered switching to a GSM device and just dealing with spotty service. Not only do you get a better selection of phones at lower prices, most manufacturers will allow you to do whatever you want with the phone (meaning, unlocking bootloaders), where as Verizon doesn’t “let” manufacturers do this.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      If you’re looking to replace a G2 with a good-value-for-money phone, Verizon just started selling the Zenphone V. It has a Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage for $384. The phone also has a 23-megapixel camera with OIS. Seems like a solid value. It’s like 2016 specs for under $400. If you’re on Verizon, it seems like the best bang for the buck.

      The Verge poo-poohed it, but I see no downsides other than the usual “Will the OEM support it with updates” rigamarole.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      What’s the reason why so many phones cant support Verizon cell band?

        • druidcent
        • 2 years ago

        It’s not the cell band.. it’s that Verizon uses CDMA almost exclusively.. That being said most phones do have CDMA capabilities, and can connect to VZW’s network these days, VZW just doesn’t advertise the support. (Basically you can pop in a CDMA SIM card and it should connect). I’d check out the XDA forums to be extra sure though.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Verizon is getting close to a point where they can drop CDMA and go LTE-only. If you’re on Verizon and your phone says 4G LTE (or just LTE on an iPhone) and if HD Voice is enabled, then it’s using LTE only, for both voice and data. There are times, though, where I can’t get a solid LTE signal (in an enormous building with 40+ year-old wiring, mostly) and it switches to “3G”. Only then is it on CDMA EV-DO RevA.

          The dumb phones on Verizon aren’t so lucky. Only one of the phones currently offered by Verizon has VoLTE that I can tell – Kyocera Cadence LTE. The other handful are all CDMA phones.

          Still, most of Verizon’s customers are on smartphones (just like every other carrier) so most of them are probably OK on an all-LTE network.

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    Another question: will this support Band 71?

    So far, the only phone that seems to is the LG V30. And only T-mobile seems to be building a Band 71 (600 MHz) network. It just seems odd to me that T-mob is spending so much money and effort building a network that (essentially) no phones support (yet).

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      Nope.

      [url<]https://www.asus.com/us/Phone/ZenFone-4-Pro-ZS551KL/Tech-Specs/[/url<] North American model is labeled "US/CA/BR/CO" FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 29, 30) TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 41) WCDMA (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19) EDGE/GPRS/GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz) T-Mobile needs high-penetration networks for inside buildings, so they're going to build the network. They're building it in a brand new spectrum, though. It's the old analog TV broadcast range. So the phone support will eventually catch up. Just not here.

      • UberGerbil
      • 2 years ago

      Well, it’s a chicken and egg thing. The band didn’t exist (in the sense that there was no network operating on it) until very recently, so [url=http://bgr.com/2017/08/28/galaxy-note-8-t-mobile-600mhz-support-vs-lg-v30/<]none of the existing chipsets supported it[/url<]. Now that TMo is rolling out a network, they'll undoubtedly be offering "exclusive" phones that use it (which might actually be a good marketing move, if they spend the money to exploit it). Eventually that band will just be a checklist item like every other band and all the major unlocked phones will have it, but given the lead time (FCC approval, etc) that's not going to happen right away -- TMo claims there will be at least one Samsung available before the end of the year, in addition to the LG, but that's probably it for 2017. I agree that band is interesting / desirable, and should go a long way to putting TMo on an even footing against its competitors outside of urban cores. But it's going to take them a while to roll out the network; unless you happen to live in one of the areas* they're targeting first, or you plan to hang onto your phone you're about to buy for a very long time, it's probably a checklist item for your [i<]next[/i<] phone. ∗ per [url=https://newsroom.t-mobile.com/news-and-blogs/cheyenne-600-mhz.htm<]TMo[/url<][quote="[url=https://newsroom.t-mobile.com/news-and-blogs/cheyenne-600-mhz.htm<]Tmo[/url<]"<]Wyoming, Northwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia, and Eastern Washington.[/quote<]

        • Voldenuit
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]Now that TMo is rolling out a network, they'll undoubtedly be offering "exclusive" phones that use it (which might actually be a good marketing move, if they spend the money to exploit it).[/quote<] Good marketing for sure. But for me, personally, I never buy carrier-locked phones. Don't like the specs, don't like the bloat, don't like the slow (or nonexistent) updates. Don't like the provider lock-in, for certain.

          • UberGerbil
          • 2 years ago

          Oh, I agree. Every cellphone I’ve ever had has been an outright purchase of an unlocked phone. Taking the “free” phone carriers want you to lease from them has always seemed to me to be like tax refunds: something that seems like a great thing until you sit and think about, but which remains absurdly popular because people don’t think about it (or they do but they can’t help themselves). I get that some people don’t have the kind of money needed for the (over-priced) flagship phones, though I’d argue in that circumstance they should be buying a still-capable but less-expensive midrange phone (or a used and/or last-gen flagship), or just waiting longer between upgrades and saving in between. But it’s their money.

          I’m actually starting to think I need a new phone (my OPO is beginning to have some issues, not least being the lack of OS updates) and while I’m on TMo and am looking forward to good things from the 600 MHz band, I figure it won’t make any real difference to me until the phone [i<]after[/i<] that one (even with Eastern Washington and NW Oregon on their list of early roll-outs). My biggest problem with that band is that the region I need it the most is rural BC and Alberta, and Canada is still at least two years away from even auctioning the rights to the spectrum. So it'll be well into the 2020s before that's even a thing.

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    The specs look right, now we have to wait and see about the price. With the price of flagships having risen this year, the OP5 ($479) and Mi 6* (~$400) seem to be the only 835-sporting phones under $600 these days. A lot of alternative candidates are using Snapdragon 630 SoCs these days, which are using the lower-power A53 cores instead of the A73 ‘Big’ cores on the 835.

    * EDIT: My bad, previously quoted Mi Mix 2 ($600) instead of the more affordable Mi 6. You’d still have to buy them from grey import, though, don’t think they are sold in the US by official distributors.

      • mdkathon
      • 2 years ago

      I’m still on a SD821 device which is working out other than some of the more 2017 features (fleshed out dual camera, IPxx resistance).

      Looking forward to the return of more inciting devices around $300-400US. The Snapdragon 660 appears to be around the same performance as SD82x with far less cost. Right now I’m just not smitten with SD835 enough to consider the extra cost worth it. I’ve had my hands on the latest phones and I would say that Samsung’s latest sure are pretty, but you’re going to have to slap a case on them or pay the price of cracked-everything.

      If anyone wants to consider the best buy with a little hacking. Le Eco Pro 3 is running for less than $250.00 on Amazon, I got mine for like $190 a few weeks ago and threw on a Lineage OS 14.1. The bootloader unlock on this device was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. Also, Lineage OS + full install of Google apps and you can have a poor man’s Pixel XL.

        • Voldenuit
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, 820/821 is still a very viable flagship-class performer. Other than the GPU* and (potentially) battery life, there’s not much to gain by going 835.

        * Which is more or less the same between Adreno 530 and 540, only clockspeeds differ.

          • CaptTomato
          • 2 years ago

          I think phones like HTC10/LGG6/V20/S7 EDGE etc are so good, that phones need a HUGE upgrade in specs to not only distance themselves from that bunch, but to justify the cost.

      • RdVi
      • 2 years ago

      Too many phones use low end chipsets. There need to be more mid rangers that use the 660 and similar. Any phone that just has A53’s is a no purchase for me.

        • strangerguy
        • 2 years ago

        In Asia, prices of those A53-only “mid rangers” are ridiculous to the point of hilarity. An Oppo R9S with a weaksauce SD625 actually costs more than a Samsung S7 Exynos.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This