'Selfie' smartphone review: Huawei Mate S vs the Asus Zenfone Selfie
HUAWEI MATE S [Editor's Choice]
$999 for 64GB in Luxurious Gold (micro SD slot for up to 128GB). Available at Huawei Flagship Store, Huawei Experience Store, Gadget World Jurong Point, and Jim Communications & Electronics.
• Comfortable grip Tap on the fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone to tak e a selfie. The auto three-second countdown means I even had time to adjust my smile.
• Perfect snaps To set up the Perfect Selfie mode, you take three photos of yourself – from the front and side, and looking down. The phone then offers its recommended Beauty settings, which you can tweak for things like eye enlargement and face thinning. These adjustments apply to anyone else in a wefie – my husband looked really pale in my shot – but you can always turn off the mode.
Other camera features
• Low-light wonder Photos, even selfies, came out bright with vivid colours and good clarity. And it’s all automatic.
• Go pro I had fun with the Pro camer a feature, which let me fine-tune settings lik e ISO and shutter speed, like a DSLR camera.
• Meeting aid When you take photos of slide presentations, the Document Readjustment feature will recalibrate it so you get a “straight” photo. Nifty.
Beyond the lens
• Stylish interface It runs EMUI, a Huawei-modified version of Android 5.1, and I liked its clean-cut elegance. That said, it takes some getting used to having apps placed around the home screen like on Apple iOS, instead of tucked behind a menu the way it usually is for Android.
• Shortcuts and gestures The fingerprint sensor not only unlocks the phone, I could scroll down on the sensor to view notifications, or swipe left and right through photo albums. The knuckle gestures are another gem – knock twice with one finger to take a screenshot, or draw letters with a knuckle to fire up a programme.
• Dual SIM You can insert two SIM cards or use the second slot for a micro SD card.
Verdict A sleek and exceptional camer a phone worth the price tag.
ASUS ZENFONE SELFIE ZD551KL
$399 for 32GB (micro SD slot for up to 128GB); three colours (Pure White, Chic Pink, Aqua Blue). Available at all Asus stores.
• Primp and preen This phone is for hardcore selfie takers. Draw an “S” on the locked screen to jump into selfie mode, and a whole list of Beautification settings – to enhance eyes, soften lines, thin cheeks, brighten skin, add blusher and adjust skin tone – come up.
• Easy wefies Thanks to the Selfie Panorama feature, you don’t need to squeeze everyone into the frame. Just tilt the camera left and right to capture people at the far cor ners (up to 140 degrees). But be warned that those images may not be as sharp as the ones in the middle.
Other camera features
• In low light Unlike the Mate S, you need to switch to Low Light mode. But most of the time, the app will prompt you with an icon. For selfies in lowlighting, the phone casts a softer, slightly moody hue that I found more appealing than the Mate S. There’s a Night mode too, though it turns out grainier photos than on the Mate S.
• Fancy camera modes Just like the Mate S, there’s a Manual mode if you fancy some DSLR-like action. I also liked the Smart Remove function, which removes unwanted moving objects from the background.
Beyond the lens
• Dual SIM The Zenfone Selfie also supports dual SIM cards (or a micro SD in the second slot), but removing the back cover was a bit of a challenge.
• Kids mode Parents get to pick which apps the little ones can use, and screen unsuitable websites. And your tykes can’t take incoming phone calls without your PIN either.
Verdict A great all-rounder that will impress selfie addicts.