Here’s how to use the Asus Zenfone 4’s best camera features

Asus ZenFone 4

You decided the Asus Zenfone 4 is the phone for you, a decision likely swayed by the dual-lens camera that takes wide-angle shots, instead of yet another implementation of the blurred background, bokeh effect. Now the phone is in your hand, how about a quick overview of how to use the top five features in the Zenfone 4’s camera app?

Wide-angle mode

how to use asus zenfone 4 camera app main cam
Main camera mode

Open the main camera app and you’re greeted with a lot of buttons and information to take in. Don’t worry, you will soon be familiar with it. The first, and probably the most important, is the way to activate wide-angle mode. In the lower half of the screen, just above the shutter release, are two icons that look like mountains. The left icon is for standard view and the icon on the right denotes wide-angle mode. Tap either one to swap between them.

how to use asus zenfone 4 camera app wide cam
Wide-angle camera mode

You will know which mode you’re in because the icon changes to a green color, and main camera or wide-angled camera flashes across the screen, plus if you take a look in the top right (in landscape orientation) the software will remind you too.

Portrait mode

Asus Zenfone 4 Review back top table
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Just because the two camera lenses are for wide-angle shots, doesn’t mean Asus has ignored your desire for bokeh shots. The ZenFone 4 has a Portrait mode, but it’s a little temperamental. It’s activated from the main camera viewfinder page.

Look along the top row of icons, and tap on the button that looks like two people. It should be crossed out when you first open the app. A green notification will appear saying you’re in Portrait mode. Portrait mode operates in both the front and rear cameras, but depends on good lighting conditions and being fairly close to the camera lens.

If you’re expecting to take bokeh shots of flowers, cats, or any other object you may be disappointed. The ZenFone 4 isn’t very good at picking these items out in its Portrait pictures, and you’re left with a very normal shot. Point the camera at a person and it gets better but in our tests, you needed to be up close to get a strong effect.

Press the button again to cancel Portrait mode.

Be a Selfie Master

Asus Zenfone 4 Review top angle
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Asus ZenFone 4 has a selfie mode in the main camera app, and a separate app called Selfie Master. We found using the main camera app was perfectly acceptable for selfies, due to its extensive range of beautification settings. Here is how to get started.

  • Tap the button to the right of the shutter release (in portrait orientation) to swap to the front camera.
  • Activate Beauty Mode with the button on the far left of the shutter release.
  • To use Portrait mode, tap the button that looks like two people along the top row of icons.
  • If you want to play around with the beauty settings, look for the Settings icon in the bottom right of the viewfinder. It’s sometimes a little hard to see as it can blend into the background. Tap it and you’ll see a row of settings appear along the bottom of the viewfinder.
  • Tap each one to adjust the properties. From left to right they are: Skin Tone, Soften Skin, Brighten Skin, Enhance Eyes, and Thin Cheeks. Each one has a left-to-right slider to increase or decrease the effect.
  • If you don’t want to mess around with the individual settings, just tap Auto to let the phone sort everything out for you.
  • Next to the Settings button, there is an icon that looks like a lightbulb. Tap this to alter the warmth of the lighting around you — it’s handy if you’re under fluorescent light, for example.

Photo editing

Asus has built a comprehensive photo editing suite into its Gallery app. From the main home screen on your phone, tap Gallery and find the picture you’d like to edit. Tap it and then look on the bottom right (in portrait orientation) for an icon that looks like a picture with a pen. Tap it to open the edit mode.

  • All the important settings run along the bottom of the screen. By default, when you open the edit mode you’re presented with various filters. Tap each to apply them to the image, and scroll through the list to see different effects.
  • Look at the bottom of the screen and tap the next icon to the right, which lets you add different frames to your photo.
  • The next icon has tools for cropping, rotating, straightening, or mirroring the photo.
  • Finally, the icon furthest on the right is for altering each individual aspect of the photo, including sharpness, highlights, shadows, exposure, and more. Tap each setting and use the slider to adjust the properties.
  • When you’re happy with the image, save it using the button shaped like a computer disk in the top left of the screen.
  • On the opposite side of this icon are two handy icons where you can take away any effects you added, in case you change your mind.

Sticky icons

In the main camera app, there is an icon for Pro mode in the top left of the screen (in landscape orientation), but this can be changed to access a different mode if you use it more often. Swipe down on the main screen to enter mode selection. You will find the Zenfone 4’s different camera features, including panorama, Pro mode, and various video modes. Pro mode will likely have a pin icon on it, denoting it’s pinned to the main camera screen.

If you tap and hold down any other icon, the pin will jump over to it and that mode will be accessible directly from the main camera screen.

That is it! Enjoy using your Asus Zenfone 4 and its cool wide-angle camera.

Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Mobile

Love Playmoji pack adds animated Valentine’s stickers to your Pixel photos

Valentine's Day is here, and to celebrate, Google has added the "Love Playmoji" pack to the Playground feature on its Google Pixel camera. The new feature will add cute AR-driven extras to your Pixel photos.
Photography

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.
Mobile

Worried about extra data charges? Here's how to check your usage on an iPhone

It's common to get a little nervous about nearing data limits. Keep your peace of mind by checking how much data your iPhone is using. Our guide on how to check data usage on an iPhone helps you stay in control.
Mobile

North Focals smartglasses discount cuts the price by a massive $400

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in late 2018, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto and has made its first shipment.
Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.