Notebookcheck

Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Richard Schultheis), 12/04/2017

Ambitious. With the fourth generation of the ZenFone series, Asus challenges a fiercely contested submarket by not only offering competitive pricing but also by providing their latest offering with a strong camera. Moreover, ZenUI has taken a great leap forward, making it seem positively grown up!

With the new ZenFone 4, Asus launches an upper-middle class smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen coming in the typical 16:9 screen ratio. At €499 (~$591), the ZenFone 4 comes with the Snapdragon 630, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory (Germany). A Pro version is due to come out by the end of the year. This Pro version will come with a Snapdragon 835 and will be the first ever smartphone to have ad-WLAN. ASUS’ new phone is all about its camera: its dual-lens camera uses Dual Pixel technology and is capable of wide-angle shots. This makes it a direct competitor of LG’s G6, which, at the time of this review, is even more affordable.

Although the price range of about €500 houses few competitors, flagship smartphones of the previous generations such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, the LG G6 and Huawei’s P10 can be found around there. The BQ Aquaris X Pro tries to fill the same niche, but its SRP is lower by around €100 (~$118). Other strong competitors are the smaller Honor 9, but other larger phones such as the OnePlus 5 and Nokia 8 also come at similar prices.

Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Zenfone Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 401 PPI, Capacitive touchscreen, 10 points multi-touch, IPS, Super Wide-View Display, 2.5D Gorilla Glas,, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 54 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined headphone and microphone jack (3.5mm), Card Reader: microSD up to 2TB (SDHC, SDXC), 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration-, proximity-, Hall- and RGB sensors, electric compass, gyroscope, Galileo, BeiDou, OTG, Wifi Direct, Miracast
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM/GPRS/Edge (850, 900, 1.800 und 1.900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (band 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 19), LTE Cat. 12 (band 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28 and 32 (all FDD), 38, 39, 40 und 41 (TDD)), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.5 x 155.4 x 75.2 ( = 0.3 x 6.12 x 2.96 in)
Battery
3300 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix (Sony IMX362 Dual Pixel (1/2.55", 1,4µm), f/1.8, 25 mm, 83° wide-angle, PDAF, 4-axis OIS, 3-axis EIS) + 8 MP (120° wide-angle, 12 mm, f/2.2)
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix (84° wide-angle, 24mm, f/2.0)
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: virtual, Charger, USB cable, SIM-card tool, cover, user manual, headset, ZenUI 4.0, 24 Months Warranty, VHF-Radio, DTS Headphone:X, High-Resolution-Audio, Dual-Microphone with ASUS Noise-Reduction Technology, VoLTE, Head-SAR: 0.96 W/kg, Body-SAR: 1.53 W/kg, fanless
Weight
165 g ( = 5.82 oz / 0.36 pounds), Power Supply: 64 g ( = 2.26 oz / 0.14 pounds)
Price
499 Euro

 

Case

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Colour variants of the Asus ZenFone 4
Colour variants

In Germany, Asus offers the phone in black and white, with another mint-green variant being available internationally. The device’s design is appealingly sleek and simple, its camera is flush with the case, so that it can be put down flat on a table. Corning Gorilla Glass protects both front and back of the phone, making it prone to slide from surfaces that are not completely level. Although smudges and fingerprints appear visibly on the phone’s surface, they can be removed easily.

The ZenFone’s build quality is good and its frame makes it a robust device that is resistant to bending. The frame’s spacing is even and it fits to the phone's body snugly, just as we like it. The card slot cover is flush with the case and made from the same material, with the inner card slide being made from plastic. It either takes two Nano-SIM cards or one Nano-Sim card and a micro-SD card.

The phone’s battery is built in and its case is not IPA-certified. 

Size comparison

Connectivity

The ZenFone’s USB C port actually houses a USB C 2.0 interface, which does not interconnect with display cables. It is, however, capable of OTG and can connect to external storage devices and peripherals.

The microSD slot takes cards up to a capacity or 2 TB, which is the maximum capacity denominated by the SDXC standard. At the time of this review the largest available microSD-cards store about 400GB. The ZenFone 4 cannot format microSDs for use as internal memory or transfer apps to them.

The device also supports wireless communications via VHF-band, Miracast Wi-Fi Direct, NFC and Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth 5.0 is utilized only after an update to Android 8.0 Oreo, with Bluetooth 4.2 being used otherwise. 

top: microphone
top: microphone
left: microSD slot
left: microSD slot
right: volume rocker, power button
right: volume rocker, power button
bottom: speakers, microphone, USB, audio
bottom: speakers, microphone, USB, audio

Software

The ZenFone 4 comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat and the new ZenUI 4.0 pre-installed. At the time of this review, the phone’s security standards were up to date, with the latest update having been delivered on October 1st 2017. During the time of this review, we noticed regular updates to this phone’s system. Its update to Android 8.0 Oreo is to be rolled out in 2018.

The new ZenUI 4.0 seems to be more cleaned up and less experimental than 3.0. Its user interface provides many features: the AI-supported gallery feature can automatically sort pictures by face recognition or group photos. The so-called Safeguard function can send the device’s location to a pre-defined contact in case of emergency so help can arrive more quickly. Furthermore, it is now possible to duplicate apps, so one can use multiple accounts comfortably. Altogether, ZenUI’s smooth experience and many useful features satisfied our expectations. 

Asus ZenFone 4: Homescreen
Asus ZenFone 4: App-Drawler
Asus ZenFone 4: Quick access
Asus ZenFone 4: Quick access
Asus ZenFone 4: Twin Apps
Asus ZenFone 4: Twin Apps Homescreen
Asus ZenFone 4: System information
Asus ZenFone 4: Mobile Manager

Communication and GPS

The Asus ZenFone 4 accesses the internet by LTE Cat 13 on the go, meaning that it is capable of 600 Mbit/s download and 150 Mbit/s upload maximum. The number of bands supported by the device is also very good. If 4G were unavailable at a time, it would still be able to connect to a wide variety of 3G-bands and Quad-Band-GSM. Connection quality was just fine and, altogether, above criticism.

The ZenFone 4 supports the IEEE-802.11-standards a, b, g, and ac and both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. In direct comparison to our reference router Linksys EA8500, the device did convince us and achieved consistently good results in sending and receiving data, which could only be improved with MIMO-antenna technology. Its reception range was decent too, with it being capable of streaming HD video content 12 meters (~39 ft) away from the router and separated by an exterior wall. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
OnePlus 5
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
371 MBit/s ∼100% +11%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
Adreno 508, 630, 64 GB eMMC Flash
334 MBit/s ∼90%
Huawei P10
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
308 (min: 48.8) MBit/s ∼83% -8%
Honor 9
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB eMMC Flash
283 MBit/s ∼76% -15%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
Adreno 506, 626, 64 GB eMMC Flash
242 MBit/s ∼65% -28%
Nokia 8
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
235 MBit/s ∼63% -30%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
Adreno 506, 626, 32 GB eMMC Flash
48.1 MBit/s ∼13% -86%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
OnePlus 5
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
539 MBit/s ∼100% +64%
Huawei P10
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
343 (min: 154) MBit/s ∼64% +4%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
Adreno 508, 630, 64 GB eMMC Flash
329 MBit/s ∼61%
Nokia 8
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
235 MBit/s ∼44% -29%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
Adreno 506, 626, 64 GB eMMC Flash
148 MBit/s ∼27% -55%
Honor 9
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB eMMC Flash
140 MBit/s ∼26% -57%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
Adreno 506, 626, 32 GB eMMC Flash
29.5 MBit/s ∼5% -91%
GPS Test: outdoors
outdoors
GPS Test: in an airplane
in an airplane
GPS Test: indoors
indoors

The smartphone supports various satellite constellations: GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo. In our review, the ZenFone 4 also received position data from the Japanese network QZSS. Satellite fix was achieved within two seconds and was accurate within three meters (~10 ft). A relatively accurate fix was possible, even within buildings.

We put the ZenFone 4 through its paces alongside the Garmin Edge 500 with the mandatory bike ride. The recorded route is comparatively accurate, with the only noticeable divergence happening at the ascent to the embankment. The measured total distance also deviates only slightly from our cycling computer’s recording. 

Asus ZenFone 4
Asus ZenFone 4
Asus ZenFone 4
Asus ZenFone 4
Asus ZenFone 4
Asus ZenFone 4
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500

Telephone and Call Quality

Call app of the Asus ZenFone 4 with ZenUI 4.0
Call app of the Asus ZenFone 4 with ZenUI 4.0

The call app has been refined by ASUS and using it will not be a challenge to anyone. The contacts tab is now accompanied by a tab for groups and the related menu provides fast access to numerous useful features.

The Asus ZenFone 4’s call quality is good overall. Held close to the ear, both conversational partners are transmitted clearly. The phone's speaker is decent as well, although it sounds a bit tinny. Asus’ own Noise Reduction technology performs quite well. Unfortunately, the phone does not support VoLTE and VOWi-Fi in Germany.

Cameras

front camera
front camera

The ZenFone 4’s front camera features a sensitive 8 MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.0. It performs adequately in everyday use. Daylight shots turn out well and there is even the option of using a versatile beauty filter or a portrait mode. This portrait mode is supposed to simulate better depth perception, but does not quite achieve it. In adverse lighting conditions, picture quality deteriorated slightly, although the resultant pictures were still decent enough to use for social media.

The rear-facing dual camera features one 12 MP sensor and one 8 MP sensor. The main lenses’ focal length is 25 mm (83° wide-angle). Its sensor is the Sony IMX362, which is also utilized by the Moto Z2 Play and the HTC U11. Pictures in daylight come out notably well with this light-sensitive camera, even better than with the OnePlus 5, which has overexposure problems with depicting larger, bright surfaces. Finer details especially seem to come out better with the ZenFone 4’s camera. In bad lightning conditions, the large, light-sensitive pixels of the phone’s sensor and its optical and digital image stabilization perform well, as we could ascertain on our test device. At maximum zoom, image noise levels are higher than with the Note 8, but lettering is depicted more cleanly and with less pixelation. The second camera lens has a wider focal length at 12 mm (120°) and is less light-sensitive. The differences between these two lenses are like night and day, however, so we do not recommend using it for anything other than landscapes or architecture and panorama shots. The dual-camera’s shutter delay is small enough that it is suitable for point-and-shoot-use. Super Resolution Mode takes pictures with up to 49 MP. The camera’s pro mode offers a multitude of options for manual adjustment. 

Videos are recorded in ultra HD at best (30 FPS, EIS), although unfortunately, the second lens cannot be used for this purpose. This does not impact the video-recording experience in low-light conditions however, since the light-sensitive lens by itself produces visible image noise and the autofocus behaves erratically already. Nevertheless, in daylight conditions and only slightly dark scenes, the camera performs well. Moreover, there are time lapse mode (max. 4k) and slow-motion mode (1080p @ 120 FPS or 720p @240 FPS).

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
Asus ZenFone 4: main camera
Asus ZenFone 4: main camera
Asus ZenFone 4: main camera
Asus ZenFone 4: main camera
Asus ZenFone 4: main camera
Asus ZenFone 4: wide-angle camera
Asus ZenFone 4: main camera
Asus ZenFone 4: main camera
ColorChecker: target colour is displayed in the lower half of each colour square
ColorChecker: target colour is displayed in the lower half of each colour square

We checked the ZenFone 4’s color accuracy under normalized and controlled conditions with our ColorChecker Passport. The images were processed without further editing. We found that whites were slightly warmer and grays brighter than in the original. Colors were slightly oversaturated and browns had a slight red hue.

Our test chart photo shows great quality in the image center, with high levels of detail discernible. The depiction of lettering on darker surfaces or color gradients turned out particularly well, with hardly any pixelation. On the other hand, sharpness drops considerably on the left side of the picture. 

ZenFone 4
ZenFone 4
Honor 9
Honor 9
BQ Aquaris X Pro
BQ Aquaris X Pro
OnePlus 5
OnePlus 5

Accessories and Warranty

The package includes a modular charger (5V, 2A), a USB cable, and a tool for the SIM-card, a headset, a silicon bumper and a short user manual.

In Germany, Asus offers a 24-month warranty for the ZenFone 4. 

Input Devices and Handling

The capacitive touchscreen of the ZenFone 4 can recognize ten simultaneous activations and has an agreeably smooth surface that makes sliding across it easy. Additionally, the touchscreen’s precision is high, with even light touches being recognized. An optional glove mode can be activated through the device’s settings.

The phone utilizes Asus’ own ZenUI-keyboard, which is replete with features, but takes a lot of space on the screen. Especially in landscape mode nothing of the input text remains visible. Those who prefer other keyboard layouts can always install different ones from the Google Play Store.

The device’s fingerprint sensor is integrated into the frontal home button and unlocks it reliably and fast. Unlocking it this way in standby mode directly opens the home screen. 

Display

subpixel layout
subpixel layout

The Asus ZenFone 4’s 5.5-inch IPS display’s resolution is 1920x1080 (16:9). The panel’s image is crisp and its vivid colors and contrast levels are convincingly good. This impression was verified by our test results. The average brightness is at a very high 634 cd/m² and is consistently distributed. The results remain constant even with the device’s ambient light sensor activated or in the APL 50 test. The screen’s good black level (0.4 cd/m²) provides for a very good contrast ratio.

No halation was detected. One shortcoming of the screen is the use of Pulse Width Modulation for brightness regulation.

The frequency is so high; however, that hardly anyone should be troubled by it. 

628
cd/m²
645
cd/m²
618
cd/m²
645
cd/m²
656
cd/m²
617
cd/m²
656
cd/m²
636
cd/m²
608
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 656 cd/m² Average: 634.3 cd/m² Minimum: 5.25 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 656 cd/m²
Contrast: 1640:1 (Black: 0.4 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.3 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 5.2 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.22
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
BQ Aquaris X Pro
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Honor 9
IPS/LTPS, 1920x1080, 5.15
OnePlus 5
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Huawei P10
LTPS, 1920x1080, 5.1
Nokia 8
IPS, 2560x1440, 5.3
Screen
-40%
-3%
5%
26%
-5%
-36%
Brightness
634
473
-25%
404
-36%
535
-16%
431
-32%
556
-12%
707
12%
Brightness Distribution
93
88
-5%
81
-13%
92
-1%
93
0%
86
-8%
92
-1%
Black Level *
0.4
0.51
-28%
0.42
-5%
0.43
-8%
0.79
-98%
Contrast
1640
898
-45%
1310
-20%
1272
-22%
930
-43%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.3
7.1
-34%
4.4
17%
3.3
38%
1.6
70%
4.8
9%
6.7
-26%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.2
10.5
-102%
4.2
19%
3.6
31%
1.7
67%
4.5
13%
8.3
-60%
Gamma
2.22 108%
2.28 105%
2.24 107%
2.38 101%
2.25 107%
2.39 100%
2.24 107%
CCT
7905 82%
8951 73%
7343 89%
7226 90%
6329 103%
7194 90%
8906 73%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 11360 Hz35 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 11360 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 35 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 11360 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8532 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Asus ZenFone 4 Display colour adjustment settings

We measured the display with the CalMAN software and a spectrophotometer. The ZenFone 4 has various color settings, with a blue light filter and modes such as ‘balanced’, ‘vivid’ and even one that enables the user to manually set color hue and saturation available. We tested the modes ‘balanced’ and ‘vivid’. The panel aligns itself with the sRGB spectrum in all modes. Both tested modes displayed colors with a slight shift to cooler shades, which should be possible to correct with color temperature adjustment. Blues in particular are displayed too vividly, causing higher deviations with shades of blue, while reds are somewhat undersaturated in ‘balanced’ mode. ‘Vivid’ mode produces vivid colors, particularly when displaying photos. At no time the color deviations were found to be disturbing.

The display’s feature to automatically adjust its color temperature to ambient light was particularly useful in everyday use.


Grayscale (profile: balance, color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (profile: balance, color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (profile: vivid, color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (profile: vivid, color space: sRGB)
colors (profile: balance, color space: sRGB)
colors (profile: balance, color space: sRGB)
colors (profile: vivid, color space: sRGB)
colors (profile: vivid, color space: sRGB)
saturation (profile: balance, color space: sRGB)
saturation (profile: balance, color space: sRGB)
saturation (profile: vivid, color space: sRGB)
saturation (profile: vivid, color space: sRGB)
color space (profile: balance, color space: sRGB)
color space (profile: balance, color space: sRGB)
color space (profile: vivid, color space: sRGB)
color space (profile: vivid, color space: sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
20.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 16 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
52.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 30.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 86 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (42.5 ms).

Outdoors, the Asus ZenFone 4's screen performs very well, probably due to its high brightness. Its surface is slightly reflective, but we are used to worse and with a direct viewing angle, the display quality should not be impacted negatively, at least as long as it is not exposed to direct sunshine. 

The viewing angles of the Asus ZenFone 4’s IPS panel are as good as expected. No color shift was detected, so there should not be limitations in normal use cases. Only with shallower viewing angles there is a reduction of perceived brightness. 

viewing angles
viewing angles

Performance

The Asus ZenFone 4 is the very first smartphone equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (14 nm process) that we have examined. The octa-core CPU has not changed noticeably and consists of Cortex-53 cores, which are clocked at up to 2.2 GHz. The integrated graphics unit Adreno 508 is a new addition, however, and is marketed to perform up to 30% better compared to its predecessor, even with identical clock rates. The ZenFone 4 now supports and carries 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM.

In Geekbench, the ZenFone4 is slightly outperformed by the Snapdragon 626 on both the Moto Z2 Play and the Aquaris X Pro, which might be due to the different versions of Geekbench used, considering that both CPUs have nominally identical architecture and performance. The Snapdragon 630 also performs slightly worse in the Physics benchmark of 3DMark. None of these three can compete with the performance of high-end smartphones.

The higher performance of the GPU is immediately noticeable. In GFXBench, the Adreno 508 was between 30 and 51% faster than its predecessor, and even between 37 and 92% in 3DMark. Thus, the GPU is positioned evenly with the Adreno 510 or the ARM Mali-T880 MP4.

The ZenFone 4’s system performance is no match for high-end smartphones, but it stands up well to its direct competition and our test results confirm our good impression of the device’s smooth UI. Despite the elaborate ZenUI, the smartphone performs faster than the Z2 Play or X Pro, which rely on android’s stock UI. 

AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
68282 Points ∼30%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
66226 Points ∼29% -3%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
67578 Points ∼30% -1%
Honor 9
150276 Points ∼66% +120%
OnePlus 5
177156 Points ∼78% +159%
Huawei P10
140084 Points ∼61% +105%
Nokia 8
177018 Points ∼78% +159%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
5085 Points ∼49%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
4915 Points ∼48% -3%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
4924 Points ∼48% -3%
Honor 9
6113 Points ∼59% +20%
OnePlus 5
6579 Points ∼64% +29%
Huawei P10
6206 Points ∼60% +22%
Nokia 8
6959 Points ∼68% +37%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
6264 Points ∼73%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
5886 Points ∼69% -6%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
6096 Points ∼71% -3%
Honor 9
7034 Points ∼82% +12%
OnePlus 5
7826 Points ∼92% +25%
Huawei P10
7341 Points ∼86% +17%
Nokia 8
8282 Points ∼97% +32%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
766 Points ∼45%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
806 Points ∼48% +5%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
10 Points ∼1% -99%
Honor 9
1069 Points ∼63% +40%
OnePlus 5
1287 Points ∼76% +68%
Huawei P10
1077 Points ∼64% +41%
Nokia 8
1262 Points ∼74% +65%
Graphics (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1496 Points ∼16%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
1012 Points ∼11% -32%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
1006 Points ∼11% -33%
Honor 9
4126 Points ∼45% +176%
OnePlus 5
6144 Points ∼66% +311%
Huawei P10
4115 Points ∼44% +175%
Nokia 8
5958 Points ∼64% +298%
Memory (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1380 Points ∼31%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
1046 Points ∼24% -24%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
928 Points ∼21% -33%
Honor 9
3258 Points ∼74% +136%
OnePlus 5
4423 Points ∼100% +221%
Huawei P10
2778 Points ∼63% +101%
Nokia 8
3540 Points ∼80% +157%
System (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
3319 Points ∼32%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3492 Points ∼34% +5%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3154 Points ∼31% -5%
Honor 9
4154 Points ∼40% +25%
OnePlus 5
5902 Points ∼57% +78%
Huawei P10
3830 Points ∼37% +15%
Nokia 8
5671 Points ∼55% +71%
Overall (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1513 Points ∼40%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
1314 Points ∼35% -13%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
412 Points ∼11% -73%
Honor 9
2779 Points ∼73% +84%
OnePlus 5
3790 Points ∼100% +150%
Huawei P10
2621 Points ∼69% +73%
Nokia 8
3505 Points ∼92% +132%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
3942 Points ∼46%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3092 Points ∼36% -22%
Honor 9
Points ∼0% -100%
OnePlus 5
8005 Points ∼93% +103%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
4172 Points ∼17%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
4369 Points ∼17% +5%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
4471 Points ∼18% +7%
Honor 9
6527 Points ∼26% +56%
OnePlus 5
6799 Points ∼27% +63%
Nokia 8
6479 Points ∼26% +55%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
865 Points ∼15%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
928 Points ∼16% +7%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
907 Points ∼15% +5%
Honor 9
1869 Points ∼31% +116%
OnePlus 5
1973 Points ∼33% +128%
Nokia 8
1924 Points ∼32% +122%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1751 Points ∼57%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
2132 Points ∼69% +22%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
2166 Points ∼70% +24%
Honor 9
2287 Points ∼74% +31%
OnePlus 5
3026 Points ∼98% +73%
Huawei P10
1902 Points ∼62% +9%
Nokia 8
3010 Points ∼98% +72%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
726 Points ∼13%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
379 Points ∼7% -48%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
383 Points ∼7% -47%
Honor 9
2798 Points ∼52% +285%
OnePlus 5
3757 Points ∼70% +417%
Huawei P10
2409 Points ∼45% +232%
Nokia 8
3894 Points ∼72% +436%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
835 Points ∼21%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
464 Points ∼12% -44%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
469 Points ∼12% -44%
Honor 9
2666 Points ∼69% +219%
OnePlus 5
3566 Points ∼92% +327%
Huawei P10
2274 Points ∼59% +172%
Nokia 8
3655 Points ∼94% +338%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1785 Points ∼58%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
2127 Points ∼69% +19%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
2167 Points ∼70% +21%
Honor 9
1809 Points ∼59% +1%
OnePlus 5
3012 Points ∼98% +69%
Huawei P10
2193 Points ∼71% +23%
Nokia 8
3002 Points ∼97% +68%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1289 Points ∼17%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
725 Points ∼9% -44%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
724 Points ∼9% -44%
Honor 9
2990 Points ∼39% +132%
OnePlus 5
4765 Points ∼62% +270%
Huawei P10
2816 Points ∼36% +118%
Nokia 8
5818 Points ∼75% +351%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1374 Points ∼28%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
849 Points ∼17% -38%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
850 Points ∼17% -38%
Honor 9
2611 Points ∼52% +90%
OnePlus 5
4219 Points ∼85% +207%
Huawei P10
2649 Points ∼53% +93%
Nokia 8
4814 Points ∼97% +250%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
13014 Points ∼18%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
17044 Points ∼24% +31%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
17204 Points ∼24% +32%
Honor 9
15150 Points ∼21% +16%
OnePlus 5
19411 Points ∼27% +49%
Huawei P10
15341 Points ∼21% +18%
Nokia 8
20951 Points ∼29% +61%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
18386 Points ∼4%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
13277 Points ∼3% -28%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
13376 Points ∼3% -27%
Honor 9
38979 Points ∼9% +112%
OnePlus 5
58001 Points ∼13% +215%
Huawei P10
35964 Points ∼8% +96%
Nokia 8
56531 Points ∼12% +207%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
16841 Points ∼9%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
13963 Points ∼7% -17%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
14072 Points ∼7% -16%
Honor 9
28883 Points ∼15% +72%
OnePlus 5
40229 Points ∼20% +139%
Huawei P10
27692 Points ∼14% +64%
Nokia 8
40968 Points ∼21% +143%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
30 fps ∼2%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
23 fps ∼2% -23%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
22 fps ∼2% -27%
Honor 9
60 fps ∼4% +100%
OnePlus 5
115 fps ∼8% +283%
Huawei P10
69 fps ∼5% +130%
Nokia 8
99 fps ∼7% +230%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
29 fps ∼6%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
22 fps ∼5% -24%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
23 fps ∼5% -21%
Honor 9
55 fps ∼12% +90%
OnePlus 5
60 fps ∼13% +107%
Huawei P10
55 fps ∼12% +90%
Nokia 8
54 fps ∼12% +86%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
14 fps ∼3%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
9.8 fps ∼2% -30%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
9.9 fps ∼2% -29%
Honor 9
30 fps ∼6% +114%
OnePlus 5
61 fps ∼11% +336%
Huawei P10
30 fps ∼6% +114%
Nokia 8
51 fps ∼9% +264%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
14 fps ∼4%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
9.6 fps ∼3% -31%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
10 fps ∼3% -29%
Honor 9
28 fps ∼8% +100%
OnePlus 5
56 fps ∼15% +300%
Huawei P10
32 fps ∼9% +129%
Nokia 8
31 fps ∼8% +121%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
9.7 fps ∼2%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
6.4 fps ∼2% -34%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
6.5 fps ∼2% -33%
Honor 9
22 fps ∼5% +127%
OnePlus 5
42 fps ∼10% +333%
Huawei P10
24 fps ∼6% +147%
Nokia 8
36 fps ∼9% +271%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
9.5 fps ∼5%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
6.3 fps ∼4% -34%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
7 fps ∼4% -26%
Honor 9
22 fps ∼13% +132%
OnePlus 5
41 fps ∼23% +332%
Huawei P10
25 fps ∼14% +163%
Nokia 8
17 fps ∼10% +79%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
5.3 fps ∼2%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3.5 fps ∼1% -34%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3.5 fps ∼1% -34%
Honor 9
15 fps ∼4% +183%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼7% +372%
Huawei P10
15 fps ∼4% +183%
Nokia 8
24 fps ∼7% +353%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
5.3 fps ∼0%
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3.5 fps ∼0% -34%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3.8 fps ∼0% -28%
Honor 9
16 fps ∼0% +202%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼1% +372%
Huawei P10
16 fps ∼0% +202%
Nokia 8
13 fps ∼0% +145%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
9.81 fps ∼26%
Huawei P10
23.56 fps ∼61% +140%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Huawei P10
37968 Points ∼86%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Huawei P10
43782 Points ∼97%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
190 Points ∼10%
Huawei P10
664 Points ∼35% +249%
Epic Citadel - Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Huawei P10
60.5 fps ∼98%

Legend

 
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
BQ Aquaris X Pro Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 9 HiSilicon Kirin 960, ARM Mali-G71 MP8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei P10 HiSilicon Kirin 960, ARM Mali-G71 MP8, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Nokia 8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash

We tested browser performance on the preinstalled Chrome version 62. Web pages were loaded swiftly and displayed without issue. The benchmarks put the ZenFone 4 alongside its opponents equipped with Snapdragon 600 CPUs and show that it cannot compete with faster devices. 

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
71.6 Points ∼100% +155%
Nokia 8 (Chrome 61.0.3163.98)
63.365 Points ∼88% +126%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
58.6 Points ∼82% +109%
Huawei P10 (Chrome 56)
57.9 Points ∼81% +106%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Chrome 59)
32.796 Points ∼46% +17%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Chrome 62)
28.09 Points ∼39%
BQ Aquaris X Pro (Chrome 59.0.3071.125)
26.837 Points ∼37% -4%
Octane V2 - Total Score
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
11945 Points ∼100% +172%
Nokia 8 (Chrome 61.0.3163.98)
11131 Points ∼93% +153%
Huawei P10 (Chrome 56)
10236 Points ∼86% +133%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
10208 Points ∼85% +132%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Chrome 59)
5204 Points ∼44% +18%
BQ Aquaris X Pro (Chrome 59.0.3071.125)
4424 Points ∼37% +1%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Chrome 62)
4398 Points ∼37%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Chrome 62)
9425 ms * ∼100%
BQ Aquaris X Pro (Chrome 59.0.3071.125)
8741.5 ms * ∼93% +7%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Chrome 59)
7667 ms * ∼81% +19%
Nokia 8 (Chrome 61.0.3163.98)
3159.8 ms * ∼34% +66%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
3149 ms * ∼33% +67%
Huawei P10 (Chrome 56)
3128.7 ms * ∼33% +67%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
2621.7 ms * ∼28% +72%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Nokia 8 (Chrome 61.0.3163.98)
174 Points ∼100% +83%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
161 Points ∼93% +69%
Huawei P10 (Chrome 56)
136 Points ∼78% +43%
Honor 9 (Chrome 59)
107 Points ∼61% +13%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Chrome 62)
95 Points ∼55%
BQ Aquaris X Pro (Chrome 59.0.3071.125)
86 Points ∼49% -9%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Chrome 59)
85 Points ∼49% -11%

* ... smaller is better

The Asus ZenFone 4’s eMMC memory is not among the fastest options. It performed averagely in most tests, but was exceedingly bad at writing small data blocks, which impacts the overall test result negatively. This also results in noticeable slowdown when installing apps and updates. The device’s 64 GB of memory is reduced to 54 GB of usable memory after the initial startup. Media and photos can be stored on the optional microSD card.

We tested the microSD slot’s speed with our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference card (max. read: 270 MB/s, max. write: 150 MB/s). The card remains underutilized, but the smartphone’s microSD slot still is fast in comparison to some competing devices.

Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KLBQ Aquaris X ProHonor 9OnePlus 5Huawei P10Nokia 8Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
AndroBench 3-5
-10%
41%
105%
352%
51%
70%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
66.51 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
49.77 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-25%
34.64 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-48%
32.19 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-52%
51.66 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-22%
58.71 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-12%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
86.93 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
78.69 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-9%
67.99 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-22%
54.22 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-38%
76.85 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-12%
79.69 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-8%
Random Write 4KB
7.59
12.07
59%
32.7
331%
19.3
154%
152.31
1907%
14.57
92%
47.9
531%
Random Read 4KB
68.57
37.97
-45%
55.7
-19%
141
106%
168.42
146%
145.73
113%
38.2
-44%
Sequential Write 256KB
205.27
139.63
-32%
204
-1%
201.5
-2%
189.83
-8%
199.15
-3%
137.5
-33%
Sequential Read 256KB
287.38
270.46
-6%
293
2%
748
160%
737.65
157%
680.39
137%
245.6
-15%

Games

The Asus ZenFone 4 performs at a decent level, with all current APIs being supported. At present, no game from Play Store is expected to force reduced video quality settings. The phone comes equipped with Asus’ Game Genie, which is supposed to enhance game performance and can record and stream game sessions. There is also a lock mode which prevents accidental screen switching and a macro key function that can automate in-game functions.

Generally, the ZenFone 4 can be said to be a good companion for gaming on the go. The player’s input is processed precisely and the additional frontal speakerphone compensates when the second one on the lower edge is covered. 

Asus Game Genie
Asus Game Genie
Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
 very low30 fps
in comparison
Lenovo B (min)
 MT6735M, Mali-T720
10
   ...
Asus ZenFone AR ZS571KL
 821 MSM8996 Pro, Adreno 530
30
Google Pixel 2 XL
 835, Adreno 540
30
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
 630, Adreno 508
30
Google Pixel 2
 835, Adreno 540
30
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
 835, Adreno 540
30
   ...
HTC 10 (max)
 820 MSM8996, Adreno 530
48
Real Racing 3
 SettingsValue
 high32 fps
Temple Run 2
 SettingsValue
 default58 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

The Asus ZenFone 4’s surface temperature levels remain low at idle and at constant load, giving no cause for criticism.

We tested the SoCs’ performance under load with the GFXBench battery test. No throttling was detected with OpenGL ES 2.0 or 3.1. 

Asus ZenFone 4: GFXBench battery test (T-Rex, OpenGL ES 2.0)
Asus ZenFone 4: GFXBench battery test (T-Rex, OpenGL ES 2.0)
Asus ZenFone 4: GFXBench battery test (Manhattan, OpenGL ES 3.1)
Asus ZenFone 4: GFXBench battery test (Manhattan, OpenGL ES 3.1)
Max. Load
 33.1 °C32.3 °C35.3 °C 
 33.4 °C32.1 °C34.4 °C 
 31.9 °C31.3 °C32.2 °C 
Maximum: 35.3 °C
Average: 32.9 °C
30.4 °C31 °C31.7 °C
29.6 °C30.4 °C31.4 °C
29.6 °C29.9 °C30.3 °C
Maximum: 31.7 °C
Average: 30.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  25.3 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Voltcraft IR-260

Speakers

pink noise
pink noise
DTS
DTS

The Asus ZenFone 4’s two speakers’ sound quality is very high. One is located at ear-level and the other one at the lower edge of the smartphone. The device can be quite loud with 82 dB(A). What is more important, however, is its sound, and especially with mids and highs, the speakers deliver. Only the somewhat lacking bass impacts the overall sound volume and its lows.

Alternatively, the sound can be output through the 3.5 mm headphone jack, which transmits a clear and smooth signal. With DTS Headphone:X and high-resolution audio output (192 kHz/24-Bit), the ZenFone 4 is a pleasure to listen to. The included headset does not impress, but delivers a surprisingly balanced sound pattern. Those who prefer wireless playback over Bluetooth will be pleased that the device supports aptX HD. 

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.236.22532.929.23137.228.44031.7355039.633.46328.329.98027.329.610026.928.912526.727.51602432.720020.94325020.947.931519.55040018.55750017.565.563017.566.780015.772.2100015.869.6125016.670160015.870.3200015.469.6250015.572.931501672.5400015.868.150001669.9630016.371.8800016.369.41000016.264.31250016.461.11600016.455.5SPL28.682.2N1.152.8median 16.4Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KLmedian 66.7Delta2.11031.62725.426.225.331.132.930.533.627.731.626.928.425.32725.520.830.42240.121.347.720.849.721.256.919.460.919.564.217.767.517.972.317.876.317.376.917.477.116.774.117.272.718.274.917.972.617.674.317.773.517.874.517.978.818.177.818.270.43086.81.368.2median 17.9Lenovo Moto Z2 Playmedian 72.61.39.531.634.925.436.225.331.132.928.533.633.431.631.128.423.82724.820.829.62234.621.342.220.847.621.251.919.45619.557.917.759.717.962.517.864.817.366.117.467.516.77417.274.218.271.117.977.917.681.417.778.317.875.317.97318.170.518.263.73086.11.360median 17.9BQ Aquaris X Promedian 64.81.312hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 13% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 76% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 46% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 47% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo Moto Z2 Play audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 9% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 39% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 55% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

BQ Aquaris X Pro audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 26.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 11.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 51% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 37% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 72% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comparison (Checkboxes selectable!)

Battery Life

Power Consumption

The Asus ZenFone 4’s power consumption is on a fairly high level, with the bright display drawing quite a bit of power, making the BQ Aquaris X Pro and Moto Z2 Play outlast it.

Our test device does not support wireless charging, but has QuickCharge 3.0 in return – so the specification sheet says. With the meager 10 watts of the included charger, a complete charge of the 3300 mAh takes more than 2 hours. A more powerful charger should cut down the measured time for a full charge. 

Time for full charge
Time for full charge
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.06 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.84 / 2.31 / 2.33 Watt
Load midlight 4.76 / 6.39 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
3300 mAh
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3100 mAh
Honor 9
3200 mAh
OnePlus 5
3300 mAh
Huawei P10
3200 mAh
Nokia 8
3090 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
16%
-12%
2%
-14%
-8%
56%
Idle Minimum *
0.84
0.67
20%
1.13
-35%
0.73
13%
0.83
1%
0.86
-2%
0.45
46%
Idle Average *
2.31
1.7
26%
2.25
3%
1.44
38%
2.1
9%
2.13
8%
0.78
66%
Idle Maximum *
2.33
1.78
24%
2.3
1%
1.5
36%
2.18
6%
2.16
7%
0.84
64%
Load Average *
4.76
4.42
7%
4.89
-3%
6.91
-45%
6.57
-38%
4.65
2%
1.69
64%
Load Maximum *
6.39
6.3
1%
7.99
-25%
8.51
-33%
9.32
-46%
9.99
-56%
3.79
41%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The Asus ZenFone 4’s battery life is impressive among the competition and is outbid only by the Motorola Moto Z2 Play.

The results were most easily compared at an adjusted screen brightness of 150 cd/m². At this level, the ZenFone 4 performed merely averagely, its comparatively large battery notwithstanding. In our WLAN test it made fifth place and in video playback it made third.

On that account, the test device offers an encompassing battery saving mode, which can be individually adjusted to the user’s needs. During our tests we also noted that the smartphone uses very little power in standby mode and only marginally discharges across the day.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
27h 45min
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (Chrome 62)
9h 22min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 38min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 46min
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
3300 mAh
BQ Aquaris X Pro
3100 mAh
Honor 9
3200 mAh
OnePlus 5
3300 mAh
Huawei P10
3200 mAh
Nokia 8
3090 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
6%
-12%
-10%
2%
-2%
33%
Reader / Idle
1665
1840
11%
1399
-16%
1534
-8%
1540
-8%
1506
-10%
1589
-5%
H.264
698
644
-8%
564
-19%
623
-11%
582
-17%
733
5%
946
36%
WiFi v1.3
562
730
30%
516
-8%
518
-8%
966
72%
650
16%
749
33%
Load
286
254
-11%
278
-3%
247
-14%
176
-38%
237
-17%
477
67%

Pros

+ high-quality-build
+ Bluetooth 5.0 (with Oreo)
+ aptX HD
+ precise and fast GPS
+ microSD card slot
+ excellent main camera
+ good speakers
+ bright and display with high contrast

Cons

- only USB 2.0
- Included charger weak
- Uses PWM
- Wide-angle camera lacking

Verdict

Review: Asus ZenFone 4 (ZE554KL). Test unit provided by Asus Germany.
Review: Asus ZenFone 4 (ZE554KL). Test unit provided by Asus Germany.

Asus manages to offer an attractive continuation of its ZenFone series with the ZenFone 4. Its design is elegant, yet simple and its system performance convinced us. Its networking speeds are impressive, with LTE Cat 13 and good WLAN performance. Along with the new Snapdragon CPU, Bluetooth has been updated to its latest iteration and geolocation works very well. The updated GPU catapults the ZenFone 4 forward within its class and its display is well suited to outdoor use. Regrettably, it utilizes PWM. 

With the ZenFone 4, Asus offers a competitively equipped smartphone that revealed almost no flaws in our test findings. 

Generally, the ZenFone 4 leaves little room for valid criticism. Unfortunately, its USB port conforms to USB 2.0 standard and the included charger’s power is too low to utilize the fast charging technology marketed for the smartphone. Our impression of the dual-lens camera was ambivalent: While the main camera is excellent, the secondary lens cannot compare and is reminiscent of the LG G5’s flaws. The camera can produce excellent photos without doubt, but its second lens might remain unused. 

The ZenFone 4 also caters to music aficionados with features like high-resolution audio, DTS and aptX HD, not to mention the integrated headphone jack. At €500 (~$593), its pricing seems a bit steep but we strongly recommend the ZenFone 4 nevertheless. 

Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL - 12/01/2017 v6
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
91%
Keyboard
69 / 75 → 92%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
50 / 60 → 83%
Weight
91%
Battery
92%
Display
86%
Games Performance
41 / 63 → 65%
Application Performance
51 / 70 → 73%
Temperature
93%
Noise
100%
Audio
76 / 91 → 83%
Camera
79%
Average
78%
87%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL Smartphone Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2017-12- 4 (Update: 2017-12- 4)