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The Selfie Swing is a real, terrible thing

Asus is accessorizing its ZenFone Selfie phone with a selfie-taking stand

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Selfies are hard, aren't they? You have to lift up your arm, wipe the ennui off your face, and press a button to make the selfie happen. Too much work, says Asus. What you need is the help of a Selfie Swing! It's a simple swinging arm that attaches to the new ZenFone Selfie smartphone and can be flexed out to serve as a stand to hold the phone upright. To be fair, an integrated stand is not the worst idea in the world, but why Asus felt the need to tie it to self-portrait photography is beyond me.

Here at Computex, Asus only had a mockup of the Selfie Swing that doesn't lock out in any position and requires a bit of imagination to envision the practical use of the final product. One way to think of it is as a way to extend the ZenFone further away from you — yes, like a selfie stick — in order to capture more of the scenery around you. The other way of using it would be to place the phone on a platform and walk away from it. Sort of like asking a human to take a photo for you.

Still, if there's any phone suited to this type of accessory, Asus' ZenFone Selfie has the name and the hardware to be that device. Like HTC's Desire Eye, the ZenFone Selfie doesn't prioritize between the rear and front cameras, and instead includes 13-megapixel image sensors on both sides. Like LG's G3 and G4, this new ZenFone also has a laser autofocus system, though that's limited to just the rear. There are also two dual-tone LED flashes, one for each camera, as well as the absolutely requisite false beautification imaging tweaks.

What sort of crazy focus groups is Asus listening to when coming up with these ideas?

When retracted, the Selfie Swing serves as a rather chunky frame, sitting snugly around three of the ZenFone Selfie's sides. The phone itself is already quite large at 5.5 inches, and this extra size does it no favors. Asus is one of the last remaining smartphone manufacturers to persist in placing its power button at the top of the phone, and that's not helped by the Selfie Swing's presence — it has a moving part that's intended to press down on the power button, but it didn't work on the mockup at the show. I can't imagine ever feeling comfortable with the Selfie plus Selfie Swing combo in my pocket. Or anywhere in my general vicinity, to be honest. It's just silly, and not in a good way.

Asus expects to have the ZenFone Selfie available globally from the third quarter of this year, with the Selfie Swing following later in the year.