After months of rumours and speculation, Asus on Wednesday announced the ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. Notably, the ZenFone AR is the world’s first smartphone to be both Tango and Daydream-ready; the latter is Google’s virtual reality platform. The other smartphone which is ZenFone 3 Zoom, features a dual-camera system and a large 5,000mAh battery inside.
ZenFone AR is definitely an interesting device as it integrates two different platforms into one single device. At the press event, Asus said it has worked closely with Google to ensure the smartphone works perfectly with both Google Tango and Daydream platforms. Both companies are partnering with well-known brands to bring the Tango experience to consumers.
Internally, the ZenFone AR is a powerful smartphone. It packs in a Snapdragon 821 processor and 8GB of RAM. While Qualcomm is targeting the Snapdragon 835 as its next flagship SoC, the company says the Snapdragon 821 is designed to deliver unmatched AR and VR experiences. The front of the phone features a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED QHD (2560×1440) pixels resolution, making the experience wholesome when viewing content in virtual reality.
Being a Google Tango-ready smartphone, the ZenFone AR features three-cameras. The main camera consists of a 23MP Sony IMX 318 sensor with OIS and 4K video recording support and other two for motion-tracking and depth sensing, which help the phone react to a user’s every movement.
In addition, Asus ZenFone AR boasts an external five magnet speaker that supports Hi-Res audio and DTS virtual surround sound to deliver the ultimate AR and VR experiences. The smartphone runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. Asus also says the Zenfone AR is the thinnest project Tango smartphone in the world.
Meanwhile, ZenFone 3 Zoom is a smartphone targeted at mobile photography enthusiasts. Encased in an aluminum body, the ZenFone 3 is claimed to be the lightest and thinnest phone featuring a 5,000mAh battery. It is only 7.9mm thick and weighs in at 170 grams.
The phone comes with a 5.5-inch FHD AMOLED display and is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. Under the hood, it is powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor and will ship with different RAM and storage configurations. The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, instead of the latest Android 7.0 Nougat.
The main highlight of the ZenFone 3 Zoom is a dual-camera setup on the device. On the rear, you get a 12MP Sony IMX362 sensor with 25mm wide-angle lens and f/1.7 aperture along with a dedicated 12MP, 56mm lens for 2.3x optical zoom. The front facing camera is rated at 13MP.
ZenFone 3 Zoom will be available in February 2017. The ZenFone AR will be made available in Q2 2017. Pricing of both smartphones will be announced at a later stage.