Qualcomm may have inadvertently announced Asus’ ZenFone AR phablet in advance, but it does not mean the device is not worth checking out now that it has officially seen the light of day. As leaked earlier, the ZenFone AR holds the distinction of being the first commercially available smartphone to have support for both Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform and Tango augmented reality technology.
It is safe to say that the ZenFone AR handset is in rather exclusive company. After all, it is the only the second ever smartphone to support Tango (the first one was Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro). And as far as Daydream VR compatibility is concerned, there are only five other smartphones out in the market that fits the bill -- namely Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL, and Motorola’s Moto Z, Moto Z Droid, and Moto Z Force Droid.
Now on to the specifications -- the ZenFone AR has a 5.7 inch WQHD display screen with resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 pixels, paired with a formidable 23 megapixel camera on the rear side and an 8 megapixel camera on the front side. The device is also fitted with Qualcomm’s four core 2.35 GigaHertz Snapdragon 821 chip set, with the Adreno 530 graphics processor unit (GPU). This is supported ably by 6 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM) as well as 32 gigabytes of onboard memory at the least, with micro SD support up to a couple of terabytes. The ZenFone AR also has a 3,300 mAh battery and is powered by Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat mobile operating system, with Asus’ own ZenUI 3.0.
Apart from debuting the ZenFone AR, Asus also took the opportunity to announce another offering, the ZenFone 3 Zoom. Compared to the ZenFone AR phablet, the ZenFone 3 Zoom is smaller at 5.5 inches, with an AMOLED display screen (with a 1,920 by 1,080 pixel resolution), complemented with a dual camera configuration that features two 12 megapixel cameras on the rear side (a f/1.7 aperture 25 millimeter wide angle lens, paired with a 59 millimeter version with 2.3x optical zoom) and a 13 megapixel camera on the front side.
Inside, the ZenFone 3 Zoom packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 eight core chip set (plus an Adreno 506 GPU), with 4 gigabytes of RAM and up to 128 gigabytes of built in storage. The device also comes with a non-removable 5,000 mAh battery and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Asus ZenUI 3.0.
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