Asus has just announced two new smartphones at the CES 2017 being held in Las Vegas. With the freshly launched Zenfone AR and Zenfone 3 Zoom, Asus is aiming to conquer the AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) platforms. Both the handsets come with exceptional camera hardware. The company is claiming that the Zenfone AR is the first mobile phone to rock 8 GB of RAM. On the other hand, optical zooming is the signature feature of Zenfone 3 Zoom.
Asus Zenfone AR: Specs
In terms of specification, the Zenfone AR is quite a performer. It sports the Snapdragon 821 SoC along with up to a whopping 8 GB of RAM. Yes, it is not the newest Snapdragon 835, but the 821 is not much behind. 8 GB RAM is not the only specialty of the Zenfone AR. It is also the very first smartphone to support both the Google Tango and Daydream platforms.
The Zenfone AR is specially built with AR and VR as the top priorities. Its 5.7-inch QHD (1440 x 2560) AMOLED display covers 79 percent of the front surface area of the phone. This makes it one of the best smartphone to be used in Virtual Reality headsets. On the software part, the phone runs the Android 7.0 Nougat with a bunch of exclusive apps preinstalled by Asus. There is a fingerprint scanner built into the home button of the handset.
Now, let’s move on to the most interesting part of this smartphone that is the camera. The Asus Zenfone AR comes with a 23 MP Sony IMX 318 primary snapper. This is complemented by a 4-axis OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) along with a 3-axis EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation). There are a few other sensors for motion tracking and depth of field measurements. The phone can record 4K videos at 30 fps. An 8 MP selfie camera lies at the front having 85-degree viewing angle.
Coming to connectivity, the Zenfone AR has almost everything. There is 4G LTE with VoLTE support, 802.11 ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) dual band 2 x 2 MIMO Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth v4.2, and Type-C USB port. There 5-magnet inbuilt speakers powered by Asus SonicMaster 3.0. A 3300mAh battery juices up the handset.
Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom: Specs
Coming to the specifications, the Zenfone 3 Zoom comes with a rather midrange Snapdragon 625 chipset. In terms of memory and storage, there are two variants. The base model has 3 GB of RAM along with 32 GB inbuilt memory, while the top end model rocks 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. Storage expansion is possible via micro SD card.
Upfront, there is a 5.5-inch Full HD (1080 x 1920) AMOLED display covered with Gorilla Glass 4. Speaking of the operating system, it is the older Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Asus’s modified UI. At the back, there is a dual 12 MP camera along with a fingerprint sensor. As the name suggests, Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom is capable of optical zooming. It supports up to 2.3x optical zoom along with 12x total zoom. This too has the similar 4-axis OIS and 3-axis EIS of the Zenfone AR. The front camera is a 13 MP Sony IMX 214 snapper.
Connectivity-wise, the Zenfone 3 Zoom is pretty much identical to its sibling. Just it does not support dual-band Wi-Fi and only capable of deciphering 2.4 GHz signals. A massive 5000mAh battery powers up the smartphone. There is support for reverse charging and you can use the Zenfone 3 Zoom to charge other electronic devices.
Asus Zenfone AR and Zenfone 3 Zoom: Availability and Pricing
Taking about availability, Asus hasn’t yet provided any specific date. The company just mentioned that the new smartphones will available for purchase on next month i.e. February 2017. Pricing is yet to be disclosed.