In an exclusive interview given to India Today Tech, an official from Taiwanese equipment manufacturer Asus has revealed that the company has two products, Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom and Asus Zenfone AR, in the pipeline for the Indian launch. Both phones were first unveiled at CES 2017. While AR is talking point on Asus Zenfone AR, optical zooming is the signature feature of the Zenfone 3 Zoom.
Though the official didn’t provide exact dates, he confirmed that both the phones would be launching with in two months. He hasn’t divulged any details regarding pricing either.
Speaking to India Today tech, Dinesh Sharma, director at Mobile Product Centre for ASUS India, said: “We’re going to be shortly launching the ZenFone 3 Zoom and the ZenFone AR in India and a fair time frame would be within two months.”
Asus Zenfone AR Specifications
To recap, Asus Zenfone AR is the first phone to come with 8GB RAM. It sports the Snapdragon 821 SoC along with up to a whopping 8 GB of RAM. Yes, it is not the latest 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.
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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 pre installed 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 Specifications
On the other hand, 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.
The base variant of Zenfone 3 is currently selling for $329 (roughly Rs 21,264) in the US. Zenfone AR’sprice is yet to be revealed; however, it should certainly bear a hefty price tag. Asus has bee facing heat in India due to its expensive pricing model. We have to wait and see if it changes with any of these two phones.