Asus’ ZenFone handsets are a selection of lower and mid-range, affordable devices that for the most part have been based around Intel processors. Asus has expanded the handset side of things to include both small and large-screened devices and uses its own custom interface. We’ve been reporting that the new ZenFone devices, due to be announced in early January at the CES, Las Vegas, are likely to use a different processor family but today, Asus have upped the ante by releasing a ten second video clip on their Facebook page under the tag, “See what others can’t see” and showing two rear mounted cameras.
There are only a few frames showing the rear cameras and there’s no additional information released with the news story. Perhaps Asus are using a depth-sensing camera lens assembly, like HTC did with the One M8? The two lenses are set very close together, which would seem to rule out the possibilities of Asus using a 3D imaging sensor of some description. Perhaps the second sensor is an infrared camera lens and so the device really can see what other devices cannot? Of these options, I suspect that the two sensors will work together in a similar way to the solution HTC went for with the M8 and allow enhanced post-processing of taken images with variable focus points, similar to a Lytro camera. We already know that Qualcomm include support for multiple cameras in their higher-end chipsets so perhaps Asus’ next flagship will use at least the Snapdragon 801 processor, which is quite the departure from the Intel Atom. This written, I do not expect Asus to directly follow the HTC route but instead to introduce either a new way of handling images, or some other refinement to the HTC Duo camera arrangement. Will it make the next flagship ZenFone device a photographic genius? We don’t know.
There have been other rumor about the up and coming ZenFone family, including one to be a 5.5-inch phablet, but details are thin on the ground. And in some countries, the existing ZenFone handsets have only recently been sold to quite the commercial success. Asus also have a successful range of tablets, too: the 2015 ZenFone range is important in order for the business to maintain momentum. We’ll find out in a few weeks what Asus are doing with their new handsets and their camera technology; stay tuned for more details.