ASUS has just introduced the ASUS ZenFone AR smartphone. First and foremost, it is worth mentioning that this phone is both Tango-enabled and Daydream-ready. Which makes this the first ever smartphone to offer support for both the Daydream and Tango platforms. ASUS introduced the ZenFone AR during the company’s press conference at CES 2017 today. Which makes it the second Tango-enabled smartphone to ever be announced, following the Lenovo PHAB 2 Pro.
The ASUS ZenFone AR features a metallic frame, while it also comes with a home button below its display, which doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The company’s logo is placed above the ZenFone AR’s display, and the whole camera setup in the back is quite noticeable, which is to be expected, considering what this phone is capable of doing in terms of AR. The device’s Google Daydream compatibility essentially means it is compatible with Google’s platform for mobile virtual reality (VR) and therefore, can be used with Google’s Daydream View headset and controller to access virtual reality content. Tango, on the other hand, is Google’s AR platform, and the ZenFone AR comes equipped with a number of sensors and computer vision software which supports smartphone augmented reality.
In terms of the specs, the ASUS ZenFone AR is fueled by a massive 8GB RAM (another world's first for ASUS) and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 64-bit quad-core processor – which is one of the big differentiators between this phone and the Lenovo PHAB 2 Pro, as the PHAB 2 Pro makes use of the Snapdragon 652 processor. Although, the ZenFone AR display is a 5.7-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) display – another of the notable differences between this and the PHAB 2 Pro (which comes with a much larger 6.4-inch display). As to be expected, the rear camera setup is a more complex one to account for the Tango-enabling and the setup is spearheaded by a 23-megapixel camera with additional sensors. At the moment, there are no firm details on how much it will cost at launch. Although these details are expected to come through sooner rather than later. In terms of availability, it is expected the ZenFone AR will be available to buy in Q2, 2017.