Following yesterday’s reveal that Verizon would be stocking the ASUS ZenFone AR, ASUS has now revealed that the unlocked variant of the handset is on sale in the U.S. as well. Better still, it looks like the unlocked version of the device can be purchased in both available configurations and will follow along with expectations with regard to price. That means fans of ASUS’ Snapdragon 821 touting, augmented reality-enhanced flagship can pick up a variant with a higher-than-average 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for around $599 USD or can opt for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model for just $100 more. The storage of both devices can be expanded via Micro SD(SDXC) all the way up to 2TB.
Despite the fact that the AASUS ZenFone AR comes with last year’s flagship SoC on board, there are still plenty of reasons to take an interest. The big selling point for the latest ASUS release has to be that the ZenFone AR is designed with an almost single-minded focus on optimizations both for virtual reality and augmented reality – VR and AR respectively. That means it fully supports both Tango and Daydream. Backing that up is a unique array of sensors and “computer vision” software that work in tandem to interpret images, videos, motion, and spatial environment. For example, with Tango, the device can determine distances between itself and obstacles – using motion tracking, area learning, and depth perception. On the VR front, the ZenFone AR’s WQHD 1440 x 2560, 5.7-inch super AMOLED display is perfectly suited for Daydream and other VR accessories. Beyond that, and although the camera has not yet been scored officially for the device, the handset comes with a Sony IMX318 sensor and an advanced autofocus system which likely takes advantage of the same sensors helping out with AR and VR. It is also capable of shooting at a full 4K resolution and the software backing the camera up is packed with all of the features one might expect from a top-tier Android device.
For those users who may be worried about sound quality, there should be no qualms on that front either. ASUS says its ZenFone AR comes with a state-of-the-art “ultra-loud 5-magnet speaker” that features support for Hi-Res Audio and DTS virtual surround sound. Better still, the ZenFone AR should be compatible with most major U.S. carriers. U.S. consumers will be able to buy the unlocked version of the ZenFone AR from Amazon as well as other online retailers.