It’s not often you see a phone pack in multiple experimental Google features, but ASUS has done it with the ASUS ZenFone AR. The company’s latest flagship phone is built for Google Tango, a once experimental augmented reality (AR) system that has now made its way into two consumer level devices. The end of last year gave us the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, a phone that centered on Tango’s capabilities, packing some fairly mid-range specs into a large, metal chassis. ASUS has brought its own Tango device to the table too, but it’s doing it with significantly better specs, and significantly smaller and lighter build, and even includes Google Daydream support for the best in virtual reality (VR) support this side of Samsung’s Gear VR ecosystem.
The ASUS ZenFone AR packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 inside a sleek metal body, covering the back in leather the likes we haven’t seen since 2014. It’s a different kind of luxury on a flagship than we’re used to in 2017, when most phones seem to be going all glass and metal to cope with the waterproof and dustproof builds people are clamoring for. While the ZenFone AR doesn’t offer water or dust resistance of any IP-rated kind, it does offer other functionality that you simply will not find on any other flagship phone out there. ASUS is also offering multiple different versions of the phone to suit your tastes and budget, from the $599 version with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, to the $699 version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Even Verizon will be offering the ZenFone AR for $649, offering a special version of the phone with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
Is the ZenFone AR right for you? We’ve already published our full review, which includes plenty of details that can’t be fit into a video, but you have to see something like Tango and Daydream in motion to fully appreciate what the ZenFone AR can bring to the table. Daydream requires a compatible Daydream-certified headset, like Google’s own Daydream View for instance, which can be picked up for around $80 or less depending on whether or not you get it on sale. Check out the video below and see what you think!