- Analysis by KJ David
Asus's gigantic CES 2017 entry is the swanky Zenfone AR, a premium-class phablet built for both augmented reality (Google Tango) and virtual reality (Daydream) -- the first ever smartphone to offer both technologies at once. Its Tango AR applications, which were first introduced by Lenovo's Phab2 family, let you project virtual objects onto real-world environments, among other utilities, because of its TriCam System made up of a motion-tracking cam, a depth-analysis cam, and a high-resolution 23-megapixel 4K-video-enabled dual-LED-flash camera with TriTech focusing (phase-detection, laser, and continuous AF) . Its VR capabilities, on the other hand, immerse users in 360-degree virtual settings.
Among its cons are its 3300mAh-only battery capacity that fails our expectations, given its high-tech pros and cons, though it does have Quick Charge 3.0 and BoostMaster Fast Charging on board. It is also only available in black , but it rocks a metallic diamond-cut shell matched by a leather-like backing .
The Zenfone AR is also the very first smartphone to offer a blustering 8GB LPDDR4 RAM (a 6GB version is available as well), which operates in conjunction with its flagship-tier Snapdragon 821 2.35GHz quad-core processor . Additionally, it boasts a more-than-reassuring 256GB maximum internal storage memory , the highest inbuilt memory cap in the mobile world when it came out, with a mammoth 2TB memory card slot standing by.
This phablet also does pretty well versus other phablets screen-wise, with a 5.7-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) display and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection joining its pros and cons. We expected something more than a 79% screen-to-body ratio , though, since some premium contenders reach up to 90% on that attribute. Its connectivity setup sounds highly-reassuring as well, with an LTE Cat 12/13 adapter (with 2x/3x carrier aggregation) at the helm, consequently scoring a blazing 600Mbps peak data rate .
The remainder of its ultra-high-end specs include an 8-megapixel PixelMaster selfie cam with autofocus and a dual-LED real-tone flash and an audio setup led by ASUS SonicMaster 3.0 and the NXP Smart AMP technology . Fingerprint user authentication and Near Field Communication (NFC) hop on board as well, with the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system skinned with Asus's ZenUI 3.0 rounding out its features.
With enough premium facets for many tech geeks like us to drool over, the Asus Zenfone AR likely intrigues upscale buyers looking for a powerful, multimedia-driven (We're talking both AR and VR here!) top-of-the-line smartphone.
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