Asus has unveiled a new flagship smartphone in its lineup, called the Asus ZenFone AR. This is the same phone that was leaked a few days earlier by Qualcomm, and as its name implies, it has quite a few tricks up its sleeve related to virtual and augmented reality.
The company is touting the Asus ZenFone AR, as the first phone to support both Google projects, Tango and Daydream. In other words, the Asus ZenFone AR can support mixed reality scenarios where the phone overlays information over the physical world, as well as support full virtual reality via a Daydream headset.
The first task is achieved thanks to Asus’ “TriCam” system, which bundles three cameras: a 23 -megapixel regular shooter, a motion-tracking camera and a depth-sensing infrared camera. Together they help the phone track itself in space and impose virtual environments over the real world. It’s an interesting application of augmented reality technology, one which we’ve explored alongside the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the first handset to support Project Tango.
Meanwhile, Daydream is Google’s latest foray into full virtual reality, and the company’s follow-up to its Cardboard project. Daydream refers to several specifications that the phone and a virtual reality headpiece need to have, in order to achieve an acceptable level of graphics performance in VR. Google announced Daydream early last year and its Pixel devices were some of the first phones to support the new technology.
As you can probably tell there’s some really powerful hardware inside of the Asus ZenFone AR to push all of this mixed and virtual reality tech. And that’s very much true, as the phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, comes with up to 8GB of RAM, and has up to a whopping 256GB of storage. It also features a 5.7-inch WQHD Super AMOLED display and ships with Android 7.0 Nougat. This promises to make the handset an interesting competitor on the market.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on pricing just yet and the Asus ZenFone AR isn’t expected to hit markets until summer.
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