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Asus brings technology innovations together in Zenfone AR: Know more

The Zenfone AR is the world's first Google Tango and Daydream View compatible smartphone

Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 

Asus Zenfone AR
Asus Zenfone AR Photo: Khalid Anzar

In what seems to be a major breakthrough in the space, Taiwanese electronics major Asus unveiled AR at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 5, 2017. In a first for any smartphone, the AR brought Google's and Daydream platforms for immersive and augmented reality experience in a single device.

More than 6 months later, the AR smartphone launched in India on July 13. In terms of specifications, the smartphone does not possess anything outdated or obsolete and that clearly indicates that the phone was ahead of its time when it was unveiled first at CES. The smartphone possesses best of both the worlds – specifications and features -- to deliver exceptional results and is something we noticed during our brief hands-on at the launch.

While we keep our final judgement reserved until the in-depth review, here is how the smartphone’s key features fared during our hands-on:

Daydream and experience

is a headset designed and manufactured by The headset is currently compatible with Pixel smartphones and AR only and that makes the Asus smartphone special. 

Asus Zenfone AR
AR Photo: Khalid Anzar
After using the headset with Pixel, it became clear that the immersive VR experience using smartphones is still far from perfect. It is not the headset that hampers the performance but the smartphone screen that plays a pivotal role in the overall experience.

On the other hand, using the VR headset with AR was a different experience altogether. Both the smartphones, Pixel and Asus AR, sport 5.7-inch screen with QHD resolution, but the use of super AMOLED screen with quick response time of one microsecond (ms) and super low latency of 2 ms in AR makes the VR experience altogether much better.

Asus Zenfone AR
AR Photo: Khalid Anzar
The AR handled the thermals better in comparison with Pixel, while strapped inside the VR headset. Both the smartphones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, but the software optimisation and use of 8GB RAM in AR seems to be drive optimal performance. Also, it seems that Asus worked closely with the hardware OEMs and to improve the overall VR experience, which is clearly visible during the use. The smartphone temperature does rise a bit but remains under control and the use of leathered back improves the thermal management overall.

Asus Zenfone AR
AR Photo: Khalid Anzar
Talking about platform, which is based on augmented reality engine, the AR make use of TriCam that consists of three cameras at the rear – a motion-tracking camera, depth-sensing fish eye camera and high-resolution camera powered with PixelMaster 3.0. The three cameras work in tandem to do the augmented reality magic, a preview of which was enough to foresee that the will soon become mainstream in mobile phones.

First Published: Fri, July 14 2017. 18:55 IST
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