Although the Edge of Beyond event was focused on the 5 new Notebook PCs, the Experience Hall had one big area to demonstrate Augmented Reality (AR) by a smartphone. The ASUS ZenFone AR was the lone smartphone on display yesterday but was mobbed by the media and guests to test the device.
The ZenFone AR is the thinnest and lightest smartphone that is both Google Tango-enabled and Daydream-ready. For those who don’t know these yet, Tango is an Augmented Reality (AR) technology that changes the way you interact with the world and expands your vision. Google Daydream will let you experience high-quality, immersive Virtual Reality (VR) with your smartphone.
ZenFone AR comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor that is optimized for Tango, and it’s the world’s first smartphone with, hold your breath, 8GB of RAM. ZenFone AR’s powerful performance and innovative camera work in conjunction with Tango to enable smooth and compelling smartphone AR experiences. A gorgeous, 5.7-inch WQHD Super AMOLED display and a new five-magnet speaker makes Daydream VR apps, games and videos more immersive and entertaining.
ASUS ZENFONE AR SPECS:
OS: Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI
Processor: 2.35 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Octa-Core processor | Adreno 530
Display: 2560 x 1440 5.7" WQHD Super AMOLED Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Wireless Connections: LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11 a/c, A-GPS, GLONASS
Memory: up to 256 GB Internal Storage expandable up to 128GB with a Micro SD Card, 8GB RAM
Connectors: Type-C USB 2.0
Cameras: 23 Megapixels (Sony IMX318) with OIS f/2.0 and 2nd Gen Laser Autofocus (Main Camera), 8 Megapixels f/2.0 with 85" wide-angle view (Front)
SIM Card Slots: 1x Micro SIM Card, 1x Nano SIM Card required (Hybrid)
Battery: 3,300 mAh
Pricing of the ASUS Zenfone AR is not yet announced but we will find out once they launch this in Manila probably this coming June.
These are the Google Daydream VR headset with its controller.
This is how you insert the ASUS Zenfone AR into the Google Daydream headset. Pull back the cover and lock the latch.
Testing the Zenfone AR with Google Daydream is Isa Rodriguez of GadgetMatch.
Though not yet using the final software, I had a great experience testing the ZenFone AR with Daydream! Using the controller was a challenge at first but I was able to get used to it. I played a couple of games while on Daydream and I didn’t realize that I’ve been playing for more than 15 minutes already! I think there’s a lot of promise here, and I hope there would be more developer support for AR and VR in the near future.