Asus ZenFone AR first impressions: A device to see beyond the reality

Asus has launched its latest smartphone Asus Zenfone AR in India. This is the first smartphone to support both Google Tango and Google DayDream out of the box. So, the phone is to enjoy both AR and VR content. This device has been priced at Rs. 49,999 and is now available from Flipkart.

Buy it here: Flipkart

Also read: What are Google Tango and Daydream Platforms?

With this phone, Asus wants to push Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to mainstream using just the smartphone. Not just these two things, Asus has also packed this phone with powerful hardware to give an amazing performance.

This phone is sleek with 5.7-mm thickness. The phone has premium ‘burnished’ leather finish to the back and front remains all glass. It has ‘Areo-Space Aluminum’ made metallic frame at the edges. Above the display, it has a proximity sensor and front camera. Below the display, it has a home button with an integrated fingerprint scanner. The volume rocker and power button are on the right side of the phone. The bottom side has 3.5-mm headphone jack, USB 2.0 Type-C reversible port, and speaker grill. At the left, it has Nano-SIM slot.

At the back, you see three camera sensors including the primary 23 MP camera sensor, a fish-eye camera for motion tracking and third with IR (Infra-red) projector to sense the depth of the surroundings.

Asus Zenfone AR comes with 5.7-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The display also features Tru2Life Technology to ensure more vibrant colors. This display has good viewing angles and offers nice experience. When you try the VR content, you will understand how good it is.

For amazing performance, the device is packed with 2.35GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with Adreno 530 GPU. Qualcomm worked with Asus to optimize this chipset for AR and VR along with offering good gaming performance. It is packed with 8GB of RAM to offer good multitasking and ensure you have enough RAM for performing heavy tasks. I tested few games and tried several AR and VR apps. Everything worked without any issue.

The phone is also packed with 128 GB internal storage that can be expanded up to 2 TB with a microSD card.

The phone runs on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with ZenUI 3.0. Asus has deployed Tango and DayDream support and comes with dedicated apps to locate the content. All other things of the Zen UI have already been mentioned with several Asus smartphone reviews that we have done in the past.

The company has included a 23 megapixels primary camera with f/2.0 aperture and Sony IMX318 sensor. Sony has also included its PixelMaster 3.0 camera technology to ensure good camera experience. There are also two other camera sensors to measure depth and track motions. The primary camera also offers four-axis optical image stabilization, 3x zoom, TriTech autofocus and PDAF. It also has 3 -axis electronic image stabilization for videos. The rear camera can also record 4K video at 24 frames per second. There is also an 8 megapixels front camera with f/2.0 aperture.

The camera app offers numbers of camera modes including Auto, Manual, HDR Pro, Beautification, Super Resolution, Children, Low Light, QR code, Night, Depth of Field, Filter, Selfie, GIF Animation, Panorama, Miniature, Time Rewind, Smart Remove, and more. IN the Super-resolution mode, it takes four photos from the 23 MP camera and combines it to form one photo of 92 MP resolution. The Pro mode is awesome and allows you to control camera like you can do in DSLR. It also supports RAW images.

Asus has also taken care of audio experience. It as includes a five-magnet speaker, NXP smart amplifier, DTS HeadphoneX, 7.1-inch virtual surround sound and support for Hi-res audio.

The phone has a fingerprint sensor. Other sensors are accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, barometer, and proximity sensors. It has 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-FI Direct, Bluetooth v4.2, USB 2.0 Type-C reversible connector and GPS.

It is packed with 3300 mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. Asus also has different power saving modes to keep your battery usage optimize and offer improved battery performance.

I also tested few AR apps on this phone. See photos below.

Final Words

This phone is powerful in terms of specifications. The AR and VR functionalities make it different than other phones. So, there is no other phone that can be noted as the competitor. I am not sure if Indian consumers are ready to spend this much of amount to experience the virtual world on their phone. This phone wants to bring a virtual world to your real world and show a virtual world like it is real. If you can spend for getting early access to future technologies, this phone is for you.

What do you guys think about this phone? Let us know your views in the comments.

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