The dawn of a promising smartphone technology has come to local shores as ASUS Philippines launches Zenfone AR. The anticipated new gadget is touted to be a game-changer as it is the first ever mobile phone that can facilitate virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences to the discerning Filipino techies.
The anticipation for Zenfone AR began early this year when it started taking the limelight in various tech conventions globally, the latest of which was Computex2017, held in May.
To begin with, the new Zenfone is the first Google-Tango enabled and Daydream-ready smartphone. Tango facilitates augmented reality through advanced motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning features for gaming, utilities, and indoor navigation. Daydream, on the other hand, is a Google platform for virtual reality through its special apps.
Zenfone AR can be paired with Daydream View headset plus controller to create a personal VR cinema in an instant (through VR versions of Netflix, YouTube, or HBO) and play VR games (like LEGO BrickHeadz and Gunjack 2), putting the user incredibly at the center of the action. Tech and Lifestyle Journal learned that the special headset will soon be available locally for a tag price of about P3,000.
The new smartphone is also holding the record as the world’s first smartphone coming with 8GB of RAM. As if that is not already enough, Zenfone AR even has 128GB of UFS 2.0 storage, facilitating quick-open storage of a huge library of apps, videos, photos, games, and music. It is also equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, a powerful processor optimized for Tango.
Equipped with an ASUS TriCam system, the Zenfone AR makes uses of three powerful rear cameras—one for motion-tracking, another for depth-sensing, and a 23MP high-resolution PixelMaster 3.0 camera—all configured strategically in a slim phone that is designed for bringing superb AR experiences. Moreover, the smartphone can also facilitate high-resolution 4K UHD video recording and can enable professional manual creative photography controls.
Display and body
The 5.7-inch smartphone brags of a superior WQHD Super AMOLED display with a five-magnet speaker. Thus, engaging in Daydream’s VR apps, games, and videos can be more entertaining and immersive. To top these all, Android 7.0 Nougat brings about multitasking features plus other enhancements for much better mobile experience.
Lastly, the Zenfone AR comes in a slim body that beams a minimalist, light, and compact design. It is packed in a precision-milled metal frame with stainless-steel accents adorning the camera for that exquisite, luxurious look. The ergonomic curved shape and a leather-patterned rear surface completes the overall aesthetic superiority that even the most stylish smartphone users can easily love.
Zenfone AR takes a tag price of P44,995. It is bundled with a ZenPower Ultra powerbank, an exclusive Clear Case, a Tempered Glass, and a special VR Cardboard. Pre-orders will be accommodated from July 5 to July 16.
For a more impressive launch of Zenfone AR, ASUS Philippines collaborated with VR Philippines, a local community of enthusiasts and VR developers, for a 48-hour hackathon, held from June 22 to 24 at Whitespace Manila in Makati City.
‘Zenfone AR: A New Reality Hackathon’ was a challenge wherein six pre-qualified teams were given just 48 hours to conceptualize and develop AR and VR apps that make use of the capabilities of the new Zenfone AR.