Asus has launched a new smartphone in India- the Zenfone AR, which is the world’s first device to have support for Daydream and Tango. The Zenfone AR carries a whopping price tag of Rs. 49,990 and will be exclusively sold via Flipkart in India starting today. Asus is banking on the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) capabilities for the Zenfone AR, and is looking to take on the flagship phones such as Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC U11.
And the device packs top-notch hardware in the form of 5.7-inch Quad HD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. Under the hood, there’s a Snapdragon 821 chipset, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.0 internal storage. There’s a microSD card slot as well for storage expansion.
The Zenfone AR comes with a 23MP rear camera powered by a Sony IMX318 sensor, paired with PixelMaster 3.0 technologies. The rear camera has f/2.0 aperture, 6P lens, and both Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) & Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) for better video output. And the camera also records 4K video.
The camera app also comes with modes such as HDR, Super Resolution Mode, Manual Mode, and Long Exposure. The device also records RAW images of size up to 92MB. Up front, there’s an 8MP camera with f/2.0 aperture and 83-degree wide angle view.
Furthermore, Asus is highlighting the five-magnet speaker in the Zenfone AR. The device has support for Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.3, GPS, and NFC. And this entire package is backed by a 3000mAh battery which has Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support.
So, these are the specifications of the Zenfone AR on paper. And they are looking slightly outdated, apart from the massive 8GB RAM. Almost all the flagship smartphones of 2017 (minus the LG G6) came with Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is powerful than the Snapdragon 821 chip.
As mentioned earlier, Asus is banking on the AR and VR capabilities of the Zenfone AR, and even Flipkart is offering the Google Daydream headset at Rs. 2500 for the purchasers of Zenfone AR. Well, this is not the first smartphone to launch in India with Tango support. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro priced at Rs. 29,999 arrived with Google Tango features and the smartphone seen in someone’s hand in real life.
And the Phab 2 Pro was a mishit in the Indian market and in the international markets as well. If you recall, Asus announced the Zenfone AR back at the CES 2017 in January and it took over six months to launch it in India. By now, the Snapdragon 821 became old, and Qualcomm is even prepping for the launch of Snapdragon 836 chip.
Paired with the Asus’s aggressive pricing, the Zenfone AR seems to not stand against the competition set by OnePlus 5, Samsung Galaxy S8, and the similarly priced HTC U11. Asus could have priced the device reasonably and have pushed the Indian consumers to try it out. Another letdown for the phone will be the Zen UI, which looks cluttered and full of bloatware.
Also, there are limited smartphones in the Indian market with support for Google Daydream. That said, the Asus Zenfone AR will turn out to be a disappointment in India. What should be the price of Asus Zenfone AR according to you? Let us know by commenting below.
Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.