ASUS Mobile recently announced two new smartphones: the ASUS ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom. Each phone has an array of cameras that provide advanced imaging features such as simulated depth of field and augmented reality (AR).


ASUS ZenFone AR with 8GB of RAM, and another with a 5000mAh battery. Yes, we realise those are not exactly the two smartphones’ selling points, but the ZenFone AR does earn some credit in becoming the first phone to have 8GB RAM. It supports Project Tango, Google’s augmented reality platform, as well as the DayDream VR platform.

Inside the ZenFone AR is a Snapdragon 821 SoC that includes two of Qualcomm’s custom Kryo CPU cores running at up to 2.35GHz and another two Kryo cores that can reach 2.19GHz. The Hexagon DSP provides the six degree of freedom position tracking used by Tango. Because of the high demands placed on all the processors inside the SoC (CPU, GPU, DSP, ISP) when running AR and VR applications, the ZenFone AR includes a heat pipe to help keep things cool. It will be interesting to see how this cooling solution works and if it proves sufficient to keep the SoC from throttling during heavy use.

The ZenFone 3 Zoom is thinner than its predecessor, has two 12 megapixel sensors (similar to the iPhone 7 Plus) with 2.3x optical zoom, and up to 12x of digital zoom. Oh yes, and that huge battery we mentioned earlier can also be used to charge other phones.