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MWC 2017 | Asus Zenfone AR Hands-On

Asus Zenfone AR
Asus Zenfone AR
The 5.7-inch AMOLED smartphone will be the first to support both Google Daydream and Tango when it launches this May.

The Asus Zenfone AR was announced at CES 2017 with the following core specifications:

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED panel
  • 2560 x 1440 resolution display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
  • 6 GB to 8 GB of RAM

The highlight of the device is its two rear cameras: The first is a traditional 23 MP camera while the second camera tracks motion and depth with an infrared sensor for an accuracy down to the centimeter. A very similar setup is also in play on the recent Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. Asus claims that the hardware will meet the requirements for both augmented reality and Google Daydream.

The applications for depth-sensing cameras are diverse. The Asus smartphone can be used to measure 3D space quickly or animate virtual toys and animals that interact with the immediate surroundings of the user. A virtual kitten, for example, may climb up sofas, tables, and other obstacles within sight. The technology can also be used outside of gaming purposes such as for placing virtual representations of furniture around the room to better aid the user in visualizing the product before purchasing. Similar software are already available on the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, though the implementation can be jittery and will require partnerships with retailers.

Our first impressions of the smartphone are positive despite the fact that the software is still very early and unfinished. Asus will launch the Zenfone AR this May with prices TBA.

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Daniel Schmidt/ Allen Ngo, 2017-03- 5 (Update: 2017-03- 5)