Asus provides a clearer launch window for the ZenFone AR handset
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We are now closer than ever to the release of Asus' ZenFone AR handset. According to Engadget, the Tango-powered phone will hit the Taiwanese market in mid-June, and will head to the US a few weeks later.
This release info comes courtesy of Asus CEO Jerry Shen, who spoke exclusively with the tech website. While he was willing to provide the aforementioned date estimates, he was a bit more reluctant to reveal details regarding price. When pressed on the issue, being asked specifically if the phone "would cost more than a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus," he simply replied that his company "wouldn't dare charge more than that." Does that mean a sub-$800 price, then?
Regardless of how much it costs, once the ZenFone AR hits retailers, it won't have much direct competition in the augmented reality smartphone space. The only other commercially-available Tango device, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, packs a mid-range Snapdragon 652 processor and only 4 GB of RAM; such specs are unsuitable for augmented reality's high demands. The ZenFone AR, on the other hand, is equipped with a much faster Snapdragon 821 CPU along with an Adreno 530 GPU, and a whopping 8 GB of RAM (a 6 GB model is also available). Accordingly, you can expect a large jump in performance over Lenovo's handset.
Another advantage the Zenfone AR has over the Phab 2 Pro is its overall design. Unlike the Phab 2 Pro which is somewhat bulky and unwieldy, due in no small part to its huge 6.4-inch screen, the ZenFone AR is much sleeker and more comfortable to use—its smaller 5.7-inch display helps it in this regard. Slightly thinner bezels add to the device's attractiveness. Even the camera sensors on the back of the device are nicely condensed into a smaller, rectangular portion instead of a long line as on the Phab 2 Pro. Overall, it's a more aesthetically pleasing piece of hardware.
As previously reported, when the Asus Zenfone AR launches it will be available exclusively through Verizon in the US.