The first phone with both Google Tango and Google Daydream is here.
While at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Asus unveiled the ZenFone AR, the second Tango-enabled phone to debut. What makes this interesting is that it also comes with Daydream, allowing it to deliver not only augmented reality but also virtual reality experiences. And, when compared to the chunky Lebovo Phab 2 Pro, the first Tango handset, the 5.7-inch ZenFone AR seems way more mobile.
- CES 2017: All the announcements that matter
- Best smartphones 2018: The best phones available to buy today
- Upcoming phones: The future smartphones of 2018
The phone weighs 170g, which is 18g less than the iPhone 7 Plus, and it features a sleek, LG G4-like pleather back. The camera system, which Asus called the TriCam, is positioned at the top so that your fingers won't get in the way of the motion-tracking sensor that has a fisheye lens. The phone's main sensor is a 23-megapixel camera with a 0.03 second autofocus. There's also a depth-sensing camera included.
With this trio, the phone can do augmented reality, shoot in RAW, and save up to 92-megapixel high-resolution photos by combining four 23-megapixel ones. It also offers 4K video recording and comes with four-axis OIS. We couldn't fully test the phone's camera abilities nor see if it can shoot in a variety of situations, as the show floor itself was well lit. We also couldn't try out any AR, because the demo units ran an older version of Android that doesn't support Tango. But it did have Daydream enabled, so we watched a few videos in virtual reality.
The phone has a Super AMOLED WQHD 2K display, which looked crisp and great, and thanks to the Snapdragon 821 processor and 8GB of RAM tucked inside, the YouTube VR app we tested ran fast and smoothly. ZenFone AR also has a 3,300mAh battery - decent, considering AR and VR are known to be battery hogs. It also has up to 256GB of built-in storage and a MicroSD slot for adding up to 2TB more.
You also get USB-C charging, a standard headphone socket, a physical home button with an integrated fingerprint sensor. So, even without Tango and Daydream, the ZenFone AR is definitely a noteworthy flagship phone. It packs powerful tech, an excellent screen, and impressive cameras into a slim form factor - and we're looking forward to really giving it a whirl when it releases in the second quarter of 2017.