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Asus Zenfone AR Review, Price, Features, AR VR Support, Specifications and More

Smartphone manufacturers keep releasing models that are faster and better than the ones that came before. You see bigger screens, better cameras, and improved designs but it isn't often that entirely new capabilities are added to a phone. Asus has decided to blaze a new path with the Zenfone AR, the first phone to support augmented reality and virtual reality apps. The phone is a result of a collaboration between Asus, Google and Qualcomm.

Well, flagship device is these days all have metal unibody the Asus Zenfone AR stands out thanks to its aluminium alloy frame and burnest leather back, it does not feel slippery, and the black leather is soft to the touch. This phone is quite bulky and weighs 170 grams but overall it still has a premium look, and it feels solidly build. The home button hasn’t integrated fingerprint scanner next to the ear piece there is a notification lite and ambient light sensor, a proximity sensor and the 8-megapixel selfie camera. The large camera module on the back has a brushed finish which goes well with the leather back. It houses what Asus calls a trican system consisting of a 23-megapixel camera with an additional motion and depth sensing cameras right next to it. The three cameras are protected by sapphire glass, right above the camera is the auto focus sensor with a triple LED flash. You can see Asus and Google Tango logos engraved in the leather lower down.

The 5.7-inch super AMOLED display has Corning gorilla glass 4, but our review in it came with a glass protector pre applied. It has a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels for a pixel density of 515ppi, it is crisp, and the high resolution does help the VR experience. We found viewing angles to be good, but reflections was sometimes a problem.

The Asus Zenfone AR has a 3,300mAh battery with a step design to make the most of the available space. It is a dual SIM phone which supports 4G and VoLTE, and you can pop in 2 Nano SIM’s or one Nano SIM and one Micro SD card. Powering a phone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC processor. It is worked with Qualcomm and Google engineers to optimise this processor to run AR and VR apps. The sensors on the Zenfone AR have a higher polling frequency than usual which helps the phone captures minor moments accurately coupled with the processor with 8GB of RAM, and we have found that we had 5GB free after a day is used. There is 128GB of internal storage which can be expanded using the Hybrid SIM Slot.

Competitors at this price range might have powerful processors, but the Zenfone AR is no slouch, it is still powerful, and we did not encounter any lag when using the phone. It handled games well with no frame drops. The Zenfone AR usually runs cool when use normally expect when playing Asphalt 8 for a long time. This device has a vapour cooling and runs on Android v7.0 Nougat with Zen UI 3.5 on top. The user interface is functionally similar to Android, but there are customised icons and themes. There are gestures big into the UI which can be used to wake the device by the double tapping of the screen or can be used to launch apps by drawing an alphabet. The one handed mode makes it easier to use the big phone. There is quite a few pre loaded AR apps including BMW eye visualise, measure, eye teasing and AR pets. Augmented reality works very well and looks realistic, and the phone is quick to respond to hand moments and also quick to update AR objects on the screen based on your physical movements.

The Asus Zenfone AR is compatible with google day dream VR. We found the experience to be good, and the Google day dream view headset was very comfortable. The Zenfone AR sports a 23-megapixel camera with laser auto focus as well as face and contrast detection to help focus in different conditions. The camera app has several Moz for photography, photos turned out nicely, but we did notice that the Zenfone AR isn’t very sure with white balanced. The Zenfone AR can do 4K video recording and also Full HD at 60fps. The Zenfone AR has an 8-megapixel front camera beautification mode is switch on by default, but there are multiple modes here as well. We were happy with the selfies that the Zenfone AR captures.

The Zenfone AR offers completely new experiences with augmented reality and virtual reality on a single device.  If you are a developer and looking to work on AR or VR for Android, the Zenfone AR could be a tool the same can be set for individuals or the companies that leverage AR to demonstrate their products. Apart from this, the specs are little outdated when we look at current phones at this price level or even lower.

If you want to experience AR or want a phone that stands out from the rest, then the Zenfone AR is a unique option. The smartphone is priced at Rs.49,990.

About Venkatesh Gorantla


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