Asus ZenFone AR • Performance & Hardware Advantage
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Asus ZenFone AR is the first phone in the world to support both Google Tango augmented reality and Daydream virtual reality, a Tang-enabled and Daydream-ready on a single smartphone device. You no longer need to decide whether to buy, a Tango-enabled phone or a Daydream-ready one.

These two technologies are at the front of the technology innovation for mobile devices. 2017 is going to explode with tons of augmented reality and virtual reality apps and games. Right now both Tango and Daydream are making their first move and there isn't a lot of content available to them at the moment, but in 2017 we can see more and more developers targeting those devices as they become more common.

I am personally interested in augmented reality and virtual reality gaming. The Asus Zenfone AR comes with Qualcomm snapdragon 821 processor, which is more powerful than the Snapdragon 652's Lenovo Phab2 Pro Tango-enabled phone. This processor supports the intensive commuting power needed to run Tango applications, including the option for 3D mapping of an area, motion tracking and son on. All of those intensive computing is done on a single SoC for improved efficiency. The Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP is responsible for taking care of the advanced imaging, video and computer vision computation tasks that are requires to run AR and VR applications, instead of throwing those very intense computations on the CPU or GPU.

I first thought buying the Lenovo Phab2 Pro, but I've decided to wait for more Tango-enabled devices to appear instead of jumping on the first device that comes out. The Asus Zenfone AR is the second Tangle-enabled device after the Phab2 Pro, but I am sure that we get to see many more Tango smartphone coming out in 2017. The mobile AR just can't evolve with only a single device out there, and although some companies have partnered with Google to build the first high-quality AR applications and games, developers still held their resources until 2017 where Google Tango is going to burst in popularity and not wasting their money in developing an app that very few people will be able to use.

Also keep in mind that because the Asus Zenfone AR is also a Daydream-ready smartphone, it is compatible with the Daydream View headset (sold separately) and it's necessary to consume Daydream VR apps using the device, whether AR doesn't need a headset, you use the phone's screen itself as a window to the augmented reality virtual world.

Here is a video by LinusTechTips showcasing Google Tango using the Phab2Pro, just to give you an idea what this mobile AR technology is all about.

The second video is a Google Daydream View VR headset review which gives you a closer look at what VR looks like when you play it with the Daydream View headset. Keep in mind that in 2017 we suppose to see more Daydream VR headsets, so the Daydream View won't be the only compatible headset out there for the Asus Zenfone AR device.

So overall, the Asus Zenfone AR brings the best mobile virtual reality and mobile augmented reality in a single device.


importance ranking: #1 in the 'Performance & Hardware' category and #1 among all categories for Asus ZenFone AR device

User Opinions

  • Tango is in its early stage of development. Yes, it does exist in commercial products, but the technology itself is not mature enough and that is why the experiences are so lacking. I just can't see many developers having the motivation to develop apps for it. Even the current games and apps are really not that great. I also think that consuming augmented reality through a relatively small screen is far from being immersive. This is why Augmented Reality is best experienced through wearable AR glasses and not through mobile phones. I think that Pokemon Go really made some phone manufacturers think that it's going to be a big deal, but you don't need this Tango technology to create an overlayed 3D model on top of a projected video stream, you can do it with any camera. Tango is much more sophisticated obviously, but I think it's not really needed, not in its current state. It needs to be vastly improved to be convincing so more people will want to buy a Tango-enabled device.

  • I do wonder if due to the faster 821 SoC, the ZenFone AR will outperform the Phab2 Pro, because if AR games are much better due to the better SoC, will it make the Lenovo Phab2 Pro outdated already? If there was a reason to buy the Phab2 Pro, it's because of Google Tango, and now with the ZenFone AR just around the corner, I'm sure many users will skip the Phab2 Pro and get the ZenFone AR instead.
  • That's why it is smart to wait. I am really thinking of getting this phone because this it has the only technologies that really makes a different nowadays. A mobile phone really becomes boring in latest years and only AR and VR are the only technologies that I am really excited about. Just imagine being able to play both AR and VR games on a single device, so excited for this phone!