Asus’ big CES 2017 unveil, the Zenfone AR, was accidentally outed today in a blog post by leading application processor maker Qualcomm. As its name might suggest, the new Asus Zenfone AR is the second Google Tango-powered phone that should improve upon the Augmented Reality experience delivered by the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.
Prolific smartphone leakster @Evleaks has already published what the phone looks like from front and back. As you can see from the press renders, the hefty camera module on the rear that houses all the extra camera and other sensors to map your surroundings looks a lot more subtle as compared to the last Tango phone
Since the handset is powered by Qualcomm’s current flagship Snapdragon 821 quad-core chipset it will also be compatible with Google’s Daydream VR standard. That makes it the first phone to combine Google’s AR and VR vision, and that’s a bigger deal than what you might have appraised.
A phone aware of your surroundings could theoretically deliver VR experience like HTC Vive without the need of any extra apparatus. For instance, you could move your hand in the physical world to interact with elements in the virtual world that you are experiencing through a VR headset.
On the other hand, we might just be getting ahead of ourselves here. The Google Tango experience on Lenovo Phab 2 Pro was nowhere near perfect and it was amply clear that it needed a lot more work. Even perfecting just the AR experience would be a sizeable achievement.
The Asus Zenfone AR will be revealed in all its glory on January 4, 2017. We will have more to share then.