It's the first handset to be both properly augmented reality and virtual reality ready, as it's compatible with both Google's Tango AR platform and its still weirdly under-supported DayDream VR thing.
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ZenFone AR is the thinnest and lightest Tango enabled device so far, pipping the only other Tango handset out there (the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro) to the post.
The impressive little device - which runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and a whole 6GB of RAM - boasts an innovative Asus TriCam system, a three-camera setup consisting of a 23MP PixelMaster 3.0 main camera, a motion-tracking camera and a depth-sensing camera, all built to meet Tango specs.
The ZenFone AR also comes with Asus' own SonicMaster 3.0 tech, a five-magnet speaker driven by a powerful NXP smart amplifier and more. It can output certified High-Resolution Audio (HRA) to compatible devices at 24-bit/192kHz (or 4X CD-quality), while DTS Headphone:X provides virtual 7.1-channel surround sound for immersive entertainment direct from your smartphone.
That big 5.7-inch display makes it ideal for VR apps and games when used with the Daydream View headset, immersing you in incredible VR worlds thanks to an impressive WQHD (1440 x 2560) resolution. Add to that Super AMOLED tech, which enables deep blacks and high contrast, and you're getting all the enhanced image quality and 3D effects you could ever want or need.
UK pre-orders are available right now direct from the Asus eShop from £799.99. That could be called a tad pricey but the offer also includes a free Google Daydream headset and £30 Google Play Voucher.
We've had a play with the Zenfone and it is a very tasty handset, although clearly it has much to do to take on the likes of Samsung in the real world, if not the virtual or augmented ones.
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