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Asus Zenfone AR First to Combine Google Tango, Daydream VR

You got Google Project Tango in my Daydream VR! You got Google Daydream VR in my Project Tango!

Thanks to Asus, the inevitable merger of Google-backed augmented and virtual reality has come to fruition in the form of the Asus Zenfone AR, the world's first smartphone to feature both technologies. Available sometime in Q2 2017, this smartphone is poised to change how you interact with the world around you.

Why You Should Care

  • Similar to the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the Zenfone AR makes use of Google's Project Tango to deliver seamless augmented reality that can be used for gaming, educational and domestic uses.
  • The Zenfone AR's powerful components allow for smoother, more accurate rendering with AR/VR apps.
  • Integrated DTS virtual surround sound and high-resolution audio for a more immersive experience.
  • The smartphone is capable of taking some impressive stills and video thanks to a number of presets including low light, miniature and beautification modes.

Key Specs

  • The Zenfone AR sports impressive specs, including an optimized Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 CPU with 6GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU.
  • The smartphone is outfitted with 6 sensors for depth and motion tracking as well as area tracking and image recognition.
  • Asus outfitted the device with a 5.7-inch, 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display.
  • Camera-wise, you get Asus' ASUS PixelMaster 3.0 system, which is capable of creating 92-megapixel images by stitching together several native resolution shots (23MP) into one high-res photo.

Hands-On Impressions

The ZenFone AR felt light and comfortable in my hands despite its 5.7-inch screen, and it fit quickly and easily into a Daydream headset. In no time, I was swimming in the deep blue sea with a great white shark. The screen appeared crisp and colorful, but we didn't get the chance to try it using Google Tango.

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The Asus Zenfone AR smartphone is on the bleeding edge of tech, combining two of the hottest and component-taxing technologies into one handset. The idea of switching from AR to VR is tantalizing, especially when you have a powerful Qualcomm 821 CPU and Adreno 530 GPU backing it up.

However, all that power could potentially affect battery life, so we'll have to put this beast to the test.

Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.