ASUS

ASUS

ASUS ZenFone AR confirmed with Tango camera, 8GB of RAM and Daydream VR support

ASUS has finally confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets of CES 2017. The company has officially announced the ASUS ZenFone AR smartphone, which is only the second such phone that will support Google’s Tango augmented reality-themed 3D camera. The phone also supports Google’s Daydream smartphone VR platform, which means it can be used with the Daydream View headset.

See also:

Google Daydream View review

November 10, 2016

The Tango part of the ZenFone AR includes a 23MP rear camera,  along with separate motion tracking and depth sensing cameras.  It will allow the phone to use one of over 30 apps in the Google Play Store that have been developed specifically to use Tango’s augmented reality features.

The ZenFone AR will be a fairly large phone, with a 5.7-inch 1440×2560 Super AMOLED display. That’s still a lot smaller than the first Tango-based phone, the 6.4-inch Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. Inside, the ZenFone AR will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, along with a whopping 8GB of RAM. We are a bit disappointed that the phone won’t come with the just announced Snapdragon 835 chip, especially considering its release time frame, but it’s still a pretty solid powerhouse.

On the bright side, the phone will come with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. ASUS says the ZenFone AR will have a five-magnet speaker that can support DTS Virtual Surround Sound for better headset audio effects. At the moment, there’s no info on the phone’s onboard storage amount.

There’s no word yet on a price tag for the ASUS ZenFone AR, but the company stated that it plans to release the phone sometime in the second quarter of 2017.

Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom announced, features dual-camera setup with optical zoom

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At CES 2017 Asus has unveiled a number of new products, including an official successor to the ZenFone Zoom, dubbed the ZenFone 3 Zoom. The big draw here is the device’s camera which has an optical zoom feature, as you probably figured out by the name.

The Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom offers a dual-camera configuration that delivers 2.3X magnification on one of the lenses, and other rocks a 12MP wide-angle setup with f/1.7 aperture. The reason for the two lens configuration is to provide a bokeh affect, of course. Until we spend more time with the phone, it’s hard to say how good this setup really is, but if you are looking for optical zoom this is one of the few options available on the market today.

As for the rest of the specs? It’s all pretty mid-range. The ZenFone 3 Zoom is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, and a hefty 5000 mAh battery. Storage, RAM, and other details aren’t fully disclosed just yet. Pricing is also still a mystery, though the phone is expected to hit stores this February.

If optical zoom is your thing, this could be a great option, though judging from past optical zoom-equipped handsets, we imagine it will come at a bit of a premium cost — though that’s just speculation at this point. What do you think of the ZenFone 3 Zoom? Let us know down in the comments.

ASUS ZenFone AR with Tango camera leaked by Qualcomm

It would appear that earlier rumors of an upcoming ASUS ZenFone with Google’s Tango augmented reality camera technology are  very real. Processor maker Qualcomm has apparently put a blog post up a couple of days earlier than planned that not only confirms the ASUS ZenFone AR, but reveals a couple of details on the phone.

See also:

Asus teases phones for CES 2017: new Tango phone and Zenfone 3 Zoom?

2 weeks ago

The blog post, which is dated Jan 4, 2017, says the ASUS ZenFone AR will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor on board. That’s a more powerful chip than the Snapdragon 652, which is inside the only current Tango-based phone on the market, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. The other big detail revealed in the blog post is that the ASUS ZenFone AR will also be the first Tango-based phone that will support Google’s Daydream View VR headset.

After that blog post leaked, Even Blass, the well known gadget leaker, used his @evleaks Twitter account to post renders of what he says is the ASUS ZenFone AR

ASUS ZenFone AR with Tango camera leaked by Qualcomm

We still don’t have any word on when it will go on sale or its price point, but we should learn a lot more from both ASUS and Qualcomm about the ZenFone AR later this week at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We will be there with first-hand reports on what both company will be showing and talking about at the big event.

ASUS Chromebook Flip 2 confirmed by Best Buy listing

A newly discovered listing on Best Buy’s website has confirmed that ASUS has indeed launched a successor to its older Chromebook Flip, even though the company has yet to officially announce it. The store listing for the ASUS C302CA is also identified as the ASUS Chromebook Flip 2.

See also:

The best Chromebooks

August 10, 2016

The same Chromebook was first listed, and then pulled, at Newegg’s site earlier this week, but it did not label it as the Flip 2. Now the new Best Buy listing confirms the official name. The original Chromebook Flip, with its 360-degree display hinge, was first launched by ASUS in July of 2015 for $249.ASUS Chromebook Flip 2 confirmed by Best Buy listing

By contrast, the listing for the ASUS C302CA (Flip 2) Chromebook shows a price of $499.99. The 2.65 pound notebook has an all-metal casing and has a 12.5-inch 1080p touchscreen display that can also flip 360 degrees. Inside, there’s an Intel Pentium 4405Y processor and 32GB of on-board storage, along with a microSD card slot for adding even more storage. The listing also shows it has two USB-Type C ports and a backlit keyboard.

One odd thing about the Best Buy listing is that the specs show the Chromebook as having 4GB of RAM, but the listing above claims the Flip 2 has 8GB of RAM. Since ASUS has not yet officially announced the Flip 2, we should hopefully get more concrete info on its specs soon. In any case, you can purchase the ASUS Chromebook Flip 2 right now from the Best Buy site, although it looks like the ship dates will happen sometime in early to mid-January.

ASUS announces a budget smartphone, Zenfone Go 4.5 LTE, in India

ASUS has announced the launched of its latest affordable 4G smartphone, the Zenfone GO 4.5 LTE.

The device sports a premium metallic IMR hairline finish with diamond-cutting technology, and measures just 3.6 mm at its thinnest edge. The ergonomic arc design boasts of a physical rear-facing volume key allowing users to adjust the volume or click multiple selfies with easily.

Through our smartphones, we aim to cater to a wide segment of users, and we endeavor to offer the differentiated ASUS technology even in mass segments. We are sure this smartphone will able to provide an enriching user experience and be appreciated by our users across the county.

– Peter Chang, Region Head – South Asia & Country Manager, ASUS India

ASUS Zenfone Go 4.5 LTE (ZB450KL) Specifications

  • Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ASUS ZenUI
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 1.0 GHz quad-core | Adreno 306 GPU
  • RAM: 1GB LPDDR3
  • Internal Storage: 8GB; expandable up to 128GB with microSD card | 100GB Google Drive storage for 2 years
  • Display: 4.5-inch FWVGA (854×480) | 380 nits | Bluelight filter
  • Camera: 8MP front camera | 2MP rear camera
  • Battery: 2070mAh
  • Dimension: 136.5 x 66.7 x 3.6~11.2 mm
  • Weight: 135g

The new variant of Zenfone Go 4.5 LTE is available online starting today and will be available across leading retail stores in the country before the end of the month. The device will available in two types of back cover finish variants – Matte finish in Glamour Red color and with Hairline finish in Silver Blue, Gold, and Silver – at a price of ₹6999 ($103).

New ASUS Chromebook quietly goes on sale at Newegg for $499

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This post originally appeared on our sister site, TabTimes.

A new ASUS Chromebook is now on sale at Newegg, but the impressive looking $499 notebook still has not been officially announced by the company itself. The ASUS C302CA is available for immediate shipment, however, which likely means an official reveal is very close to happening.

See also:

Acer shows off its foldable touchscreen Chromebook R13

August 31, 2016

According to the listing, the ASUS Chromebook C302CA has a 12.5-inch 1080p touchscreen display that can flip 360 degrees, much like the early Chromebook Flip from the same company. Inside, there is an Intel Core M3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of on-board storage, along with a microSD card slot that adds even more storage. The all-metal body of the notebook, combined with its battery, makes it weigh 2.65 pounds. The listing also shows it has two USB-C 3.1 ports and a backlit keyboard.

We would expect that ASUS will officially reveal this notebook next week as part of its CES 2017 announcements, but if you really want to jump in to get this Chromebook, there’s no stopping you from simply ordering it right now from Newegg. There’s no word on if this new Chromebook will be able to run Android apps from the Google Play Store. So far, just tiny handful of Chromebooks can support Android apps on the stable version of the Chrome OS, although a few more can run those apps on early developer builds.

See it at Newegg

ASUS launches ZenWatch 3 in India; exclusively available on Flipkart

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ASUS has announced the launch of ZenWatch 3, the customizable wearable device powered by Android Wear, in India. This precision watch serves as a smart assistant for Android and iOS devices and works as a full-featured activity tracker.

Fashioned from jewelry-grade 316L stainless steel, the ZenWatch 3 can easily withstand the rigors of daily wear. It sports three crown buttons that provide quick access to frequently used functions, including opening the ZenFit activity tracking app and changing the display modes. The ZenWatch 3 comes with a strap made from a choice of stitched Italian leather or high-quality rubber.

Powered by the latest, energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor for wearable devices, the ZenWatch 3 has advanced power management features and boasts of HyperCharge technology that delivers quick recharge times.

The launch of ZenWatch 3 is the perfect culmination of a successful year for ASUS in India. Consumers are increasingly adopting wearables to help simplify their lives and boost productivity. The powerful ZenWatch 3 combines luxury and functionality to provide users with a device that allows them to manage their lives comfortably. We are sure that the combination of specs and design in this smartwatch will be appreciated by our users.
– Peter Chang, Region Head – South Asia & Country Manager, ASUS India

The ZenWatch 3 is a full-featured activity tracker and the all-new ZenFit app automatically counts wearers’ steps throughout the day with reminders to move after periods of inactivity. Additionally, ZenFit tracks a range of activities — i.e., walking, running, push-ups, sit-ups — and it works together with the companion smartphone app to provide helpful and easy-to-understand summaries and graphs for a complete picture of physical activity.

ASUS launches ZenWatch 3 in India; exclusively available on Flipkart

ASUS ZenWatch 3 (WI503Q) Specifications

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
  • Operating System: Android Wear | Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Memory: 512MB RAM LDDR3
  • Storage: 4GB eMMC Flash
  • Display: 1.39-inch AMOLED 400 x 400 | 287ppi | 2-finger touch | 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Battery: 340mAh with quick-charge
  • Water Resistance: IP67
  • Size: Diameter: ≦ 45mm | Height: 9.95-10.75mm

The ASUS ZenWatch 3 is available in two strap variants – Leather and Rubber – and priced at ₹18,999 ($280) and ₹17,599 ($260) respectively. The watch is available in three colors – Dark Brown, Beige, and Brownish Grey – and the strap is available in Gunmetal and Silver colors. It will be available exclusively on Flipkart with pre-booking starting today.

Asus teases phones for CES 2017: new Tango phone and Zenfone 3 Zoom?

CES 2017 is right around the corner and as we start arranging our calendars, OEMs start teasing what to expect. Asus has just done so with a new teaser for its CES reveals, including what looks like hints toward two new smartphone announcements.

The video shows outlines of a device with two different symbols on it: an infinity symbol and a ^ which could be Lambda, a circumflex, carat, turned V, the logical conjunction “and” or Asus’ way of telling us to refer to the comment above. Unfortunately, I loaned my copy of The Da Vinci Code to a friend, so perhaps you can share your thoughts in the comments below on what they mean.

One possibility is the upcoming Tango phone Asus has recently been rumored to reveal in Las Vegas next month. The Asus Zenfone AR will reportedly come with “advanced functionality and performance at a competitive price” according to a statement attributed to Asus CEO Jerry Shen.

Likewise, the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom has recently been spotted at China’s TENAA certification agency and also at the FCC. It will reportedly feature a massive 4,850 mAh battery and come with a dual camera setup on the back similar to the iPhone 7 Plus.

Asus teases phones for CES 2017: new Tango phone and Zenfone 3 Zoom?

The video notes that “without preconceptions or boundaries, we are born explorers. Everything that enters our sight is yet another wonder of life”. It goes on to say that it is this human nature that pushes us to innovate, “defying our understanding of the ever-widening universe”.

Marketing hyperbole aside, it’s easy to see how these comments could be referring to the Zenfone 3 Zoom and Zenfone AR respectively. With just two weeks before the games officially begin, we won’t have to wait long to find out.

Let us know what you think Asus has in store below.

Best Android Wear watches (December 2016)

Android Wear has evolved a lot since it was first announced back in 2014. In the early days, there were only a few options, mainly from Motorola and LG. These days, many handset makers have thrown their weight into Android Wear, and even traditional watchmakers have begun to embrace the Google-powered smartwatch platform.

With the number of watches available increasing dramatically, it’s hard to keep track of which watches stand out as the best. For one thing, most of the watches are all quite similar in software and hardware, leaving design preferences as the biggest factor. In order to help you make the most informed decision on which watch is right for you, we’ve rounded up what we feel to be the best Android Wear smartwatches you can buy right now.

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list regularly as new devices launch.
Update, December 2016: This month we removed the ASUS ZenWatch 2, TAG Heuer Connected and LG Watch Urbane to make room for the ZenWatch 3 and Polar M600.

Best overall

Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Generation)

The original Moto 360 was one of the best Android Wear watches around for quite some time, and now its successor is also at the top of the list.

The Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) has a bigger battery than its predecessor, a Snapdragon 400 processor and comes in two different sizes to fit more users’ wrists. You’ll even be able to customize it with Moto Maker. Overall, the biggest advantages the new Moto 360 brings to the table are the refreshed processing package, a customizable design and the addition of lugs that will make it much easier to swap out watch bands.

Specs

42mm variant:

  • 1.37-inch IPS LCD display with 360 x 325 resolution, 233ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of on-board storage
  • 300mAh battery
  • 42.0 x 42.0 x 11.4mm
  • IP67 dust and water resistance

46mm variant:

  • 1.56-inch IPS LCD display with 360 x 330 resolution, 263ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of on-board storage
  • 400mAh battery
  • 46.0 x 46.0 x 11.4mm
  • IP67 dust and water resistance

Read more

Buy now from Amazon
Buy now from Motorola

Runner up

Huawei Watch

The Huawei Watch was first unveiled towards the beginning of 2015 at MWC, though it didn’t actually make its way to retail until the tail-end of the summer. Offering a design that is much more “watch-like” then many of its competitors, the Huawei Watch is certainly one of the more attractive Android Wear watches on the market and benefits from easily replaceable watch straps and a long-lasting battery.

For those that aren’t a fan of the flat-tire look we’ve seen with Motorola’s circular watches, you’ll be happy to know that this isn’t the case here. As for the rest of the specs? Everything is pretty standard fare, as most of the newer Android Wear watches feature roughly the same internals. That said, the AMOLED display on the Huawei Watch is one of the best displays available in the Android Wear market right now.

Specs

  • 1.4-inch AMOLED display with 400 x 400 resolution, 286ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of on-board storage
  • 300mAh battery
  • 42.0 x 42.0 x 11.3mm
  • IP67 dust and water resistance

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Honorable mention

ASUS ZenWatch 3

ASUS’ new ZenWatch 3 is one of the most beautifully designed Android Wear devices on the market.

It really is difficult not to fall in love with its great design, sharp display, excellent performance and solid hardware. It does feature proprietary lugs, though, which means you’ll have to buy replacement straps through ASUS if you’d like to change up the look of the device.

All in all, this may be the most well-rounded watch we’ve ever reviewed. If you’d like to pick one up for yourself, it’s available now for just $229.

Specs

  • 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 400 x 400 resolution, 287ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of on-board storage
  • 341mAh battery
  • 45 x 45 x 9.95 – 10.75mm
  • IP67 dust and water resistance

Read more

Buy now from Best Buy

Best for fitness

Polar M600

Polar’s new M600 sport watch is by far the best Android Wear-powered fitness tracker on the market.

With a built-in GPS, IPX8 water resistance rating, optical heart rate monitor and 4GB of on-board storage, the M600 is quite the feature-packed device. It also comes with support for Polar’s wonderful Flow app, allowing you to track just about any activity you can think of – rowing, skiing, hiking and much more. You’ll also be able to squeeze about two days of battery life out of this thing, which is impressive for an Android Wear watch.

It’s very pricey, though, starting at $329. You can certainly find Android Wear devices for less than that, but the M600 provides much more than other devices. If you’re in the market for a smartwatch/fitness tracker hybrid and don’t mind spending upwards of $300, look no further.

Specs

  • 1.3-inch TFT display with 240 x 240 resolution, 260ppi
  • 1.2GHz dual-core MediaTek MT2601 processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of on-board storage
  • 500mAh battery
  • 45 x 36 x 13mm, 63g
  • IPX8 water resistance

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Runner up

Moto 360 Sport

If you’re a fan of the second-generation Moto 360 but need something a bit more rugged, you should check out the Moto 360 Sport. It has basically the same internal specifications, plus GPS tracking capabilities. The battery on this device does suffer a bit with the GPS turned on, but that can easily be forgiven when taking into account the watch’s other great features. It has a killer AnyLight Hybrid display that makes it super easy to see outdoors, as well as an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.

All in all, this is the go-to Android Wear option if you need something to track your exercises. As of right now it only supports run tracking, but Motorola says more exercises will be added to the watch in the future. The Moto 360 Sport starts at $199.99 from Motorola’s website, but you can usually find it much cheaper on Amazon.

Specs

  • 1.37-inch AnyLight Hybrid Display with 360 x 325 resolution, 263ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of on-board storage
  • 300mAh battery
  • 45 x 45 x 11.5mm, 54g
  • IP67 dust and water resistance

Read more

Buy now from Amazon
Buy now from Motorola

There you have it, our list of the best Android Wear devices on the market. Did we miss something? Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below!

Next:

The best smartwatches

November 10, 2016

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom with dual camera leaked; CES unveiling likely

Asus has already released a few devices under the Zenfone 3 name. These include, among others, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe, Zenfone 3 Ultra, and Zenfone 3 Max. But apparently, the company is not done yet, as a new device under the name of Zenfone 3 Zoom has recently been certified by TENAA – the Chinese equivalent of the FCC.

The Zenfone 3 Zoom is the company’s first smartphone with a dual camera setup. According to the TENAA listing, the device packs 16 MP dual rear cameras and a front-facing selfie snapper with a 13 MP sensor. It features a 5.5-inch screen with 2.5D glass on top and Full HD resolution.

You’ll find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 processor clocked at 2.0 GHz under the hood, alongside 2, 3 or 4 GB of RAM. There are also three storage options available, so you’ll be able to get your hands on a 16, 32 or 64 GB version of the device.

See also:

ASUS ZenFone 3 review

2 weeks ago

The device is made of metal and packs a large 4,850 mAh battery in its 7.99 mm thick body. It runs on Android Marshmallow with ZenUI on top, but we expect that Asus will upgrade it to the latest and greatest Android Nougat eventually. It also has a fingerprint sensor located on the back of the device, which will keep your data safe.

Asus’s Zenfone 3 Zoom will be available in three colors — Black, Silver, and Gold — and although the company has not revealed its launch date, it just might happen that the device will be officially announced at CES next month in Las Vegas. Asus has already scheduled its Zenovation Event for January 4, 2017.

So, what do you think about the upcoming Zenfone 3 Zoom? Does the dual camera setup make you want to buy the device?