Asus on Wednesday introduced the Zenfone AR, the market’s first Tango and Daydream-ready smartphone. The device takes advantage of the company’s “TriCam” system, which includes motion tracking, depth perception, and a 23-megapixel sensor.
The device’s support for Tango and Daydream make it one of the more intriguing products on the market. One minute you can be using Tango to measure rooms in your home, the next minute you can be stepping into the VR of Google’s Daydream, where you can watch Netflix and download Daydream-ready games.
In addition to its AR and VR capabilities, the Zenfone AR is also packed to the gills with great specs, including a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED WQHD display; Asus says the Zenfone AR features 79 percent screen-to-body ratio.
To demonstrate the device’s capabilities, a representative from Google’s Tango team showed off what it’s like to use a new app coming from Gap (releasing in January), which will allow users to virtually try on clothes to see how they’ll look and fit.
That’s all well and good, but trying clothes on virtually is no substitute for going to the store to try on a pair of jeans. Even if the app says something will fit, the actual fit and finish of a garment could be different.
Still, the experience shows what will be possible in the future for users who own Tango-enabled devices. In addition to trying on clothes, Tango devices are also capable of helping owners measure rooms to see how furniture would fit.
On the inside, the device sports a Snapdragon 821 chip and 8GB of RAM, the first of any smartphone on the market. The Zenfone AR features plenty of firsts but we don’t actually know if it’s any good at being a phone. And we probably won’t know anytime soon, as the device isn’t scheduled to be available until Q2 2017 at an unknown price.