The Asus Zenfone AR will arrive in the United States in the summer, and Verizon will be the only carrier selling the smartphone.
The device is the second under Google's Project Tango, following the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, which was released in November 2016.
Meet The Asus Zenfone AR
The Asus Zenfone AR, which was launched at CES 2017, is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 with 6 GB of RAM and features a 5.7-inch AMOLED display and 128 GB of storage. It is also powered by Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
In comparison, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro was powered by the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 and 4 GB of RAM, with only 64 GB of storage and a 6.4-inch QHD display.
In addition to supporting the augmented reality platform known as Project Tango, the smartphone also supports the virtual reality platform known as Daydream, making it the first smartphone with such capabilities.
The Asus Zenfone AR is compatible with the Google Daydream View headset to access virtual reality apps, but it will also be able to use its camera for augmented reality applications. Google's Project Tango provides camera hardware with 3D sensing technology, which will allow the Asus Zenfone AR to overlay digital images over the real world.
One of the things that users can do with the Asus Zenfone AR is to try on Gap clothes in their sizes on a digital mannequin, which means that fitting rooms will be a thing of the past. Users may also place digital furniture from Lowe's in the living room to check how they would look within their homes.
Compared to the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the Asus Zenfone AR comes with more promise due to its better specifications and thinner body. This should translate into better sales for the successor, especially as consumers become more curious with both augmented reality and virtual reality.
The Asus Zenfone AR will potentially be able to bring augmented reality into the mainstream, which should bode well for the technology and the developers currently supporting it.
Asus Zenfone AR Availability
Google announced at its I/O developer conference that the Asus Zenfone AR will be released this summer through Verizon, with no specific date so far mentioned.
No price has also been revealed for the Asus Zenfone AR, but its superior specifications will likely make it more expensive than the $499 Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.
For customers interested in the Asus Zenfone AR but do not want to be tied to a contract with Verizon, unlocked versions of the smartphone will also be sold through retailers. These devices will be compatible with the networks of AT&T and T-Mobile.
Other Announcements At Google I/O 2017
Google has been very busy at the annual I/O developer conference with several major announcements.
Among the things that Google has unveiled at this year's I/O are the public beta of Android O, which is the next major version of the mobile operating system; the upgraded Google Photos; and Android Go, the company's second attempt at budget Android smartphones.