Back at CES, we were impressed with Asus’ new smartphone, the ZenFone AR, but it wasn’t clear exactly how much it would be. Now, the Verizon-exclusive smartphone is available for preorder; it will cost $648. Qualified buyers can pay in installments of $27 per month. The actual ship date for the phone still isn’t clear.
The ZenFone AR is the first phone to support both Tango, which is Google’s 3D mapping tech to support AR, and DayDream VR. This combination will provide a mix of both AR and VR; while we didn’t get to try it out at CES, it’s very intriguing. There’s a lot of tech packed into this slim and lightweight package. Other specs include 128GB of RAM, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor, three camera sensors, a 5.7-inch AMOLED display and a 5,000mAH battery.
Apple’s been very interested in AR lately, as the recent launch of ARKit makes clear. They want to allow developers easy access to tools that add digital objects to the real world (think Pokemon Go). ARKit will supposedly be the largest AR platform in the world, as it will be available on all iPads and iPhones in iOS 11. It’s likely no coincidence, then, that the ZenFone AR, which supports competitor Google Tango, is launching right now.
The Verge reports that the ZenFone AR will also be available in the US unlocked for $599. We’ve reached out to Asus for confirmation and will update this post if we hear back.