Asus is on a roll at CES and from the foregoing, 2014 could be that year when you finally see Asus-branded phones show up in most places. Forget those huge Padfones, it now has a new line of flagships, the ZenFone. Name as per their display size, the ZenFone 4, 5 and 6 are what the Taiwanese device maker is banking on to boost sales which somehow slowed down in 2013.
Here’s a quick look at the ZenFones:
At just 4 inches, Asus sets out to retain the iPhone-size sweet spot while providing the versatility that comes with Android powered devices. Like the rest of the phones in the ZenFone lineup, the ZenFone 4 is powered by an Intel Atom processor. The Intel Atom Z2520 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz features Intel’s Hyper-Threading Technology which Asus guarantees will be the end of all those “lag” horror stories you hear everywhere and which are very characteristic of devices of the ZenFone 4′s nature.
Other specs include:
- 4 inch WVGA (800 x 480) TFT display
- 1 GB RAM. There is no mention of the internal storage of the device but thankfully we know that microSD card support is included.
- 5 MP main camera, 0.3 MP front-facing camera
- A tiny 1170 mAh battery
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with the promise of a KitKat update.
With those specs, I expect the device to be affordable even though Asus is mum on the pricing and availability.
The ZenFone 4 will be available in 5 colours: Charcoal Black, Pearl White, Cherry Red, Sky Blue and Solar Yellow.
This is like the mid-range of the ZenFone as can be seen from the spec sheet:
- 5 inch IPS HD (720p) display
- 8 megapixel PixelMaster main camera backed by a 2 megapixel shooter on the frony
- 1 GB RAM
- 2050 mAh battery
- Android 4.3
- The main attraction here is the dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 processor clocked at 2 GHz
The device has GloveTouch and PenTouch technologies that will allow use of that display with a stylus and even gloved hands.
Save for the display, the camera sensor is the other greatly improved spec here over what the ZenFone 5 has to offer. The ZenFone 6 retains the ZenFone 5′s processor bu gets a larger battery to support the extra display size.
Here are its specs:
- 6 inch HD (720p) IPS display
- Android 4.3
- 13 MP camera (main) backed by a 2 MP shooter at the front
- 1 GB RAM
- Intel Atom Z2580 processor clocked at 2 GHz
- Battery: 3230 mAh
It is worth noting that Asus has promised that all its ZenFones will be getting KitKat. Asus has also ditched its long-known near-stock clean UI for its own custom skin, Zen UI. Though still clean, Asus has made a few customizations to make it stand out from your typical holofied Android looks. It now has stuff like Omlet Chat and Omlet Open Messaging for more social integration (ChatON anyone?).
I cannot be so sure how successful the ZenFone line of smartphones will be or how it will be received in key markets but with fellow Taiwanese company HTC struggling to impress, I hope Asus knows what it is getting into.
Though availability information is still scanty, details of the pricing are as follows:
ZenFone 4: $99
ZenFone 5: $149
ZenFone 6: $199