Asus recently announced its flagship 5.7-inch ZenFone 3 Deluxe at the Computex and before it starts rolling out its smartphones, the company has saved a little surprise for us. Asus has unveiled a new variant of the ZenFone 3 Deluxe smartphone, giving it a chipset upgrade – from Snapdragon 820 to the latest and fastest Snapdragon 821. The company announced the smartphone at the Taiwan and Hong Kong launch event yesterday. And in fact, it’s officially the world’s first device to feature this 2.4GHz processor, while retaining the same innards with a slightly faster Adreno 530 graphics, Quick Charge 3.0 and dual-SIM support – micro SIM plus nano SIM.
The all-in metallic Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe will be available in three flavors, with it stop of the line variant having the best hardware to date: speedier Snapdragon 821, 6GB of DDR4 RAM, and 256GB of UFS 2.0 internal storage which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD using the second SIM slot. This will shell out at US$780. While the other two variants run the same Snapdragon 820 processor, and you’ll have to choose between 4GB RAM with 32GB storage (US$500) or 6GB RAM with 64GB storage (US$560). These smartphones are certified for Google’s Daydream VR platform.
The rest of the specs are identical, including their 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreen, Gorilla Glass 4, a 3,000mAh battery, NFC, 23-megapixel f/2.0 main camera (with OIS, laser AF and dual-tone flash), 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera, USB Type-C, Android 6.0 with latest version of ZenUI, and fingerprint reader on the back. The smartphones will be available in Taiwan and Hong Kong in August but the 821 variant will be available at a later date.
Alongside the series, Asus also announced the ZenPad 3S 10 (Z500M), a mid-range tablet. It features a 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 LCD, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (with microSD expansion), an 8-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel front imager and Android 6.0. It runs on a hexacore MediaTek chip (MT8176; dual 2.1GHz Cortex-A72 and quad 1.7GHz Cortex-A53), plus it has a fingerprint reader, 802.11ac WiFi, DTS Headphone:X audio, a 5,900 mAh battery, USB Type-C port and Quick Charge 3.0 (but charger sold separately). The tablet will be available in Taiwan for US$340 in August.