ASUS which has built its reputation of making convergence devices with the PadFone & FonePad has just released a range of dedicated ZenFone smart phones for 2014. The ASUS ZenFone series come in 4 inch, 5 inch and 6 inch display sizes and runs on Intel’s Atom processors. Design wise, it looks rather similar to the PadFone smart phones we’ve seen and the front design somewhat resembles closely to one of its Taiwanese smart phone competitors.
Leading the pack is the ASUS ZenFone 6 which comes with a 6″ 720p HD IPS display (245ppi) and runs on an Intel 2GHz dual-core Z2580 processor mated with 1GB (2GB on certain variants). On-board there’s a choice of either 8GB or 16GB of storage with expansion made possible with a microSD slot. Over at the back, the ZenFone 6 main camera is 13MP f/2.0 unit with PixelMaster and audio is boosted by their very own SonicMaster technology. For conference calls and self-shots, there’s a 2MP shooter at the front.
Another interesting feature for the ZenFone 6 is PenTouch & GloveTouch. Like its name suggest, this allows you to use a normal pen to scribble as a stylus which is similar to what is being offered with the Xperia Z Ultra.
Since this is a phablet device, it packs a large 3,230mAh battery and overall it weighs 200 grams with a thickness of 9.9mm at the thickest point. It runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (upgradable to Android 4.4 KitKat) but unfortunately lacks 4G LTE connectivity. The ZenFone 6 is available in 4 colours – Black, White, Red and Gold.
Next in line is the ZenFone 5 which is similar to the ZenFone 6 except for a smaller 5″ IPS display. Just like the bigger sibling, it also runs on an Intel 2GHz dual-core Atom processor with 1GB of RAM. The 5″ display also pushes the same 1280×720 display resolution but with a more dense display of 294ppi due to its compact 5″ size.
It’s camera gets a notch down with a 8MP main shooter while the front retains the same 2MP camera. On-board it gets 4GB of storage which is also expandable with microSD. The battery has also been reduced as well to a smaller 2,050mAh battery and overall it weighs 140 grams and is 10.3mm thick. In terms of colours, it is similar to the ZenFone 6 but comes with an additional Blue colour.
At the bottom of the series, the ZenFone 4 fills up the entry level segment with a smaller 4″ display that does WVGA resolution of 800×480 and runs on a much lower Intel Atom 1.2GHz Z2520 dual-core processor. It is mated with 1GB of RAM and on-board comes with 4GB of storage which also can be expanded with microSD. It also packs a 5MP camera and a front facing VGA camera.
The battery is a rather paltry 1,170mAh capcity unit which is very little even for today’s smart phone standards. However unlike the other 2 bigger ZenFone models, the battery on the ZenFone 4 is removable. Overall it weighs 115 grams and has a thickness of 11.2mm.
So far there’s no pricing yet but it appears that these ZenFone smart phones are targeted at low to mid range segments which are often volume drivers for manufacturers. If priced competitively, this give consumers more choice at the sub-RM1000 price range. In terms of availability, ASUS Malaysia has indicated that all 3 devices including the recently announced PadFone mini will be coming soon although no dates have been indicated at the moment.