We knew it wouldn’t be long before ASUS rolls out its latest smartphonesafter the Computex unveiling, but it turns out the company has saved a little surprise for us. At the Taiwan and Hong Kong launch event today, ASUS revealed that its flagship 5.7-inch ZenFone 3 Deluxe has been given a chipset upgrade — from Snapdragon 820 to the speedier Snapdragon 821 announced yesterday. And yes, it’s officially the world’s first device to feature this 2.4GHz processor, while still benefiting from the same old Cat 13 LTE radio, a slightly faster Adreno 530 GPU, dual-SIM support (Micro SIM plus Nano SIM) and Quick Charge 3.0.
The metallic ZenFone 3 Deluxe comes in three flavors, with its top model offering pretty much all the best possible specs to date: 6GB of DDR4 RAM plus 256GB of UFS 2.0 internal storage (expandable by up to 128GB via microSD using the second SIM slot). But this will cost you NT$24,990 or about US$780. The remaining two variants are still based on the 2.15GHz Snapdragon 820, and you get either 4GB RAM with 32GB storage (NT$15,990 or about US$500) or 6GB RAM with 64GB storage (NT$17,990 or about US$560). It’s worth mentioning that these are certified for Google’s Daydream VR platform.
The rest of the features are identical, including their 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreen (with glove mode), Gorilla Glass 4, a 3,000 mAh battery, NFC, 23-megapixel f/2.0 main camera (with OIS, laser AF and dual-tone flash). 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera and fingerprint reader on the back. The series will become available in Taiwan and Hong Kong as early as August, though we’re also told to expect the Snapdragon 821 variant to arrive later.
Also announced today is the ZenPad 3S 10 (Z500M). This is a mid-range 9.7-inch tablet featuring a 2,048 x 1,536 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 hexa-core MediaTek chip (MT8176; dual 2.1GHz Cortex-A72 and quad 1.7GHz Cortex-A53) so it should be more than enough for general usage, 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 NT$10,990 or about US$340 in August.