Asus certainly made the most of the ZenFone 3 range in 2016 and even early 2017, having launched a wide variety of spinoff devices, including the ZenFone 3 Deluxe, ZenFone 3 Laser, and most recently, the ZenFone 3 Zoom. Where does it go from here? Rumors are beginning to spread about the arrival of the ZenFone 4, Asus’ replacement to the ZenFone 3. Details are slim at the moment, but here’s what we know about the company’s upcoming phones so far.
We have yet to see the ZenFone 4 in the flesh, though the phone has made an appearance on Geekbench. A benchmarks results page for a device named “Z01KD” has popped up over at Slashleaks, offering a little information on the core of Asus’ upcoming line of smartphones. The Z01KD model number has been previously linked to the ZenFone 4.
First, we can see the phone incorporates 4GB of RAM, as well as an octo-core Qualcomm processor clocked at 2.21GHz — indicating a midrange Snapdragon 660 chipset. According to the benchmarks, it is running Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
Now, as for those scores. The ZenFone 4 achieved an 855 in single-core testing and 4,127 in multi-core. For comparison’s sake, the ZenFone 3 — which sported Qualcomm’s last-gen 625 chipset — scored 838 and 4,016 in single- and multi-core testing, respectively. It would appear modest improvements have been made to performance but we will have to wait until we get the device in our hands to determine if any of those changes have a significant effect on real-world usage.
Fortunately, if statements made by Asus CEO Jerry Shen are true, we should not have to wait very long; the company is planning to unveil the ZenFone 4 line before the end of July.
The first of Asus’ upcoming ZenFone 4 devices has finally broken cover, and it happens to be the ZenFone 4 Max. The device was officially launched in Russia according to Android Authority and Helpix. It sports a metal design similar to Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, and is available in three finishes: black, gold, and pink.
According to the spec sheet, the ZenFone 4 Max will pack one of two Qualcomm processors, depending on the market and time of release — the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 or 430. Despite the relatively low-end system-on-chip, the phone can be configured with an optional 4GB of RAM as well as 64GB of internal storage. There’s also a 5.5-inch 1080p display, dual-lens 13-megapixel camera at the rear, 8-megapixel shooter for selfies up front, and a beefy 5,000mAh battery on board. It will retail for the equivalent of $235 in Russia, or 13,900 rubles.
As far as other configurations of the phone are concerned, a GFXBench leak from May discovered by GizmoChina revealed an Asus device code-named X00ID featuring 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. This could be the lower-spec version of the ZenFone 4 Max.
For some perspective, the Snapdragon 430 in Asus’ budget phablet is also featured in the Nokia 6. Last year’s ZenFone 3 Max received MediaTek’s MT6737T chipset, which was a bit slower than the 430’s predecessor, the 425.
Asus has long launched a series of phones in each ZenFone lineup, and this year it seems as though it may launch as many as five different ZenFone 4 variants. That’s more than it ever has, and includes the ZenFone 4 Max, ZenFone 4 Pro, ZenFone 4 Selfie, ZenFone 4V, and two variants of the standard ZenFone 4. The news comes from the Asus forums, with a user listing each model and model number.
At long last, Asus may finally be gearing up for a proper unveiling of its ZenFone 4 lineup. The news comes from DigiTimes, which shares that Shen has confirmed a new target of July 2017 for the reveal. The article relates that Asus fell nearly three months behind schedule in an effort to redesign the devices late in the development process.
The report goes on to say the company will launch the “mainstream” 5.5-inch ZenFone 4 first, in Taiwan, for a price roughly equivalent to $500. Later, it will supplement that device with a family of different sized phones. Shen even mentioned the ZenFone 5 will debut at Mobile World Congress in February 2018.
Meanwhile, the ZenFone AR, developed in tandem with Google’s Project Tango augmented reality initiative, will release this summer. That’s according to Clay Bavor, Google’s vice president of virtual reality development, who made the announcement during the keynote address of Google’s I/O conference on May 17.
Tango gives devices improved motion tracking and depth perception capabilities. It also allows for area learning, so the ZenFone AR can remember the key features of a physical space, and even measure out the size of objects with unprecedented accuracy.
The ZenFone AR may also give us a hint at what’s to come from the ZenFone 4 series. A January 2017 report published by DigiTimes, which has a hit-and-miss reputation with rumors, says the new phones will have higher specifications than ZenFone 3 models, but will end up costing more to buy.
First announced during CES 2017, the ZenFone AR is an impressive device, with a Snapdragon 821 processor, a giant 8GB of RAM, and a big 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. If just one ZenFone 4 model takes after the ZenFone AR, we’ll be excited.
The DigiTimes report had also stated that Asus planned to launch the ZenFone 4 range in May. The information was apparently sourced from the supply chain in Taiwan. It’s interesting to note we’re told Asus will launch “smartphones,” plural, which points to another set of ZenFone devices, rather than a single model. The ZenFone 4 phone launch may coincide with the ZenFone AR being put on sale.
At the end of 2016, and then again after the New Year, an Asus phone with the model number X00GD was spotted after it was registered on China’s TENAA regulatory board website. Believed to be a midrange member of the ZenFone 4 family, its standout feature is a large 4,850mAh battery, which, considering it’s only powering a 5.2-inch, 1280 x 720 pixel screen and a 1.5GHz octa-core processor, should provide plenty of standby time. Other specifications include a 13-megapixel rear camera, and either 2GB or 4GB of RAM.
If Asus follows the ZenFone 3 range, we should see a standard ZenFone 4 in addition to the ZenFone 4 Max, along with an even larger ZenFone 4 Deluxe. Although the ZenFone 4 name is being used at the moment, Asus has used it before, back in 2014 when the number four was used to denote the screen size of the phone. It’s not certain the company will want to reuse it this time.