ASUS has taken the wraps off its latest line of flagship smartphones in the ZenFone 4 line. And as in previous years, the Taiwanese company is fielding a wide range of handsets targeting different kinds of consumers.
The new range is based around the standard ZenFone 4, the mainstream flagship, which is equipped with dual cameras and a Snapdragon 660 processor -- the latest efficient mid-tier chip from Qualcomm -- with up to 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and an ample 3,300mAh battery. That's all arranged inside a glass-bodied chassis bearing ASUS's trademark reflective concentric circle pattern. There's also a brushed aluminum frame, fingerprint security built into the capacitive home button, and a 5.5-inch 1080p LCD.
The main focus of the new ZenFone is the camera -- the main shooter is a 12-megapixel Sony IMX362 sensor with 1.4-micron pixels, featuring OIS and a f/1.8 lens, which is close to the top of the range in terms of camera hardware. And that's paired with a 120-degree wide-angle camera, similar to the LG G6, for when you need to fit more in frame.
Regular (i.e. non-Pro, non-Deluxe) ZenFones have been priced competitively thus far, and so seeing this level of camera hardware in a potentially affordable handset is significant.
Pick the regular ZenFone 4 for wide-angle shots, the 4 Pro for sharper zoomed pics.
Performance enthusiasts will be most excited about the ZenFone 4 Pro, however. ASUS's premium model steps the specs up to a Snapdragon 835 processor, with a glossy finish around the metal frame, and a larger 3,600mAh battery. The Pro also features a dual camera setup around the back, though now with an f/1.7 lens for the main shooter, and 2X optical zoom capabilities in the regular sensor. So buyers will have to choose whether they want wide-angle photos or sharper zoomed photos -- there's no single model with both options.
For selfie enthusiasts, ASUS also unveiled a pair of new mid-rangers with promising front-facing photographic capabilities. The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro can take 24-megapixel selfies using a 12-megapixel IMX362 sensor. The camera includes the same f/1.8 aperture as the rear shooter of the regular ZenFone 4, and a secondary front-facing camera also allows you to capture wide selfies (or "wefies," if you insist), to fit more friends in the scene. Around the back, there's a more run-of-the-mill 16-megapixel shooter. Meanwhile, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 under the hood too allows you to capture up to 4K selfie videos.
The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro puts its best sensor and lens around the front, along with a front-facing flash.
The regular ZenFone 4 Selfie features dual 20-megapixel front camera, while stepping other specs down (including an unnamed quad-core Qualcomm chip) to keep things more affordable.
Also shown today, following a stealthy launch in Russia a couple of months back the ZenFone 4 Max boasts a whopping 5,000mAh battery. It's powered by a Snapdragon 430 or 425 processor, 3GB of RAM, up to 32GB of internal storage plus microSD, and comes with dual SIM support. There's also a ZenFone 4 Max Pro, which bumps the rear camera up to a sharper 16 megapixels.
All the new ZenFone models come with Android 7.1.1 atop ASUS's ZenUI software, and in the case of the ZenFone 4, 4 Pro, 4 Selfie and 4 Selfie Pro (gasp), ASUS includes the new version 4 of its Android skin, featuring a cleaner de-bloated interface.
We'll update this post with pricing information as it's unveiled today -- though it's worth noting that today's launch event will focus mainly on Asian markets.
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