There are certainly no shortages of new Android smartphones at CES this year, and ASUS is making waves with a handful of notable new devices. The new ASUS smartphones include a smaller version of its PadFone phone-to-tablet hybrid and three different ZenFone models targeted at different demographics.
The new PadFone Mini features a 4-inch IPS+ display with an 800 by 400 resolution, 1.6GHz Atom Z2560 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, which can be expanded up to 64GB with a microSD card. The smartphone also comes with a 2 megapixel front-facing camera and an 8 megapixel rear camera that can record 1080p video. The highlight is the tablet that the PadFone can dock with through a smartphone-sized recession on the rear face of the device. The tablet features a 7-inch screen with a 1280 by 800 resolution, a smaller version than the PadFone models available now.
ASUS also revealed a new set of ZenFone options at CES, PCR reports. The ZenFone 6 features a 6-inch 720p display, 2GHz processor, up to 16GB of storage and a 13 megapixel rear camera. The ZenFone 5 has the same processor and RAM as the ZenFone 6, but offers a 5-inch screen and an 8-megapixel camera. The ZenFone 4 is targeted at budget consumers, offering a 1.2GHz processor, 4-inch display with 800 by 400 resolution and 5-megapixel camera.
All of the new ASUS Android smartphones at CES will run on Android 4.3, overlaid with a proprietary interface called ZenUI. ZenUI was built to create a “holistic user experience with better functionality and great simplicity,” as stated in this ASUS press release. The new UI includes free open messaging through Omlet Chat, which allows users to share text and media free of charge. There are also a number of enhanced Android apps that come with these devices, like the email app and the picture gallery, designed to improve the functionality of the standard Android apps. ASUS did say that all these devices will eventually be able to upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat, but did not release a timeline for the upgrade.
The ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5, and ZenFone 6 will be priced at $100, $150, and $200, respectively, without the need for a contract, according to Engadget. ASUS has yet to announce the pricing or availability for the PadFone Mini. All these devices will be available in the UK, but it remains to be seen if any of them will cross over to the U.S. Given that AT&T recently announced the U.S. availability of the PadFone X, it seems likely that at least some of these devices will be sold in the U.S. before too long.
ASUS is making a name for itself with phone-to-tablet PadFone, and the prices on the three ZenFone models make them extremely attractive. Do you think these devices will be able to make the company a serious competitor to Samsung in the booming Android market?
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