After several years governed by quirky experiments and a trial and error marketing strategy, Asus appears ready to turn the page to a new and more stable chapter in the evolution of the company’s mobile branch.
As such, the Taiwanese have brought a trio of conventional-looking, but extremely cheap Android 4.3-running smartphones to CES 2014, which will be marketed under the Zenfone moniker. Unlike PadFones, Zenfones act as handhelds and nothing else, coming with no docking stations in tow and thus targeting a wider audience.
Too bad they’re unlikely to land stateside in subsidized flavors, though they’ll only cost $99, $149 and $199 in 4, 5 and 6-inch contract-free variants respectively, so there wasn’t much room for carrier assistance in the first place.
Starting from top to bottom, the Zenfone 6 appears to offer quite a lot for 200 bucks, including a 1,280 x 720 pix res screen, dual-core 2 GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1 GB RAM, 13 MP rear cam (wow!) and spacious 3,230 mAh battery. Meanwhile, the intermediate member of the family actually sports a higher ppi display (720p resolution on 5 inches), an identical SoC and slightly less impressive 8 MP main snapper.
Finally, the Asus Zenfone 4 is the textbook definition of low-end tech, albeit for 100 clams it’s amazing there’s 1 GB of RAM to double the 1.2 GHz Intel chip and 5 MP sensor on the shooter slapped on its back. No words yet on when to expect the three out and about, but they should probably roll out in time for the cherry blossoms.
Welcome to the mainstream mobile décor, Asus!