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May 19, 2017

Verizon will be the first U.S. carrier to sell a Tango phone

by John_A

Verizon will sell the ASUS ZenFone AR later this summer, and that’s a great thing for AR.

Later this summer, Verizon will be the first U.S. carrier to sell a Tango-enabled device, which also happens to be the second ever phone to support Google’s nascent augmented reality platform.

zenfone-ar-array.jpg?itok=7g0kFAVJ

During a VR keynote at Google I/O, Johnny Lee, program lead for Tango, confirmed that the ASUS ZenFone AR will be coming to Verizon later in the summer, and will likely be sold alongside an unlocked model for other users who want to pay full price for the AR experience.

The ZenFone AR is much smaller than the first Tango phone, Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro, that debuted last summer. In his hands-on, Russell Holly said that the phone is nicely-designed and well built, and will work really well with Tango when it’s available at launch.

The things that are most interesting about this phone, as the name suggests, are on the inside. This is the first phone with a Snapdragon 821 processor that has been optimized to handle Google Tango, complete with a camera array that differs wildly from Google’s first Tango partner, Lenovo. As the first phone that can handle both Daydream and Tango, there’s a lot of testing to be done to see how well all of this comes together.

That testing is coming to a close as we near the phone’s launch, and while we don’t know how much it will cost, it’s likely to be a little more expensive than the $499 list price of the underpowered and oversized Phab 2 Pro. And given that the ZenFone AR will also be Daydream-compatible, it will be far more of a consumer-focused phone than its spiritual predecessor.

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