New Asustek smartphones still feature 14nm Qualcomm chips

Asustek at the ongoing CES trade show in Las Vegas has introduced two new smartphones, the ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom, both featuring Qualcomm's 14nm Snapdragon chips instead of the just-introduced 10nm Snapdragon 835 processor.

Qualcomm has said its latest Snapdragon 835 is in production and will ship in commercial devices in the first half of 2017. Nevertheless, Asustek's adoption of Qualcomm's 14nm chips in its new ZenFone devices particularly the AR has come as a surprise, since the Snapdragon 835 could bring better performance and efficiency.

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi Mi 6 will likely be the first smartphones sporting Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, according to industry sources.

The new ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom are powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821- and 625-series processors, respectively, according to Asustek. Both the Snapdragon 821 and chips are manufactured using Samsung's 14nm LPP process.

Asustek claimed the ZenFone AR will be the world's first smartphone to be both Tango-enabled and Daydream-ready. Tango is a set of sensors and computer vision software that enables smartphone augmented reality (AR). Daydream is Google's platform for high-quality, mobile virtual reality (VR).

The ZenFone 3 Zoom is equipped with dual 12MP cameras, and a 5000mAh battery. The phone is built for photography, the company indicated.

Asustek expects to release its ZenFone 3 Zoom in Febaruary followed by the roll-out of ZenFone AR in the second quarter.