Asus CEO Jerry Shen unveiled the all-new ZenFone 5 Series at a special event in the Italian Pavilion at MWC 2018 in Barcelona.
The lineup includes the ZenFone 5Z and the ZenFone 5, exciting high-performance 6.2-inch dual-camera smartphones that are the first ever ZenFone models to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI), and which feature all-screen displays with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in a remarkably compact size that’s comparable to a standard 5.5-inch smartphone. The ZenFone 5Z — which starts at just $499 — is a high-performance version of the ZenFone 5 powered by the latest flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE), featuring 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for breathtaking performance and accelerated AI experiences. The ZenFone 5 is the first smartphone available worldwide to be powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform.
The ZenFone 5Q (introduced onstage at MWC as the ZenFone 5 Lite, but available in the North America as the ZenFone 5Q) is a stylish 6-inch smartphone featuring a premium true four-camera system, with a high-resolution camera and a 120° wide-angle camera at both front and rear.
“We embarked on the ZenFone project four years ago with the idea to create empowering luxury for everyone to enjoy,” said Mr. Shen. “Today, the ZenFone 5 Series is the most intelligent ZenFone series ever, utilizing advanced AI algorithms and big-data analytics to provide users with a unique slate of intelligent camera, communication and convenience features.”
Joining Mr. Shen on-stage for the announcement, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon commented, “We are excited to continue to work with ASUS to bring the latest advancements in mobile to consumers with the ZenFone 5 Series. Powered by powerful Snapdragon Mobile Platforms, ZenFone 5Z (Snapdragon 845 with the AIE) and ZenFone 5 (Snapdragon 636) will support superior user experiences that include dual cameras and artificial intelligence.”
Following the press event, OK Go — a multi-award-winning rock band from the US, whose honors include a GRAMMY — performed live at the after party. OK Go has joined in partnership with ASUS to work on the ZenFone 5 marketing campaign.
In addition to the products unveiled on stage, the brand-new ZenFone Max M1 smartphone and the ASUS NovaGo always-connected laptop were also showcased in the demo area.
ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5
The ZenFone 5Z is an exciting next-generation 6.2-inch, dual-camera smartphone that comes with a beautiful all-screen display featuring a 90% screen-to-body ratio, packed in a 5.5-inch body size. It’s the first-ever ZenFone model to harness the power of the latest Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with AIE, featuring a 3rd Generation AI platform that includes the Hexagon 685 Vector DSP, Adreno 630 Graphics, and Kryo 385 CPU. The ZenFone 5Z also benefits from the Snapdragon X20 Gigabit LTE modem, delivering speeds that surpass the gigabit barrier for a ‘wireless fiber’ experience, as well as integrated 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® 5 for ultra-low-power wireless earbuds. The high-performance ZenFone 5Z comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, offering breathtaking performance combined with outstanding energy efficiency for long-lasting battery life.
The ZenFone 5 features an exquisitely crafted design, an amazing dual-camera system, and is powered by the latest Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform. Both the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5Z feature intelligent dual-camera systems that adapt and learn, delivering perfect photos every time. Equipped with the latest flagship Sony® IMX363 sensor with large 1.4µm pixels, an f/1.8 wide-aperture lens, a 120° wide-angle secondary camera, four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and AI-enhanced camera features — including AI Scene Detection for 16 different scenes and objects, AI Photo Learning, Real-time Portrait and Real-time Beautification — the ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 encourage creativity and free the user to concentrate on the subject rather than the camera.
The ZenFone 5Q is a stylish 6-inch smartphone featuring a premium true four-camera system with high-resolution and wide-angle cameras at both front and rear. The ZenFone 5Q removes the limits on photographic creativity, with a high-resolution main camera — 20MP Sony at the front, 16MP at the rear — and, uniquely, a secondary 120° wide-angle camera at both front and rear. Unlike rival systems, each camera works independently every time for perfect selfies, group selfies (wefies), landscapes, portraits or groups shots. The 6-inch Full HD+ IPS display has a Full View 18:9 aspect ratio and an ultraslim bezel, making the pocket-friendly ZenFone 5Q as compact as a standard-aspect-ratio 5.5-inch phone. Powered by the Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the ZenFone 5Q combines incredible performance, optimized power efficiency and a 3300mAh battery with advanced security and convenience features — including NFC, triple-slot SIM/microSD card holder, rapid face unlock and fingerprint recognition — for a complete smartphone experience.
ZenFone Max M1
The ZenFone Max M1 is the latest model in the new ZenFone Max Series — renowned for its high battery capacities. The ZenFone Max M1 has a 5.5-inch full-view display in an amazingly compact body that’s no larger than many standard 5-inch smartphones, yet comes packed with a high-capacity 4000mAh battery.
With its expanded viewing area, compact size, dual rear cameras (one wide-angle), and convenient fingerprint-based unlocking, the ZenFone Max M1 offers a class-leading combination of features designed to encompass all life’s adventures. The ZenFone Max M1 has the stamina to go the distance, and lets photo-lovers see the bigger picture with a wider range of creative options — all in a stylish metallic-finished design that’s ergonomic and comfortable to hold.
The ASUS NovaGo is the world’s first Gigabit LTE-capable laptop designed for truly connected mobility, providing users with an always-on, always-connected experience. This ultrathin and light convertible laptop is powered by the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform, and features a Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem for download speeds up to 3-7 times faster than average broadband speeds, and has integrated 2×2 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 support. It has up to a 22-hour battery life with over 30 days of modern standby. Quick-charge functionality gives the NovaGo up to five hours of battery life from a 15-minute charge.
The NovaGo is a new breed of laptop designed for the tech-savvy user who is aware of the new and exciting always on, always connected possibilities. It provides familiar Windows experiences plus new features such as Windows Ink, Windows Hello and Cortana with blazing-fast connectivity and exceptional on-the-go power efficiency.
CES: Most useless gadgets of all
Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.
It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.
But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.
The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.
1. DUX voice-assisted bed
The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.
2. Smart Baby Dining Table
Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.
Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.
CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”
Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.
Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:
Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator
The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication.
It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.
It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.”
Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.