What do you do if you are trying to clear stock of an old and expensive phone? Rename it, slash the price, and pray that people don’t notice the difference or maybe they do and shouldn’t care since the new phone is selling for less. The above is what ASUS has done with the Zenfone AR which has been relaunched as the Zenfone Ares.
The Zenfone Ares is the Zenfone AR which is why ASUS didn’t bother to waste money having a launch event. The Zenfone AR, for those who don’t remember, was announced last year at CES as the first smartphone with 8GB of RAM and the first phone to support Google’s now abandoned Project Tango as well as Daydream VR.
The Zenfone Ares has a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED 2K display with a 1440 x 2560 resolution and Corning Gorilla 4. It is powered by the Snapdragon 821 which is paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage.
The rear camera is a 23MP f/2.0 sensor (Sony IMX318) with 4-axis OIS and EIS, laser AF, and tons of shooting modes. It also has depth and motion tracking. Sitting above the display is an 8MP f/2.0 sensor.
The Zenfone Ares has dts-HD support, a built-in NXP smart amplifier, and ASUS’ SonicMaster 3.0 for hi-res audio. It also has a 3.5mm audio jack. Its battery is 3300mAh with support for Quick Charge 3.0. There is a USB-C port with Display Port support, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2 for connectivity. It also has a fingerprint scanner that doubles as the home button. Sadly, it still runs Android Nougat. It would have made more sense if it ran Android Oreo out of the box.
The most interesting thing about the Zenfone Ares is the price. The Zenfone AR sold for NTD 24,990 (~$829), the Ares is priced at NTD 9,990 (~$330) which isn’t a bad price even though it has an old Snapdragon 821 processor. However, availability is limited to Taiwan only for now. Since it appears ASUS is clearing stock, there is a chance it may not make it out of Asia.