Sheldon PintoJul 13, 2016 13:45:54 IST
Qualcomm just announced its Snapdragon 821 chipset for mobile devices and PC and smartphone maker Asus also made an announcement that it would adopt the same. Yes, Asus plans to launch a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821-powered Zenfone 3 Deluxe. And this also gives Asus the bragging rights of introducing the world's first smartphone with a beefed-up Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset as well.
No, the Snapdragon 821 will not be another variant of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe. Asus announced at an event that it plans to upgrade the chipset from the earlier announced 820 to the top of the line 821 for the Zenfone 3 Deluxe in general. The Deluxe will also be the company's first step into the premium smartphone segment as the device will not come cheap. Cnet reports that smartphone will launch in just one variant priced at $780 (approximately Rs 52,000) which sure sounds pricey for an Asus-branded smartphone. As for the rest of the range which was earlier announced at Computex, they will be available in 6GB RAM (with 64GB storage) or 3GB RAM (32GB storage) variants. This would include the Zenfone 3 and the Zenfone 3 Ultra which will stick to the Snapdragon 820 chipset.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 is a slight upgrade over the 820, in the sense that it runs a quad-core setup clocked at 2.4GHz. Out of the four Kyro cores, two will be clocked at 2.4GHz, which will be the performance cluster whereas the power cluster will have two Kyro cores clocked above 2GHz.
However, all of this indeed seems beneficial to Asus. Like Xiaomi, Asus too is a relatively new player in the smartphone industry and has been smartly launching value for money smartphones in India. With the brand image that covers many segments it was high time that PC maker, would want to sink its teeth into premium smartphone segment. And with the Zenfone 3 announcement it did just that. Back at Computex, there were already plenty of flagship smartphones readily available with Snapdragon 820 silicon inside, so it was not a big deal. Add the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 to this equation and you get well packaged smartphone that comes from a well-known brand in the world of consumer electronics, which makes for an interesting buy.
Asus' only premium priced smartphone in India was the Zenfone Zoom. I reviewed the camera focused smartphone and it made for a great camera when used in the Pro Mode. It was priced at Rs 37,999 and even though it was priced high, it had something really unique in the form of an optical zoom lens. It did not protrude, but was squeezed in vertically making it the only camera smartphone offering with an optical lens that was this slim (for the category).
The reason why I feel this may work out well for Asus, is because it is an established brand. They build quality gaming PCs, laptops and other devices as well. At Computex, the Taiwanese company even demoed its Zenbo robot which shows that the brand is interested in getting into your living room as well. So with all this brand value already available, it does sound like a good time to jump on to the flagship smartphone bandwagon. And thanks to Qualcomm's announcement which comes months after the MWC 2016 and all the major flagship announcements that came with it, Asus could pick up a its very own slice of the flagship smartphone pie, provided it acts quickly.
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