The ASUS ZenFone 3 series will arrive in India by Q3 (Jul-Sept), says Peter Chang of ASUS India

On the first day of Computex 2016 we had a conversation with Peter Chang, regional head for South Asia and India, at the Asus booth at the exhibition hall

Asus launched quite a lot of products on 30 May. We have already seen the ZenFone 3 models and the Zenbook 3 as well as the Asus home robot called Zenbo. On the first day of Computex 2016 we had a conversation with Peter Chang, regional head for South Asia and India, at the Asus booth at Nangang Exhibition hall.

The first question of course was concerning the India launch timelines of the products that were announced yesterday. While Asus still has a lot of ZenFone 2 and ZenFone Go models selling in India, with the ZenFone Max just launched a week before Computex, the ZenFone 3 will already have company from its own house. But Chang hinted at a launch by the end of Q3, which means around November - December  July to September period, for both the ZenFone 3 series as well as for the ZenBooks. With regards to the ZenBook 3 variants, Chang said that hopefully all the models will be launched, but in phases.

The ZenFone 2 series and currently selling phones will continue to sell in India. "See, we have a lot of different configurations for different devices. So definitely some models will continue selling whereas others will be end-of-life, so it all depends on a model to model basis. But our current ZenFone Go series will continue to sell and also some models of the ZenFone 2," said Chang.

Asus was the first company to announce a smartphone with 4GB of RAM. While it may not have been the first to announce a phone with 6GB RAM, its Zenfone 3 Deluxe sports 6GB RAM along with Snapdragon 820 chipset. It still begs the question, isn't 6GB of RAM on a smartphone overkill? Considering the fact that hardly any apps are even able to fully exploit 4GB RAM.

When asked if 6GB was overkill, Chang told Tech2 that it is not just about using one or two apps which will use up that much RAM, but about providing a better overall user experience. Chang said that the Snapdragon 820 along with 6GB RAM will give a really smooth experience to users with absolutely no lag. We will hold our verdict regarding that till we test the ZenFone 3 Deluxe, as we've seen phones sporting high RAM numbers stutter in many scenarios. Thankfully, the pre-loaded apps on the ZenFone 3 models can be uninstalled in case you have no use for them—except for some system apps of course.

At the moment there are no plans of making the ZenFone 3 models in India. "So far this is still under evaluation. We are yet to finalise the line and other aspects of the ZenFone 3 assembly. We hope to have one soon," said Chang.

On the ZenBook 3

The ZenBook 3 is Asus' answer to the Apple MacBook. But it still carries forth the one flaw that the Macbook had - single USB Type-C port.

"For the ZenBook 3, we want to target the most high-end user. Also, we wanted the slimmest machine in the world, so we had to get rid of the other ports. Also, for users who want more ports on their ultrabooks, we have the UX360 model which has more I/O ports," said Chang, defending the plan to go ahead with a single USB Type C port. He assured us that the price points for the ZenBooks would be very close to their USD pricing and that there wouldn't be a huge price gap despite additional duties and taxes.

On the Zenbo robot

When quizzed about the Zenbo robot, Chang said that the details with regards to internal specifications, operating system and so on, would be released shortly. "It is still too early to talk about the internal specifications as we are still working on the Zenbo. What we saw yesterday was a demo of a very secret product, even for Asus employees. We are yet to come out with commercial product to sell in the market. The final product may have some changes as well," said Chang.

According to Chang, although Asus has an independent department working on the Zenbo project, the company does not want it to be a closed ecosystem project. "What we are trying to do, is invite more developers to help us come up with more use-cases for the Zenbo. It is only with the help of our partners and developers that we can realise the full potential of the Zenbo. We don't want to keep the development of Zenbo only limited to Asus," said Chang.

Disclaimer: Our correspondent was invited for Computex 2016 by ASUS India. All expenses related to travel and accommodation have been take care of by ASUS India.

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