Qualcomm only introduced the world to the Snapdragon 821 recently, but we’ve not had to wait long for the first official phone to use the chip, and it comes from Asus. It’s also a revised version of a phone we’ve already seen: The Zenfone 3 Deluxe, which came along at the end of May equipped with a Snapdragon 820 chip.
Asus obviously decided the 820 wasn’t quite powerful enough, so has re-introduced a higher range Zenfone 3 Deluxe with the Snapdragon 821 inside, where it’s kept company by 6GB of RAM. How much extra power does this provide? Qualcomm says the quad-core Snapdragon 821 will give a 10 percent power increase over the Snapdragon 820, and can positively fly along at speeds up to 2.4GHz.
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Other Zenfone 3 Deluxe models will come with the Snapdragon 820 inside, just at a cheaper price than the model with the 821, but we don’t know where or when Asus will put the fastest version of the phone on sale. Back when the phone was first revealed, Asus was targeting an August launch in Asia, but Qualcomm hasn’t told us an exact arrival date for Snapdragon 821, only that it’ll be here in the second half of 2016.
If the monster processor and RAM wasn’t enough, Asus has gone all out with the Zenfone 3 Deluxe. It has added in 128GB of storage space, a 23-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus and optical image stablization, hi-res audio support, a fingerprint sensor, Android 6.0, and a giant 5.7-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen. Asus certainly can’t be accused of cutting corners, and it’s easily one of the most powerful smartphones we’ve seen this year, on paper at least.
Asus has also beaten rival LeEco to the dubious honor of being first with a Snapdragon 821 phone announcement. The up-and-coming smartphone brand from China was rumored to have a phone with Qualcomm’s new processor inside — when it was known as the Snapdragon 823 — but it hasn’t been officially revealed yet. LeEco was first to announce a Snapdragon 820 phone, the Le Max Pro.
We’ll keep you updated on the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe’s availability.