Leak Tips Asus Zenfone AR, Second Google Tango Phone

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It appears that someone at Qualcomm hit the "publish" button a bit early today and posted a blog post that tipped the Asus ZenFone AR, the first Tango-enabled smartphone to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor.

As GSM Arena notes, the post is dated Jan. 4. It has since been removed, though a cached version is still live, but it detailed a smartphone that taps into Google's Tango AR and Daydream VR platforms.

According to the blog post, Zenfone AR owners can snap the device into a Google Daydream View VR headset and "explore new worlds with apps like Google Street View and Fantastic Beasts, dive into your personal VR cinema with YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and HBO, and get your game on with Gunjack 2, LEGO BrickHeadz, Need for Speed and dozens other titles."

Look for a "high-resolution display, ultra-smooth graphics, and high-fidelity sensors for precise head tracking."

This afternoon, reliable leaker Evan Blass tweeted photos of what he says are the Zenfone AR.

His tweet notes that this is the second Google Tango phone, the first being the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro (pictured above). We found that it serves as more of a showcase for Google Tango than a case for augmented reality, but the future looks promising, and the phone is solid in its own right.

The Phab 2 Pro, though, sports the modest Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, while the Zenfone AR reportedly runs the newer 821. Qualcomm revealed the Snapdragon 821 in July, and touted 10 percent better performance than the 820. Shortly thereafter, Asus announced that its ZenFone 3 Deluxe would be the first smartphone to run Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821, though it was only available to customers in Asia who selected the top-of-the-line model.

"Snapdragon 821 processors are designed to bring a few significant advantages to Tango and the ZenFone AR," according to Qualcomm's blog post.

"The Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU in Snapdragon 821 brings a 40 percent improvement in graphics performance at 40 percent less power than the Snapdragon 810," the blog post said. "So you can get more hours of augmented reality along with great graphics on the ZenFone AR.

Qualcomm also talked up "how well 3D graphic overlays match up with actual physical surroundings."

Google's Daydream VR platform, meanwhile, arrived earlier this year, and is also available on the Pixel and Moto Z lineup of smartphones.

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