The ZenFone 3 Deluxe may be a little late to the party – having first been announced at Computex back in May – but there’s one thing about ASUS’ top-dog smartphone that catches significant attention: the Snapdragon 821. Qualcomm announced the update to its flagship chipset in the summer, which brings incremental improvements across the board, but timing seems to have compromised its debut in Fall smartphones. ASUS was determined, though, and made a last minute change to ensure the latest and greatest processing power. That paid off, because the beastly ZenFone 3 Deluxe has just gone on sale, making it the first and currently only smartphone with the superior chipset.
If that’s the good news, here’s the bad: It’s only available for purchase in ASUS’ home country of Taiwan at the moment. Suffice to say it’s discouraging how long its taking the ZenFone 3 Deluxe to get into the majority of hands that want it. Hopefully we’re over the hill and ASUS is at a good place to ramp up production.
As a reminder, the ZenFone 3 Deluxe is the top-end out of the ZenFone 3 family. It packs a lot of bells and whistles, like a whopping 6GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage (with microSD card expansion), 23MP primary camera based off of a new Sony IMX 318 module(f/2.0, OIS, laser auto-focus), and 24-bit/192kHz audio playback. The rest of the specs are fairly commonplace by today’s standards: 5.7″ 1080P AMOLED display, 3,000 mAh battery, USB Type-C, all-metal build, and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
It’s obvious the feature-packed ZenFone 3 Deluxe won’t be cheap – said to be 24,990 Taiwanese Dollars (about $792). However, if that’s overkill, you can cut the cost quite a bit with slightly lower spec’d variants. The ZenFone 3 Deluxe with Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM is offered with 32GB or 64GB configurations, at NT15,990 ($507) or NT17,990 ($570), respectively.