Focused until not long ago exclusively on multipurpose gadgets like Transformer Pad tablet/laptop hybrids or 2-in-1 phone-cum-slate PadFones, Asus has inaugurated back in January a more conventional handheld line.
Dubbed Zenfone, the smartphone family included three low-cost 4, 5 and 6-inch models powered by Intel Atom processors and meant primarily for emerging markets. Priced at $100, $150 and $200 respectively, the modest gizmos have so far only debuted in China, though they’re expected on the old continent in a matter of weeks.
But possibly, not before they can get a spin-off sitting right between the Zenfone 4 and 5 footprint-wise. The mystery 4.5 incher, which may or may not be branded as a Zenfone, is said to closely resemble its cousins (siblings?) strictly from an aesthetic standpoint, yet alter quite a few things under the hood.
For starters, the soon-to-break-cover handheld sounds targeted at a wider, maybe global audience, as it integrates a 4G LTE modem. To do so, it apparently ditches Intel’s chips in favor of a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 unit, with an undisclosed clock speed.
Granted, that doesn’t exactly paint the picture of a powerhouse, but look on the bright side: it should keep costs relatively in check. “Relatively” being the key word, as screen resolution is tipped at 1,280 x 720. The pixel count, along with LTE connectivity and the CPU’s four cores, surely demand an outright price tag of at least $200. Maybe even $250.
Nah, the 4G Motorola Moto G is barely $220, so Asus needs to tie, preferably undercut, that in order to compete.
Expected on display at Computex 2014 next month in Taipei, Taiwan, the Zenfone 4.5 will likely run Android 4.4 KitKat straight out the box and pair the S400 processor with 1 GB RAM. A microSD card slot is a near guarantee too, whereas optional dual SIM support is a strong possibility.
Fingers crossed for the 4.5 incher to follow Zenfone 5’s suit in the rear-facing camera department (8 megapixels), and 8 GB/16 GB internal storage options would also be nice. Anything else you wish the imminent mid-ranger would offer?