Look Who's Calling: ASUS Introduces ZenFone and PadFone Mini Devices

Mobile is red hot right now, and that includes the smartphone market. That doesn't figure to change this year, though it will be interesting to see if Intel can wrestle some market share away from ARM, which so far has dominated the landscape. One company that's willing to give Intel a shot is ASUS, which announced a new "high-value" smartphone phone called ZenFone with Intel Atom hardware inside.

Three devices kick off the new smartphone series: ZenFone 4 (4-inch TFT display, 800x480), ZenFone 5 (5-inch IPS display, 1280x720), and ZenFone 6 (6-inch IPS display, 1280x720).

Taking residence in the entry-level category, the ZenFone 4 sports a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 dual-core CPU with Hyper-Threading support, 1GB of RAM, 5MP rear-facing camera, 0.3MP front-facing camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, microSD card slot, 1170mAh battery, and Android 4.3 out of the box (ASUS says an updated to Android 4.4 KitKat is coming).

Asus ZenFone

Sitting in the middle is the ZenFone 5 with a 2GHz Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core CPU (also with Hyper-Threading support), 1GB of RAM, 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, microSD card slot, 2050mAh battery, and Android 4.3.

Finally, the ZenFone 6 features many of the same specs as the ZenFone 5 except that it has an upgraded 13MP rear-facing camera and bigger 3230mAh battery. Pricing and availability for all three devices will be announced at a later time.

PadFone Mini

If the ZenFone line doesn't do it for you, ASUS also announced the PadFone mini, a 4-inch smartphone that transforms into a 7-inch tablet (or vice versa, if you prefer). Both the 4-inch and 7-inch displays use IPS+ technology for sharp images and generous viewing angles.

The PadFone mini is powered by an Intel Atom Z2560 processor, 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM, 8GB of eMMC storage, 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB connectivity, headphone jack, 1170mAh (phone) and 2100mAh (station) batteries, and Android 4.3 with Asus ZenUI. Like the ZenFone line, ASUS promises an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat.