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Asus' ZenFone 3 Deluxe gets a supersonic upgrade to the Snapdragon 821 chip

The flagship ZenFone 3 Deluxe will be the first phone to feature Snapdragon's faster 821 processor.

The ZenFone 3 Deluxe opts for physical menu buttons to free up more screen space.
Aloysius Low/CNET

Asus may have introduced its ZenFone 3 Deluxe smartphone back during the Computex conference earlier this year, but it's still revealing surprises about the flagship device, including a last-minute chipset upgrade to the powerful Snapdragon 821 processor that Qualcomm announced just yesterday.

Back when the phone originally made its debut, it was said to feature a Snapdragon 820 series processor, so this sudden change is an interesting twist. The Snapdragon 820 has been the chip of choice for the most powerful Android phones over the last year, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5. But this new Snapdragon 821 ups the ante with a 10 percent promised performance increase and a CPU that runs at 2.4GHz, versus the 820's 2.1GHz clock speed.

The ZenFone 3 Deluxe is no bargain buy. It'll cost you about $780, which converts to around £588 and AU$1,023. The other ZenFone 3 models will come with a still-super-speedy 820 chip and your choice of 64GB storage with 6GB of RAM, or 32GB of storage with 4GB of RAM, starting at $500 MSRP.

This Deluxe version also has a 5.7-inch 1080p display, a 23-megapixel front-facing camera, 6GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery. Check it out in the video below and read all about it in CNET's hands-on!

Now playing: Watch this: Meet the new Asus ZenFone 3 lineup at Computex