Not many smartphones are announced at CES these days — instead, you'll mostly see other types of electronics like Energeous's WattUp and Li-Fi. However, ASUS decided to share some good news for their US customers, and it comes in the form of a new phone with some interesting specs and a budget-friendly price tag.
ASUS plans to release the ZenFone Max Plus (M1) to the US in February. However, this isn't your typical mid-range smartphone. Unlike phones in this price range, you get a formidable SoC, an amazingly large battery, and one unique feature not found on many smartphones (including flagship devices).
Pricing for the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus is $229. This is perhaps the most important spec of all, considering what you get.
It uses the MediaTek 6750T SoC, a chipset not typically found in US phones. It offers eight cores and a Geekbench single-core score that's higher than its biggest competitor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615.
Aside from its unique processor, other standout features include a massive 4,130 mAh battery and an unlocking mechanism that's eerily similar to Apple's Face ID. Oh, and it's one of the few phones left that actually has a headphone jack!
- OS Version: Android 7.0 Nougat
- Skin: ZenUI 4.0
- CPU: Mediatek 6750T
- GPU: Mali-T860 MP2
- RAM: 3 GB
- Battery: 4,130 mAh with SuperCharge
- Storage: 32 GB (expandable via MicroSD)
- Display Type: IPS LCD
- Screen Size: 5.7 inches
- Resolution: WFHD (2160 x 1080)
- Dimensions: 6.01" x 2.87" x 0.35"
- Rear Camera Resolution: 16 MP + 8 MP
- Rear Camera Aperture: f/2.0
- Optical Image Stabilization: No
- Front Camera Resolution: 8 MP
- Fingerprint Sensor: Yes (rear)
- Water Resistance: Unrated
- Connections: Micro USB 2.0, 3.5 mm headphone jack
Following the 2017 trend of minimal bezels, ASUS includes an 18:9 1080p display on the Zenfone Max Plus (a first for ASUS smartphones). While its forehead and chin aren't the smallest, the side bezels are virtually nonexistent. The Max Plus has 75.3% screen-to-body ratio, making its 5.7" display easy to use for those with smaller hands.
To match its weirdly redundant name, the Max Plus has one of the largest battery capacities for any smartphone, and that includes the top-tier devices. When such a large battery capacity is combined with Android 7.0 Nougat's optimizations, users will easily survive the day on a single charge. When you do need to charge, the ZenFone Max Plus supports 10 W fast charging to get you back to 100% battery in no time.
However, squeezing such a large battery into a relatively small frame can cause problems (remember the Galaxy Note 7), so ASUS has taken precautions to ensure customers are safe. ASUS PowerMaster, a suite of smart power management tools, works to make sure your device's battery remains safe. Twelve safety checkpoints are included with the PowerMaster suite, such as temperature monitoring and over-voltage protection.
Thanks to Apple's iPhone X, millions have been introduced to the convenience of facial recognition. Unfortunately, there are limited options when it comes to Android devices. Thankfully, ASUS added another smartphone to the small list of devices that support this feature.
The Zenfone Max Plus includes Face Unlock to quickly and conveniently unlock your smartphone. Now when it is cold outside and you don't want to take off your gloves, you don't have to make the difficult choice between freezing or not using your phone.
ASUS also includes a rear fingerprint scanner for a more secure biometric authentication method.
The ZenFone Max Plus is now available. Use the link below to purchase the phone. It will come in two colors: Azure Silver and Deepsea Black. It will be sold for the highly competitive price of $229.
You won't find many phones that share a similar combination of features, battery capacity, and low price tag. For those will smaller budgets that don't want to compromise, the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus is an enticing offer. What do you think of this new smartphone? Let us know in the comments below.
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