We were given a very rare opportunity to have a close up look at ASUS’ soon to be announced smartphone. This time, the Taiwanese tech giant has jump shipped to the 18:9 aspect ratio club. The said smartphone is named the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (most probably a placeholder name), although it closely resembles the ASUS Pegasus 4S that was made exclusive to the Chinese market a few months ago. We had a brief hands-on of the device and here are our initial thoughts.
Up front we’re greeted with the 5.7-inch FHD+ IPS Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 which translates to 424ppi. The display itself has good color reproduction and viewing angles. The screen is encased in 2.5D glass. Also found here is the 8MP front camera w/ LED flash, the loudspeaker, and the light sensor. The whole front of the device is all screen as the bottom is devoid of any buttons.
On its right side we have the volume rockers and the power button, while on the left we have the dual SIM and the dedicated microSD card slot. It was a good call for ASUS to abandon the hybrid setup as this enable users to use two SIMs without sacrificing the SD card slot.
Flipping the phone on its back reveals the dual 16MP + 8MP cameras along with the LED flash and a fingerprint scanner. Found at the bottom is a silver colored ASUS logo. The antenna bands at the top and bottom also add a little flare to the device.
Up top is the 3.5mm headphone port and the secondary mic while found at the bottom are the microUSB port, the mono speaker, and the two speaker grilles.
The phone has a metallic unibody finish. It has the aura of a premium device due to its 18:9 display and relatively sturdy build. However, the device is quite slippery due to its smooth finish, but is still easy to grip. It’s also light and feels good in the hands.
The ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 is rumored to be powered by Mediatek’s MT6750T Octa-core processor, the same one found on the Pegasus 4S. Initial operation was fast and lag-free. The device uses ZenUI 4.0 on top of Android 7.0 Nougat.
Overall the device is shaping up to be quite the contender when it come to its looks and specs, especially when it is rumored to be priced at under Php 13k/$253. We’ll just have to wait and see if it does compete once it gets officially announced in January 2018.
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 rumored specs:
- 5.7-inch FHD+ IPS display @ 2160 x 1080px, 424 ppi
- 2.5D curved glass
- 1.5GHz Octa-core 64-bit MediaTek MT6750T
- Mali-T860MP2 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage
- expandable via microSD
- Dual 16MP f/2.0 + 8MP f/2.4 wide angle AF rear cameras w/ LED flash
- 8MP front camera w/ screen flash, Face Unlock
- 4G LTE
- Dual SIM Dual standby
- Bluetooth 4.2
- GPS, A-GPS
- Fingerprint scanner
- ASUS ZenUI 4.0 (Android 7.0 Nougat)
- 4,130mAh battery
- 152.6 x 72.7 x 8.8 mm
- 160 g
- Colors: Black, Silver, Gold