Asus took the wraps off its ZenFone Max Plus late last year, but so far, the phone has only gone on sale in Europe and Asia. U.S. shoppers will get the chance to see if the phone is worth its $229 asking price next month, when the phone whose battery life is as expansive as its display arrives in this country.
At CES 2018, Asus announced that the ZenFone Max Plus (M1) will hit the U.S. in early February. We haven't had a chance to go hands on with the 5.7-inch phone just yet, but we're expecting a device capable of giving the longest-lasting smartphones we've tested a run for their money.
The ZenFone Max Plus packs a 4,130 mAh battery. That's not quite as large as the 5,000 mAh power pack found in other long-lasting Asus smartphones like the ZenFone 3 Zoom and ZenFone 4 Max, both of which lasted longer than 15 hours on the Tom's Guide battery test. But it is the kind of battery that promises to go all day on a single charge.
MORE: Most Anticipated Phones
It's not just about battery size, though. Asus says the new ZenFone boasts power management technologies aimed at optimizing battery life over the long-term as well, in order to curb the loss of battery capacity as the phone ages. The ZenFone Max Plus also features reverse-charging capabilities, so you can use it to power your other mobile devices in a pinch.
Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) Specs
|OS||Android N with Asus ZenUI 4.0|
|Screen Size (Resolution)||5.7 inches (2160 x 1080)|
|Size||6 x 2.9 x 0.35 inches|
|Rear Camera||16-MP (main)/8-MP (wide angle)|
Other features help the ZenFone Max Plus stand out from the smartphone crowd. Asus uses a full-view display and an ultraslim bezel on the sides of the phone to squeeze that 5.7-inch screen into a 6 x 2.9 x 0.35-inch body, which would normally house a 5.2-inch panel. Unlike higher-end phones, like the Note 8 and iPhone X, you'll still see some bezel on the top and bottom of the screen, but it's still a pretty expansive display.
Dual rear cameras include a 16-megapixel lens and a 8-MP wide-angle shooter with a 120-degree field of view. The setup aims to capture more of the scenery on landscape shots, or pack more people in when you're taking a group photo. Up front, a 16-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture is designed to help you up your selfie game.
Asus is counting on those features, plus a rear fingerprint sensor, to convince U.S. shoppers that the ZenFone Max Plus justifies its $229 asking price. Some of the specs feel underwhelming, though: The ZenFone Max Plus will ship with Android Nougat, for example.
We hope to get a chance to go hands on with the ZenFone Max Plus to see just how well those cameras perform, and whether the full-view display looks as impressive as Asus claims. We're also eager to test out the battery life on the Max Plus to see how it measures up to the standards set by other ZenFones.
Editors' Note: This article originally listed the price of the phone at $329 based on information provided by Asus. The ZenFone Max Plus will cost $229, and we've updated the article to reflect that price.