ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) will launch in the US in February (Update: available now)

Update (02/28): Asus is busy with its new ZenFone 5 range at MWC in Barcelona, but that hasn’t stopped the Taiwanese company showing some love to the ZenFone Max Plus (M1). As noted at launch, the Max Plus was penciled in for February in the US and ASUS has just managed to hit that goal by releasing the phone today.

The Max Plus is available in Deepsea Black and Azure Silver for $229 from ASUS’ online store, as well as retailers Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, and Newegg. The device comes fully unlocked with a dual-SIM slot and a US warranty, but it’s worth noting that it won’t be compatible with CDMA Networks such as Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular.

You can hit the button below to pick up the Max Plus at Amazon.

Original story (01/08): ASUS is launching yet another one of its unlocked Android smartphones in the US. This time, it’s the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) which was previously announced in November. The company will sell the US version with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard storage for just $229. It will be available in Azure Silver and Deepsea Black colors in the US (a gold pink color is also available in other markets).

Inside the metal body, the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus will have a 5.7-inch display in an 18:9 ratio, and with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080.  ASUS doesn’t name the processor inside the phone in its US press release, but the company previously said the ZenFone Max Plus would have a MediaTek 6750T chipset. It will also have a large 4,130 mAh battery inside, which should offer up to 13 hours of video playback, or 21 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Plus will have a dual rear camera setup, with a main 16 MP sensor that has a wide, f/2.0 aperture lens. The secondary 8 MP camera has a 120 degree wide-angle sensor for capturing more people or scenery in the frame. The phone also has a 16 MP front-facing selfie camera.

ASUS is promoting the Face Unlock feature in the ZenFone Max Plus. It uses its ZenUI and the front camera so that owners can unlock their phones with just their face. There’s also a fingerprint sensor in the rear of the phone. The ZenFone Max Plus is a dual SIM phone, but its SIM tray also has room for a separate microSD card, for adding up to 256 GB of storage.

The bad news about this phone is that it will ship with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. It also uses the older micro-USB connector instead of the new USB-C port, but still retains a 3.5 mm headphone jack. If you can push past this phone using an older OS and USB port, this might be worth looking into if you want to get an Android phone with some solid specs for a reasonable price point.

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