New ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) is available to buy from Asia with international shipping

Asus has really backed up their talk this time. Indeed they are making the ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) available when they promised. It’s available right now to buy and regardless of where you live, you can get one out of Taiwan or Singapore. This prices are looking very respectable as well, with some free shipping options as well. This is definitely worth some consideration.

Continue reading “New ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) is available to buy from Asia with international shipping” »

Don’t expect ZenFone Max Pro in the US or Canada

ASUS is on record saying that the ZenFone Max Pro is largely for the Asian markets. Does that mean Europe won’t see the ZenFone Max Pro? Does that mean US and Canada won’t see the ZenFone Max Pro?

More than just ASUS speaking about the primary markets for the ZenFone Max Pro, we have seen an FCC submission for the ZenFone Max M1 and NOT the ZenFone Max Pro. The discouraging aspect of this situation is that ASUS is extremely unlikely to be bringing two versions of the MAX into the North American market.

With its pure Android OS, big battery, and overall value, we are quite sure that the ZenFone Max Pro could do very well in the US and Canada. The ZenFone Max M1 is not quite at the same level of performance/value as the ZenFone Max Pro and consumers in North America are astute and aware of the mobile phone variances.

At this point, our best guess is that the ZenFone 5Q, ZenFone 5, ZenFone 5Z, and ZenFone Max M1 are heading into the US and Canada market. Let’s also not forget about the ZenFone gaming phone (ROG gaming phone) that is likely to come into the US and Canada markets. That’s a lot of models and that would be pushing it to think there would be two different ZenFone Max models.

Europe may have better luck in getting the ZenFone Max Pro, but we have absolutely no indicators either way. ASUS is scrambling to pump up production for India and Asia so a delay would be likely if it was decided to make its way to European markets.

ASUS has a winner in the ZenFone Max Pro and we truly wish/hope we are wrong about the US and Canada markets. Unfortunately the North American mobile phone market is Apple, Google and Samsung dominated and ASUS  knows it’s a tough market to crack. Thus it’s a fairly low priority market.

ASUS apologizes (again) to India consumers for ZenFone Max Pro shortages

The saga surrounding the ZenFone Max Pro in India continues. People vent on ASUS India social media about the availability being bogus and that it’s a flash sale which wasn’t supposed to be the case. ASUS showed a slide at their recent investors conference which stated they had sold 30K ZenFone Max Pro units in the first two minutes of being available. We saw with our own eyes, the almost immediate “sold out” listing on Flipkart. ASUS remains deadfast that this is NOT a flash sale situation and that it’s a question of the units selling out incredibly quickly. There have been two dates set and within seconds of the time/date opening on Flipkart, all units are gone and there is a mounting frustration from people who want the ZenFone Max Pro. The only real question is how many people are giving up and moving on.

So ASUS took to video this time, pleading with the India consumers to having better understanding of the situation. Here’s the tweet:

 

If you are one of the people who has been trying on the previous two dates on Flipkart to buy a ZenFone Max Pro, we have potential good news. May 24 at 12 noon is the next availability date on Flipkart. Demand is likely to be as fierce so go into this with an open mind. It may almost be like winning the lottery if the previous two dates are any indicator. You likely have one shot at this. Based on what we saw, the black model is what you’re going to have the best luck in buying. It’s hard to say how many gray models were available but we barely saw the “out of stock” label disappear which means within one or two seconds those were gone. That was in the previous two sales, so for this third sale, who knows. Maybe the gray model will be more available. The safest bet in our opinion is going for the black. In addition to that, make sure you have as much payment information in Flipkart prior to the sale. The fastest you go when it’s added to cart, you increase your chances. People have had the phone in their cart but by the time they get to payment, it’s has been sold out. So you have been warned!

If you want to know about the 6GB variant, ASUS has no official details yet. Considering the challenges with parts shortages for the ZenFone Max Pro so far, expecting another variant to be ready on time seems unlikely at this point.

We’ve started an in-depth FAQ about the ZenFone Max Pro here and will be adding more questions and answers in the coming weeks.

 

 

Android Oreo 8.0 update now available for more ZenFone models

ASUS did make some promises about rolling out Android Oreo to it’s older ZenFone models. With a couple recent Android 8.0 Oreo updates rolling out, we believe this is the start of ASUS making good on their promise. So far, we’re seeing software updates for a couple popular ZenFone 3 models including:

  • ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL)
    • V80.20.179.40
    • ZenFone 3 Zoom ZE553KL_ WW_V80.20.179.40
  • ZenFone 3 Deluxe (ZS571KL)
    • 15.0210.1804.47
    • ZenFone 3 Deluxe ZS570KL(8996/8996PRO) _WW_15.0210.1804.47

We will add and update this list as more models become available for the Android 8.0 Oreo update. If you don’t get a notification about a software update, then definitely go into your system settings and manually look for the system update. Connect to WiFi while doing this and you should get that pleasant and exciting update notification.

Release Notes:

1. Upgrade to Android O. Internal storage will decrease slightly, please backup your all data to SD card before upgrade.
2. Remove several default apps. Please refer to official website. (Minimove, photocollege, do it later) .
3. Change the gesture of entering “All Apps Menu” to “swipe up”.

What’s good in Android Oreo 8.0 Update:

  1. Improved battery life. Sure this is always “claimed” for updates but this time there is “Vitals” which does a better job with background battery draining apps and features.
  2. Faster performance. This is part of “Vitals” and faster boot times and performance should be evident. Let us know if this is factual.
  3. Picture-in-Picture video. This will be wonderful!
  4. Auto-enable WiFi
  5. New emojis
  6. Better and easier text selection
  7. Improved and easier settings menus

ASUS Indonesia launches ZenFone 5Z, ZenFone 5, ZenFone Live L1 – Prices! Details!

ASUS is going strong in the Indonesian market. Just recently they had a ZenFone Max Pro launch event and it just so happens that now we’re talking about another event, but this time for the ZenFone 5Z, ZenFone 5 and ZenFone Live L1. We have details folks!

Prices:

ZenFone 5Z

  • iPhone X – Rp 17,999,000
  • Galaxy S9+ – Rp 12,999,000
  • ZenFone 5Z
    • 6GB/128GB – Rp 6,499,000
    • 8GB/256GB – Rp 7,499,000

ZenFone 5

  • 4GB/64GB – Rp 4,299,000
  • Flash Sale May 30/June 6 – Rp 3,999,000 (Lazada/JD.ID)

ZenFone Live L1

  • Samsung A8 – Rp 6,250,000
  • Oppo A83 – Rp 2,999,000
  • Vivo Y71 – Rp 2,399,000
  • Redmi 5 (2GB/16GB) – Rp 1,699,000
  • ZenFone Live L1
    • 3GB/32GB – Rp 1,699,000
    • 2GB/16GB – Rp 1,399,000
    • Flash Sale JD.ID every Thursday – 2GB/16GB – Rp 1,299,000

It’s clear that ASUS means business from their aggressive pricing strategy. The pricing complaints on the previous editions of ZenFone are clearly a thing of the past and people should seriously be looking at the value here. Are you impressed? Let us know in the comment section below.

One week in, what do I think of the ZenFone AR?

I had to give up my beloved ZenFone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) recently and had it replaced with a ZenFone AR. If anything, seeing the ZenFone AR made me realize and appreciate just how incredibly beautiful the ZenFone 3 Deluxe was. There is something about the sleek all metal aspect that’s really unmatched.

So certainly the initial feelings were a bit mixed for me. The ZenFone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) was a really great phone but I’ve moved on now. So it has been over a week now and I wanted to offer up an small update on my initial impressions of my new baby, the ZenFone AR (ZS571KL).

If I had to pick one thing I love and appreciate about the ZenFone AR, it’s the front facing finger print sensor. How many times do I appreciate this a day? Many. Too many times to count really. It’s sad that in the name of “chin” or other innovations, the front facing finger print sensor may very well be a thing of the past.

The camera on the ZenFone AR is shooting some very crisp and nice photos. It seems to capture light better than my ZenFone 3 Deluxe did and overall I’m really digging the photo chops of this phone.

The AMOLED display is super bright and super beautiful as one would expect from this type of display. The higher resolution of the ZenFone AR display isn’t something that I can really speak to just yet. It’s better than 1920 x 1080, but on a daily basis I’m not sure that it’s something I can easily appreciate. Keep in mind I haven’t pushed this phone through its paces yet and I haven’t consumed a ton of media or games just yet.

Battery life is good. Signal for wifi seems extraordinary in comparison to my ZenFone 3 Deluxe as I’m picking up signal where normally I would not. The speaker is super ballsy and super loud.

I will say the case that came in the box is from the generation of ASUS clear cases that is hard. You might think because it’s clear that it’s rubbery. It’s not. The newer ASUS clear cases that come in the boxes for say, the ZenFone 3 Zoom are rubbery. The issue here? Super slippery. Not a little bit slipper, but a lot slippery. I had the official clear case for the ZenFone 3 Deluxe and it had the exact same feel. The hardness also means that it’s going to likely crack at some point just like my ZenFone 3 Deluxe case did. I like the idea of a rubbery case because it’s going to have better grip and more shock absorbent.

I haven’t even put this phone through any AR or VR paces just yet! Soon I can unleash the beast within. Stay tuned for a full review. With prices dropping on these older models, so far it’s worth having a look at depending on the price!

The best free ZenFone theme and icon set ever!

Feeling a little lost when it comes to getting that perfect customized look and feel of your ZenUI? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but we’re going to recommend our absolute favorite theme and icon set. In our minds these are the best free options available.

Our picks are from two different themes. This means if you just love your current wallpaper, lock screen, or icons, you can still try these out without having to change over your entire theme. That’s the beauty of the “customize” option!

This isn’t complicated to set up as we’re sure most of you have already dabbled with the various ZenUI themes already.

The Best Free ZenFone Theme?

Zen Spiral

Zen Spiral has a stunning blend of blue and green colors with a “Zen” like texture. If you have a ZenFone with AMOLED display, it turns your wallpaper into a jewel. It’s just rich!

The Second Best ZenFone Theme?

Zen Silver

We do believe strongly in Zen Spiral but certainly Zen Silver is almost a nice. These two themes tend to bring out the best in a display without cluttering up the background. Clean yet punchy. The Zen Silver is darker and won’t bring out some of the brightness that Zen Silver provides.

The Best Free ZenFone Icon Set?

Neon Rainbow

Our pick for best theme icon set is from the Neon Rainbow theme. This is a great icon set for anyone looking for a pure Android look and feel. The best feature of this icon set is that it’s clean and there is no background surrounding the icon which tends to clutter or get in the way of the wallpaper behind the icons. Even if you don’t like our theme picks, you can still try out this icon set while leaving the other aspects of your current theme intact.

How to set this up on your ZenFone:

  1. go into your phone settings and choose “themes”.
  2. search from the Asus theme store, the “free” themes
  3. scroll down and find “Zen Spiral”
  4. click “customize”
  5. tick the boxes “wallpaper” and “lock screen”
  6. go back into the “free” themes
  7. scroll down and find “Neon Rainbow”
  8. click “customize”
  9. tick the box “icons”
  10. enjoy