US pre orders start for ZenFone 5Q at $299 USD

ASUS is quickly starting pre orders in the US for the ZenFone 5Q at $299 USD from Amazon. If you don’t like a notch, this model will suit you just fine! Other markets know this model as the ZenFone 5 Lite or the ZenFone 5 Selfie or the ZenFone 5 Selfie Pro. Yep, all the same model!

What makes the ZenFone 5Q different than the ZenFone 5 and 5Z is that it’s more selfie orientated with the primary to best camera on the front as opposed to the rear.

Specs wise, the ZenFone 5Q model heading to the US comes with the following:

  • Snapdragon 630 @ 2.2GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • 6-inch display
  • 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • quad-camera

One question this leads up to ask is about the ZenFone 5 and whether ASUS will bump up that release in the US and make it by summer. The release date on this pre order says July but that’s not exactly believable at least based on prior experience.

Software update improves camera performance for ZenFone Max Pro

ASUS is showing to be quite reliable when it comes to dealing with software related issues or ZenFone issues. You may find some complaints about finger print reader slowness which has since been resolved via a software update. Additionally, that previous update did list camera performance improvements as well.

So today we see yet another ZenFone Max Pro software update which puts “Improve Camera performance” at the top of fixes. It doesn’t specify if it improves front camera performance but given the complaints out there, we would be surprised if this update wasn’t specific to the front camera. Hopefully there are some users out there who will provide some feedback about what improvements can be seen with this update.

If you don’t get an over the air update notification, connect to wifi and go into system settings and manually check for update.


ZenFone Max Pro ZB601KL_ WW_14.2016.1804.305
ZenFone Max Pro ZB602KL_ WW_14.2016.1804.305

(India model is ZB601KL)
(All other models are ZB602KL)

Release Notes:

1. Improve Camera performance.
2. Privacy Setting update.
3. Add GPS location icon into QuickSetting.

[source: ASUS – ZB601KL / ZB602KL]


ePrice publishes unofficial ZenFone 5Z price and release date schedule

Certain website have more reliable information than others. When it comes to Taiwan websites that have relationships with ASUS, is one of those more reliable sources. The subject today is the ZenFone 5Z price and release date. Please be mindful these are unofficial prices and dates but consider them quite possible.

ZenFone 5Z Release Date

  • Pre orders start June 1st
  • Sales start on June 11th

ZenFone 5Z Price in Taiwan

  • 6GB/64GB – 14,990
  • 6GB/128GB – 16,990

ASUS so far in the Asian markets is setting their sights on Xiaomi. Matching specs with an even better price appears to be ASUS’ strategy. The 5Z model has the best cameras available and sports a Qualcomm S845 processor.

[source: ePrice]

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