Those of you with a good memory may remember the ZenFone 4 name from a few years ago. In 2014, Asus was using screen sizes for its naming convention when it released the ZenFone 4, 5, and 6 with respective display sizes in inches. Here we are 3 years later and Asus has long since switched to a more conventional chronological naming scheme for its ZenFone line. Following on from last year's ZenFone 3 series of phones, the first in the 2017 ZenFone 4 range has been revealed on Asus' Russian site.
The ZenFone 4 Max will be one of the midrange offerings in the series and is expected to be marketed predominantly on its generous 5,000mAh battery. Coupled with a software feature called PowerMaster it will offer even longer battery life and the ability to charge other devices. The battery sounds impressive, but it's apparent from the splash page on Asus.ru that the company thinks the cameras are just as big a selling point. It's equipped with a 13MP main camera with a large f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, EIS, and an LED flash, while the secondary camera has a wide-angle lens with a 120-degree viewing angle for better landscapes images. Video is recorded in full HD at 30fps, and it's possible to take stills at the same time. Selfies are handled by an 8MP front snapper which also includes an LED flash with an ambient light sensor.
A 5.5" IPS display is powered by a Snapdragon 430 or 425 SoC, depending on the variant, paired with either the Adreno 505 or 308. RAM is listed as 'up to 3GB' and internal storage will be 16 or 32GB (not that 16GB of storage is advisable in 2017). There is a slot for MicroSD cards up to 256GB for expansion, and it's also worth noting the dual SIM slots. What would appear to be a dual stereo speaker is actually only mono, but it's pleasing to see a headphone jack. The fingerprint sensor can be found in the physical home button, and all of the usual sensors and radios are accounted for. Disappointingly, for a phone released in 2017, the ZenFone 4 Max has a Micro-USB charging port.
It will run Android 7.0 out of the box, and a small update with camera improvements has already appeared on the ZenTalk forum. A common complaint with previous Asus phones has been the bloated software experience, and ZenUI will be front and center here once again. The uninspiring metal body comes in black, gold, or pink (at least in Russia), and will cost 13,900 Roubles, which equates to around $230. You can expect an abundance of further devices in the series, as the ZenFone 3 line also included models such as the standard 3, Deluxe, Ultra, Live, Laser, and the recently launched Zoom.