Watch out Xiaomi, Asus is eyeing your top spot in India with its new ZenFone Max Pro, and it’s making a pretty good case to do so.
The 10,999 Indian rupee phone (which converts to about $165, £115 and AU$215) made its debut Monday in Delhi with a pretty impressive feature set given its rock-bottom starting price for a 3GB model with 32GB onboard storage, with the 4GB model with 64GB onboard storage going for 12,999 Indian rupee (approximately $195, £140 and AU$255). A version with a better 16-megapixel front and rear camera will sell for 14,999 Indian rupee (approximately $225, £160 and AU$295).
Housed in metal, the 6-inch full-HD Max Pro packs a massive 5,000mAh battery, which should last a whole day easily, while carrying at least 3GB of RAM and up to 64GB of onboard storage. It will sport dual 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel cameras on the rear, with a front 8-megapixel selfie shooter.
That’s not all, as the Max Pro will also have powerful speakers and run on pure Android 8.1, with none of that custom Asus skin overlaid. It’s the first Asus phone to actually run pure Android, but there doesn’t seem to be an Android One branding that usually comes with such devices.
Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor, you should be able to play games like Asphalt 8 easily as well. There’s also a standalone expandable memory slot on top of its dual-SIM capabilities, unlike other phones where you have to choose between the SIM or microSD card.
It’s no surprise then, that the launch of the ZenFone Max Pro will also put some pressure on Xiaomi’s current lead in India, where the Chinese company is doing very well, having shipped 8.2 million phones between October and December last year in the country, beating out Korean giant Samsung in the process.
And one of its phones, the $235 Xiaomi Mi A1, has been key to its success. The entrance of the even cheaper Asus ZenFone Max Pro, however, is a sign that other manufacturers are hot on Xiaomi’s heels and are looking to get a piece of the huge Indian pie.
While the Max Pro is intended for India, it will actually launch first in Indonesia on April 25 through regional e-commerce site Lazada, before being sold online by Flipkart in India May 3. There are also plans to bring the Asus phone to other international markets in the future.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
- Memory: 3GB or 4GB RAM, 32GB or 64GB onboard storage
- Display: 6-inch full-HD (2,160×1,080 pixels) 18:9 aspect ratio
- Battery: 5,000mAh
- Camera: rear 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel, front 8-megapixel