ASUS is riding high on ZenFone Fever, and at an event in India called - wait for it - Zenfestival, the company announced a slew of new ZenFone models. ZenFone 2 Deluxe, ZenFone 2 Laser, ZenFone Selfie, and ZenFone Max. Well, actually, only one of them was new - the ZenFone Max. The Laser, Deluxe, and Selfie were all announced previously, but the Max is the only really interesting one anyway (it even has a laser, don't worry).
The ZenFone Max is clearly targeted at emerging markets, blending an extremely large 5000mAh battery (how thick is this phone?) with a much more modest Snapdragon 410 processor, compared to the speedy if power-hungry Intel Atoms in the standard ZenFone 2. Also, this doesn't even really look all that much like the ZenFone 2, peering around the back - it lacks the volume rocker, has a different flash position, appears to have added a laser for the camera, and has a completely different edge design. The front is the same corporate face, but this is clearly a substantially different device.
Still, it keeps the 5.5" 720p IPS display with Gorilla Glass 4, has 2GB of RAM, and presumably the same 13MP/5MP camera setup of the ZenFone 2. How much will it cost? ASUS isn't saying. And according to Engadget, it won't enter the market until October, and even then, that's just for India. This is definitely a niche device, and I'll be surprised if it sees a wider retail launch here in the Western world.