Buckle up, Asus lovers and users, the ZenFone series is starting to get its Android 8.1 update and the first lucky device is the ZenFone 3 Max (ZC553KL). The two-year-old phone had already received Nougat 7.0 a year ago and an update to Zen UI 4.0 last December, but Oreo 8.1 is certainly a nicer milestone to cross and a sign of Asus' commitment to updating most of its product line.
As far as I can tell, this is the first of Asus' smartphones to get the Android 8.1 OTA. It had skipped the 8.0 update that rolled to the rest of the ZenFone 3 series earlier (3 Zoom, 3 Deluxe, and 3), so it seems like the company decided to delay the OTA and go straight to 8.1. The new firmware version is 15.0200.1807.406 and not only does it bring all the Oreo goodies, it also upgrades the device to ZenUI 5.0.
Update version: V15.0200.1807.406
Release Date: July 30, 2018
Upgrade OS to Android 8.1 Oreo.
Upgrade system user interface to ZenUI 5.0
The update should take about a week to roll out to everyone, so sit tight if you don't see the notification right away.
The ZenFone 3 Max can be a confusing phone — or should we say "phones," considering all the options available? Because beyond models with differing amounts of storage, or your choice of 2GB, 3GB, or 4GB of RAM, ASUS also released hardware with two different screen sizes. And yes, this all under the single "ZenFone 3 Max" name.
The initial news of an Android 8.1 release was only for the phone's 5.5-inch models. It's taken ASUS the better part of four months to get around to sharing the love with the 5.2-inch ZenFone 3 Max variants, but that day has finally arrived, with software versions 15.01.1810.262 and 15.10.1810.275 landing.
ASUS advises users looking to update to snag those releases directly from its website.