Asus was among the first brands that got a head start with their Android 11 beta trials back in September, closely following the official release for Pixels. But the company took far too long to patch everything up and ready the final builds, which it's only just doing now. Asus has just begun rolling out the Android 11 update to its older flagship ZenFone 6, with its home market of Taiwan getting it first.
Android 10 beta testing for ASUS’ last two flagships — the ZenFone 6 and the ZenFone 5Z — is already underway since August, though only for a small, closed group. The early ZenUI version for the 5Z reportedly came laden with a long list of bugs that essentially held off its public release for a while. ASUS appears to have addressed many of those flaws, and is now making the ZenUI 6 open beta available to a wider userbase of its 2018 flagship.
When Asus announced the Zenfone 5 lineup at MWC, all eyes were fixed on the the king of the group, the 5Z. Fast forward almost six months and the phone is finally available to purchase at a mere $500 in the U.S. While the high-end Android flagship market is squarely controlled by Samsung, there's a curious middle ground between budget and top-tier devices. This "affordable flagship" space is heavily populated with offerings from OnePlus, Honor, and Xiaomi, but Asus has set its sights on a piece of that pie with the 5Z.
Back at CES, Asus showed off a follow-up to the not-so-old Zenfone 4 Max, which was a phone that ultimately disappointed me. Attempting to capitalize on the love for big batteries, the Taiwanese company decided to spin off the Zenfone Max line into its own device family. These phones will offer large batteries and many of the latest smartphone trends for budget prices.
ASUS' Android phones might slide under the radar for most, but the company's new ZenFone 5 series probably won't. The company has had some trouble historically trying to penetrate the US phone market to any great depth—perhaps a result of its crowded, sometimes confusing product portfolio—but nonetheless it persists. Some of its phones have even been pretty good. But now that the wraps have been taken off its latest line of phones, it seems like ASUS has found a successful way to attract the attention it wanted: by copying the iPhone X's notch.
Asus, as we expected, showed off the new ZenFone 5 family at MWC. Unlike years past, the Taiwanese company is keeping in step with modern smartphone trends, in some cases to the point of plain copying the iPhone X. Regardless, some of the new devices look fantastic and our initial impressions are relatively positive.
ASUS has just announced that Oreo is now rolling out to the ZenFone 4 via its ZenTalk forum. Released just a couple of months ago alongside its siblings, the ZenFone 4 Pro and ZenFone 4 Max, the ZenFone 4 (ZE554KL) is now receiving 8.0 over the air, though it may take a few days to reach your device.
Three months ago, ASUS promised to update the ZenFone 3 product line to ZenUI 4.0: a trimmed down, more minimal version of the company's software. They started with the ZenFone 3 Zoom at the same time as that announcement, and just recently the ZenFone 4 Max got it. Three months later, its forebear the ZenFone 3 Max is able to join the fun. The update will be rolling out over the next week.