CES 2018 in Las Vegas may have been a no-show for Samsung fans who were expecting to get the first look of some upcoming smartphones, but we did see Sony unveil three new smartphones – Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra and Xperia L2 on January 8. And now, another prominent smartphone maker, Asus, has announced its latest smartphone - Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1).

Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1)
Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) has been officially listed on Asus Russia's websiteAsus Russia

At the launch, the Taiwanese manufacturer also claimed that it has sold over 5 million units of the ZenFone Max series smartphones till date. The ZenFone Max lineup currently comprises of four smartphones - the original ZenFone Max, ZenFone Max 3, ZenFone 4 Max and ZenFone 4 Max Pro, and the newly announced Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) will be the first smartphone in the series to sport an 18:9 display. Moreover, Asus has announced the phone at a very attractive price.

However, it is worth noting that this isn't the first time we are hearing about the Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1). To recall, the phone had been spotted on Asus Russia's official site back in November last year. From our encounter, we got to know that it features an 18:9 display and a dual camera setup along with other specs. 

Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) Specifications

The Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) sports a 5.7-inch FullHD+ IPS display with a resolution of 2160x1080 pixels and an 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a MediTek MT6750T processor along with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM.

The smartphone has a dual camera set up on the rear with a 16MP primary sensor with F/2.0 aperture lens and PDAF, and an 8MP secondary 120-degree wide angle lens. The camera interface has many pre-installed Asus PixelMaster 4.0 modes, including HDR, Pro, Beauty and a super resolution mode. At the front, there's an 8MP front-facing camera for selfies and video calling.

Asus Zenfone Max Plus (M1)
The Zenfone Max Plus comes in Deep Sea Black, Sunlight Gold, and Azure Silver colourwaysAsus Russia

The ZenFone Max Plus also features a face detection feature called Face Unlock, similar to the one on the OnePlus 5T. It also comes with a fingerprint scanner.

However, the device does not offer much in terms of storage. Asus has provided two storage options - 16GB and 32GB, but it shouldn't be a big issue as there is a dedicated micropSD card slot which can take cards up to 256GB.

The Asus ZenFone Max Plus is backed by a massive 4130mAh battery that is claimed to deliver up to 26 hours of talk time. Besides, there is Asus' PowerMaster that is touted to increase its battery life by two times, withstanding up to 500 cycles of full discharge.

The Android 7.0 Nougat based Asus ZenFone Max Plus runs the company's proprietary ZenUI 4.0.

Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) price and availability

As far as the pricing and availability of the Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) is concerned, the handset has been launched at $229 (approx. Rs 14,500) in the US for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant. It will be made available starting February in Azure Silver and Deepsea Black colour options. However, it may launch as early as January 10 in India. However, it may launch as early as January 10 in India.

Flipkart is teasing a new smartphone launch with a campaign called "Max out Verdict" on its official site. The page displays a "What are you planning to Max out in your new smartphone in 2018?" banner, and says "We will fullfil your wish!," hinting a new smartphone unveiling tomorrow (January 10).

Given that Flipkart has been an exclusive e-retailer of the Asus' smartphones for some time, it is possible that the Zenfone Max Plus (M1) might be the mystery phone that's launching on Flipkart on January 10.

Meanwhile, Amazon India and Samsung are prepping up to launch a new varaint of the popular Samsung Galaxy On 7 called the Galaxy On 7 Prime next week. So, it will be intersting to see at what price Asus launches the ZenFone Max Plus (M1) in India considering that a new mid-range smartphone from Samsung is just around the corner.