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Asus’ new ZenFone Max Plus smartphones feature Face Unlock

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Asus

Asus is bringing its new ZenFone Max Plus (M1) smartphone line to North America, where it joins the ZenFone Max line known for its high-capacity batteries. The Plus has a 5.7-inch display with an ultra-wide 18:9 display ratio, but curiously doesn’t have as much battery power as the Max, which comes in a 5.5-inch screen size; the Plus has a 4130mAh battery that gives up to 26 days standby, while the Max’s 5000mAh battery boasts that it can hold a charge for 38 days. Either way, they’re basically both huge powerbanks that can be used to charge other devices.

In terms of cameras, it’s got a 16MP front camera with an F2.0 aperture for selfies, and a 16MP, 120 degree wide-view dual rear cameras to fit more scenery. It’s an upgrade over the Max, which had an 8MP front camera and a 13 MP rear camera.

Most notably, it’s the first Asus phone to get Face Unlock technology, which after the launch of the iPhone X, is increasingly becoming a widely advertised feature for Android phones like the OnePlus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S8. (Though the feature was made available on Android in Ice Cream Sandwich in 2012, it was quietly removed, probably because it was terrible and Google wanted to push people toward fingerprint sensors). However reliable Asus’ Face Unlock may be, it’s another security option in addition to the rear fingerprint sensor.

The phone will be available in February in a 3GB/32GB configuration for $229 in two colors for North America: Azure Silver and Deepsea Black. Depending on what region you live in, you can also get the Sunlight Gold model pictured above, which is obviously the best color.