The owners of ZenFone Max Plus have finally awaited the firmware upgrade to Android 9 Pie. It has been an unfortunate chain of upgrade events with this phone for Asus, but mostly for the people around the world who bought it. First, people were disappointed because Asus claimed the phone to be a Battery King, but in reality it was “Meh..” at best. Then it was the fiasco with the upgrade to Android 8 Oreo. And of course the announcements and promises of new versions that were always broken.
Android Pie is now available for Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1)
But the day has finally arrived and Android 9 Pie for Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) is available. It’s available from the official BIOS and firmware site and the version is WW-16.02.1905.435 or just 16.02.1905.435 for short.
Here’s what this upgrade brings:
1.Android 9 (Pie) AOSP Beta version is now available for download. Please note that this version is “pure” Android system, and will not have ZenUI.
2.Please be aware that installing this system image on a device removes all personal data from the device, so please remember to back up your data first.
3.This is the Android 9 (Pie) AOSP Beta version, so the user experience will be different from Android 8 (Oreo). If you are used to and prefer using ZenUI, we recommend that you continue with the Android 8 (Oreo) version.
4.Android 9 (Pie) AOSP Beta version will not be supported with routine updates.
5.Update google security patch
But it’s a beta version
As you can read in the release notes this version is a beta. Usually that means that there are still some bugs present and that the version is not production polished. However, compared to Oreo version this would still be okay since it had so many bugs that it could barely be called alpha. Also the users from the forums report that the version is stable, makes the phone faster and more responsive. Users claim that the phone is heating less. One user reported that the camera quality is still the same (it was having trouble focusing for some owners) and one user reported that the phone is still quite hot. There are some reports of Android Pie gestures not working. Other reports seem to be very positive, especially compared to the Oreo version.
Pure Android Pie
What can be also read from the above upgrade list is that the version of Android Pie that is coming to ZenFone Max Plus is pure. What does that even mean? It means that there is no ZenUI, a user interface that Asus lays over the original “out-of-the-box” Android that is provided by Google. In practice, that means that the pure user interface will be cleaner, more Google-like. Also note that some of the Asus apps will probably missing, like the Asus Backup, Asus Support, Asus Files, Asus Gallery and other Asus branded apps. Instead of these apps the stock Google apps should be available, like Android Gallery. Also some Asus specific options could be missing, but I can’t recall any on this phone that were worth mentioning. Maybe one was Battery boost, or the Memory manager.
How to update?
Asus also gives the steps how to update the phone via a complete manual update. Note that this process will delete all your apps, data and photos on the phone – it’s the same as doing a factory reset.
At the time it’s not yet clear if this update is available via the over the air update (OTA), but since it’s a beta it’s probably not.
Try it out and report your findings here in the comments!