February 09, 2019: Users of the ZenFone Max Pro M2 in India can finally begin testing Android 9 Pie on the handset. Like any other beta software, the Pie beta for the Max Pro M2 isn’t suitable for day-to-day use, so stay off unless you want to be part of the team providing the company with feedback ahead of the stable rollout.
Check out more details, including how to join, here.
January 26, 2019: Asus has this habit of releasing major OS upgrades to its second-tier ZenFone handset ahead of the premium offering. It happened when it rolled out Oreo first to the ZenFone 4 before giving the same treat to the ZenFone 4 Pro. The story was true for the ZenFone 5 and 5Z, where the former got the nod ahead of the latter, but unlike the ZenFone 4 Pro that had to wait for months before Oreo arrived, those using the 5Z didn’t have to wait long.
Original article below:
Asus isn’t the most common of names in the Android fraternity, but when it comes to software updates, the Taiwanese company doesn’t disappoint, to say the least.
We saw it happening with Android Oreo updates, where the ZenFone 4 series started getting the OS at the end of 2017 and others from the ZenFone 3 series joined the party later in Q1 and Q2 2018. We expect more of the same with Asus Android 9 Pie update, where devices such as the ZenFone 5 and 5Z are expected to lead the way ahead of the ZenFone Max M1 family, but then again, Asus hasn’t made its plans official, so anything could change somewhere along the way.
- Android 9 Pie release roadmap
- Android 9 Pie Gapps
- Android Pie features: Feature flags | Digital Wellbeing | App actions
|Device||Android Pie eligibility||Expected release date|
|Asus ZenFone 5||Available | Download here||Released on December 20, 2018|
|Asus ZenFone 5Z||Available||Released on December 27, 2018|
|Asus ZenFone 5 Lite (5Q)||Eligible||Q1 2019|
|Asus ZenFone Max M2||Eligible||Jan/Feb 2019|
|Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2||Eligible||February 2019 (Beta available)|
|Asus ZenFone Max (M1)||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Asus ZenFone Max Pro (M1)||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Asus ROG Phone||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Asus Zenfone 4 Pro||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL||Eligible||Q2 2019|
|Asus Zenfone AR ZS571KL||Unknown||—|
|Asus ZenFone Live (Go edition)||Unknown||—|
|Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1)||Not eligible||—|
|Asus Zenfone 4 Max Plus ZC554KL||Not eligible||—|
|Asus Zenfone 4 Max Pro ZC554KL||Not eligible||—|
|Asus Zenfone 4 Max ZC520KL||Not eligible||—|
|Asus Zenfone 4 Max ZC554KL||Not eligible||—|
|Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro ZD552KL||Not eligible||—|
|Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie ZD553KL||Not eligible||—|
|The entire Asus Zenfone 3 series,
including ZenFone 3 Deluxe
Asus doesn’t have such a huge repository of devices, which also means that there won’t be so many devices from the company on the list of Android Pie update. Other than the flagship ZenFone 5 series, which includes the ZenFone 5Z, ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5 Lite (also known as ZenFone 5Q in the U.S.), some devices in the ZenFone 4 line up should also receive Asus Android 9 Pie update.
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 has proven to be a darling for many thanks to its clean UI and decent pricing and we expect this popularity to push Asus into releasing the Pie update early enough. For those using any device from the ZenFone 3 series, you’ll sit out this time around, unless Asus has other ideas that are yet to go public. On the brighter side, you can always turn to the unofficial Android Pie update via the various custom ROMs on the market [more on this in the last section].
Expected release date
- Released for ZenFone 5 and 5Z across the globe
- Beta available for ZenFone Max Pro M2
- ZenFone 4 sets should get Android 9 in Q1 or Q2 2019
The first Asus Android Oreo update arrived in late December 2017. Similarly, the first Android 9 Pie update from Asus targeting the ZenFone 5 is here as of December 21, 2018, a few days earlier than last year.
Of course, next in line is the ZenFone 5Z followed by the ZenFone 5 Lite. It’s likely that the ZenFone Max Pro M1 will also get Pie alongside the ZenFone Max M2 and Max Pro M2 in January or February 2019, although we cannot guarantee this. Despite having flagship credentials, the ZenFone 4 Pro Pie update may have to wait until Q2 2019, which is, in fact, when most phones will be receiving their Asus Android 9 Pie updates.
What to expect
Apart from Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, all other Asus phones have the company’s custom ZenUI skin running on top of Android. This is what you’ll get when Asus Android 9 Pie update starts rolling out later in the year. It’s not the heaviest skins around, but you’ll still notice the changes in the UI compared to what stock Android offers – or even what is on the ZenFone Max Pro M1.
On the brighter side, you won’t miss out on the core features of Android Pie, among them app actions, app slices, gestures for navigation, smart replies, better notification management, and so on. You can check out all the new Android Pie features here. You can also take a quick peek at what the future holds in Android Q.
Unofficial Android Pie update
As of this writing, it’s already possible to install Android 9 Pie update on Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1. That’s exactly what a popular device gets you – an active developer community.
Android 9 based AOSP – Pixel Experience ROM is already available for downloading and flashing on the device, but we don’t expect this to stop there. More developers will definitely come in with more Android Pie ports not just for the ZenFone Max Pro M1, but also for several other Asus phones, although we don’t know which ones at the moment.
We’ll update this section with more details about the unofficial Asus Android 9 Pie update if and when they show up.
Do you own an Asus smartphone? Does it appear on this list? Let us know in your comments below.