A year later, at a pre-launch meeting at the company’s headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, it was clear to me that a lot had changed. It has a new software strategy built around near-stock Android and quick updates. It did little to convince me why I should care about an ASUS phone specifically. In recent years, the ASUS ZenFone line has been characterized by overbearing software, a bewildering number of often superfluous features, and copycat design language. And it has a fresh approach to the great technical challenge of a 2019 smartphone — how to banish the display notch. ASUS’s new flagship has the specs phone nerds want, and the cameras selfie fans need. ASUS has a new design language, all of its own. In doing so, it introduces a new rake on smartphone photography, with … After first seeing last year’s ZenFone 5 series, my initial impressions were of a phone whose only goal was to be a cheaper iPhone lookalike, while also bludgeoning me with nonsensical faux-AI features.