Going up in price to compete with Huawei and Oppo? Really? That seems a bit backwards to me.
I'm not surprised Intel are having a rethink, they've never been huge in the mobile sector but it was one of the things that set the ZenFone apart from the majority. I can't see it being necessarily bad though.
Previous generations have had capacitive buttons as opposed to onscreen, which looks to have changed now. To me, it makes the design a lot better and the lower bezels in general, too, are nice.
Pricing all round could be an issue though, if $300 is the top version of the Max then maybe. We'll see, as always, when there is more info.