Asus was back in the budget smartphone segment last year with the launch of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 and it was a runaway success. It doggedly tailed the Redmi Note 5 Pro, launching just within a few days of it, and became a sturdy alternative to Xiaomi’s offering. The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 that was a remarkable hit and pushed the brand’s image to a whole new level. Asus is trying to mark their success with some basics like Stock Android, powerful hardware and a humongous battery. Recently Asus upgraded their budget line with the launch of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, which follows the same patch as its predecessor but in a more polished manner. So can the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 keep the momentum alive? Let’s find out.
Key Specifications Of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2
- Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 Processor
- 6.26 FHD+ Display
- Corning Gorilla Glass 6
- 12 MP + 5 MP rear camera along with 13 MP front camera.
- 5000mAh battery with 10W charging.
Design, Display and Build Quality
Asus has done very well in the build quality department. Despite having a humongous 5000mAh battery the phone feels light as compared to the competition. The back of the phone is prone to scratches due to the plastic back it houses and to counter the issue Asus provides a back cover included in the box to provide protection from scratches and drops. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a smaller notch than the competition that still houses a soft led flash, front camera, proximity sensor, earpiece, along with a notification LED light that is rare to find. The back of the device is glossy and reflects light, this picks up smudge quite easily compared to the metal backplate on the ZenFone Max Pro M1.
Unlike the 5.99-inch Full HD+ 18:9 aspect ratio display on the predecessor, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 features a larger 6.26-inch Full HD+ LCD 2.5D curved glass display. The display is bright, offers good color reproduction, thanks to 94% NTSC color gamut, has good viewing angles and the sunlight legibility is good as well The Max Pro M2 also brings the notch to the mid-range Zenfone lineup. It’s not a wide one thankfully, but all our quips about the notch as a design choice remains. The cut-out in the display houses the front camera, earpiece and a range of sensors.
The Device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 Processor coupled with the goodness of the stock Android makes the device really smooth and responsive. Day to day usage won’t be an issue and all famous titles like Asphalt 9 and PUBG ran very well and we noticed that the phone didn’t heat up that much during heavy usage so prolonged gaming sessions won’t be an issue here. In general, the phone really gets the job done and everyday Performance is very smooth. The phone also features an NXP SmartAmp that makes PubG Mobile gameplay better by accentuating sounds like footsteps and gunfire so that they can be easily identified. The volume of the single external speaker is also quite loud on the phone.
We ran some benchmarking apps on the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 and here are the results.
It bears the same Sony IMX 486 12 Megapixel sensor on the rear with an aperture of f/1.8 that we have already seen on Xiaomi’s Mi A2. There is a secondary camera of 5 Megapixel for depth sensing that is used for portraits. For selfies, there is a 13 Megapixel shooter with an aperture of f/2.0.
When it comes to Imaging Quality, Zenfone Max Pro M2 performs excellently, the colors are accurate and the level of detailing is very good and even in indoor situations, we noticed very low noise. The photos look more natural than one taken by similarly priced smartphones in most situations. Even the dynamic range seems to be better than most other phones in that price range. The camera is great with just short of the performance of Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro.
The front camera seems to be much better too. The selfies are not the best in the segment but are good enough for pleasing your social media addiction. Talking about the video quality, the 4K video output is smooth and has plenty of details. We do get Electronic stabilization up to 1080p resolution and EIS in 4k is not enabled by the Asus software team.
The only thing that we didn’t like about the device is its camera application, the camera UI has remained unchanged from the Zenfone Max Pro M1. Asus is simply using the stock Qualcomm camera app that the chip designer uses in its reference designs. It’s ugly, cluttered and not so intuitive. In its second attempt, Asus could have worked on importing its own ZenUI camera app which looks much better.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is running on Stock Android 8.1 and is entitled to get Android Pie by the end of January. Asus has kept the promises by providing security updates regularly to their devices. The device features ZenMotion gestures that lets you enable double-tap to turn off or wake up the screen. There is nothing to mention regarding the software in specific since it offers stock Android Oreo experience.
Apart from the usual set of utility apps and Google apps, the phone comes with Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger apps that cannot be uninstalled.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a great value for money device that offers an almost perfect balance of performance and battery endurance. The Max Pro M2 is a good upgrade over its predecessor that provides better performance and a better camera at just INR 2000 extra.
If battery life is your priority then Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is the ideal choice but if you want a better camera or powerful gaming performance, then there are many choices available in the market like Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro or Honor Play.
- Excellent battery life
- Good performance
- Stock Android
- Decent rear cameras
- Dedicated microSD card slot
- Micro USB port
- No fast charging
- Average front camera
- Camera App seems unfinished