ASUS was one of the first brands out there to kick off the low-cost smartphone war in India, with the Zenfone 4, 5 & 6 way back in 2014 all of which were quite popular since then the brand has tried various strategies targetting different markets and some increasingly specific niches but none of those models wound up as successful. Now ASUS is looking to reinvent itself with the same original strategy offering good specifications & features at rock-bottom prices.
The New ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 is specially developed for Indian Markets & we’ve been able to spend some time with a unit provided by the brand.
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a good looking smartphone, its built pretty well with a Metal Back and there are no rough edges or any other problems & even the camera module of the smartphone doesn’t protude. The back consist of Dual Cameras and a Fingerprint Sensor, the top of the device has a secondary noise cancellation mic, to the right we have the power button & volume rockers, to left it has a sim tray which can take 2 SIM (Dual VoLTE) as well as a Micro SD Card. On the bottom, we have a 3.5mm audio jack, a micro USB for Charging & a Speaker. On the Front, it has a 5.99-inch Full HD IPS LCD Display with 18:9 aspect ratio. The time we used this device we found this display to be bright & vibrant with excellent viewing angles & the color reproduction is quite natural and it also gets bright enough to be perfectly legible outdoors.
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 is powered by the Snapdragon 636 processor with Adreno 509 GPU. It comes in two Storage and RAM Variants, 3GB/4GB RAM with 32GB/64GB Internal Storage. The Snapdragon 636 processor is an exceptional processor, with day-to-day usage everything felt fast and snappy, apps opened up quickly & the user interface also felt responsive even when pushed with intense games like PUBG it handled quite well &ive had no issues with the Max Pro M1, Initially there was a lot of throttling issue but its all been fixed with Software update. As the processor is built on the 16nm FinFet process it is power efficient & didn’t exhibit any overheating issues but when I was continuously using it over 4G Networks for about half an hour the back gets slightly warm & you feel that because it’s having that metallic back, not worry because this is common with every phone that has a metallic back but it doesn’t get hot that you have to worry about & remained cool for most of the time.
(Using the Portrait/Depth Mode)
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 has a Dual Camera Setup, it has a 13MP Rear camera with 5MP Depth Sensing Camera with f/2.2 aperture. ASUS is using the Snapdragon Camera App, it is quite feature packed & has few shooting modes & a lot of filters. The Zenfone Max Pro M1 can shoot 4K Videos at 30FPS, the Quality of the footage is quite good, the dynamic is good but there’s no Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) or Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS). Under Good Lightning Situations, the Image Quality is comparatively good there a reasonable amount of detail, the dynamic range is good too. Under Low-light theres, a quite bit of noise captured in the photo. The camera performance is Overall Good given the price segment it’s quite expected. The Portrait Images are on-spot & the images turn out to be great. The Background blur wasn’t too artificial like other smartphones in this price range & the edge detection was too impressive given the price it is offered for. There’s an 8MP Camera for Selfies & is good for Regular Social media share & shouldn’t expect more from this. The Front Camera also offers portrait mode which works quite good in daylight situation and gets the job done.
SOFTWARE & UI:
The Zenfone Max Pro M1 runs on Zen UI on top of Android 8.1 (Oreo). This time ASUS has done something surprising as they have moved from their older Zen UI to Stock Android. The UI is completely stock with few ASUS Software tweaks, there’s gesture support but barring these add-ons everything is stock. It also comes with Face Unlock it isn’t as fast as the OnePlus 5T or any other Mid-range segment smartphone but gets the Job done & also has a Fingerprint sensor. ASUS has promised to deliver Monthly Security Patches & support for Android P & Android Q but realistically ill be happy if they provide Android P Update on time.
The Zenfone Pro M1 has a massive 5000mAh battery but it doesn’t feel bulky it feels like any other phone in Hand. Initially, the battery life was not so good & the battery drained quite faster but after a recent software update, everything is fixed. ASUS has included a 10W power adapter in the box & charges the phone from 0%-100% in 2.5 hours. It ensures that the battery lasts a one & a half day easy on each of the day that I spend with this phone regardless of if my usage was moderate or heavy I never needed to plug the Max Pro M1 before the end of the day.
The Variant we are having here is the 3GB RAM/32GB Storage Variant priced at Rs. 10,999 & there’s also a 4GB RAM/64GB Variant is priced at Rs. 12,999 & 6GB RAM/64GB Variant is priced at Rs. 15,999. Considering the price I feel the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a better pick than the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The Max Pro M1 is also quite cheaper than the base variant of the Note 5 Pro & has Rs. 4000 difference in terms of pricing and the Max Pro M1 is offering a lot at this price. Additionally, Flipkart is offering a complete Mobile Protection with this smartphone at just Rs. 49 & what Flipkart offers seems really interesting.
- Camera- 8.0/10
- Battery- 9.5/10
- Performance- 9.5/10
- Design- 8.5/10
- Software- 8.5/10
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