Lately, there has been a lot of tough competition in the budget segment of smartphones. Companies like Xiaomi, Realme, ASUS, Huawei – Honor series etc are offering some real power packed features in budget price. Recently we got our hands on the latest ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2. As the Max series has developed over the past few years, it is not just battery life but also the improvements in performance and other features. So let us do a full review to find out if ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is worth buying or not.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 full review:
Let us try to keep the review very precise and to the point while covering all the parameters. I had used the device for 2 weeks as my primary smartphone to experience the pros and cons.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is sufficiently smart and slim considering the large battery pack it offers. I remember the old bulky Zenfone Max devices, while the M2 is nothing like those. It is stylish and looks premium for that matter. It is mostly because of the plastic polished back which gives a feel of glass along with the wave design. The micro USB port, headphone jack, and speaker are on the bottom while the volume rockers and power button on the right. On the left, there is the sim card & microSD card slot with noise cancellation microphone on the top. The smartphone has thin bezels on the left & right side with some really thick strip on the bottom. The notch is small compared to other devices. The device has curved side edges due to which grip is good but can be slippery with wet hands or on a smooth surface. You get a silicon transparent case with the device which helps to improve the grip. Overall the design of the smartphone is premium and slim.
Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a 6.26-inch FHD+ display having an aspect ratio of 19:9. The display is crisp and the color reproduction is good. Overall display quality is great and touch experience is good too in day to day use. As for the protection, the display comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection. I tried dropping the device quite a few times and from a different height, but it survived every time that too without a protective case. Though the protruding rear camera might take some of the hits. The smartphone can be used in broad daylight too, the only problem is if you watch a movie and some dark scene comes in, then it would be difficult to see in sunlight. The notch is also small so the notification icons fit in at the top. The bottom bezel could have been thinner. Overall the display of ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is good.
Starting with the hardware, ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 packs in a Snapdragon 660 chipset with an octa-core processor. It is a power efficient chipset with AI engine feature. In support of that, the device has 3/4/6 GB RAM options with 32/64 GB internal storage. Apart from internal storage, there is a dedicated microSD card slot that supports up to 2 TB. This is a useful feature in expanding storage. So this combination easily handles all the day to day apps, multi-tasking, app-switching and gives you a really smooth performance. Coming to the gaming section, the device has Adreno 512 GPU which handles gaming pretty well. Normal games run smoothly on high settings, while games like PUBG can run without much of lag in medium settings. I was able to try out many games on this smartphone and it could run most of them without a problem. Though this is not an ideal gamers device, though it handles gaming pretty well. Talking about the fingerprint sensor, it worked really well but the facial recognition still needs a lot of improvement in terms of speed.
Coming to the software, Zenfone Max Pro M2 runs on stock Android oreo, but ASUS has surely promised a Pie update soon enough. The stock UI is great, but it still has some preinstalled apps. Overall there was not much complain on the software end.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a 12MP + 5MP rear shooter with a 13MP front camera. Talking about the rear camera, it ha Sony IMX486 image sensor which is surely good in hardware terms. The software could have utilized the sensor in a better way though. The rear camera has good color reproduction as compared to the front camera. In the front camera, the colors appeared a bit washed off. The bokeh effect could have better captured the edges in a much better way. The outdoor daylight photography is great with the rear camera. With the Snapdragon 660, Zenfone Max Pro M2 can capture 4K recordings at 30 fps. The EIS does work to clear out the shaking of the video. I tried installing GCAM and found that the selfies improved a lot in terms of color reproduction and sharpness. Low light photography with default ASUS camera app is good too with the F1.8 aperture but improves if GCAM is used.
Camera Samples from ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2
Night manual mode
Connectivity & Sound
As for the connectivity, you have a triple slot SIM card & microSD tray. Both the SIM card slots support 4G LTE and VoLTE bands. Other common connectivity options like Wifi 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, & GPS are present. One problem I faced while speaking over call was the low voice which was probably because of the silicon case provided with the device. When I removed the case, other person was able to hear me loud and clear. It might be the case that the microphone was getting blocked due to the case.
As for the sound, ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a 5 magnet speaker powered by NXP smartAMP which does its job in the best possible way. The speaker is really good on the Max Pro M2 and the sound is loud & clear.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 sports a massive 5000 mAh battery which lasts for 1.5-2 days of usage. For a very powerful user like me using Wifi or 4G at all times with some GPS, video playback, Bluetooth music streaming, & loads of calls it lasted for more than 1 day and even 1.5 days for that matter. Even while gaming you will experience that this battery is really amazing. Though I did feel that the charging speed could have been better. In this age of Type C and fast charging, ASUS should really see to adopting fast charging tech especially for the Max series devices with massive battery packs. The charger is the same old micro USB port with a 5V 2A power rating.
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is Rs. 9,999 for 3GB/32GB, Rs. 11,999 for 4GB/64GB, & Rs. 13,999 for 6GB/64GB variant. The device is available in Titanium & blue color. The pricing got cut with the new Redmi Note 7 entering the market.
Overall the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a combination of all the features packed in one device. I would say it is a good device to grab out there with the battery being the core followed by design, performance, & sound.