Zenfone Max Pro M2 Featured

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 full review

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.

Design

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.

Display

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.

Performance

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.

Camera

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

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.

Battery

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.

Price

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.

 

Display

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review – ZC553KL

Smartphones manufactured nowadays mostly focus on performance or camera, but the one key factor everyone forgets is the battery life. ASUS recently announced the new Zenfone 3 Max series with 2 variants. The first model ZC520KL has a lower config and a 5.2-inch screen while the latest one i.e. ZC553KL comes with better specification and 5.5 inch full HD display. This device is not for someone who expects very high performance or high-end gaming, but for those who wants their phone to last easily for 1 or more days. So let us do the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review and find out if it’s worth the buy.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review - ZC553KL

Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review – ZC553KL

Please note that here on after, if I am referring to Zenfone 3 then it is for the variant ZC553KL and not the ZC520KL unless until specified.

Design

The Zenfone 3 Max comes with this new sleek metallic design and rounded edges with a flat back. The placement of buttons is pretty standard and we have a 3.5mm audio jack too. With the Zenfone 3 Max we get a normal micro USB port and not the type-C. The fingerprint sensor is on the back with the camera, LED flash and laser auto-focus. There has been a lot of improvements in the design and the new one gives the phone a premium look. Despite having this huge battery inside, the phone doesn’t feel that bulky but is a bit slippery to hold. Three capacitive buttons are still at the bottom with no backlight and the ASUS logo is present on the back. The phone weighs approx to 175 g and is 8.3 mm in thickness.

Display

Display

Display

Zenfone 3 Max has a 5.5 inch full HD IPS display which looks great and you can easily notice the upgrade. For the protection, it has an oleophobic coating on the screen to prevent fingerprint/smudges to a great extent. The bezels on the edges are pretty thin.

Performance

Zenfone 3 Max comes with a Snapdragon 430 Octa-core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz. It has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 128 GB by sacrificing one SIM slot. For the graphic support, it has Adreno 505 GPU which is capable of running some mid-graphic games. I would say the phone is not the best when it comes to performance. For the everyday use if you are someone who uses multiple apps at the same time, then I would recommend clearing out recent apps or giving it a performance boost every now and then to prevent lagging. I don’t get the reason why ASUS chose to use snapdragon 430 in its latest smartphone. Though the phone doesn’t lag frequently and performs fairly good for normal usage. The AnTuTu score for the device came out to be somewhere around 44240.

Camera

ZC553KL comes with a 16 MP rear shooter with dual-tone LED flash and laser auto-focus while on the front you have 8 MP camera. The aperture for the rear lens is F2.0 while on the front it is F2.2. As always the camera app comes with various modes like HDR, beautification, Low-Light, Super-resolution etc. Pictures taken indoors or in low light condition comes with a little bit of noise while the camera does a great job outdoors. The good thing about ASUS camera app is we have the functionality of switching to manual mode and tinkering with more advanced settings like ISO, taking control of shutter, manual focusing etc. For the video recording, the camera of Zenfone 3 Max is capable of recording full HD videos at 30fps. It has 3-axis EIS(Electronic Image Stabilization) and you can also take pictures while recording video.

Camera samples:

You are reading: ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review

Connectivity and Sound

Speaker, micro-USB

Speaker, micro-USB

Zenfone 3 Max comes with a Dual SIM hybrid support i.e. you can either insert memory card or the second SIM. The first SIM slot is Micro and the second one supports nano-SIM. Both the slot supports 4G/3G/2G but only one of them can use 4G/3G at a time. The company says the phone has VoLTE support but the review device on which I tested was not supporting VoLTE(may be some software bug). Other connectivity features include Wifi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS(BDS now supported), and USB OTG support. The audio level and quality from the speakers is good and the ringtone is audible from the adjacent room. Calling experience and noise cancellation using Zenfone 3 Max was great.

Battery

Here comes the key feature of this device i.e. the battery life. Zenfone 3 Max comes with a 4100mAh super-powerful battery. The battery life on this device will impress everyone who uses the device. For me with complete 4G internet usage, intense multi-tasking, a bit of gaming, and a lot of calling, the phone easily lasted for 1.5 days. If you are a normal user then you can easily use the device for 2 days with single charge. And for intense gamers and movie watching people, the phone will last for like 1 day. I even managed to spend my day with a 30% charge. I just don’t know what will happen when I shift to power saving mode. This is the ideal battery life which I expect from any new upcoming smartphones. Despite of having such a huge battery the design is still stylish and the phone is slim. The phone doesn’t support fast charging and takes around 2.5-3 hrs for full charge.

Pricing

Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL) is priced for Rs.17,999 and is available in 3 color variants viz. Titanium Gray, Glacier Silver, Rose Pink, & Sand Gold. I would say that the phone is priced a bit on the higher end considering the performance. But if you have a look at all the features then it may justify the price. The box contents include the device itself, 5V 2A charger, USB cable, USB OTG cable, SIM ejector pin, warranty card and user manual.

Verdict

Summarizing the features, Zenfone 3 Max has an excellent design, build, and battery. The camera is good while the average performance earns the device some negative rating. Overall for someone having mid-level usage with a lot of battery requirement should go for this device. While those expecting an excellent camera or high-end gaming should consider some of the other phones in this budget. For the camera, there are a few competitors like Vivo V5 and Oppo F1s. So this was the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max full review, if you have any doubts please post them in the comment section below. Share this on social media if you like the review.

Camera with Laser sensor and dual tone LED flash

Should you buy ASUS Zenfone Max?

All the features can’t help you if you don’t have enough juice to run the device. Taking this as the keypoint ASUS launched a smartphone Zenfone Max with huge battery capacity. So today we will review the smartphone and I will tell you should you buy ASUS Zenfone Max or not. The main thing to look out for is other features as the phone will have a good battery, no doubt in that.

Should you buy ASUS Zenfone Max?

Should you buy ASUS Zenfone Max?

Zenfone Max connectors and external buttons

Design

The Zenfone Max has a good build quality with Faux leather finish back. It feels good even better than Zenfone Zoom back design. The phone is heavy weighs 202g mostly due to the huge battery.  ASUS was never famous for making light slim phones. On the front it has 3 touch capacitive buttons that are again not backlighted. I don’t think they are planning to do that even in the near future. This time we have the volume rockers and the power button on the right side, the micro-USB port at the bottom with the 3.5mm jack on the top. On the back there is the camera with laser autofocus sensor and dual tone LED flash. The grip of the phone is good due to the leather finish. The back cover is removable but the battery is not.

Display

The phone boasts a 5.5-inch screen which is not at all easy to handle with one hand. The debate on the screen size will go on as it all depends on the user if it suits him/her or not. For me, I am now habitual using the 5.5-inch screen and there are some pros of having a larger screen. Though the bezels can be reduced by removing the touch capacitive buttons and providing the  on-screen option only. The display is an HD display having resolution 720 x 1280 pixels with pixel density not more than 267ppi. The phone just has an average display which is not at all impressive while you look at it. I didn’t like the display quality much but it is not that bad for normal usage. Speaking about the protection which is again an important factor in any device, the phone has Gorilla Glass 4 support which will definitely try to avoid scratches.

Performance

This is where the smartphone didn’t prove to be up to the mark. The ASUS Zenfone Max comes with Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 chipset with Quadcore processor clocked at 1.2GHz only. It has 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage which can be expanded using a Micro SD card. For graphics support it has Adreno 306 GPU. Enough of the numerical stats, for the real experience the phone is only good for average/normal users. High-end users must not at all go for this device. ASUS Zenfone Max will run normal apps with no issues as such, but as soon as you move on to above normal level gaming the phone starts to show issues. I was able to run Asphalt 8 but not very smoothly and high-end game like N.O.V.A. 3 failed totally. So this is a phone that can handle normal everyday task easily. I really expected a bit better from ASUS in this segment along with the powerful battery backup. I got an AnTuTu Score of 24735.

ASUS Zenfone Max AnTuTu Benchmark Score

AnTuTu Score Zenfone Max

 

For the software part, Zenfone Max comes with Android Lollipop running Zen UI on top of that. Now there are two thing that you want to know. One that the smartphone comes with many app which may prove to be useful or useless depending on the user. You can always uninstall or disable those apps but I will go ahead and call them bloatware. Second thing is the OS consumes way more battery than other apps and even Screen. They really need to work on this segment. You can go ahead and disable all apps from auto start manager to extend the battery life if you are using a Zenfone.

Camera

ASUS Zenfone Zoom has a 13MP rear shooter along with 5MP camera in the front. At the back it also has laser auto focus and dual tone LED flash support. The camera performs good in adequate light conditions, but some disturbance(grainy texture) can be seen while shooting indoors. I guess this is the case with most of the Zenfone series smartphones. So always try to have good light before you go to shoot pictures with this smartphone. You can always use the low light mode but that will decrease the pixel density. Zenfone Max is able to record full HD videos at 30fps. You can experiment with different camera modes provided by ASUS according to the surrounding you are shooting in. No phone camera can beat the beautification feature of ASUS, right girls?

Sound & Connectivity

Zenfone max internal slots

The sound from this device has average volume level not the best for music lovers. The speaker grill is at the back placed at the bottom. The phone has a dual sim support with 4G/3G/2G on first SIM & 3G/2G on the second. Other than that the phone supports Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS & USB OTG. You can connect your pendrives/USBdrives to the phone and share the data between the two.

Battery

reverse charging Zenfone Max

Reverse Charging – Using Zenfone Max to charge other phones

Here comes the main feature of this phone i.e. the battery backup. ASUS Zenfone Max has a 5000mAh huge battery pack. This will help you last for 2 days easily even more if you are a normal user. Power users can use the phone with extensive gaming and movies for one day. Moreover one of the very special feature of the phone is Reverse charging. What it means is that, you can use this as a power bank and charge your other devices too. For that you can use USB OTG cable that comes with the smartphone. I must agree that surviving 2 days without charging does bring back the golden old days. It feels good to use the screen on more than 50% brightness and still don’t have to care for low battery. I really hope that if all the phones had such good battery backup. The charger provided with this phone is not a fast charger. The charging time is approx 4 hrs for full charge.

Pricing & Availability

The phone is available for Rs. 9,999 on Flipkart and Amazon. It is available in two colors Osmium black(Leather like finish) & Pure white(Eggshell Finish). You get a charger, USB cable, USB OTG cable, warranty and stuff along with this phone. You also get 5GB ASUS cloud storage and 100GB Google Drive storage for 2 years.

Vedict

Coming to the final question should you buy ASUS Zenfone Max? It is quite simple now, the users who give more weightage to a good battery than performance must definitely go for this phone. Means the users who use normal messaging, calls, few other apps. Now for the power users and gamers I won’t recommend this device at all because, you will have all the juice in the world but the high end games won’t work. Lastly for the users who give preference to camera, I would suggest Max has a decent camera considering the price range, or you can go for other options like Mi4i. For power users I will recommend Coolpad Note 3, Le1s or other good smartphones in this price range. Again, Max lacks a fingerprint sensor too so choose wisely according to your needs.

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