ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 Review: The New Budget King?

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The mid-range market is now dominated by Xiaomi. Literally, there’s one Redmi phone for every price point. However, the infamous flash sale still exists and getting your hands on one is a pure luck. Not anymore. This is ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1, a Xiaomi Mi A1 of ASUS.

ALSO READ: Zenfone Max Pro M1 Vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: What’s The Difference?

ASUS’ offering matches Xiaomi’s most premium mid-range offering feature-by-feature and for the most part, can be considered an equal. Except the fact that Max Pro runs on stock Android while the Redmi Note 5 Pro runs on MIUI, which is definitely not a deal breaker.

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1: Design

With the taller display and metal unibody design, Zenfone Max Pro lands on the design front of the most mid-range smartphone. The display takes up most of the real estate up front while at the back the dual camera module is vertically aligned at the top left corner. The fingerprint sensor is conveniently placed in the center and moreover, all the buttons and ports are pretty much in the place where it should be.

And speaking of ports, the phone sports dedicated slots for microSD and dual SIM. There are two color variants to choose from — Meteor Silver and Deepsea Black. Both look equally good and you’ll be hard-pressed to make a choice. There are color-matched polycarbonate antenna lines to enhance network reception.

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1: Display

The Zenfone Max Pro features a 6-inch FHD Plus 18:9 IPS LCD display housed in a 5.5-inch body. ASUS claimed to have used Qualcomm TruPallette and Ecopix display technology to render out higher contrast ratio of 1500:1, which shows when you watch something on the screen.

Zenfone Max Pro M1 Display

ASUS offers a blue-light filter as well as a slider to adjust the color temperature. The blues and the greens look saturated with high contrast while skin tones are made more accurate. But do note it still no match for an AMOLED panel. Overall the display was vibrant and produced great colors.

ALSO READ: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: What’s The Difference?

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1: Performance

The Zenfone Max Pro is paired with latest hardware and software. It is powered by Snapdragon 636, coupled with 4GB RAM, and 64GB of expandable storage, which turns to give a great user experience and also effectively stands in the mid-range segment. The Max Pro M1 takes on apps and games with buttery smooth experience with no hiccups.

Zenfone Max Pro M1

The only reason why the Redmi Note 5 Pro outperforms the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is that Xiaomi offers 6GB RAM with the phone while ASUS just offers 3GB RAM. Apart from that, it runs on stock Android 8.1 Oreo. and is backed by a 5000 mill amp hour battery, which easily gives out over a day of usage (charging time 2 hours 15-30 minutes).

ALSO READ: Galaxy J7 Duo Vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: A Midrange Matchup!

The Snapdragon 636 on the Zenfone Max Pro also brings support for Bluetooth 4.2 with Qualcomm’s AptX technology for clearer audio over wireless connections. The mono speaker on the phone is quite loud as well, thanks to a built-in NXP amplifier and a 5-magnet speaker.

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1: Camera

The Zenfone Max Pro matches the mid-range competition in every aspect but leaves the camera behind. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad camera, but after using Mi A1 and Note 5 Pro, this camera is a slight let down.

The Zenfone Max Pro sports a dual rear cameras – one is a 13-megapixel sensor and the other is a 5-megapixel depth-sensing unit and there’s a single LED flash right beneath it. The primary camera has an aperture of f/2.2 with 1.0um pixel pitch.

The Camera UI on the other side is cluttery, making it tough to use. The Photos from the Zenfone Max Pro are average. The dynamic range didn’t seem at par with Note 5 Pro, but it is still better than most other mid-rangers. At the front, it has an 8-megapixel sensor, which is not bad either.

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1: Cons

  • Slight let down camera quality.
  • Cluttery camera UI.
  • No fast charging

So, at Rs 12,999, it performs neck-to-neck with the Redmi Note 5 Pro and outperforms Xiaomi Mi A1. With superior performance, long battery life and the fact that it’s also cheaper than the Redmi Note 5 Pro makes it a no-brainer to go for.


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