The 10k to 15k price band in India is the most active and crowded band. This is with good reason, most Indian buyers are very price sensitive and look to buy in this price range. ASUS had great success with the Zenfone Max Pro M1 roughly eight months ago in this segment and they have now come up with an upgrade. I spent time with the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 and here is my review of this phone
Let’s first write the key specifications of the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 down
|Features||Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2|
|Display||6.26-inch FHD+, 2280×1080 pixels, 19.5:9 aspect ratio|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core|
|RAM||3GB/ 4GB / 6GB|
|Memory||32GB / 64GB (dedicated microSD card slot, expandable up to 256GB)|
|Rear Camera||12-megapixel (f/1.8) + 5-megapixel (f/2.4)|
|Front Camera||13-megapixel (f/2.0)|
|Security||Fingerprint scanner, Face Unlock|
|Android OS||Stock Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Price||Starts at Rs 12,999, available via Flipkart|
Let us now start with the first thing that anyone sees about a phone – the design, build and crafting. While the Zenfone Max Pro M1 was a great phone with a lot of punch, one department where it was lacking was design. The Max Pro M1 had a dull and boring design. ASUS has taken that feedback and given a huge design boost to the Zenfone Max Pro M2. ASUS is now coming with a laminated plastic back panel, that definitely looks and feels significantly more premium and luxurious than its predecessor. The frame is made from plastic and has a shiny paint job. This makes it look like glass. Full ticks on the design and materials.
One of the mainstays of the Zenfone Max-series has always been the massive battery, and this phone is no exception to that norm. The Max Pro M2 packs a strong 5,000mAh battery, and even then, it has a very sleek and slim profile. It is also lightweight at the same time thanks to the plastic build, and you get a very premium feel when you hold it.
The back is very gently curved towards the edges, this offers a good grip while holding the smartphone, but it tends to get slippery if you have sweaty palms. Thoughtfully, ASUS has bundled a silicon case inside the box, and while it adds a bit of bulk, it does ensure you get a proper grip, and saves your phone from accidental drops.
ZenFone Max Pro M2 is the first phone in its segment to use the flagship grade, latest and most premium Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6, which is designed to survive 15 consecutive one-meter drops onto rough surfaces. This makes ZenFone Max Pro M2 the only Smartphone under Rs.20000 with capability to endure multiple drops. With its 2.5D-curved front edges, ZenFone Max Pro M2 looks amazing with premium wave glass finish on the back. On the front, its display features the smallest full-function notch which includes an LED flash, Camera, Earpiece, Notification LED, Ambient and Proximity sensors, thus it makes no functional sacrifices to achieve a sleek notch design.
ZenFone Max Pro M2 is the first ZenFone to use the eye-catching wave finish — a dynamic optical finish exquisitely created using a glossy 16-layer coating — that looks beautiful from every angle, showing an ever-changing interplay of light and shade. The 3D-curved rear design is not only comfortable to hold, but also gives ZenFone Max Pro M2 a truly luxurious look, and even with all its new upgrades the phone is still superbly slim and light weight. Full marks to ASUS in the design department.
ZenFone Max Pro M2 is powered by the strong 14nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform with AIE, incorporating the Qualcomm AI Engine, for smooth, responsive and power-efficient performance. With up to 6GB RAM, this CPU is up to 11% faster than the previous generation Snapdragon 636, and graphics performance powered by Adreno 512 GPU, is improved by a massive 33%i for more realistic visuals and faster 3D rendering. ZenFone Max Pro M2 delivers effortless power for the ultimate mobile gaming and multitasking experiences.
What this means for the end user is that at a great price, you get a phone that can stand up and deliver considerably better performance than it’s competitors. The device was able to take a lot of heavy tasks, multitasking and even gaming without even so much as a stutter. Even video streaming load was handled very effortlessly. The phone does not disappoint when it comes to performance. Ticks all the boxes here.
The latest all-screen high-res 15.90cms (6.26) FHD+ (2280 x 1080) notched display on ZenFone Max Pro M2 is simply stunning, with its 19:9 aspect ratio allowing even more immersive entertainment. The high-quality display, with its wide 94% NTSC color gamut, outstanding 450cd/m2brightness and high 1500:1 contrast ratio, makes everything look clearer and more vivid.
For a superb audio experience, ZenFone Max Pro M2 uses a five-magnet speaker with a metal voice coil, driven by a powerful NXP low-distortion smart amplifier that delivers powerful, detailed and crystal-clear sound. ZenFone Max Pro M2 delights the ears, and takes entertainment to a new level.
The dual-camera system uses a high-resolution, incredibly light-sensitive F1.8 12MP Sony® IMX486 main sensor, with 1.9x light sensitivityii, allowing ZenFone Max Pro M2 to take any subject in its stride, and capture more-realistic photos at any time of day or night. Phase-detection Autofocus (PDAF) and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) gets rid of camera shake for blur-free handheld shots, with accurate focusing on any subject, in an instant.
For impressive portraits and close-ups, the second camera on ZenFone Max Pro M2 uses depth-sensing technology to create an artistic ‘bokeh’ effect, putting the subject in sharp focus while blurring the background for a gentle yet powerful effect that really makes the subject stand out.
The intelligent dual-camera system in ZenFone Max Pro M2 is the most advanced ever seen in the ZenFone Max series. It features advanced AI Scene Detection — the same feature found in the flagship ZenFone 5 series — which allows users to concentrate on the subject and get perfect results every time. ZenFone Max Pro M2 revolutionizes mobile photography, giving users a simpler, smarter way to capture and share every magic moment.
The ZenFone Max Pro M2 on the front has an f2.0 13MP camera along with a LED Flash that lets you shoot amazing selfies even in low-light scenes. It can shoot videos up to 1080p, and will soon have EIS functionality that will allow you to shoot shake-free selfie-videos and Portrait mode that will allow you to shoot artistic bokeh selfies. You can also choose to shoot very good selfies with beautification mode.
Here are some pictures I took with the phone.
The ZenFone offers rear fingerprint security sensor with 5-finger recognition and Face Unlock for maximum accessibility and for more connections and more storage, ZenFone Max Pro M2 features a convenient triple-slot tray, combining dual 4G VoLTE SIM slots (Dual SIM/Dual standby) with a microSD card slot that allows storage expansion up to 2TB.
Outstanding battery life is the signature feature of the ZenFone Max series, and despite its sleeker design and among segment best light 175 gms weight, ZenFone Max Pro M2 still contains a monster long-lasting 5000mAH battery. With up to 35 days 4G standby and 45 hours 3G talk time, this high-capacity battery has the stamina to endure longer than ever. It allows users to lose themselves for up to 10 hours of non-stop mobile gaming, enjoy 19 hours of YouTube movies, or browse the web via Wi-Fi for up to 23 hoursiii. With ZenFone Max Pro M2, the user is in full control of their time. ZenFone Max Pro M2 also supports reverse charging function which enables the user to charge other devices.
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is available in three variants namely
3GB / 32GB for ₹.12,999/-;
4GB / 64GB for ₹.14,999/-,
and the 6GB / 64GB for ₹.16,999/- exclusively on Flipkart
At a starting price of 12,999/- the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a budget powerhouse that you simply can’t miss.