Asus Zenfone Max M1 First Impressions: Better Than Redmi Alternatives?

Main Image
  • Like
  • Comment
  • Share

The Zenfone Max M1 is one of the two affordable and compact phones that Asus has launched in India to compete against reigning Redmi and Realme alternatives. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Asus also launched a stock-Android equipped ‘Pro’ variant earlier which was also the first viable Redmi Note 5 Pro alternative.

So, is the Zenfone Max M1 worth being excited about? Is it any better than the Redmi 6 (review) or Realme 2(review)? Let’s discuss more in our Asus Zenfone Max M1 quick review.

Zenfone Max M1 Specifications and Price

Model Zenfone Max M1
Display 5.45-inch HD+ (1440×720) display
Processor Snapdragon™ 430 Mobile Platform with 64-bit Octa-core Processor
Internal Storage 32 GB (expandable up to 256GB)
Software Android 8 Oreo-based ZenUI 5
Primary Camera 13MP (f/2.0)phase-detection autofocus, LED flash
Secondary Camera 8MP(f/2.0) Selfie camera with flash
Fingerprint sensor Yes,rear-mounted
Battery 4000mAh with fast charging
Price  Rs. 7,499

What’s In the Box:

  • Handset
  • Wall Charger
  • Data Cable
  • User guide
  • Sim tray ejector pin

Design and Build

The Zenfone Max M1 is light, graceful and compact, even when it houses a massive 4000mAh battery inside. The rear camera sits flush with the neat and minimal polycarbonate back and the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is perfectly accessible.

On the front, the Zenfone Max M1 has a notch-free screen with symmetrical bezels at the top and bottom. The audio jack is present up top, and the micro USB port is at the bottom.

Overall, the Zenfone Max M1 isn’t anything flashy, but it’s still a well-designed phone that’s comfortable to wield and operate. It should be particularly appealing to consumers who prefer a smaller footprint on their phones.

ALSO READ: Asus Zenfone Max Lite L1 First Impressions – Game On


The 5.45-inch screen IPS LCD screen has an adequate 720P HD+ resolution. Other than that, there isn’t much to applaud or criticize about the screen. It’s in the same ballpark as most IPS LCD panels that we come across on affordable phones.

Outdoor visibility and Dynamic range are about decent, whites lean towards cold blue tones, and there is no option to adjust color temperature under display settings. Asus hasn’t added any eye-protection mode or blue light filter either.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy J8 Review – The Best J-Series Phone in 2018?

Performance and Software

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 is powered by Snapdragon 430 octa-core chipset, which isn’t exactly an aggressive option for an online exclusive retailing at 9K. Further, there is 32GB of internal storage and a dedicated card slot.

The day-to-day performance isn’t snappy but we didn’t encounter any major lag or stuttering in our initial testing. This is, however, subject to change after a period of usage. This isn’t a phone meant for moderate or heavy users, but perhaps basic users shall be able to make ends meet.

Asus is back to using ZenUI (instead of stock Android) on its affordable phone, but that’s ok since the new ZenUI is light and efficient. Even when it has been stripped of several features to run smoothly on the budget hardware, the interface is better designed than, say, Color OS or MIUI. In our personal opinion, of course.

The Zenfone Max M1 has both the fingerprint sensor and face unlock – both of which work reasonably fast. We haven’t tested call quality much as of now, but we will update our findings soon in our full review.

Camera Expectations and Battery

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 has standard camera specs. The rear 13MP camera sensor has a f/2.0 aperture lens, PDAF and is underlined by an LED flash. The 8MP selfie camera gets a flash too.

It’s still too soon to give any verdict on the camera quality, but we’d advise you to balance your expectations. It won’t be fair to expect much in terms of camera performance from any phone priced under 10K.

The 4000mAh battery on the Zenfone Max M1 is quite alluring, though. Asus bundles a 10 Watt charger in the box that can charge the phone in a little more than 2 hours.

ALSO READ: Honor 8X FAQ with Pros and Cons – All Questions Answered

Asus Zenfone Max M1 Quick Review – Should you buy it?

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 looks like a first-class option for basic smartphone buyers. It’s a well-designed phone with a light and agreeable software, big battery and a dedicated card slots – which are exactly the features that most budget smartphone buyers demand and prioritize. But yes, a slightly better chipset, say Snapdragon 450, would have made it a lot more lucrative for all classes of users. We will continue testing the Zenfone Max M1 and will be back with a final verdict soon.

The handset will take on the likes of Redmi 6 and Realme 2 in India and will be available for Rs 7,499 INR this festival season. Later, the price will shoot up to Rs. 8,999.

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

Related Articles

ImageExclusive: Google Pixel Fold 2 360-Degree Video And 5K Renders Reveal; No More Horizontal Camera Visor

It’s not every day that we see radical new smartphone designs that could change the course of developments. For years, the Google Pixel phones have followed a similar design language, helping the models establish their identity. Leading the front is the horizontal camera visor, which has been around since the Pixel 6 came out in …

ImageAsus Zenfone Max Pro M2, Zenfone 5Z Prices Slashed in India

Asus has slashed prices of a few Zenfone series phones in light of the aggressive pricing by the fresh competition (read Redmi Note 7 Pro). The phones to get the price drop are Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (review), Zenfone M2 (review), Zenfone Pro M2 (review), and Zenfone 5Z (review). All of these are good picks in …

ImageRealme 3i vs Samsung Galaxy M10 vs Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comparison: Which one to buy?

Gone are the days when you had to empty your pockets to buy a good smartphone. Even if you have tight pockets, the market has lots of phones which would fit your bill. Leave the budget range, now you get multiple picks at a particular price. Three such budget phones are – Realme 3i, Samsung …

ImageAsus Zenfone Max Pro M2 VS Redmi Note 6 Pro Comparison: Which one to buy?

Last year, Asus pitched in its Zenfone Max Pro M1 as the first real alternative to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. As of today, both OEMs have introduced the next iteration of these popular phones – The Redmi Note 6 Pro and the Zenfone Max Pro M2 – which are both among the most popular …

Image9 Best Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Cases, Covers, and Accessories

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a “viable Redmi Note 5 Pro alternative” available at an affordable mid-range price. The phone hits the right chord with its specifications, which include the trending 18:9 display, latest Snapdragon 636 chipset, and raging dual-rear camera setup. The Zenfone Max Pro M1 is also Asus’ first stock-Android phone. The …


Be the first to leave a comment.