Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: Impressive Budget Phone

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Apart from the ‘Pro’ model, Asus also launched the Regular Zenfone Max M2 in India as a lower price option. The Max M2 is not meant to replace Max M1, but is more of an upgrade to the last gen Max Pro M1(Review), and retails for the same starting price of Rs. 9,999. (Asus Zenofne Max M2 Review हिंदी में पढ़िए)

Yes, Asus naming conventions are a bit confusing, but each of these is too lucrative to just pass over. So, if you are wondering how much better or worse Max M2 is suited to your needs – compared to the Max M2 Pro or other popular options like Realme 2 Pro or Redmi Note 6 Pro – the following Zenfone Max M2 Review should help.

Page Contents:

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: Price in India and Specifications

Model Zenfone Max M2
Display 6.3-inch HD+ display;19:9 aspect ratio
Processor Snapdragon 632  64-bit Octa-core Processor; Adreno 506 GPU
RAM 3GB/4GB
Internal Storage 32GB/64GB (expandable up to 2TB)
Software Android Oreo 8.1
Primary Camera 13MP (f/2.0)phase-detection autofocus + 2MP secondary
Front Camera 8MP
Fingerprint sensor Yes, rear-mounted
Battery 4000 mAh
Price Rs.9,999 – 3GB +32GB

Rs. 11,999 – 4GB + 64GB

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: Design and Build

While Asus has gone for a radical design upgrade in the ‘pro’ model, the Max M2 remains largely similar to the last generation Max M1 Pro. Which is to say, it has the same metal and plastic back cover design, yet it looks and feels a lot better thanks to its slimmer and lighter profile.

Also Read: Realme U1 Review 

One major design change is the wide notch at the front. The fascia isn’t quite bezel-less but it’s surely passable – judging by current standards, that is.

The fingerprint sensor on the rear is fairly accessible but not very consistent. Max M2 additionally has Face Unlock which is fast and works rather well.

Overall, we’d say that that the Pro model looks a lot better, but the Max M2 is solid and quite comfortable to handle. Design and build are quite satisfactory.

  • Zenfone Max M2 looks similar to Max Pro M1, but it’s slimmer and lighter, and more ergonomic.
  • On the front, the phone has a wide notch at the top, and a sizeable chin at the bottom.
  • The 3.5mm audio jack is present at the top.
  • The micro USB port and speaker grill are present at the bottom.
  • Max M2 has both – fingerprint sensor and Face Unlock.
  • The phone has dedicated card slot for secondary storage.
  • Yes, Asus bundles a case cover in the box.

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: Display

The Max M2 has a 6.26-inch (19:9) screen size with HD+ resolution. The display is one area where Asus is cutting some corners, but again, that’s understandable considering the price. The panel isn’t sharp and colors are a bit off but these compromises should be acceptable for people who aren’t particularly fastidious about display quality.

There is no option to hide the notch at the top. Besides, the software isn’t very well optimized for the cutout. On whatever space remains on the status bar, you will mostly notice status bar icons.

  • The HD resolution feels a bit scanty, but it’s workable. Asus is cutting some corners with display quality.
  • Outdoor visibility is decent, the display is perfectly legible outdoors.
  • The software needs to be better optimized for the notch.

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: Performance and Software

As is the case with all other Zenfone launched this year, Asus prioritized performance. The Max M2 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 632 octa-core chipset, which is one of the best options available at this price

The use of almost stock Android software further makes Zenfone Max M2 a safe bet for people who are particular about software running on their phones. We did notice a few software glitches and bugs, though.

The Max M2 comes in two RAM or storage options. The base variant with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, the one we have been testing for this review, is the one that should be more popular since the 4GB/64GB option overlaps with the Pro variant. Anyways, you get a dedicated card slot and 100GB of Google Drive storage irrespective of the variant you choose.

The performance on the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage model is expectedly smooth. Gaming performance also turned out to be better than what we had anticipated. High-end games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 are perfectly playable in low and medium settings. Considering this is a budget phone, the performance is excellent. The audio output is also quite loud and clear, and further enhances the gaming experience.

We didn’t face any call or connectivity issue on the phone. Dual 4G VoLTE is supported but you will have to enable the option from settings.

  • Performance is smooth, and so is the high-end gaming experience on the 3GB RAM/32GB storage model.
  • The Zenfone Max M2 has DRM L1 certificate for HD content streaming, but doesn’t support HD content on Netflix or Amazon prime.
  • In our books, the almost stock Android software counts as an advantage. It might feel a bit bland to anyone who’s used to a feature-rich custom UI.
  • The fingerprint sensor can be inconsistent at times. Face Unlock works well.
  • Audio output via mono speaker is loud and reasonably good quality.
  • We didn’t face any issue with call quality in our area. Zenfone Max Pro M2 supports Dual 4G VoLTE.

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: Camera

As is customary these days, the Max M2 has two cameras on the rear. There is a 13MP primary sensor with a wide f/1.8 aperture lens, accompanied by a 2MP depth sensor.

The camera can capture good shots in day-light every now and then, but photography is not an upside here. The camera is slow in locking focus and there is some shutter lag too.

In low-light, camera stumbles further and clicked images aren’t much to write home about.

The portrait mode is largely a miss, as edge detection is hardly accurate.

The selfie camera is relatively a better performer. We did manage to shoot quite a few decent selfies both indoors and outdoors.

We must say, that compared to other phones under 10,000 INR, the camera performance shouldn’t be a dealbreaker at all. It simply isn’t wise to expect much in terms of camera performance in this segment.

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: Battery Backup

The 4000mAh battery on the Max M2 is as good as it sounds. No ugly surprises here. With moderate usage, we could easily manage a day of battery mileage with two SIM cards and two Google accounts synced. Fast charging is not supported.

  • The 4000mAh battery on Zenfone Max M2 can comfortably last a day of moderate usage.
  • The bundled 10W charger can charge the battery in around 2 hours.

Also Read: Infinix Note 5 Stylus Review: Stock Android Phone With A Handy Stylus

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: Should you buy it?

To sum it up, the Asus Zenfone Max M2 is surely a great phone for its price. It’s slim and solid, runs almost stock Android software, and delivers reliable performance and battery backup –  which is more than what most people ask of their budget phones.

Having said that, if you are particularly interested in a decent camera, we’d recommend you spend a bit more and go for the Max Pro M2 or the Redmi Note 6 Pro.

Pros 

  • Solid build
  • Reliable performance
  • Dedicated card slot
  • Dual 4G VoLTE support
  • Battery backup
  • Almost stock Android software

Cons 

  • Camera performance
  • Mediocre display quality

 

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.

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