This year, we have seen a number of player tackle Xiaomi’s dominance in the affordable price segment in their own way. Asus took impactful strides with its value-for-money m-series Zenfones and the new Zenfone Max Pro M2 veritably takes the game to the next level. (हिंदी में पढ़िए)
Just as the last generation Max Pro M1, Asus ditches its ZenUI in favor of light and pure stock Android ROM, which is basically what many Android enthusiasts ask for. Asus plays by the familiar formula and combines a powerful chipset, modern design trends, big battery, immaculate spec-sheet, and an aggressive price to top it all. Is the approach still a valid one at this point in time? Let’s discuss that and more in our Zenfone Max Pro M2 review.
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Price and Specification
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Box Contents
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Design and Build Quality
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Display
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Software and Hardware
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Battery and Connectivity
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Camera
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Price in India and Specifications
|Model||Zenfone Max Pro M2|
|Display||6.3-inch (2340×1080) display;19:9 aspect ratio|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 660 64-bit Octa-core Processor;
Adreno 512 GPU
|Internal Storage||32GB/64GB (expandable up to 2TB)|
|Software||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Primary Camera||12MP Sony IMX486; 5MP secondary|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, rear-mounted|
|Battery||5000mAh with fast charging|
|Price||Rs.12,999 – 3GB + 32GB
Rs.14,999 – 4GB + 64GB
Rs.16,999 – 6GB + 64GB
Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: What’s In the Box
- Wall Charger
- Case cover
- Data Cable
- User guide
- Sim tray ejector pin
Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Design and Build Quality
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 design qualifies as a significant improvement over its predecessor. Asus seems to have switched from metal and plastic to a all 3D glass look. Unlike flat back from the last generation, the Max Pro M2 has a glossy glass-like arched back that not only looks pleasing to the eyes but also ensures great in-hand feel. This time, the entire back panel is in one piece. Here, you will find the fingerprint sensor and dual cameras, along with Asus branding, of course.
A lot has changed on the front too. There’s a wide notch at the top that accommodates earpiece, selfie camera and LED flash also with sensors. Asus has also managed to trim down the bezels, and there’s hardly any around the display – apart from that little chin. And despite housing a massive 5000mAh battery, the phone weighs just 175 grams.
As far as build quality is concerned, there was no flexing or creaking when we applied pressure on middle with our thumbs. The front of the phone is also protected by Gorilla Glass 6, and the phone comes bundled with a protective case which is good enough to get you started.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Display
Moving on, Asus has stretched the display from 5.99-inches to 6.26-inches in the Max Pro M2. It is a 1080p+ panel which has 2280×1080 pixels resolution and 19:9 aspect ratio.The display claims to offer 94-percent wider color gamut and 450 nits brightness.
What’s our take on the Zenfone Max Pro M2 screen? Well, it’s among the finest IPS LCD panels in this price range. The whites are close to neutral (there is still an option to switch to warmer color tones), the colors are vibrant, and contrast is high. The brightness levels are in line with the industry standard in this price bracket.
The Max Pro M2 has a wide notch at the top, and there is no option to hide the notch. Also, Asus needs to do more work to optimize popular apps for the notch. The remaining status bar space is reserved for system notification icons only (which is to say, no app notifications on the status bar).
Also, it must be mentioned that the display on the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is significantly better than what you get on the lower-end Zenfone Max M2. So, if you are deciding between the two, this is one thing you should keep in mind.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Software and Hardware
Asus understands the need for a compelling chipset on an online-exclusive blockbuster and duly endows the Max Pro M2 with a 1.95GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE mobile platform, which is same as what you will find on Xiaomi Mi A2 and Realme 2 Pro. The Qualcomm’s Kyro-260 based Snapdragon 660 SoC is more powerful than the Snapdragon 636 which we witnessed in the Redmi Note 6 Pro or in the original Zenfone Max Pro M1.
Asus is offering three variants of the phone that includes: 3GB RAM with 32GB storage, 4GB RAM with 64GB Storage and 6GB RAM with 64GB storage. While the RAM type is LPDDR4X, the storage offered here is eMMc 5.1 based. There is a dedicated microSD card slot (for all variants) that supports up to 2TB storage expansion.
The performance is excellent. The day-to-day usage and multitasking are butter smooth and we didn’t face any issue with extended high-end gaming. Games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 ran without any stutters.
The fingerprint sensor, which was one point of contention on the Max Pro M1, has been fixed. It’s now fast and consistent. And so is the face unlock.
Moving on to the software, Asus offers stock Android experience on the Zenfone Max Pro M2 users. The phone currently runs Android 8.1 with October security patch. The company says it will soon be upgrading it to the Android Pie without giving a definite timeline. Asus has put in a couple of its utility apps that includes sound recorder, an FM radio, a calculator, and modified version of Snapdragon Camera app. The software also includes preloaded Facebook apps that you cannot uninstall.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 has DRM L1 certificate for HD streaming but doesn’t support HD streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Overall, the hardware-software combo qualifies as a big strength for Zenfone Max Pro M2.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Battery and Connectivity
The 5000mAh battery on the phone can comfortably last for more than a day or a day and a half. Heavy users shouldn’t have any problem lasting throughout the day. Asus mentions that the phone supports fast charging, but it takes around two and a half hours to completely charge the phone – which is kind of slow.
As for connectivity, the handset doesn’t support dual-band Wi-Fi. Dual 4G VoLTE is supported and we didn’t face any issue with call quality in our area.
Hands-on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Camera
The ZenFone Max Pro M2 camera configuration has also changed a little. Though it continues to boast of a dual setup at the back, it now comes with 12MP Sony IMX486 sensor paired with a 5MP depth sensor. Out of the two rear cameras, the primary one has f/1.8 aperture, 1.25µm pixel size and 6P lens. Asus has enabled PDAF for faster focus on the phone, and the Max Pro M2 is capable of recording videos in 4K resolution as well.
The camera app still feels minimalistic, but we did notice some refinements in the interface. Still options like Auto HDR or other fancy shooting modes are missing.
The camera performance has significantly improved. The camera captures accurate colors and ample details in proper lighting but does struggles with metering at times. Lowlight performance is adequate. Video recording needs to get better, though.
As for portrait mode, it’s again a hit or miss – just as most other dual camera phones under 20k.
Asus has also bumped pixel counts on the selfie camera. It is now using a 13MP Sony IMX486 sensor on the front with f/2.0 aperture and 1.12-micron pixel size. The selfies captured on the phone are fairly decent.
Overall, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 doesn’t have the best cameras in its class, but the camera performance is still pretty good and shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Is it better than Redmi Note 6 Pro?
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 diligently adheres to the recipe for instant online success. It has all the right ingredients – the powerful Snapdragon 660, stock Android software, trendy design, big battery, and a price that undercuts the competition.
More importantly, it is a significant upgrade to the Zenfone Max Pro M1. All the issues we had with its predecessor have now been fixed. In spite of the capacious, long-lasting battery, the phone looks and feels awesome, the fingerprint sensor now works as it should, the display quality is impressive, and the cameras are now much better.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is also an excellent option for gaming.
It will primarily go up against the Realme 2 Pro, Realme U1, and Redmi Note 6 Pro, and will certainly enjoy the stock Android advantage over its rivals.
Long story short – the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is one of those phones that we can heartily recommend.
- Great design
- Display quality
- Excellent Battery backup
- Dedicated card slot
- Excellent performance
- Camera interface
- Back panel prone to smudges and scratches
- Doesn’t support HD streaming