Asus radically changed its India strategy with the Asus Zenfone Max Pro. The ‘disruptive’ online-first phone employs the Snapdragon 636 octa-core chipset, has a massive 5000mAh battery, and runs stock Android. (हिंदी में पढ़िए)

Clearly, Asus is abandoning tall conventions to straightforwardly give consumers what they want. And even after a year since its launch, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 continues to retail well, but now for a lower price. Is the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 still worth considering? Let’s answer that in our detailed Asus Zenfone Max Pro Review!

Editor’s Note: We have used the Asus Zenfone Max Pro 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant for this review.

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Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Price and Availability

  • The 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM variant with 32GB and 64GB storage, respectively are now available for 7,999 INR and Rs. 8,999 INR. You can buy them exclusively on Flipkart.
  • The 6GB RAM variant with upgraded cameras retails for 11,999 INR.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Specifications

Model Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
Display 5.99-inch (2160×1080 pixels) Full HD+ 18:9 2.5D curved glass display
Processor 1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 636 14nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 509 GPU
RAM 3GB/4GB/6GB
Internal Storage 32GB/64GB, expandable to 2TB (Dedicated card slot)
Software Android 8.1 Oreo
Primary Camera 13MP+5MP, f/2.0 aperture, with phase detection AF, bokeh mode

16MP +5MP (For the 6GB RAM variant)

Secondary Camera 8MP with f/2.0 aperture lens

16MP (for the 6GB RAM variant)

Dimensions and Weight 159 x 76 x 8.61 mm; 180g
Battery 5000mAh, 10W charger
Others Dual-sim, 4G Volte, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 5, Face Unlock (coming soon), Fingerprint sensor, 5-magnet speaker, NXP Smart Amp
Price Launch price: 10,999 INR, 12,999 INR, 14,999 INR

Current price: 7,999 INR, 8,999 INR, 11,999 INR

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Design and Build

There is nothing particularly flashy about the Zenfone Max Pro design, but the handset still checks all the right boxes. The solidly built phone has plastic and metal construction and houses a massive 5000mAh battery. The big battery adds to heft, but Asus has managed to restrict the weight to 180 grams. This was once considered heavy but is fairly light by 2019 standards.

The Max Pro M1 is a tall phone and the 18:9 display has a fair amount of bezel on all sides. The phone is quite similar to the Redmi Note 5 Pro in terms of its overall feel and appeal.

The design is a weak area of Redmi Note 5 Pro, one that Asus could have exploited more fruitfully, but I guess, this shouldn’t be a concern at the new price.

  • Asus has done a good job of housing a massive 5000mAh battery and still keeping the phone handy. The Max Pro is at par with Redmi Note 5 Pro in terms of look and feel but won’t supersede it.
  • The display has a scratch resistant glass, but, for whoever needs to know, it isn’t a Gorilla Glass
  • The headphone jack is at the bottom. The USB port is present on the bottom edge.
  • Asus doesn’t bundle a protective case in the box.
  • The fingerprint sensor, power button, and volume rocker are all accessible.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Display

Asus is using a good quality 5.99-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD panel on the Zenfone Max Pro M1. The screen has wide viewing angles, high contrast, and optimum sunlight legibility.

The software is near-stock Android, but Asus has thankfully retained the color temperature adjustment toggle. So, if you prefer warmer tones, you can use the slider in display settings.

  • The display quality is very good for the price, no complaints here.
  • You can adjust color temperature from within the display settings.
  • The brightness peaks at 450 Nits, and that proved good enough for comfortable outdoor usage.
  • You can pinch and zoom-out YouTube content to play it on full screen.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Camera

The Zenfone Max Pro M1 has two cameras on the rear. The sensor on the top is a 5MP depth sensor that aids with portrait mode. The primary 13MP (Omnivision 16880) sensor is the one placed below it. Both cameras have f/2.2 aperture lens.

NOTE: Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GB RAM variant comes with slightly improved cameras. You can read the detailed camera review of the 6GB RAM model here.

The hardware is quite reasonable for the price, but the camera software (stock Qualcomm Snapdragon camera) is sloppy and still feels like work in progress. By now, Asus has already rolled out a few updates to improve the camera quality, but these haven’t had a major impact.

HDR off
HDR ON: HDR makes the images look a tad unnatural

The images clicked in daylight look very appealing on the phone screen. The phone is slow to focus in low light, but once it does, it can capture reasonable shots.

Portrait mode: Low indoor lighting, the short turned out fine.

The portrait mode falters in tricky situations but does a good job otherwise. As is the case with portrait mode on all affordable phones, the actual shot is much better than what you see in live previews.

The 8MP selfie camera (f/2.0 aperture) has slight shutter lag, so you will have to hold the phone steady.

Overall, we could manage decent images from the camera but the results are inconsistent. Having said that, Asus has a good track record of actively pushing updates, and it shouldn’t be hard to fix these software issues moving forward. Also, the 6GB RAM variant that will come in later will have an upgraded camera.

  • The camera performance is decent, but it isn’t very consistent.
  • The portrait mode works well but can falter in tricky situations
  • The camera app is still work in progress. Asus assures that the fix will roll out very soon.
  • The selfie camera is average at best.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Performance and Software

Note: After the Android Pie update started rolling out, users reported several performance issues on the phone. Asus has gradually fixed these issues and things are back to normal after the latest FOTA roll out that also updates May 2019 security patch. We have updated the performance section accordingly.

The performance is one of the strong suits of Max Pro M1. The handset is powered by the Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor, which is also. It comes in three variants, each with a separate microSD card slot.

We have been using the 3GB RAM variant, and yet high-end games run reasonably smooth. We did encounter some app crashes, but after the latest update, the day-to-day performance feels immaculate too. RAM management isn’t aggressive, and all software components function as they should.

The Zenfone Max Pro is DRM L1 certified and if you are tech-savvy, you can make it stream HD content from streaming services like Netflix.

The handset currently runs almost stock Android 9 Pie software. We say ‘almost’ because the Max Pro comes with several pre-installed apps (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Go2Pay) and Asus has added a few extra options like Zenmotion gestures (double tap to wake, off-screen gestures, etc.).

  • The Zenfone Max Pro 11 is powered by Snapdragon 636 and is an excellent performer.
  • Asus’ approach to retain stock Android essence while building minor features on top of it is something we like. This is similar to what one plus does with Oxygen OS, and we are excited to see this ROM mature over time.
  • There are some pre-installed apps but no duplicate apps.
  • The fingerprint sensor isn’t as fast as it should be. The Face Unlock works relatively faster.
  • We didn’t face any issue with call quality in our area. The handset supports 4G VoLTE on both slots. ViLTE or Video calling using jio is not supported on Zenfone Max Pro.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Battery and Audio

Since this is a Max series phone, you get the hallmark 5000mAh battery and the back up is excellent. The phone can easily last for one and a half-day or more on a full charge.

Fast charging isn’t supported but the bundled charger can charge the phone from 10 to 100 percent in little more than two hours.

The speakers at the bottom are powered by NXP Amp. The mono speaker positioned on the bottom edge The audio output quality via speakers and via headphones is average.

Asus bundles a small cardboard accessory in the box, the “MaxBox” that can further amplify the times (1.7 times). This is an innovative marketing approach. Besides fulfilling its purposes as audio Amplifier, the MaxBox also serves as a phone stand.

  • Zenfone Max Pro M1 Battery backup is excellent. The 10W charger can charge the handset in around 2 hours.
  • Audio output is loud, though there is some distortion at maximum volume. Audio output via headphones is average.
  • The MaxBox bundled is a nice little accessory (amplifier and phone stand) to have.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro Long Term Review

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro is still the required masala recipe for online success. Asus has gradually ironed out performance kinks and there is a lot to look forward to at the current prices, particularly for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variants.

The phone runs near-stock Android software, is an excellent performer, has excellent battery backup, offers a notch-free screen and is aggressively priced. The camera performance isn’t much to write home about, but we wouldn’t expect any better in this budget.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros 

  • Great performance
  • Good quality display
  • Excellent battery backup
  • Stock Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Dedicated card slot, Dual SIM Dual VoLTE support

Cons

  • Shoddy camera app
  • Nondescript design

 

Review in Pictures: Samsung Galaxy S8 Burgundy Red Photo Gallery

27 COMMENTS

  1. The 6gb Ram variant has better performance an upgraded 16mp f/2.0 aperture camera and a 5 megapixels depth sensor with improved pixel size and a improved front camera with 16mp f/2.0 aperture for good low light selfies and for a better dynamic range and colours.

  2. Overall worth to buy. Just can’t find the date and time feature in camera settings, I want the date and time in photos as other phones do. Can someone help me with this? Is there a hidden feature which I can’t find?

  3. The Zenfone Max Pro looks a little hushed-up but it’s a good phone overall and there is a lot to look forward to. The phone runs stock Android software, is an excellent performer, has excellent battery backup and is aggressively priced. The camera performance isn’t the best in its class but is workable.

  4. does this phone support Dual Volte Dual Active mode ? If JIO sim is inserted in both the slots, will both the SIM will be active at the same time ?

  5. 🙁 Omnivision 16880 the most of the most shittiest camera sensor at 13k INR…oh boy….pixel size of only 1.0 micro pixel, not even 1.25up !? Asus wants to be the con artist now I can see that. A year ago, even the Moto G5s (1.25up) Plus and the Moto G5(1.40up) came with much better camera sensor than this piece of crap Zenfone Max Pro M1 2018 model.

    They could have launched it @ 17k inr with at least Moto G5s Plus level camera (sensor size of 7.06mm + 1.25up) and it would have been a fair deal 🙁 !!!

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