Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, launch, live, flipkart
Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1) is one of the best smartphones in the mid-range category.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India
  • Asus Zenfone Max Pro is most cost-effective mid-range in the market
  • It comes with 5000mAh battery, which is more than enough to last two full days under mixed usage

In 2015, Taiwanese technology major Asus was a force to reckon in the Indian market. It dominated the mid-range segment with the feature-rich Zenfone series, but in the following years, the company began to target the Rs 20,000 price range with Zenfone 3 and Zenfone 4 in 2017. Though the devices were of top-notch quality, they failed to garner consumer interest. Just when everybody began to write-off Asus, it has made a strong comeback with the newly released Zenfone Max Pro (M1) in India.

The new mid-range Asus phone boasts powerful Qualcomm processor, sumptuous 3GB/4GB/6GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage, dual-camera on the back and a massive 5,000mAh battery and most importantly, it comes with an unbeatable cost-effective price tag. It is available in three configurations—3GB RAM + 32GB storage, 4GB RAM+ 64GB storage and 6GB+ 64GB storage—for Rs 10,999, Rs 12,999 and Rs 14,999, respectively

But, does the Zenfone Max Pro live up to the reputation of its tag phrase "Unbeatable Performer". Let check it out.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1) full review:

Design and build quality:

Asus Zenfone Max Pro series comes with simplistic and yet, elegant design. It features rectangular candy bar-shaped body with rounded edges around corners and also the use of 2.5D curved glass on top of the front-panel makes the device visually appealing.

1/5
  • Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, launch, review,specs
    Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes with sound amplifier in the packageKVN Rohit/IBTimes India
  • Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, review,
    Asus Zenfone Max Pro comes with single grille speaker on the right side, 3.5mm audio jack to rich, a mic and the micro USB at the center.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India
  • Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, review
    Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes with SIM tray on the left side. It holds three slots, two for SIMs and the microSD cardKVN Rohit/IBTimes India
  • Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, review
    Asus Zenfone Max Pro features power button and volume rocker on the right sideKVN Rohit/IBTimes India
  • Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, review
    Asus Zenfone Max Pro features smooth edge on top with just a lone mic.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India

As far as the build quality, it has metallic shell and rim around the edge. When held in hand, we can feel the premium material and gives us the confidence that this can sustain accidental drops with back on the ground, but can't vouch for the glass display on the front to survive a similar instance. But, we have to say, no brand can guarantee their mid-range or even flagship phone's display stability when dropped front facing.

Display:

The new Zenfone Max Pro comes with a 5.99-inch LCD IPS screen with 2160x1080p resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio. The screen is bright and vibrant enough to see the contents even when viewed under direct sunlight. With a wider screen, it is a treat to watch multimedia content and play games. And adding to the fact that it comes with 5,000mAh battery, Asus phone owners can binge watch on TV series or movies on streaming apps such Amazon Prime Video and Netflix for several hours.

Performance and storage:

For its price, Zenfone Max Pro has the best configuration in the mid-range class. It is powered by Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor with 3GB/4GB/6GB RAM and 32GB/64GB storage.

It works fine while doing the daily chores such as calling, messaging, browsing, switching between multiple apps, launching the camera and playing games. Thanks to Qualcomm processor, Asus phone never exhibited any signs of lags whatsoever. It scored 1,13,669 points on AnTuTu benchmark-testing mobile app. And on Geekbench, it scored impressive 1330 and 4,926 points on single-core and multi-core tests, respectively.

Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, review
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 runs pure Android 8.1 Oreo software with just three third-party apps.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India

The best part of the Asus phone is that it runs pure Android with only three third-party apps onboard leaving extra space in the inbuilt storage and even if that isn't enough; you can expand it through microSD card. Guess what, the Zenfone Max Pro is one of the very rare phones in the market to have dedicated three slots to accommodate two SIMs and memory card.

Camera:

Asus Zenfone Max Pro comes with the dual-camera module, one primary 13MP sensor and secondary 5MP snapper with phase detection autofocus and LED flash on the back.

Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, review
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes with dual camera (13MP 5MP) module on the back.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India

It takes pretty good pictures in the bright daylight and even Bokeh blur effect too is of fine quality. But, the autofocus loses speed as light begins to fade. Its a pain to get the focus on the subject during the night. Having said that, the picture quality taken by the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is good for a mid-range phone. [See sample shots below]

On the front too, it houses an 8MP shooter and takes decent selfies. It also features soft LED flash and helps in capturing good quality images under low-light conditions. Recently, it received a software update which brings face unlock feature. During testing, it was pretty quick in terms of detecting the face and unlocking the screen.

1/1
  • Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, review
Asus Zenfone Max Pro photo sample taken during the day lightKVN Rohit/IBTimes India
7photo slide
Asus Zenfone Max Pro's camera photo sample taken in the afternoon.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India
Asus Zenfone Max Pro's camera photo sample taken during the night.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India
Asus Zenfone Max Pro's camera photo sample taken during the eveningKVN Rohit/IBTimes India
Asus Zenfone Max Pro's camera photo sample taken during the nightKVN Rohit/IBTimes India
Asus Zenfone Max Pro's camera photo sample taken during morningKVN Rohit/IBTimes India
Asus Zenfone Max Pro's camera photo sample taken during the night.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India

Battery life:

In this aspect, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 beats all competition by a mile. It offers insane battery life up to 48 hours under mixed usage, which includes voice calling, few minutes of video chat, gaming, streaming videos from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video service, web browsing and other day-to-day stuff we do on the mobiles. If used more conservatively, you can get an additional half a day of battery life.

Asus, Zenfone Max Pro M1, launch, live, flipkart
Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1) comes with dual-camera on the back.KVN Rohit/IBTimes India

With a 5,000mAh cell capacity, you can even binge watch a single season of Game of Thrones if not more continuously in a single full charge.

Final thoughts: High on features, low on price

The new Zenfone Max Pro M1 ticks all the boxes for an ideal mid-range phone. And, the price makes Asus phone even more tempting. This is a tailor-made mobile for price-conscious salaried class and college-going youth.

If you are looking for a mid-range phone with latest Android software and long lasting battery-life, look no further than Zenfone Max Pro M1.

Pros:

  • Insanely long battery life
  • Pure Android with no bloatware
  • Good build quality
  • Decent display

Cons:

  • The camera could have been better, but it can be enhanced with a software update. The company actually released a couple of firmware during the review period. There was a significant improvement in terms of photography experience. So, it's not a deal breaker. If you are planning to buy the Zenfone Max Pro M1, go ahead.

Key specifications of Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1):

Models

Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1)

Display

5.99-inch full HD+ (2160x1080p) IPS screen with 2.5D (front) curved glass

  • 1500:1 contrast ratio
  • 85% NTSC colour gamut
  • Brightness: 450 nits
  • Aspect ratio: 18:8 full view

OS

Android Oreo 8.1 OS

Processor

64-bit class 14nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core

GPU

Adreno 509

RAM

3GB/4GB/6GB

Storage

32GB/64GB (eMCP) + expandable up to 1TB via microSD card

Camera

  • Main: 13MP (1.12µm,  F2.2 aperture)+ 5MP dedicated Bokeh camera (1.12µm,  F2.4 aperture), phase detection autofocus, LED flash, HDR, 9 filters, 9 scenes, beauty, portrait mode, Bokeh mode, 4K video recording, full HD video recording (30/60 fps), HD (30 fps)
  • Front: 8MP (1.0µm/ F2.2 aperture) with soft light LED flash, Bokeh mode, HDR, 9 filters, 9 scenes, beauty, portrait mode

Battery

5,000mAh with fast charging capability

·        Up to 35 days of 4G standby

·        Up to 42 hours of 3G talk time

·        Up to 12 hours of gaming

·        Up to 199 hours of music playback

·        Up to 28 hours Wi-Fi web browsing

Network

4G-LTE (Cat. 4)

Add-ons

Dual-SIM slots + dedicated microSD card, fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), micro USB port, 5-magnet loudspeaker, dual microphones, 2nd gen NXP SMART amplifier, A-GPS, GLONASS,

Dimensions

159.0 x 76.0 x 8.46 mm

Weight

180g

Colors

Black/ Gray

Price

  • 3GB RAM + 32GB storage: Rs 10,999
  • 4GB RAM + 64GB storage: Rs 12,999
  • 6GB RAM + 64GB storage: Rs 14,999

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