ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) Review: Maximum Display and Battery - TeknoGadyet

Friday, April 6, 2018

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) Review: Maximum Display and Battery


ASUS has made the endurance of the battery life on the "Max" series for a long use. And now, with the new ASUS Zenfone Max Plus (M1), this simplistic smartphone aims for heavy users. And joining the bandwagon of 18:9 display, this device is indeed a palm-friendly for everyone. But how will it perform in real life? Let's all find out in this full review.

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) Review: Maximum Display and Battery
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) Review: Maximum Display and Battery


ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) Retail Package
Retail Package

Asus bundled so many accessories in the retail package for a good use. Here are the following:

  • 5V/2A wall charger
  • USB cable
  • Earphone
  • Extra earbuds
  • Sim ejector tool
  • OTG cable
  • Clear TPU case
  • Quick Guide
  • Warranty Card and Guide, and
  • ASUS Zenfone Max Plus (M1) unit (of course!)

The usual stuff on the front screen are here, such as the 8MP selfie camera, the notification LED light and a myriad of sensors, including the ambient and proximity. There are no physical buttons in the lower part as the navigation buttons are included in the screen.

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 - Front
The notification light, 8MP selfie camera, earpiece grill and the sensors.

Overturn the phone, we will first notice the dual camera lenses here. It consists of the 16MP primary sensor and the secondary 8MP wide-angle sensor. To its right is an LED flash that helps to brighten the image in dark environment. The fingerprint sensor is centered on the upper part of the panel. Speaking of which, it responds fast enough, the phone unlocks with almost barely touching it.

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 - Back
The fingerprint scanner, dual (16MP+20MP) main camera, and LED flash.

Up at the top, we have the 3.5mm audio jack for listening music and the microphone. Down to the bottom lies the MicroUSB port and the two speaker grills, of which the right side is only available, while the other is for aesthetic purposes only.

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 - Top
The 3.5mm jack and the microphone.
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 - Bottom
The speaker grill, and the MicorUSB 2.0 port.

On the right side of the smartphone is where the volume rockers and power button are found. Flipping to the left side, here comes the MicroSD card and SIM tray.

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 - Right
The volume rockers, and the power button.
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 - Left
The dual SIM & MicroSD card tray.

The Asus ZenFone Max Plus M1 looks pretty much common, it is not a head-turner, but it is still looks OK, thanks to its 18:9 display. Ergonomics wise, despite the big screen, it still manages to sit comfortably in our hand, and the buttons are well within reach.

Also Read: ASUS Launches 3 Official Concept Stores in Lazada


ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 - Software

The operating system used in the ZenFone Max Plus (M1) is Android 7.1 "Nougat", with the company's familiar user interface ZenUI 4.0. Honestly, the said user interface is very enjoyable to use. There are many gestures applicable to using the smartphone. Swiping up, the screen will show all the applications installed. On the other hand, swiping down will get the notification shade.

Not all of the applications are optimized with the 18:9 display, so the "App Scaling" can be enabled in the settings. This is to ensure that a certain app can fill the whole screen, otherwise, you'll experience the same 16:9 look.


ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 - Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

Inside the ZenFone Max Plus is the 64-bit MediaTek MT6750T that consists of two quad-core clusters. The performance cluster has a maximum frequency of 1.5GHz thru ARM Cortex-A53 cores, while the power-efficient cluster that clocks at 1.0GHz, using also the Cortex-A53 CPU.

The chipset also integrates an ARM Mali-T860 as the graphics processing unit. This is already an outdated chip, but the performance remains decent. It is not the best out there, but can actually manage to play high demanding games at all times, at least in medium to low settings.

Below are the benchmark scores as a reference on its raw processing power:

  • AnTuTu v7 - 58,479
  • 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme - 6,443
  • 3DMark Ice Storm - 10,058
  • 3DMark OpenGL ES 3.1 - 368
  • 3DMark Sling Shot - 568
  • Work 2.0 - 2,895
  • Geekbench Single-Core - 561
  • Geekbench Multi-Core - 2,257
  • Geekbench Renderscript - 1,748

The 28 nanometer FinFET technology inside the M1 might not be efficient, but in overall performance, it is considered smooth and neat.


ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Dual Rear Cameras
Dual Rear Cameras

The main camera of the Zenfone Max Plus provides two lenses: the primary and the wide-angle. The first one is the 16MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture and phase detection auto-focus, while the latter offers an 8MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture. These cameras are then accompanied by an LED flash.

Interestingly, the wide-angle feature is great for capturing the landscape field, thanks to its 120° depth of field, but the details clearly diminishes. Talking about the modes, it has plenty. These are the HDR, portrait mode, super resolution, beautification, GIF animation, professional and the panorama.

Rounding out the camera specs, the front camera has another 8MP with f/2.0 aperture and fixed-focus sensor for capturing selfies.

Main Camera Sample Photos:

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Main Camera Sample - Auto
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Main Camera Sample - Indoor
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Main Camera Sample - Outdoor, Normal
Outdoor, Normal
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Main Camera Sample - Outdoor, Wide Angle
Outdoor, Wide Angle
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Main Camera Sample - Foodie
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Main Camera Sample - Low Light
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Main Camera Sample - Long Exposure
Long Exposure

Front Camera Sample Photos:

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Front Camera Sample - Group Selfie with Beautification
Group Selfie with Beautification, Inside Elevator
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Front Camera Sample - Group Selfie, Indoor
Group Selfie, Indoor
ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Front Camera Sample - Group Selfie without Beautification
Group Selfie without Beautification

The main camera lives up to our expectations, the images produced are nice and have great quality, this includes good sharpness, color reproduction, white balance, and dynamic range.

However, we can't say the same with the front camera,  the details on some of our selfie images were a bit washed-out. And, although the details are still intact, the noise is fairly visible.

See Also: ASUS ZenFone 5 Series Coming to PH on April 14!


The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus (M1) has the high speed mobile data network via HSDPA+ and Category 4 LTE. The frequency bands are as follows:

GSM - 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA - 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
LTE - Bands 1 / 2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 20 / 40

The Wi-Fi module supports the standard IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, and thus, it operates with 2.4GHz networks only. Bluetooth 4.2 is on-board also, as well as the GPS for positioning and navigation. Wired connection includes 3.5mm audio jack, and an old generation MicroUSB 2.0 port with OTG function.


ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Battery Stats
Battery Stats

The battery run times, despite high power consumption, provide good results. Though, not as we expected from its 4,130mAh capacity. Based on the PCMark Work 2.0 battery life, the smartphone got 10 hours and 24 minutes. Although that's already considered good, the other competitors with less battery capacity almost got the same score or even higher than that.

In real usage, it has a very good up time, a screen time of 9 hours and 44 minutes. There is an option to increase it further with a variety of battery saving modes. Meanwhile, the charging times takes 2 hours and 30 minutes using the stock 5V/2A charger.


The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus M1 is really a nice smartphone that consumers will surely take into purchase consideration. It mainly targets those consumers who like to use a compact size smartphone with a big battery, and a "FullView" display with narrow bezels. It also has a bunch of cool features, such as the battery modes that offers an extension of the battery run-times, the wide-angle sensor and the beautification on both the cameras and video modes.

The aforementioned battery life seems to be pretty on the score, but this is not what we expect from such a compact size handset with high battery capacity. Nevertheless, it will last through the day without looking for a charger.

ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) Specs:

  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby, supports LTE connectivity
  • 5.7-inch IPS FHD+ (2160x1080) capacitive touchscreen display, 5-point touch
  • Dimensions: 152.6mm x 73mm x 8.8mm
  • Weight: 160 grams
  • Android Nougat with ZenUI 4.0
  • 1.5GHz 64-bit octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-T860MP2 GPU, MediaTek MT6750T chipset
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via a micro SD card, uses dedicated slot
  • Dual 16MP f/2.0+ 8MP f/2.4 PDAF main cameras with dual LED flash, 1080p video recording @30fps
  • 8MP f/2.0 secondary camera
  • Multimedia player
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • FM radio
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Micro USB 2.0 with OTG
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, e-compass, proximity, light, gyroscope
  • Battery: 4130mAh Li-Ion, non-removable, supports fast and reverse charging
  • Color: Deepsea Black, Sunlight Gold, Azure Silver
  • Price: Php11,995

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