Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 Review; Going Beyond Its Promises! - TeknoGadyet
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 Review; Going Beyond Its Promises!

INTRODUCTION:

Last month, Asus Philippines has finally launched the latest addition to its battery king smartphones – the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1. Aimed towards mobile gamers, our team had a chance to play around with the device to see how long it can really accompany us.

Asus ZenFone Max Pro Review; Going Beyond Its Promises!
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 Review; Going Beyond Its Promises!

But on top of being a battery phone, what more it could offer to users? Continue reading our full review to know the answer as we dive deeper here!

PHYSICAL:

Dressed with a premium-like design, the ZenFone Max Pro is solidly built with a metal and plastic body. Having a 5000mAh battery inside, we’re not surprised that it is bulkier and heavier compared to other smartphones on its size. It is big at 159mm x 76mm x 8.5mm, while it weighs 180 grams. With this, one-hand usage isn’t at ease and solid grip is highly needed. What we like the most with its design, on the other hand, is that we can’t skip using its protective case as its body doesn’t attract fingerprints and smudges that much. But of course, it’s safer to use one.

Front (5.99-inch Full HD+ Display)
Front (5.99-inch Full HD+ Display)

The phone flashes a huge 5.99-inch panel. Above it, you’d see its 5-megapixel front camera, earpiece, and LED notification light, as usual. The space below the screen is left unoccupied as it uses an on-screen navigation keys.

Right
Right (Volume Rocker and Power/Lock Button)
Its right cheek accommodates its volume rocker and power/lock button, while its SIM card tray is alone on its left side. It has slots for two nano SIMs and has a dedicated microSD card slot, as well.

Bottom
Bottom

The bottom part houses its 3.5mm audio port, microphone, microUSB port, and speaker, while its top part welcomes a lone noise-cancelling microphone.

Back
Back
Flip the phone on its back to reveal its dual rear cameras composed of 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors. Its LED flash is also aligned vertically to its cameras. Its fingerprint scanner is sited on its back, too, together with its branding.

Basically, we’re impressed that its function keys are all thoughtfully placed somewhere we can easily reach it, most especially its fingerprint sensor.

DISPLAY:

Multi-touch Test
Multi-touch Test

Going back to its display, it sports a 5.99-inch panel with 2160 x 1080 Full HD+ display. It gives off an 18:9 screen aspect ratio, offering a trendier feature compared with its predecessors. Its brightness works fine both indoors and outdoors. Moreover, it gave us a good viewing experience as we play and watch videos with heavy graphics. Playing on it didn’t give us a headache, as it supports 10 multi touches.

SOFTWARE:

Software
Software

Here comes the twist! Unlike other Asus phones, the ZenFone Max Pro runs on pure and almost stock Android 8.1 Oreo operating system. With this, it carries a smooth and simple interface, giving anyone a clean and flawless impression when navigating it. On that note, it only comes with Google apps and some Asus native apps to leave users with more internal storage.

Navigating the phone is easy, as well. Swipe from the top to its bottom to reveal its control settings and notifications, while swiping from the bottom to the top will show you your apps. By the way, while its app drawer displays your applications alphabetically, you can easily organize and customize it on its multiple home screens by simply creating an app drawer.

Giving us more security options, the handset comes with a fingerprint sensor and face unlock technology. Its fingerprint sensor can easily scan our index finger, so we honestly prefer using this option. Meanwhile, its face unlock had some trouble recognizing us in places with dim lighting. It works fine with brighter lighting, though.

PERFORMANCE:

More than just a battery phone, we knew that it can offer us more as it packs a capable 64-bit Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz, paired with Adreno 509 graphics. The phone is also coupled with 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage. Considering its price tag, the ZenFone Max Pro definitely sets the bar on its segment.

While it’s pretty obvious that it can deliver a great performance, we still ran it on various benchmark apps to give us further views about its power. Here are the results:

Benchmark Results
Benchmark Results

  • AnTuTu - 112,592
  • Geekbench - 1,328 (single core)
  • Geekbench - 4,743 (multi core)
  • PCMark Work 2.0 - 6,001
  • 3DMark - 19,411 (Ice Storm Unlimited)
  • 3DMark - Max (Ice Storm Extreme)
  • 3DMark - 1,430 (Sling Shot)
  • 3DMark - 927 (Sling Shot Extreme)

What’s so good about the ZenFone Max Pro is that it can deliver more than what it promised. As Asus always highlights its battery, consumers might overlook its powerful specs. For instance, it comes with Snapdragon 636 chipset, which is good enough for its price.

The phone offers a smooth experience even when we heavily used it. Switching apps to another gave us no issues, as it can accompany us on our mobile multitasking activities. Moreover, it can support playing videos and games with heavy graphics without any obvious lags. Its back, however, heats up when its battery is reaching its low percentage. It’s not a big issue to mind, though.


CAMERA:

Moving on to its camera department, it offers something that is really good on paper. Asus equips the Max Pro with a dual bokeh shooters on its back composed of 13-megapixel f/2.2 and 5-megapixel sensors. The former has 80-degree view angle, and Phase Detection Auto Focus, while the latter is aimed for depth sensing. It boasts an 8-megapixel f/2.0 selfie snapper that comes with 85.5-degree view angle and softlight LED flash.

Its camera offers various features, including Auto, HDR, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Flowers, Backlight, Candlelight, Sunset, Night, Beach, and Snow. It also comes with different filters, depth effect, and beautification to enhance your photos.

Sample Photos:

Indoor
Indoor

Outdoor
Outdoor

Outdoor
Outdoor

With Moving Vehicles
With Moving Vehicles

Indoor
Indoor

Raindrops
Raindrops

Leaves
Leaves

Pork and Beef
Pork and Beef

Indoor

Night
Night

Night
Night

Night
Night

W/ No Portrait Mode
W/ No Portrait Mode

Portrait Mode
Portrait Mode

Portrait w/ HDR
Portrait w/ HDR

Portrait w/ HDR
Portrait w/ HDR

Selfie
Selfie

While the phone brags a good camera design, we’re a bit half-hearted with its actual performance. Its 13MP + 5MP rear cameras give us good images with an impressive color accuracy. Unlike other camera-centric phones, the Max Pro maintains the natural look of its photos even when you use its various camera settings. Of course, it cannot battle out these camera phones as it lacks some features including a Pro mode. But, technically, if you’re up to decent mobile photography, this handset is a good choice.

Jumping on its front camera, its 8-megapixel sensor works well, too, but we noticed that it’s grainy even in places with good lighting. Its beautification is also inconsistent sometimes. Nevertheless, its portrait mode and overall performance is good, noting that it delivers natural-looking self-photos.


CONNECTIVITY:

The Asus ZenFone Max Pro is a dual SIM device that supports LTE connectivity. It is loaded with basic connectivity features, including WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS. All of these did their job well during our tests. In addition, we never had an issue sending an SMS and receiving a call, considering that we always had a good signal reception.

Other connectivity features include micro USB 2.0 with OTG function, and 3.5mm audio port.

BATTERY:

Apparently, tagged as a battery king, the device is geared with a huge 5000mAh stamina to accompany users on their game time or simple mobile tasks. It supports fast charging technology that can charge its battery from 0 to 100% in just 2 hours and 42 minutes. It comes with up to 35 days standby time, as well, Asus claimed.

PCMark Battery Life Test
PCMark Battery Life Test

As expected, the Max Pro could accompany us for a long time. Its battery lasted depends on our usage. Only tasked for basic communication like sending emails, SMS, calls, and minimal browsing of social media, its power lasted for three days before it ran out of juice. On the other hand, as our primary phone, it accompanied us for a day, as we had to charge its battery the morning after. Our activities include casual gaming, basic communication, and playing of videos and music. Impressively, it could last for more than 10 hours and 21 minutes when we actively used it.

Meanwhile, its PCMark's battery life test suggests that it could live for up to 12 hours and 32 minutes.

CONCLUSION:

Asus ZenFone Max Pro
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1
Overall, Asus was able to go beyond its promises through the ZenFone Max Pro M1!

As a member of the brand's battery king line, the phone didn't drop our expectations on its stamina. Really, if you're always on-the-go, you might consider getting this device as it can really last longer that other smartphones.

On top of this, it has smooth performance that can handle heavy usage and multitasking. It offers good display and decent cameras, too.

The ZenFone Max Pro is priced for only Php9,995!

Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 Specs:


  • Dual Nano SIM, dual standby, supports 4G/LTE connectivity
  • 5.99-inch FHD+ IPS (2160 x 1080) capacitive touchscreen display, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Dimensions: 159mm x 76mm x 8.5mm
  • Weight: 180 grams
  • Android 8.1 Oreo, upgradeable to to Android P and Q
  • 1.8GHz 64-bit octa-core Kryo 260 processor, Adreno 509 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage, expandable via micro SD
  • 13MP f/2.2 + 5MP PDAF main cameras and LED flash, 4K video recording
  • 8MP f/2.0 front camera with LED flash
  • Multimedia player
  • NXP smart amplifier
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • FM radio
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth v4.2
  • Micro USB 2.0 with OTG
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, e-compass, proximity, light
  • Battery: 5000mAh Li-Ion, non-removable, supports fast and reverse charging
  • Color: Deepsea Black, Titanium Gray
  • Price: Php9,995

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