Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 Design
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 comes with an extremely flashy body. If seen, this is the first major difference compared to the old variants. The smartphone is available in blue and titanium colors. We have reviewed the blue variant.
Asus Max Pro M2 has a laminated backpanel, which gives it a glossy finish. Due to this, fingerprints fall easily. Remember that ZenFone Max Pro M1 came with a metal backplate.
The ZenFone Max Pro M2 has a dual camera setup on the back, with a single LED flash. The fingerprint scanner is in the middle and is easy to reach. The phone has a 6.26-inch FullHD + display. The top has a notch and the display is of 19: 9 aspect ratio. Asus claims that this is the first smartphone to come with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 in this price segment.
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 has very thin bezels on the top and sides. But the bezel at the bottom is very thick. Asus has tried to keep the earpiece out of the notch towards the frame. This has helped in reducing the size of the notch. Selfie cameras, flash and sensors have got a place in Notch. The notification LED is also placed outside the notch. It has got a place next to the earpiece grill.
Like other phones in this price range, the frame of Zenfone Max Pro M2 is made of plastic. The power and volume buttons are on the right and the SIM tray on the left. According to us, the position of the power button is good, but it takes some effort to reach the volume button.
At the bottom is a micro-USB port, primary microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack and loudspeaker. The secondary microphone is at the top. By the way, most phones in this price range come with a micro-USB port. But a USB Type C port would have been a welcome step.
Asus has curved edges in the ZenFone Max Pro M2, which gives good grip. The surprising thing is that despite having a large battery, the phone does not feel heavy or bulky.
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 specification and software
The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 gained popularity due to its powerful processor and aggressive pricing. Asus has replicated the same strategy by offering 1.95 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor in ZenFone Max Pro M2. The new chipset is more powerful than the Snapdragon 636. This processor has been used in handsets like Xiaomi Mi A2, RealMe 2 Pro and Vivo V9 Pro.
There are three options based on RAM and storage – 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage, 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. We have reviewed the variants with 4 GB RAM. There is support for microSD cards up to 2 TB in all three variants.
The connectivity features of Zenfone Max Pro M2 include Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n and FM radio. It is a dual sim smartphone. It has two Nano SIM slots. Both slots support 4G VoLTE.
The ZenFone Max Pro M2 has a full-HD + display, with 450 nits brightness. It does not hurt to read in sunlight. The viewing angles of the display are also good.
The important feature of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is the large battery. Asus has given a 10 watt charger to charge it. But there is no support for quick charging, ie charging will take a long time.
This Asus smartphone will also run on stock Android. It is expected that the company will release updates for this phone more quickly. The company has just introduced the smartphone with Android 8.1 Oreo and has promised to provide Android Pie update in January 2019. Our review unit came with the October Security Patch.
Even though it is a stock Android device. But in addition to Google’s selected apps in this phone, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps will be pre-installed.
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 performance, battery life and cameras
Knowing the specification of Zenfone Max Pro M2, we had an idea of its performance. The performance of ZenFone Max Pro M2 is very smooth due to the fast processor and stock Android. There were no complaints of lag or stutter in our review unit.
You can use fingerprint scanner and face unlock to unlock the phone. During the review we found that the scanner is a bit slow to unlock the device. Apart from this, we could not find the settings to run any app in fullscreen mode. For this reason, most apps are letterboxed.
PUBG Mobile ran on the medium setting. We were able to play this game without any lag or framedrop. After playing the game for 25 consecutive minutes, the phone did get slightly hot.
We enjoyed watching videos and playing games on this phone. The speaker is also loud.
The battery life of the handset is excellent. The credit goes to the 5000 mAh battery. In HD video loop test, the phone died after 17 hours 58 minutes. At the end of the day, about 55 percent of the battery was left during regular use. The 10 watt charger in the retail box charged the battery 52 percent in 1 hour.
Asus has upgraded the camera setup in the ZenFone Max Pro M2. You will get a 12-megapixel primary sensor on the back and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. The front panel has a 13-megapixel camera.
The camera app is simple and it is also easy to use. There are toggles for shooting modes, beautification, depth effects and flash settings. You will also have the option to apply filters before taking pictures. There is a Pro mode in which you will be able to adjust focus, shutter speed, ISO, exposure and white balance.
Tap to see Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 camera sample
AI scene detection is not currently available, but Asus has announced an update in December to bring EIS in ZenFone Max Pro M2 and Bokeh mode in the front camera with this feature.
During the shoot with the ZenFone Max Pro M2, we found that in some scenes it was not successful in setting the exact exposure. For example, some photos were overexposed during the day.
Color reproduction is good. But this detail in the distant object is not able to be captured. Macros shots come with more detail and the phone does a good job of separating the subject from the background. Portrait mode can be easily enabled. You will get the option to set the level of blur.
HDR mode needs to be further improved. It handles the brighter area in the scene, but loses details in the shadows. Edge detection is good in output. But blur at the highest level seems artificial.
Camera performance is average in low light. The phone does not automatically switch to night mode. The phone takes a little longer to save a landscape shot. The output is satisfactory, as the lack of detail is apparent when zoomed in.
Selfies are excellent and face detection ensures that there is no face blur while taking a group selfie. Beautification is also available.
You will be able to record 4K video from the primary camera and 1080 pixels from a selfie shooter. Video stabilization is available at 1080 pixels and the phone succeeds in reducing shake.
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 has a big responsibility on its shoulder. Especially given the success of ZenFone Max Pro M1. There is no doubt that Asus has made a strong claim by giving Snapdragon 660 processor and 5000 mAh battery.
There is power in performance and battery life. If cameras are your priority then Realme 2 Pro is much better. If you are considering buying either of these two then you will also have to consider the advantages of stock Android as compared to the ColorOS UI of Reality.
Price is the strongest aspect of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2. There is no harm in buying this phone for Rs 12,999. We have reviewed variants of Rs 14,999 which is slightly more than handsets like Realme 2 Pro (review) and Realme U1 (review).
Stock Android is another right decision. If Asus is successful in providing updates regularly, then customers will be happy for gold.