Asus made a huge comeback last year in the smartphone market with the launch of Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Zenfone 5Z. Both the smartphones were a success for Asus and the former was a huge hit in the mid-range smartphone segment. Forward to 2019, Asus launched the successor to the popular Zenfone Max Pro M1. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 and Asus Zenfone Max M2 were launched by Asus last month in India. We tested Zenfone Max M2 for quite some time and this article is our Asus Zenfone Max 2 Full Review
Asus Zenfone Max M2 comes in a striking blue package carrying the brand’s logo, phone’s specification, and the usual details. Unlike Max M1, the box is quite different and looks appealing. Upon opening the box, you are greeted with a small box saying “We Love Photo”. It houses the SIM ejector tool, a TPU case, and the usual user manual. It is then followed by Zenfone Max M2 smartphone itself. Finally, you will find the 5V 2A Wall Adapter along with the Micro USB cable for charging and sync. That’s it for the box contents. The packaging and box contents are good and minimalistic.
The current trend in the smartphone market has been the notch and most of the smartphones have started incorporating the same. In the same lines, Asus Zenfone Max M2 also comes with a striking 6.26-inch IPS LCD Notch Display. The Notch is quite large considering the competition offering a smaller notch. We will talk more about it in the later part of our review. To the right of the smartphone, you will find the power button which is followed by the volume rockers button. The buttons are made of good quality materials and give good feedback upon a press. To the left of the smartphone, you will find the Dual SIM Slot and MicroSD card slot. Yes, you read it right. Zenfone Max M2 comes with support for Dual SIMs and a MicroSD card at the same time. To the rear, you will find the Dual Camera setup, Finger Print scanner, and Asus branding. The Micro USB port, microphone, and the speaker grill are present to the bottom. We wish Asus had gone with a Type C port instead of a Micro USB port. But nonetheless, the smartphone charges with a standard 5V 2A charger at fairly decent speeds.
Asus Zenfone Max M2 sports a large 6.26 inch 19:9 HD+ display with a notch. It is an HD+ display unlike a FULL HD+ display on the Max Pro M2. Zenfone Max M2 comes with a resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels with approximately 80.9% screen to body ratio. The quality of the panel used by Asus is quite good with punchy colors and sharpness. Although it is not a FULL HD+ display, the quality is pretty good and the sunlight legibility is quite decent too. We felt that the notch was quite large considering the competition offering smaller notches. But at the end of the day, notches are personal preference and we did not face any major hindrance with this notch while using the smartphone. Overall, the display on the Max M2 is decent with vivid color and sharpness.
Zenfone Max M2 is powered by the latest Snapdragon 632 Octa-core processor and it is clocked at 1.8 GHz. Max M2 is one of the few smartphones to be powered by Snapdragon 632 processor. Prior to this, Honor 8C was the world’s first smartphone to be powered by Snapdragon 632 processor. Zenfone Max M2 is coupled with 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB storage respectively. We tested the 3GB RAM variant and in our usage, we found the performance to be quite good considering the price point at which the device is selling. The processor is very much capable of handling quite intensive tasks too. Casual tasks ran fine without any issues and we did not notice any major lag or whatsoever. Popular games like PUBG ran fine on the device, but you will notice occasional lag with graphics intense titles like these. The casual and medium graphics games ran fine without any hiccups. Overall, the performance of Zenfone Max M2 is good considering the price point of the smartphone.
Asus Zenfone Max M2 is backed up by a mammoth 4000mAh non-removable battery. The smartphone sports a Micro USB port for charging and syncing and charges via a 5V 2A adapter. The charger supplied in the box is a 10W adapter and it takes almost 2 hrs 30 mins for the smartphone to charge completely.
When it comes to battery life, we do not have any complaints to make. The battery life is excellent and Asus have done a great job in optimizing the battery on Zenfone Max M2. Although this smartphone sports a large 4000mAh battery, it feels lightweight to hold. Good job, Asus!
Asus Zenfone Max M2 comes with a Dual camera setup to the rear. It is a 13MP primary sensor with + 2 MP depth sensor to assist in the portrait shots. The sensor size is 1.12 Micro-Meter along with f/1.8 aperture. The camera on Zenfone Max M2 did not impress us that much considering the camera performance of the other offerings in the market. The pictures taken in daylight outdoors had an average amount of detail with decent sharpness. During low light situations, the camera struggles a bit to deliver. The pictures come out average with a decent amount of detail. The portrait mode needs some optimization as the edge detection is not perfect. The pictures taken from the front-facing camera were quite good and is a step up from last year’s Zenfone Max Pro M1.
When it comes to video recording, the footage was quite decent and was very much usable. Overall, the camera performance is above average and needs more optimization. We hope Asus will work on this and improve the camera performance with future software updates.
Asus Zenfone Max M2 runs on a near Stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo and Android 9 Pie update will be rolled out soon according to the company. The software is clean and fluid without any lag or whatsoever. Some of the elements/icons in the UI are still not optimized for the notch and we hope Asus will fix this issue in the future update.
In our usage, we found the software experience to be very good on this smartphone and we did not face any major issues as such.
So, considering all the aspects, should you buy this smartphone? If you are looking for a smartphone in this budget segment with good battery life and Stock Android, then Asus Zenfone Max M2 is highly recommended for you. It checks most of the boxes for a budget smartphone is 2019.