Asus is a well-known brand in the field of computer and accessories. It wasn’t quite popular when it came to smartphone industry until the launch of Zenfone. Back then, when every smartphone manufacturer used Qualcomm or MediaTek chipsets, Asus took the route of using Intel Atom chipsets on their smartphones. Zenfone lineup of smartphones are quite popular and in fact, Zenfone 2 was the world’s first smartphone to sport 4GB of RAM on a smartphone.
With the launch of Zenfone 3, Deluxe editions, Zenfone 4 series in India, it didn’t do that well for Asus due to the price point and received quite a bit of criticism. But now, the company is back with a smartphone that is India first with some amazing specifications at a great price. Named Zenfone Max Pro, we have been testing the smartphone for quite some time now and here is our full review of the same.
Zenfone Max Pro is available exclusively on Flipkart and is priced at ₹10,999 for 3GB RAM variant and ₹12,999 for 4GB RAM variant.
Display: 5.99″ FULL HD+ 18:9 display
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Octa Core
Camera: Rear- 13MP f/2.2 + 5MP f/2.4
Front- 8MP f/2.2
Colours: Grey and Black
Asus Zenfone Max Pro comes in a blend of blue and grey colour to the front with the name of the smartphone itself. To the back, you will find the specifications of the device and the other usual details. Upon opening the box, you are greeted with a small box saying ‘We Love Photo’ and on further digging in, you will find the smartphone itself. Underneath that, you will find the usual manuals, Micro USB charging/sync cable, Wall Adapter. A unique accessory called ‘Max Box’ is also bundled with the package. What it essentially does is that it amplifies the audio that you get from the smartphone’s inbuilt speaker.
To the front, you will find the massive 5.99 inches FULL HD display along with an 8MP front-facing camera and the usual set of sensors. To the back, you will find the Dual Rear camera set up along with a Fingerprint scanner and Asus branding. To the left, you will find a tray that houses Dual SIM cards and also a MicroSD card. Yes, this is not a Hybrid slot but allows you to use 2 SIMs + MicroSD card at the same time. Sweet! To the right, you will find the volume rockers button and the power button. To the bottom, you will find the 3.5mm headphone jack, MicroUSB port, Primary microphone and the speaker grill.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro sports a 5.99 inches FULL HD+ display and the resolution is 2160×1080 pixels. Thanks to the 18:9 aspect ratio, the device is comfortable to hold in spite of a massive 5.99″ display.
The quality of the panel used by Asus on the Zenfone Max Pro is very good. The viewing angles are good and the colours are well saturated. The outdoor visibility is also good on the smartphone.
Zenfone Max Pro is powered by an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor that is built on a 14nm technology. It is coupled with either 3GB/4GB LPDDR4X RAM. There is another variant that comes with 6GB RAM which is expected to launch soon.
When it comes to raw performance, Zenfone Max Pro is a beast in this price segment. It handles almost any task thrown at it with ease. We did not notice any significant lag with casual tasks on the device. There was a minor lag in the UI at times and during Asphalt 8 gameplay. Nonetheless, it handles most of the task thrown at it with ease. Thanks to the stock android on this device, the device is very fluid and the experience is great.
Zenfone Max Pro M1 from Asus sports Dual Rear cameras to the back which is the trend in the smartphones launched in 2018. It is a combination of 13MP + 5MP and the secondary camera aids in depth detection. The aperture is fixed at f/2.2 and f/2.4 respectively. The front-facing camera is an 8MP shooter that has an aperture of f/2.2. Asus has also included a Soft LED flash to the front. Sweet!
When it comes to the performance of the camera, it was a mixed bag for us. The pictures that were taken in the daylight situation turns out to be quite good but not the best in this price segment. The colours and the detail in the picture are quite good but could have been better. The HDR mode on this device is aggressive and helps in capturing better photos. When it comes to the portrait mode, you have to adjust the depth of field in order to get a perfect shot. The portrait shots are decent. This smartphone can shoot videos up to 4K resolution and the footage was quite good.
When it comes to front facing camera, here is where the Zenfone Max Pro struggles. The pictures have a significant amount of noise and the details aren’t that great. If you do not have stable hands, you might end up in a blurry shot.
We would have loved to see a better camera on the Zenfone Max Pro and hope that Asus will optimise it further via future updates.
Face Unlock and Fingerprint Scanner:
Zenfone Max Pro sports a fingerprint scanner to the back and the performance is quite good. It is not the fastest that we have seen, but it is manageable. With the recent updates, Asus has improved the performance of the fingerprint scanner. When it comes to face unlock, the experience wasn’t good. During our testing, the face unlock failed several times and we had to use the fingerprint scanner to unlock the device.
We hope that Asus will address these issues with future updates.
Most of the smartphones in this price segment lack a good inbuilt speaker. Asus’s answer to that is MaxBox. It is essentially a sound amplifier for your Zenfone Max Pro. Asus bundles this for free in the package. The setup is very simple
- Unfold the MaxBox
- Place your smartphone on the stand
- Voila! You will notice a significant boost in the sound!
For the first time, Asus has introduced Stock Android on its Zenfone smartphone instead of ZenUI. Zenfone Max Pro runs on a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo. Asus has promised regular security updates and two major Android version upgrades. It is stock for the most part apart from few Asus specific applications.
When it comes to the software experience, it was very good. The UI is fast and fluid and we did not notice any significant lag whatsoever. Asus has done a good job with the software on the Zenfone Max Pro.
The biggest Unique Selling Point a.k.a USP of Zenfone Max Pro is the mammoth 5000mAh battery. The battery life you get on this device is excellent. It is ahead of the devices in this price segment. With casual usage, you can easily stretch up to 2 days with this device. This smartphone can also be used as a power bank, thanks to the reverse charging support. Asus has done a commendable job with the battery on the Zenfone Max Pro.
Asus has done a commendable job in terms of pricing of the Zenfone Max Pro. It starts at Rs. 10,999 for the 3GB RAM variant and goes up to Rs. 12,999 for the 4GB RAM variant. If you are a fan of stock android and want a smartphone with great battery life in a budget, then no doubt, Asus Zenfone Max Pro is highly recommended in this price segment.