ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M1 : OWNER REVIEW
by Jatin Parmar
August 22, 2019
Hello everyone, my name is Jatin Parmar and I am here with a review of ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1. I was looking for a decent mid-range smartphone and during my research stumbled upon it. This phone had the best performance to price ratio, hence I decided to go with this smartphone. I have been using this phone for the past year as my primary phone. I use this phone for a lot of social media, for taking calls throughout the day, a little bit of gaming and as my primary camera for taking photos. So, here is my full detailed review of this smartphone. Let’s get started.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes in a full metal body design. It is available in two colours Meteor Silver and Deepsea Black. It sports two cameras on the back and a single camera on the front. It comes with a micro-USB port, along with NXP powered speakers and a headphone Jack at the bottom. On the right, you got the volume rockers and power button. On the left, only the sim card slot is present. This is a pretty standard design by today’s standards. Not flashy, but gets the work done. The thickness is more on the wide side, but that can be attributed to the large 5000mAh battery. The thickness helps with holding the phone easily, as the metal on the back can be slippery at times.
The phone comes with an octa-core snapdragon 636 chipset. The processor is clocked at 1.8GHz paired with an Adreno 509 GPU. Its performance is not up to the flagship mark but is reasonable for its price of 140 USD. You can be sure of having no lag`s in your day to day usage, along with a little bit of gaming. I have played PUBG on this phone and it fared pretty well at around 30 fps on medium settings. The phone does run a bit warm after heavy usage for extended periods, though that is to be expected of the phone that has a metallic back
The Asus Zenfone is very flexible in terms of storage options. The phone comes with 3 options to choose from 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB depending on the price. In either case, you get a dedicated microSD card slot which supports up to 1TB of storage. The amount of RAM on your device also depends on the storage variant you choose. The RAM options available are 3GB, 4GB and 6GB. I was using the 64Gb model, which had 4Gb of RAM. In addition to all these options, you get an additional 100Gb of Google Drive storage for a year from Asus.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 sports 3 cameras, two on the back and one on the front. The primary 13MP on the back takes decent shots in bright light and outdoors but struggles in low light. The 5MP secondary camera besides the primary camera is used only for depth sensing in portrait shots. Front 8MP camera is pretty underwhelming even in bright daylight and a complete nightmare for low light shots.
The camera performance can be increased considerably by using a little trick. By installing a third-party app Google Camera. In Google Camera app photos for both front and back cameras turn out to be much better than the stock camera app. They have more colour accuracy, depth and sharpness, higher dynamic range and very little noise even in low-light conditions. I would recommend using the Google Camera app over the stock camera app any day.
The Phone can shoot videos up to 4k 30fps without electronic stabilization and 1080p 30fps with electronic stabilization. Video quality is pretty average but is enough to get the job done.
(Note: The 6 Gb variant comes with a 16 MP back camera instead of 13MP and 16MP front camera instead of the normal 8MP. Also, the camera modules used are quite different, so I cannot comment on the camera performance of that model because I don’t own it. But judging by pure specifications, 6Gb variant camera must be of better quality than the one in 3 and 4 Gb RAM models.)
The phone has a 5.99-inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels with a screen-to-body ratio of about 76.2%. This gives it a pixel density of 404 PPI. The display is rounded off around the corners with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The colour reproduction is pretty accurate and you can even tone the display to a warmer or cooler side depending on your liking. The display is an LCD, that means blacks are not up to the levels of an OLED or AMOLED, for the price, it is worth it. The phone also comes with Widevine L1 support so you can enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies in HD on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
If anything, battery life is the strongest suit of this phone. It comes with a massive 5000mAh battery. The phone can handle heavy usage for almost 1.5 days and with casual use, you can easily get up to 2-2.5 days usage. But the bigger battery also means higher charging times. Luckily, the phone supports fast charging and unluckily it’s only 10 Watts. To fully charge the phone you will need at least 2.5hrs.
The Asus Zenfone comes with a 1-year warranty without accidental damage protection. The company has also promised to update the software up to 2 major android versions. Android 9.0 is already out for the phone.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner which is fast with 0.3ms response time. It is accurate, at least 95% of the time. It also comes with face unlock though that is pretty much a hit and miss. Also, it is worthy to note that NFC is only available on the 6Gb variant of the phone, but it is not a big deal for me since I don’t use it that much. The phone also comes with Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP. I had no trouble whatsoever with GPS while using the maps and it was rather quick to lock on to the current location.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a solid smartphone considering the features it provides and its listed price. Except for the camera I have had no issues with the phone and it performed exceptionally well for the price.
Here are my ratings for the phone out of 10.
Camera: 5/10 (with google camera it’s 7/10)
I would give this phone a total overall score of 8.5/10 based on my usage and overall experience.