Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Max Performance and Max Battery Life

Zenfone Max Pro M2
Zenfone Max Pro M2

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 will soon be available in India and people have already started calling it the best budget phone. Is it really good? Let’s find out in this review.

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 was really an impressive phone but had few downsides. The successor came with everything we missed in the previous phone. This time, Asus has also shocked us by adding things like Gorilla Glass 6 in a budget phone. So. Let’s talk about everything one by one and see if this phone is really good.

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Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review

Design

This time Asus has completely revamped the design and went ahead with laminated back for the ZenFone Max Pro M2. The back has a glossy finish but doesn’t attract fingerprints. The back panel also has a dual camera, LED flash setup at the top left side and fingerprint sensor in the center side. The front side has a 6.26-inch display with a narrow notch at the top. The notch houses front camera, notification LED, sensors and front LED flash. There is no way to force apps to use full screen or hide the notch. So, the notch can be annoying sometimes. Especially while gaming.

It has thin bezels at the side but the bottom bezel is considerably bigger. The front panel also has Gorilla Glass 6 protection that was not expected from a phone of this price. This is the only budget device offering Gorilla glass 6.

Volume rockers and power button sit at the right side. Buttons are easy to reach and offer good feedback. It also has a triple card slot on the left that houses dual nano-SIM card slots along with a dedicated microSD card slot. The base side has 3.5mm audio jack, micro USB and speaker. Here, USB Type-C could even make this phone better.

The phone has curves at edges that make the phone easy to hold. It offers good grip. The most notable thing in design is its weight. Even after having 5000 mAh battery, weight is just 175 grams. So, overall, this is a beautiful phone with solid build quality.

Display

The phone has 6.26-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD Display with 19:9 aspect ratio and 450 nits brightness. The display has really good brightness and works fine in both indoor or outdoors. It also has good viewing angles and nice color accuracy. So, video experience is really good on this display.

The phone also has Widevine DRM L1 certification, that means you can watch HD videos on Netflix, and Amazon Prime like video streaming services.

Zenfone Max Pro M2

Software and Performace

The phone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with pure Android experience. The phone will get faster Android updates and it will also get Android 9 Pie update in January or February next year. The UI is clean with a few bloatware that you can disable. Nothing more has been added, so UI is smooth.

The phone is powered by 1.95GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor with AI Engine. The processor is underclocked but you won’t feel much difference. Snapdragon 660 is powerful and it meets the stock Android to make a perfect pair. You have 3GB, 4GB, and 6GB RAM options. The phone offers snappy performance and lag-free experience. It handles everything that you throw at it. The phone handles day to day task well and multitasking is also really good. Obviously, the 6 GB RAM variant will be better in performance than the base variant. It has Adreno 512 GPU to handle graphics.

The gaming experience on the phone is really good. PUBG mobile ran on medium settings and gameplay was smooth. Asphalt 9 was also smooth. I also played a few other games and overall gaming experience really good. It becomes warm during long gaming but that is under control and there is no heating issue here.

The 3 GB RAM variant comes with 32 GB of storage, but you get 64GB storage with 4GB and 6GB RAM models. It has dedicated microSD card slot to expand the storage up to 2TB. You also have free 100 GB Google Drive storage for a year. You have enough storage option to meet your demand.

It has a fingerprint sensor on the back that unlocks the phone quickly and accuracy is really good. Face unlock is also accurate and unlocks the phone faster as compared to its predecessor.

Camera

The Zenfone Max Pro M2 features a dual camera that consists of a 12MP primary shooter with f/1.8 aperture, paired with a 5MP depth sensor. The rear camera also features AI based scene detection, 4K video recording, and EIS. It also has 13 megapixels front camera with f/2.0 aperture. The camera app this time has Pro mode along with a few other modes.

The camera of Zenfone Max Pro M2 is good considering its price. The daylight shots are good. It produces clear images with sharp details. Color reproduction is not very good in landscape shots, but close up shots are better in terms of colors. Dynamic range is average and switching to HDR mode helps in fixing that a bit. Indoor shots are also good if there is proper light. It captures good colors and details.

Low light shots are also good. Flash works well and produces only the required amount of light. You may also find a little amount of noise but that is acceptable from a phone of this price segment.

Portrait shots are really good. Edge detection is good but struggles if background color matches any part of your body. You can control the amount of background blur as well. I really liked this feature.

Selfie shots are also good. You get proper details but skin tone was not as good. Beauty mode also works fine and applies smoothness on the skin. Low light selfies are also fine but have a good amount of noise if captured in outdoors. The only surprising thing I found was the lack of portrait mode for selfies while it is available in Zenfone Max M2.

The phone can record up to 4K videos from the rear camera. The camera has EIS but it doesn’t work with 4K. So, you will have to switch to 1080p video recording if you want stabilized videos. EIS does a good job. The front camera can record 1080p videos and EIS work with that as well. Audio capture is fine but noise cancellation could have been better.

Overall camera experience is good and better than the predecessor.

You can watch this video for more camera samples and video recording sample.

Sound, Connectivity, and Battery

The bottom firing speaker is quite loud and the output is also good. The phone has 5 magnet speaker with NXP Smart amplifier. As the phone runs on stock Android, you are not getting the AudioWizard option for tweaking the audio output. Not just via speakers, but output over headphone jack is also good.

Connectivity options of the phone include Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, five navigation systems, and FM Radio. It is a dual Sim phone and both SIM support 4G as well as VoLTE. This phone has good network reception, might be due to plastic build. Other options also work well.

The phone packs a large 5000 mAh battery that performs well and getting 2 days of backup is easy. In multiple testings, I got from 6-7 hours of screen on time that is good.  The phone comes with a 10W charger and it takes nearly 3 hours in fully charging from 0 to 100%.

Final Words

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is really an excellent phone. The only drawback I could see is the lack of fast charging, but asking for that will be asking for too much. The phone has a solid build, good looks, nice display, good performance, good camera, and solid battery life.

If I compare it with competitors, the Realme 2 Pro looks better, performance and camera are similar but that packs smaller battery. Redmi Note 6 Pro competes in camera and battery, but Zenfone Max Pro M2 beats it in design and performance. Nokia 6.1 Looks better, but Zenfone Max Pro M2 has better hardware and better. The pure Android experience is a big advantage of this phone that many people want. So, Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a complete package you can wish for less than Rs. 15000. The phone is nearly perfect considering its price. And regular updates will improve it for sure.

I tried to cover everything you may ask. If you still have any question, you can leave a comment.

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Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

8.7 Score

"Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is an excellent phone that left no box unchecked. From good design to excellent performance, nice camera and long battery life. It has everything you may ask for."

The Good

  • Good design and build
  • Excellent performance
  • Good Display
  • Nice camera performance
  • Good battery
  • Good sound output
  • Gorilla Glass 6

The Bad

  • Lack of fast charging

Breakdown

  • Design 85%
  • Display 85%
  • Performance 85%
  • Camera 80%
  • Gaming 80%
  • Battery 90%
  • Value for money 90%