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ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) Review: The Legitimate Battery King

With the recent affordable flagship outings from ASUS, there's always that one budget device bound to specialize on a certain feature while carrying other components from said flagship. Meet the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro and its 5000mAh battery.

Would the self-proclaimed "Battery King" hold up to our tests? Here's our review.

Design

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro follows the design language of most smartphones of late 2017 to early 2018. It features a 6-inch display with no notch on top, and follows the design language of the Zenfone 5 at the back. It also has a notification LED light.


The device carries your usual mix of mid-range buttons and slots: a dual micro SIM slot, a fingerprint sensor at the back, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a micro USB port. It also features a rather different external speaker hole: rather than circular holes, it's just two slits. However, I find the rear back panel weird since there's this panel inlay that just runs around the back that makes it look like a removable back cover.


The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro has heft for an under PHP 10,000 smartphone. To put it bluntly, it doesn't feel cheap.

Display

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro sports a 6-inch FHD IPS display with an 18:9 display ratio, a 1080x2160 display resolution, and a ~404 ppi. It doesn't have any sort of glass protection, or is unlisted. It only has 2.5D curved glass.

What we liked about the display is its brightness option: it goes from the lowest - the one that makes looking into a smartphone display at night comfortable, up to the highest that can fight against outdoor sunlight. The display also has a curved screen corner panel, a feature that reminded me of the LG G6.

The smartphone allows you to change the display's color temperature from warm to normal to cool, with the first one being the yellowest, and the last one being the bluest.

Software and UI

All stock is the flavor of the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro. In fact, it's running Android 8.1 Oreo on a stock skin, which is a departure from the ZenUI skins from past devices.

As for bloatware, there's none, which is also surprising. Rather, the smartphone comes with Vainglory and PUBG - two games that notorious for draining battery like crazy.

You get an initial 24GB out of the 32GB the Zenfone Max Pro comes with.

Performance

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, a Adreno 509 GPU, and 3GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 636 is a decent budget performer vs others in the same price range as the Max Pro, and this is what makes it a great buy.

Here's the benchmarks:

 


AnTuTu: 115118
Geekbench Single-Core: 1333
Geekbench Multi-Core: 4904

Everything operates smooth, from basic operations to gaming. Paired with a 5000mAh battery, this makes the Zenfone Max Pro an everyday smartphone.

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro can carry two nano SIM cards and one dedicated microSD card slot.



Audio and Video

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro's FHD 18:9 display produced great results on 1080p video: the color detail was accurate, the reds, greens, and blues show nicely. That combined with the backlit glow of the display makes a one powerful multimedia experience.


Audio-wise, the smartphone's external-facing speaker blasts loud sound, but lacking overall roundness. It's powerful enough however to reverberate against the smartphone's aluminum-plastic body. Now that's power.

Camera

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro carries a 13MP/5MP dual rear camera, and a single 8MP front-facing camera. It features the same stock UI in the launcher with little customizable options. It does include lighting adjustments, filters, and depth effects.




Being a device under PHP 10k, we do not expect much from the device's cameras. It's a definite performer, but only to a certain extent. It does have good color accuracy and detail, but photos go muddy once you zoom in to capture images.

Here's some few samples of the photos we took with it.


Normal zoom

+50% zoom, same camera location

+100% zoom, same camera location


Battery

With a 5000mAh battery, the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro holds its own, especially on gaming. Another test we did was a standby test: We left the phone alone until a 10% charge, and it lasted for a solid 16 days without charging. It was about to go until another full day with a 9% charge.


It has Flash Charge, which allowed us to fully charge in just under 2 hours 30 minutes. That's rather fast for fully charging a 5000mAh battery.

Verdict

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) possesses three qualities that make it a great smartphone: a long-lived battery, a goood hardware lineup, and a spectacular price tag. Not to mention that it's a beautiful smartphone to hold and play with.

At PHP 9,995, it's among the devices you'll want to consider before making a purchase.



ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) Specifications

OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Processor: 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor, Adreno 509 GPU
Memory: 3GB RAM, 32GBB onboard storage, microSD expandable up to 2TB
Display: 6-inch FHD IPS display. 18:9 display ratio, ~404 ppi, 1080x2160 display resolution
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE; WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot; Bluetooth 5.0 w/ A2DP, LE; GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS; USB OTG, microUSB 2.0
Camera: 13MP f/2.2 + 5MP f/2.4 rear dual camera with LED flash, PDAF, ; 8MP front-facing camera, f/2.2
SIM: Dual nano-SIM
Features: Fingerprint sensor
Battery: 5000mAh Li-Po battery, non-removable
Dimensions: 159 x 76 x 8.5 mm, 180 g
Colors: Meteor Silver, Deepsea Black
Price: PHP 9,995
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) Review: The Legitimate Battery King Reviewed by TJ Panganiban on August 23, 2018 Rating: 5

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