11 December 2018, India:
Today, ASUS launched the successor of it’s popular mid-range smartphone ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1. The company upgraded the processor, display and other things.
The Max Pro M1 was (and still is) quite popular in the 10k-15k segment, and it’s pricing was one of major reason for it’s popularity. The company has priced the new smartphone sensibly.
Let’s take a look at the specs and initial impressions of the smartphone.
The Max Pro M2 has a glossy back (but, it’s not glass), which gives an attractive look to the smartphone. Dual camera and a LED flash is present in the vertical alignment at the back. The back also consists of a fingerprint sensor and ASUS logo.
The weight of the smartphone is 175 g.
The volume rockers and power button are present on the right side of the smartphone. At bottom, the smartphone has a primary mic, speaker, 3.5 mm Headphone Jack (thumbs to ASUS for keeping the headphone jack) and a Micro-USB port for charging and data transfer. Well, the Micro-USB port does the job, but we were expecting a USB Type – C port, as it makes the smartphone more futuristic.
The SIM Tray is present at the left side of the smartphone. The SIM Tray has a dedicated Micro-SD card slot (in addition to the dual nano SIM slots), so it can hold two nano SIMs and a Micro-SD card simultaneously.
The Micro-SD card slot supports Micro-SD up-to 2 TB. The Max Pro M1 also had the dedicated Micro-SD card slot and it’s good that the company has carried it to Max Pro M2.
The top of the smartphone consists of secondary noise cancellation mic.
The display is a Notched display (it has a Notch at top). The Notch has a LED flash, earpiece, Notification LED, Proximity and Ambient Light Sensor and front camera. So, it seems that the company has used the Notch space properly.
The smartphone is available in two colour variant – Blue and Titanium.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a 6.26 inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display. There is a Notch at the top of the display. The resolution of the display is 2290×1090 pixels and it has 94 percent NTSC color gamut. It has the screen aspect ratio of 19:9. There is 450 nits brightness level.
The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6, which is impressive considering it’s price.
Processor and GPU
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, which is a considerable upgrade over Max Pro M1 (which has Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor). The Snapdragon 660 is an octa-core processor. We have seen this chip on some other smartphones, and the performance is expected to be good. The smartphone has Adreno 512 GPU.
The Max Pro M2 comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. ASUS said that they could have waited for the stable Android Pie build and launched the smartphone with Android Pie out of the box, but then the smartphone launch would have been delayed.
So, the company decided to launch the smartphone with Android Oreo. The Max Pro M2 is expected to get the Android Pie update in January 2019.
The User Interface is close to Stock Android, the company has tried to keep the UI clean.
RAM and Internal Storage
The Max Pro M2 comes in three storage variants. The base variant consists of 3 GB RAM and 32 GB Internal Storage. There is a 4 GB RAM variant which has a 64 GB Internal Storage. The highest variant has 6 GB RAM and 64 GB Internal Storage. The RAM used is LPDDR4x, which is fast.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a dual rear camera combination. The primary rear camera is of 12 MP with f/1.8 aperture. The pixel size is 1.25 micron. The company has used Sony 486 sensor. Along with that the company has used 6P lens.
The large aperture is expected to help smartphone in low-light photography.
The secondary rear camera is a 5 MP dedicated depth sensor. The secondary camera helps in taking portrait shots.
EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) is present on the rear camera. The rear camera has support of LED flash for low-light photography.
The Max Pro M2 has a 13 MP front camera. The front camera has a f/2.0 aperture. The pixel size in front camera is 1.12 micron. EIS is also present on front camera. LED flash is present at front side also.
We will tell you more about the camera and image quality in the full review.
The smartphone allows you to change the level of photo during capturing portait shots.
ASUS will enable the AI Scene Detection feature through a FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) update. The update is expected to be rolled out before the end of this month.
Pro mode is present in the Max Pro M2.
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 has a good battery
(capacity – 5000 mAh). The company has continued the trend and has given the same capacity on the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2. The Max Pro M2 also has a 5000 mAh battery.
Despite of having a 5000 mAh battery, the smartphone doesn’t feel too heavy.
The company has not bundled a fast charger in the box
(the box has the standard 10 W charger). Not all companies provide fast charger in the box at this price point, but still a fast charger would have been better.
We will try to charge it with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 Certified charger and will check whether it is capable of fast charging or not, because the Snapdragon 660 has the capabilities of fast charging.
We will update you about this in our full review.
The Max Pro M2 has fingerprint sensor and face unlock option. The fingerprint sensor is fast and it’s quality has improved drastically (if compared to the initial Zenfone Max Pro M1), which is good.
The face unlock is similar as other Android smartphones who don’t use a dedicated hardware for Face Unlocking. On many smartphones, the face unlock is more about convenience than security.
The smartphone has Dual VoLTE Dual Standby (4G VoLTE+4G VoLTE).
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 has Widevine DRM L1, which means you can play HD videos on DRM encrypted apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime. This is something which is not present on many smartphones in that price segment. So, on those smartphones (where Widevine DRM L1 is not present), the Netflik and Amazon Prime videos are capped at 540p.
(Note – You can play HD videos on Youtube without Widevine DRM L1)
The smartphone supports reverse charging. It also supports FM radio. It has Bluetooth 5.0. The smartphone supports 802.11 WiFi band which means it can capture good speed when connected to a good WiFi.
The base variant of ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 (with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB Internal Storage) is priced at ₹12,999 (about $180). The 4 GB RAM + 64 GB Internal Storage variant is priced at ₹14,999 (about $210). The 6 GB RAM + 64 GB Internal Storage variant is priced at ₹16,999 (about $235).
The company has priced the smartphone sensibly.
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 will be online exclusive like it’s predecessor Max Pro M1. The smartphone will be Flipkart exclusive,.
The smartphone will be available from 18th December on Flipkart.
The smartphone looks decent and value for money for it’s price. The Max Pro M1 had drew attention among the customers and Max Pro M2 is expected to do the same.
The build quality is good (however a metal or a glass design would be more premium, but still). ASUS has not skipped any major feature/specification while upgrading (from Max Pro M1 to Max Pro M2).
At this price, the smartphone is a good buy. Our full review will be out soon. You can ask questions/doubts about this smartphone in the comment section below or on our twitter handle.
(Image – ASUS)