Asus is one of the leading manufacturers in the Personal Computer sector. In 2014 the company made a dashing entry in the mobile and tablet segment and made some quite good revenue. Later down the timeline, the Asus Zenfone line-up of devices did not carry as much value for money.
But looks like it will totally change now with the introduction of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. Earlier this year in Mobile World Congress, Asus unveiled two good devices Asus Zenfone 5 and 5Z which first launched on European markets alone. On 23rd of April Asus in collaboration with Indian Online retail giant, Flipkart unveiled the new smartphone especially for India, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.
The Zenfone while sharing most of the specs with the current market leader in the segment Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Redmi Note 5 Pro) has taken over it in the pricing. It has blown away the competition in some aspects. Let us first know about the phone itself and then know how well it fairs against its competitors.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Features, Specs, Price and Release date
The battery on the Asus Zenfone Max Pro is a massive 5000 mAH battery. The battery itself is a selling point for the phone. The 5k battery washes out the competition of the components with 3,500 to 4,000 mAH batteries at max.
Despite the large battery, there is no bulk to the phone. The phone is less than 9mm of thickness and the weight also is not heavy at all. It is on par with Redmi Note 5 Pro at 180 gms. It is great to see an OEM include a nice and beefy battery and not messing up with the dimensions.
That no notch display
The Asus Zenfone 5 and 5Z came out with the notch boasting they have a smaller notch than iPhone. But this time they have gone clean without a notch, which is well received by many. The screen is 6-inch IPS LCD display with a contrast ratio of 1500:1 which is high in this segment. The display is a tall 18:9 display with 2160 * 1080 pixel resolution. The screen is bordered on the top and bottom by minimal bezels. The display is covered by the 2.5d glass
without any protection. Hence using a tempered glass screen protector is recommended.
The rear has dual cameras on the right corner placed vertically. The primary sensor is a 13 MP sensor from OmniVision with f/2.2 aperture. The one below it is the 5 MP shooter for depth sensing and portrait mode shots. The camera is good for the price. Has some interesting modes to play around with the camera app.
The video capability of the rear camera goes all the way up to 4k and 4k DCI resolution. The colors are accurate for most of the part, lacks a bit of dynamic range. Lack of stabilization of any sorts makes the video unusable if taken handheld and moving. The selfie shooter is an 8MP sensor with a soft LED flash which does a decent work.
Software level portrait shots are available on the front camera but nothing worth notable. It often screws the shot.
The phone is run by newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 with Kryo cores. The Octa-core the chipset is built on 14 Nm manufacturing process which is a great boost for battery life. The GPU is the new Adreno 509 which did not find any difficulties in running games of all sorts. For the memory and storage variants, two variants are out now – 3Gb + 32Gb and 4Gb + 64Gb. Even the lower variant is very efficient to run day to day tasks without any stutter or
delay. The 4gb variant is good enough for intensive tasks like gaming and hardcore multitasking.
Amplifier DAC and sound
The Smartphone houses an NXP smart amplifier for sound enhancements on the loudspeaker and to the 3.5mm audio jack. The sound quality via the headphone jack is expected to be notably good when you use good quality headphones. The phone comes with a cardboard accessory/stand which is said to pump up the volume up
to 200% and streamline the audio output towards you. It is nice free addition available in the box.
Stock Android like Zen UI
Zen UI is known for its loads of bloat that comes preinstalled and sticks hard not allowing us to uninstall manually. But for now, the UI that is present on M1 is clean except a few functionalities like the double tap to wake and sleep, gestures to open the app, double tap volume key to open the camera and so on. Though this doesn’t fall under Android One. The M1 runs on Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. Asus also guarantees two major Android updates that are Android P and Q respectively.
How does it do against its competitors?
The notable competitors are Honor 9 Lite and Xiaomo Redmi Note 5 Pro. The RN5 Pro superior of the two has many common specs like screen, build and processor. The cameras are better on the RN5 Pro with better dynamic range and EIS for 1080p videos. The battery life is good on the Zenfone. M1 also leads in the benchmarks by 2-3% the difference mainly coming from the stockish UI Vs the heavy MI UI.
The Zenfone, for now, is a great offer when considering a price, furthermore, Asus had partnered with Flipkart for more exciting offers. 1-year complete damage protection plan is offered for the slashed price of 49 INR apart from EMI and exchange offers. Also, the company confirmed a release of a premium version of Zenfone Max Pro following the release with 16 MP front and back shooters and 6gb of RAM releasing soon. So that might be stolen in all ways.