Asus Zenfone Max Pro

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review

Review Smartphone

Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M2) does not bring anything new to the mobile phone industry. But this low-end smartphone has good performance (battery and performance, especially) and more if we consider that costs only € 300.

Asus ZenFone Max Pro (M2): is it worth your purchase?

The Zenfone Max Pro (M2) from Asus is undoubtedly one of the best low-end smartphones on the market today. This is thanks to its good performance and better battery life. Which will last you perfectly two days of average use.

Although you may not be using it, it is also worth mentioning the incorporation of NFC, a feature that was missing in the previous generation. On the other hand, you can surely see the benefits of being compatible with Dual Nano SIM plus microSD card.

Retail price: £ 337.40

Review of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M2)

Several months after the launch of the Zenfone Max Pro (M2), the Asus smartphone is still one of the best mid-range phones in the market. For less than € 300, you take home a powerful device.

The cameras may not be the best, but little can be asked of a mobile phone at this price that also has a performance and battery autonomy of more expensive terminals. In addition, there are very interesting developments with respect to the previous model.

Keep reading to find out what these changes are and why you should buy the Zenfone Max Pro (M2) if you are looking for a more than decent terminal for which you do not have to leave a fortune. This is our complete review.

Price and availability

If you live in Spain, you are in luck, since it is one of the few countries where you can buy through the Asus website and without having to import it. Currently, the Zenfone Max Pro (M2) has an official price of € 299.

Design and manufacturing quality

If you like the usual style of Android phones, surely this Asus device will not disappoint you. It looks like an authentic high-end smartphone. In other phones, it is easy to know its price just by seeing its bevels, but in this case, nothing indicates that it costs € 300.

In contrast, the range of colors of the M2 leaves a little to be desired. There is little variety, it is only available in cosmic titanic (dark gray) and midnight blue, and in our opinion, they are too sober. We would opt for the blue model we have tried.

That touch more premium has also been achieved with the use of Corning Gorilla Glass 6, a rare bet on low-end smartphones. The glass backside differentiates it from the M1, which had a matte finish.

Although Asus says that the Gorilla Glass 6 is much more resistant, include in the box a transparent cover. This would have to let shine the natural beauty of the mobile but to our way of seeing the cover is not very beautiful nor ends to protect the phone.

Of course, this or any other cause for the Zenfone Max Pro (M2) will prevent your fingerprints from being marked on the back of the phone. It is true, however, that these brands are not as obvious as in other terminals that we have tested.

Where we also see that it is effectively a low-end smartphone is that it does not come with a water resistance certificate. In addition, Asus is still betting on the front notch with the selfie camera and a flash.

Benefits

Screen

The Zenfone Max Pro (M2) has dimensions of 157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5 mm and a screen of 6.3 inches, which means that the panel occupies 90% of the front surface. The monitor also has an aspect ratio of 19: 9.

The IPS screen has a Full HD + resolution, which translates to a definition of 2280 x 1080 pixels. Asus says it has an NTSC color gamut of 94%, 450 nits of brightness and a contrast ratio of 1500: 1.

But what does all this mean for practical purposes? The screen is good, especially if we consider the price. But even if it cost more we would also say that the range of color and brightness are more than decent.

In addition, we also positively value the possibility of activating the nightlight function. The screen will appear in an amber tone that will help you see the panel in low light environments and prevent you from having insomnia if you look at the phone before going to sleep.

Finally, in terms of the screen, it is noteworthy that the M2 include Widevine DRM L1 compatibility. This means that you can play HD videos encrypted in apps like Netflix. This is not usual in smartphones of this range.

Cameras

We are going, to be honest. You will not buy the Zenfone Max Pro (M2) for its cameras and obviously can not compete with much more expensive phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus or the Huawei P30 Pro in its mission to revolutionize mobile photography.

However, the results are not all bad. On the back, it has a dual camera with the main lens of 13 MP (f / 1.8) and a depth sensor of 5 MP (84º). In the front, we found a selfie camera of 13 MP (f / 2.0).

Click on this photo to access the photo gallery made with the Zenfone Max Pro (M2):

On a sunny day, the colors are vibrant, although logically you should avoid doing them against the light. As you can see in the photos of the previous gallery, the best results are obtained in closed places with artificial light.

The M2 only has portrait mode in the rear cameras. You can manually choose which element to leave in focus, although thanks to the use of artificial intelligence it can detect pretty well people, animals, flowers, text and much more.

Perhaps we need to be able to take photos with bokeh effect with the front camera. Asus should consider adding this option in the next generation and not focusing its efforts on the beauty mode. Whose results are quite questionable.

You should also improve the zoom. Not only does this not reach a long distance (the M2 has a zoom of only 4 increases in both the front and the back), but also the photos we get are not quality.

Night mode also does not work as expected. There is little difference between photos taken with this mode on and off in low light environments. The big improvement is seen especially when there are artificial lights, which are less gleaming.

Another positive point of the camera system of the M2 is that the front camera has flash and that the main rear camera can record 4K videos. In addition, the quality of your recording is more than decent thanks to the digital image stabilization (EIS).

Processor, memory, and storage

While you may not buy this phone for its cameras, yes you should if you want an excellent performance at the best price. The M1 already had excellent technical specifications, but with the M2 they improve.

This Asus mobile includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, which should be 11% faster than the one used in the M1. As for the graphics, the M2 uses the Qualcomm Adreon 512 card, also 33% faster than the previous model.

In our case, we were able to test the model with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, but you should know that you can also buy it with 3 GB or 4 GB RAM and with a 32 GB or 128 GB memory.

Although we have not included it in the graph, it is also noteworthy that the M1 model obtained better results in this same test, with a score of 4716. However, these are only numbers and must be analyzed for practical purposes.

If we leave aside the results of benchmarking, the performance of Zenfone Max Pro (M2) is very good. You can do the basic tasks perfectly, as well as watch videos on YouTube or Netflix or play video games without slowing down or running out of battery power.Zenfone Max Pro

Connectivity, audio and battery life

Now that we mention the battery, this is another strong point of the Asus smartphone. The results of the tests with Geekbench indicate that it lasts 9 hours when it is completely discharged, although in practice there are many more.

You can use the Zenfone Max Pro (M2) quietly for two days without having to worry about charging it. We could not expect less than a battery with a capacity of 5000 mAh, the same as we already found in the M1.

Just do not expect the battery to charge very fast. Not being compatible with fast charging technology means that to recharge the M2 by half (from 0% to 50%), you must wait 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Another negative point is that it does not have a USB C charging port but it still includes a micro USB port. This is something common among low-end phones, but we hope that Asus can move to USB charging soon.

However, as positive we can highlight the presence of a port jack, despite the tendency to remove them, and also that can be used with two Nano-SIM cards plus a microSD card of up to 2 TB and not up to 512 GB as in the case of M1.

In the field of connectivity, we also celebrate that the Asus smartphone is now compatible with NFC technology. Although you may not use it to send files from one compatible device to another. It will allow you to use Google Pay.

Still, you will find more useful the various options to unlock the screen of your Asus, although we already found them in the previous model. On the one hand, you can use the rear fingerprint sensor. It works well but we prefer it in the front.

On the other, you can configure facial recognition. It has cost him to recognize our face right after setting it up, but from here, he does it very quickly. To activate it, you must hit the side button first. That prevents you from unlocking it by mistake.

Although we have highlighted the compatibility of this phone with HD videos from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, this will not be accompanied by high-quality audio. It can be annoying that the sound only comes from one side when you see videos in horizontal.

Software

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M2) comes with the Android Pie 8.1.0 installed. The big problem is that the updates are not guaranteed for two years as it does with the Android One. Moreover, in our case, we have not been able to update it.

At least you can enjoy the Android Stock interface, which is always a success. It is a simple but effective interface. In addition, you will have some pre-installed Google apps like Google Maps, YouTube or Google Drive.

An own function of Asus is ZenMotion, the control by gestures. Certainly, it is somewhat limited, since it only allows you to configure the two touches to the screen to activate or deactivate it. In any case, it works well and that is always a plus.

List of specifications

  • Operating system: Android Pie 8.1.0
  • Display: 6.3-inch IPS FHD + screen (2280 x 1080)
  • Processor: Snapdragon Qualcomm 660 eight-core
  • Graphics card: Adreno 512
  • RAM: 3 GB | 4 GB | 6 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB | 64 GB | 128 GB (expandable with microSD up to 2 TB)
  • Rear camera: 13 MP (f / 1.8) + 5 MP
  • Front camera: 13 MP (f / 2.0)
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Connectivity: Dual Nano SIM + microSD, micro USB port (fast charge), WLAN 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC
  • Dimensions: 157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5 mm
  • Weight: 175 g
  • Colors: Cosmic Titanium | Midnight blue

Verdict

Asus was successful with the Zenfone Max Pro M1 and now it seems that he wants to continue the success achieved with the M2. It has improved aspects such as design and cameras (although they are not perfect), although the price has also risen.

It includes a newer Qualcomm processor and, although benchmarking results say otherwise, it is still as powerful as the previous model. In addition, Asus has retained the 5000 mAh battery.

In conclusion, Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a good smartphone that should consider all those who do not want to spend more than € 300 on a new mobile. Although there are aspects that could be improved. You will not be disappointed.

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