Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (6GB RAM) Smartphone Review

Asus has launched a number of smartphones in the Indian market in the past few years, a lot of them were game-changers in terms of design and experience. Asus is quite bold when it comes to the design of their product and I personally think that they have one of the best-designed products in the market right now, whether it's the smartphone or notebooks, their design is simply unique and out of this world. In the past I did review some of the Asus smartphones like Zenfone 3 Laser, Zenfone 3S Max, Zenfone 3 MaxZenfone 3 ZE520KL, Zenfone Zoom, Zenfone 2 (4GB) and so on, and today I'll be reviewing the most recently launched Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 smartphone 6GB RAM variant.

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Unboxing

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes in a compact rectangular box with a color combination of purple-silver. On opening the box, you'll find another box which supposedly contains the booklets and other stuff, the smartphone lies underneath the smaller box in its full glory. The power brick (charging adapter), a microUSB charging cable and a weird looking MaxBox can be found below the smartphone. You also get a transparent silicone type case, user guide, warranty card and a SIM ejector tool inside the box, all pretty standard stuff. You can watch the unboxing video to get a better idea of the stuff you get along with the smartphone, please do not forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

What is the MaxBox you ask? Well, it is a magnetic foldable cardboard phone stand which can be used to keep your phone vertically up in a standing position. It is said to amplify the speaker volume a bit, other than that It's not of much use but still good to see it in the box, Asus is definitely doing something right.

Design

The 6GB RAM variant of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 looks quite similar to the previously launched 3GB/4GB RAM variants of the same. The smartphone dimensions are 159 x 76 x 8.5 mm and it weighs 181 grams. There is no physical home button, the top-front section contains the 16 Megapixel front camera, the earpiece, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and the LED notification light. On the right side of the smartphone, you'll find the volume rocker & the power button with brushed metal kind of finish. The left side contains the Sim+microSD tray which can house two Sim cards and a microSD card at the same time. 

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The top contains a dedicated noise-canceling microphone and nothing else. The bottom portion houses the 3.5 mm audio jack, loudspeaker, main microphone and the microUSB 2.0 port for charging & data transfers. 

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The rear section of the smartphone is made up of metal with plastic top & bottom sections (for network reception). The rear section contains the Dual 16+5 Megapixel camera setup, LED Flash, Asus logo, and a circular fingerprint sensor. 

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That's pretty much it for the design, the smartphone feels great in hand, the materials are of premium quality and gives an overall sturdy feel. The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is available in two colors; Midnight Black & Greyish Silver.

Display

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 smartphone packs a nice 5.99" inch IPS LCD FHD+ display with resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio, ~404 PPI pixel density, and 76.8% screen-to-body ratio. 

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The 18:9 display gives an immersive feeling but is not truly bezel-less. The colors produced by the display look great, the viewing angles are decent and the display is bright enough for outdoor usage. The display's temperature can be manually tweaked by going to display settings. 

Hardware & Software Performance

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chip, Octa-Core 1.8GHz Kyro 260 processor along with Adreno 509 GPU, 6GB RAM & 64GB internal memory. There is also a 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM variant and a 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM variant of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 smartphone. Apart from the storage, you also get a dedicated MicroSD slot which can hold a microSD card up to freaking 2TB. The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 runs Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box with stock Android UI. We ran a couple of benchmarks on the smartphone to see how well it performs; below are the GeekBench & AnTuTu scores of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 smartphone 6GB RAM variant.

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 handled all the daily tasks well with no lags whatsoever. We used the smartphone for intensive gaming, HD video playback and for light video editing using third-party apps, the smartphone performed well, no matter what we threw at it. And for the multitasking, the 6GB RAM was enough to handle multiple apps at once without any crashes or noticeable lags. When playing games like Need for Speed No limits, Asphalt 9, PUBG etc., the smartphone did not heat up much and the games ran pretty smooth every time. 

Camera

The rear camera on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (6GB variant) is a Dual-camera setup of 16 Megapixel f/2.0 shooter and a 5 Megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor camera, the smartphone supports Phase detection autofocus and comes with an LED flash. The depth sensor camera of the dual-camera setup helps in blurring the background in portrait shots. The rear camera is capable of shooting 2160p at 30 fps and 1080p at 60 fps videos. The front camera is a 16 Megapixel shooter with f/2.2 aperture, comes along with a front-facing flash and can shoot full HD 1080p at 30 fps videos. 

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Note: The 3GB/4GB RAM variants of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 smartphone came with a 13 Megapixel f/2.2 + 5 Megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor rear cameras and an 8 Megapixel front camera.
We tested both the cameras in different lighting conditions, indoor, outdoor, portrait etc. and here is what we found. On paper, the cameras which came with the 6GB variant are better than those which came with the 3GB/4GB variant of the same smartphone. Since I know someone who happens to use the 4GB variant of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, I borrowed it in order to compare both the smartphone cameras and see if there actually is some improvement. I found that the 6GB RAM variant's cameras were indeed an upgrade over the cameras of the 3GB/4GB variant. The pictures were sharper, colors were more accurate as compared to the other variant & in all lighting conditions, the portrait mode on the front & rear didn't perform as I expected but still did a decent job. The low light capability of the cameras have been improved, the pictures came out better than they did on the other variants of the same smartphone. I read about the autofocus issues with the Zenfone Max Pro M1 on the internet and found them to be true, it does take some time to get the subject in focus when taking a picture, even when there is plenty of light available. Overall I think the cameras on the 6GB variant of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 were definitely an upgrade over the 3GB/4GB variants and performed better than the latter. 

Battery, Connectivity & Other features

Coming to the UPS of the Asus Zenfone Max series, the Big Battery; Asus Zenfone Max series smartphones always came with a big battery and Zenfone Max Pro M1 is no exception. Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes with a huge 5000 mAh Lithium-polymer battery which easily lasts a day and a half with moderate use. I personally used Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1  as a daily driver for over two weeks and consistently got a day and a half's worth of battery backup every time with moderate use which included video streaming, casual gaming, phone calls, internet browsing and social media. I even tested the smartphone for heavy usage and easily scraped off a day without any need of plugging in. Overall I was happy with the battery performance, no matter if you are a heavy user or moderate, you can easily get a day or even more off on a full charge.

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Connectivity wise you get Dual-Sim slots (no hybrid) which can house Nano-Sim cards, 4G LTE support, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS and BDS, FM Radio, MicroUSB 2.0 with OTG support and 3.5mm audio jack. The network reception when using Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 was great and no call drops were experienced. When making calls, I asked the person on the other end to describe the call quality and every time they said the audio was loud & clear, so no issues found there. The fingerprint sensor is rear mounted, easy to reach when holding the phone in the natural position and is quite fast & accurate. While most brands are bidding farewell to the 3.5 mm audio jack, it's good to see that some brands like Asus are still holding on to them.

Verdict

The Asus  Zenfone Max Pro M1 (6GB RAM) is a solid smartphone with tons of features, a big display, powerful hardware, stock Android 8.1 and a massive 5000 mAh battery, and for a price tag of Rs.14,999 INR its a steal deal. My favorite thing about this smartphone which I liked the most was the battery life, the smartphone easily lasted more than a day and a half with moderate use which included casual gaming, music, phone calls, video streaming and browsing. The display looks amazing, the software is smooth and the build quality is top-notch. Coming to the cameras, the rear camera setup has been improved a lot as compared to the 3GB/4GB variant of the same smartphone, the front camera has also been bumped up and does a better job this time. Keeping it short, the best things which I really liked about this smartphone were the 6" inch FHD+ display, 5000 mAh long-lasting battery, 6GB RAM, higher storage capacity (64GB), microSD expansion up to 2TB, stock Android 8.1 Oreo, decent camera and a premium build quality. 


My Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Price in India: Rs.14,999 (6GB RAM variant)

So this was my opinion on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GB RAM variant, I hope you liked it. Please leave your thoughts below in the comment section and let me know what you think about this smartphone.
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About Jimmie Luthra

Jim Luthra is a Third Officer in Merchant Navy and Chief Editor of The-Area51.com, He is a Blogger, Guitarist, Painter, Book Lover, Tech Geek, Basket Ball Lover, Traveller and Fitness Freak. He loves Traveling and Adeventure Sports.
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