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Asus has announced the launch of two new budget-centric smartphones the Zenfone Max M1 and Zenfone Lite L1 in India. The new smartphone will be exclusively available on Flipkart and are priced at Rs. 7, 499 and Rs 5,999 respectively.
Both smartphones are powered by the entry-level a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, come with dedicated microSD card slot and support dual-SIM connectivity. along with Adreno 505 GPU. The Zenfone Max M1 and Zenfone Lite L1 come with 5.45-inch HD+ display with a screen resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio and no 'Notch'.
The company has also tied up with Reliance Jio to offer Rs 2,200 cashback and 50GB of additional data to the users.
Asus has also joined hands with Flipkart to provide Complete Mobile Protection scheme.
We were present at the launch event and tested Zenfone M1 for a brief period of time to find out what Asus is offering this time. Here's what we think of the new device.
The good in Zenfone M1
Design and Display: Metallic finish with a 5.45-inch display
Asus Zenfone M1 is very comfortable to hold, thanks to its lightweight body that comes with and rounded corners and gentle curves at the back. The new smartphone comes with a metallic finish at the back panel, along with vertically aligned 13 MP rear camera, LED Flash and Asus logo at the centre.
At the right side of the smartphone, you will find the volume rockers and power button, while the hybrid SIM card slot is positioned on the left side. The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed at the top, while the micro USB port is positioned at the bottom.
Overall the smartphone looks quite decent and feels comfortable to hold, despite carrying packing a large battery unit.
Asus ZenFone Max M1 features a 5.45-inch HD+ display with a screen resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels and, 18:9 aspect ratio. There's no notch the top.
The display seemed quite responsive, decent and viewing angles were also good indoors. We will evaluate the screen's outdoor performance while reviewing the handset in the coming week.
Camera: 13 MP rear camera and 8MP selfie along with LED Flash
The Asus ZenFone Max M1 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera that comes equipped with LED flashlight. The camera works on, f/2.0 aperture, and an also supports phase-detection autofocus (PDAF). For selfies, there is an 8-megapixel front-facing shooter at the front that works on f/2.2 aperture.
The camera app is responsive and supports features like also has Auto, beauty, Pro, Panorama, Time Lapse, Portrait, and HDR.
We tested both the cameras for a brief period and found that the shots showed decent detailing on the 5.45-inch screen when the light conditions were favorable. We will evaluate this entry-level handset's imaging abilities in the coming week during our detailed review of Zenfone M1 on GIZBOT.
Battery, software, and connectivity:
The most impressive thing about this smartphone is its massive 4,000 mAh battery unit and as per Asus, the Max M1 has 41 days of battery life on standby, 36 hours of 3G talk time, up to 23 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi, or up to 16 hours of video playback with one single charge.
These are some bold claims that will be evaluated in our review of the handset.
Asus ZenFone Max M1 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with ZenUI 5.0. During our short span with the smartphone, we found that the new user interface (UI) is quite responsive and has less number of bloatware. Navigating through the user interface is fast and you get some useful features in ZenUI 5.0.
On the connectivity front, users will get 4G VoLTE, GPS, dual-SIM, and micro USB port.
Dated Snapdragon 430 SoC is a letdown
Storage Options: 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage
My biggest complaint with the Asus ZenFone Max M1 is the entry-level Snapdragon 430 CPU, which is quite old now. There are much better processors in the market that powers handsets priced similarly.
For instance, the budget handset OPPO Realme C1 is also priced at Rs. 6,999 and is backed by a Snapdragon 450 SoC and also has a slightly bigger battery unit. Some other smartphones in this price bracket are backed by latest snappy MediaTek chipsets which are built on the latest technology, unlike the SD430 which is based on dated technology. As far as RAM is concerned, Snapdragon 430 processor in Max M1 is coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 256GB via microSD card slot. A good thing about ZenFone Max M1 is the dedicated microSD card slot.
Asus Zenfone M1 seems like a decent budget smartphone with big battery and design as its highlight features. We didn't face any major issue with the smartphone in our brief usage. However, there is tough competition with smartphones like Realme C1, and Xiaomi Redmi 6.
Stay tuned on Gizbot for our comprehensive review of Asus ZenFone Max M1.