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Asus is one of the leading technology giants in the PC sector. The company is also very well-known for its gaming accessories, laptops and ZenFone series smartphones. The company's ZenFone Max Pro M1 did an amazing job in sub Rs. 20k price segment because of its powerful hardware and latest stock Android.
Asus recently launched a new smartphone of Zenfone- the Max M1 to expand the company's budget smartphone portfolio. Asus Zenfone Max M1 comes with a price tag of Rs. 7,499, and goes straight against Xiaomi's Redmi 6A, Nokia 2.1, Gionee P7 and more.
We at Gizbot have been using this device for 1 week and here is a comprehensive review of the smartphone.
Asus Zenfone Max M1 comes with a plastic build; however, the material can be confused for metal at first glance. As the name suggests, the design of the new budget handset is similar to the Zenfone Max Pro M1. The smartphone sports a single rear camera on the back placed vertically at the top left corner of the phone. A fingerprint scanner along with Asus branding is positioned in the middle. The power and the volume rockers are placed on the right edge of the phone and on the dual SIM slot along with a microSD card slot is positioned on the left. There is a micro USB charging port at the bottom surrounded by speaker grills on the either sides. The top of the phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack. Overall, Asus has done a good job in the design department and the handset offers a robust feel in hands.
The Zenfone Max M1 sports a 5.99-inch display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels, along with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The contrast ratio of the phone is 1500:1 which makes it slightly deeper colour tones as compared to another smartphone at the same price point. In daylight, the brightness level of the display seems to be a little dull when kept with Xiaomi's Note 5 Pro.
While streaming video on YouTube I have not faced any problem with the brightness of the display. HD video streaming of the smartphone is impressive. Being a budget segment phone, the display doesn't do injustices to the gamers. I have tried playing PUBG on it and the graphics experience on the display was decent and impressive. I haven't found any lag in the response of the touch during the gameplay. Despite being affordable the screen of the smartphone does a good job.
Asus ZenFone Max M1 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with ZenUI 5.0. During my use, I have 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. You can hide the navigation bar and freeze it on the screen depending on your usage.
The smartphone comes with a few pre-installed apps like file manager and mobile manager which can prove quite useful for users. The device also comes with PowerMaster power saving mode which is capable of using your battery efficiently. The UI is the most impressive part of this smartphone. It's simple and easy to use. When it comes to storage, the internal memory of the phone feels restricted as the major chunk of the storage is occupied by the preloaded apps. But thanks to dedicated microSD card slot, users can store their content without relying on the default memory.
Asus Zenfone Max M1 also sports a Face Unlock feature which allows you to unlock the phone with your face unlocks the phone every time and is also quite snappy. The smartphone also comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
Sadly, the performance of the fingerprint scanner is very disappointing and most of the times it refuses to unlock the phone. Additionally, the response time of the fingerprint scanner is slow and it takes its sweet time to unlock the handset. I have experienced 1-2 seconds of lag while unlocking the phone.
The budget smartphone sports a single rear-mounted camera placed vertically at the upper left corner of the phone. It has a 13-megapixel sensor 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 Auto, beauty, Pro, Panorama, Time Lapse, Portrait, and HDR.
I have tested the camera in all the possible lighting conditions and here are some camera samples. I must say that the camera quality of the phone is impressive at this price. If you are a selfie lover than you can go for this phone because the selfie camera captures decent pictures.
This smartphone is powered by a 4,000mAh non-removable battery unit which is highlight feature of this handset. It also comes along with power saving mode which is capable of delivers a backup of up to one day without any issues even despite having 4G turned on and audio and video streaming at a stretch. Gaming does take a toll on the battery power. But during the moderate usage, the smartphone's battery performs really good and can easily last for more than a day.
Asus Zenfone Max M1 is an impressive budget smartphone. with the handset offers decent specifications and good overall performance at an affordable price point. If you can ignore the performance of the rear camera and the fingerprint scanner, then this is one of the best smartphones in this price segment. The plus point of the phone is the good battery life, vibrant display and affordable price tag. You can also play casual games on this handset without any performance issues. Overall, Asus Zenfone Max M1 is mostly about good battery life but also performs decently in display, software and camera department.