Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 first impressions: Flagship experience at a budget pricing

Here’s what we think about the Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GB RAM variant.

    Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 (6GB RAM) Unboxing and First Impressions

    Asus launched the Zenfone Pro Max M1 in April this year in three variants. Two of them were already up for flash sale on a weekly basis but the top-end variant with 6GB RAM just launched today. Carrying a price tag of Rs. 14,999, this one comes with upgraded camera aspects for a better performance. This smartphone with a 5000mAh battery and stock Android 8.1 Oreo is a tough challenger to other devices in the similar price bracket like the Oppo Realme 1 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.

    Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 first impressions

    The Zenfone Pro Max M1 is exclusive to the online retailer Flipkart. The device will go on sale from July 26 at 12 PM. The online retailer will provide attractive launch offers as well to entice the buyers. Even the other variants - 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 4GB RAM + 64GB storage will be made available tomorrow.

    Today, we have come up with the first impressions of the 6GB RAM variant of the Asus ZenFone Pro Max M1.

    Design: Premium metal build

    Asus Zenfone Pro Max M1 has a premium look with the metal unibody design. The handset feels elegant and sturdy. The dual-camera setup doesn't show a camera bulge at the rear. Overall, the design appears to be appealing and premium. As it flaunts a FullView display, the fingerprint sensor is moved to the rear and it is easy to access. The metal chassis is complimented by the 2.5D curved glass at the front.

    The volume rockers and power button are placed at the right side while the triple card slot to house two nano SIM cards and a microSD card is at the left. The bottom edge has the speaker grille, a microphone, and a USB 2.0 charging port. The top is barren except for a microphone.

    What's interesting is that the bulky 5000mAh battery hasn't added any extra weight to the smartphone. The device is quite light when held despite it's huge battery.

    Display: FullView 18:9 panel is vibrant

    Asus Zenfone Pro Max M1 uses a 5.99-inch FHD+ FullView display. The screen has an aspect ratio of 18:9, which shoots a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. While we used it, we found the screen quite good as it displayed crisp and vibrant colors. This makes it one of the best smartphones in the sub-Rs. 15,000 price point to have a nice and punchy display. The screen is bright enough even under direct sunlight and is highly responsive.

    Hardware and storage: Renders a decent performance

    This variant of the Asus smartphone employs 6GB RAM and 64GB storage space. The device uses an octa-core Snapdragon 636 SoC based on the 14nm process. This chipset is also used by its rival Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. The SoC features eight Kryo 260 cores in a 4 + 4 cluster and is clocked at 1.8GHz.

    The Zenfone Max Pro M1 renders a best-in-class performance. It can be used for high-end gaming, photo editing, video streaming and more without any lag. We did not come across any noticeable issue during our testing. However, we will come up with a comprehensive review in the next few days.

    The 5000mAh battery under the hood of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 sets this smartphone apart from the crowded mid-range market segment. The bigger battery is expected to last over a day on a single charge without giving any battery concerns.

    Software: Stock Android Oreo is a perk

    The Zenfone Max Pro M1 is the first stock Android smartphone from Asus. Instead of the company's custom ROM, the ZenUI, this one runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo. The pure version of Android is free from unnecessary bloatware and works swiftly. It goes without saying that the smartphone will get timely and quick software updates.

    Camera: Upgraded camera department

    While the Zenfone Max Pro M1 variants with 3GB and 4GB RAM come with a dual-lens camera module with 13MP + 5MP sensors and an 8MP selfie camera, the 6GB RAM variant has a better and upgraded camera aspects. This one comes with a dual-lens camera at its rear with 16MP + 5MP sensors. This camera arrangement comes with LED flash, PDAF and f/2.2 aperture. The selfie camera is a 16MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture and soft LED flash.

    With the dual-lens setup, the rear camera can click portrait shots. It also has HDR mode for low-light photography. There are a slew of camera modes, filters and other features for a great photography experience in this price bracket.

    It also has Face Unlock integrated into the selfie camera. During our usage, we found the facial recognition technology to work swiftly without any issues.

    Verdict

    Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is sure to be a tough challenger to the smartphones by Xiaomi, Oppo and others, which are taking over the mid-range market segment in India. The device sets itself apart from its rivals with the 5000mAh battery. We can expect this Asus smartphone to attract stock Android fans requiring a massive battery capacity.

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