The Asus brand has been aggressively building up momentum in the Indian smartphone market, with releases ranging from the budget division going upto the higher price variants. The toughest competition it faces is in the form of Xiaomi, which is clearly as it stands today, the leading smartphone manufacturer in India - in terms of popularity, sales and the ability to appeal to consumers of both the budget and the higher range.
Asus is now aggressively eyeing to take over Xiaomi and it’s most recent release in Zenfone Max Pro M2 - is it’s direct answer to Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 6 Pro - but does it actually manage to put up a valiant fight? Read on to find out.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 - Design & Display
Being a smartphone over the range of 10,000 - it is always expected that such a smartphone and from a brand like Asus will stand true to a quality build and not a cheap finish. The clear difference from it’s predecessor in M2 is that while M1 came with a metallic finish, the M2 has a more vibrant laminated finish. This however does mean that the smartphone is quite prone to finger smudges but we overall are quite satisfied with it’s look.
The Max Pro M2 comes in two color variants - Blue and Titanium. Our personal pick of the two is the blue one, which gives a more royal look to the phone and matches well with the metallic back but the titanium one isn’t a bad choice either. It’s totally upon one’s personal choice.
The LED light along with the camera’s is placed on the left side of the back cover, while the finger print scanner can be the found in the usual spot - right at the center of the back. In terms of M2’s back design - it’s quite simple and we like how the 2 cameras, along with the LED light are placed straight in line on the left - it just makes the smartphone look more stylish.
The smartphone comes with a Micro USB port, along with a 3.5 MM headphone jack. USB-C port that we usually find in smartphones these days is missing from Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 but that isn’t a deal breaker. Probably some would have preferred it over Micro USB but it isn’t a big criterion for success in this segment.
With a 6.3 inch IPS display, the resolution of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is Full HD - which is perfect for those that want a smartphone to deliver on quality resolution and picture quality to detail. The notch is there, in case you’re wondering and gives the typical classy look because of which you feel like you’re holding a quality smartphone in your hand.
As opposed to it’s predecessor, the Max Pro M2 has vastly improved display. We found that reading in extreme light or direct light onto the screen didn’t pose much problem. Therefore, in terms of display and colours, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 delivers satisfaction.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is backed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC which is clocked at 1.95 ghz. RealMe 2 Pro - which we feel is the greatest rival to Max Pro M2 is also running on the same processor, so that’s one aspect where both the smartphones are at a similar point and not much to differentiate between them really.
The storage and RAM have the following variants in Max Pro M2 - 3GB Ram and 32 GB Storage, 4GB Ram and 64 GB storage and 6 GB Ram and 64 GB of storage. The storage in all of these is expandable upto a massive 2TB via the micro SD card slot.
What is an ideal term to define massive battery in a smartphone? Is it 4,000? Perhaps 4,200. Well, that is set to change. The Max Pro M2 comes with a massive 5,000 mAH which is absolutely fantastic news for smartphone lovers out there. Not only is the Max Pro M2 delivering on processor, it is also delivering on battery.
However, a big disappointment is that Asus has given 10W charger with the phone, which means that fast charging isn’t an option on this and with a battery as big as 5,00 mAH - charging time can be really long. But once fully charged, be assured to have it going for well over 1 and a half day to even 2 days.
This is a segment in every smartphone that can truly drive customers or push them away to other brands. Good camera quality is something that customers in this range have been accustomed to - and Max Pro M2 doesn’t disappoint but doesn't impress highly either.
With a 12 MP and 5 MP camera at the rear and a 13 MP camera at the front for selfies - the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 hasn’t failed to give attention to the camera quality.
The photos, well, are not exceptional - we’d admit that. But, they aren’t too bad either. Don’t be expecting camera quality of a quality DSLR or anything as such, it wont be a professional photographer’s delight but the camera does deliver to the needs of a casual photographer.
The Pro Mode in the camera allows you to feel involved in what you’re doing and gives you the power to change settings as per your preference. This is obviously not a territory for casual photographer’s to step in but is nonetheless an option that will satisfy those who look for this kind of stuff in smartphone camera’s.
The camera is a clear winner in broad daylight but fails to grasp any attention in low light - even indoors. The sharpness goes missing and you feel wanting for a better performance but hey - that’s what you get at this price. The camera does what it’s supposed to do - selfies in broad daylight are quite good and so is the rear camera. We really aren’t left complaining after our usage.
Video recordings can be done in 4K with the rear camera and 1080P with the selfie camera at the front.
PRICING & Verdict
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 has been priced at 12,999 (starting version) and goes upto 14,999 (for the higher end version).
While at this price, Max Pro M2 is priced a little higher than it’s competitors, it offers plenty to be a good choice in this segment. Battery life, performance and display deliver massively in Max Pro M2 but the camera is a slight disappointment. If that’s your priority, you’re likely to find a better alternative in this price segment. But if not, Max Pro M2 is a really good choice at this price point.