Asus jumped into the smartphone market again with their budget segment full-featured handset in India. Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo, Motorola etc are all in this competition and Asus entered with a bang. The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is remarkable in its budget segment. Though the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi taking a lead in the Indian market for selling smartphones, Asus seems to move a step ahead with this launch in collaboration with Flipkart.
The Taiwan manufacturer company Asus launched Zenfone Max Pro M1 in India with the collaboration of Flipkart. On paper, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 seems quite powerful and premium in its mid-range price category. The device will come with three variants at a starting price of Rs. 10,999. This price point will definitely compete with Xiaomi devices.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Design
The design of Asus Zenfone series was similar but this time Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is slightly better in terms of feel and look. The antenna lines are quite invisible due to perfect finishing. The matt black color variant looking great with unibody metallic design and Asus branding at back side. The dual rear camera module is also placed vertically with LED flash for more vibrant design.
The matt black surface isn’t that good on this device. The smudges and fingerprints are clearly visible every time. Asus this time goes with clean minimal design and focused on hardware and features.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes with a 5.99-inch 18:9 aspect ratio display. The full HD+ IPS LCD display has a resolution of 2160×1080 pixels, protected with 2.5D curved glass with oleophobic coating for the premium look. The display is vibrant, sharp, and eye-catching as well. The auto brightness feature seems quite exceptional in low light also. The reading and sunlight visibility are top-notch in this price segment, at least far better than Xiaomi budget devices. The full view rounded corner screen seems larger than the actual display size.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Performance
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Soc is the best budget segment processor for mid-range powerful devices. Both the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 devices powered by the same chipset. The Octa-core 1.8GHz Kryo 260 CPU is quite capable of multi-tasking and seamless performance, 40 percent faster than the previous generation Snapdragon 630 Soc.
The base model is packed with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage option. Thanks to the Asus for providing a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 256GB. The GPU is Adreno 509 which is also optimized for Snapdragon 636 processor. The performance is good enough just like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. The daily usage and multi-tasking are smooth and lag-free. No frame drops pointed out during the hardcore graphics gaming. The web surfing and scrolling also seems quite satisfying.
The 4G LTE dual SIM slot is also working fine and the call quality is also good enough. We didn’t face any network issue during the call. The in-ear speaker sound quality is decent but the primary speaker is getting muffled during the default mobile placement. The speaker should be placed under the body for more clarity. Asus also includes ‘Max Box’, a passive amplifier accessory for better sound enhancement. The Max Box is made out of a cardboard but there 5 magnet loudspeaker drivers in it which are featured by NXP Smart amp.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 running on pure Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box pack. There is a slight change in app menu which is minimal. All of we are familiar with pure stock Android UI, the stock Android is faster and smoother enough for daily usage. Though so many customized ROM also faster as well such as MIUI, Oxygen OS etc. In terms of Android version, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro still running on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The stock Android gives a bloatware free and latest security patch interface with frequent updates. Now we don’t know whether the device will give updates quickly or not but the company claims to provide frequent updates up to Android Q version.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 has a dual rear camera with a 13MP of a primary sensor with f/2.2 aperture and a 5MP of secondary sensor. The primary 13MP camera is featured with PDAF, Panorama, and auto HDR which can take a good amount of shots even in low light. On the other hand, the secondary 5MP camera is for depth sensing which will give nice portrait shots. The camera application is customized by Asus and works slightly different than the stock Google camera application. The rear camera also capable of recording 4K videos @30fps, whereas the Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) is still capable of recording shake-free videos up to 1080p.
The front has a single 8MP of selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture 85-degree wide angle lens which can also record up to 1080p videos @30fps. Asus included a LED flash for taking better selfies even in low light condition. This can take good portrait shots as well. Now talking about the image quality, the camera is well enough for capture photos in good lighting condition. But the indoor images isn’t that great what Indian customers are looking for in their devices like Oppo and Vivo. The images come out a little bit of blurry. This should be improved by some quick software updates as expected. The depth sensor is also not that great. The wide-angle lens of selfie camera doesn’t do that much in terms of other budget devices.
The device has a massive 5,000 mAh non-removable battery. Asus claims for 2 days of battery backup and 4G standby up to 35 days, which is great. This includes the 10W fast charger for quicker charging option. Overall in the battery department, Asus has done a good job especially for media and gaming-centric users.
Connectivity and Other Features
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 includes connectivity features like Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.2, FM Radio, 3.5mm audio jack, micro USB 2.0 port etc. The device has all the major sensors like Proximity, Ambient Light, Hall, Gyro, Magnetometer, Compass sensor etc. The dedicated fingerprint scanner is placed on the back side of the rear camera module which is quite faster at 0.3s. Though the device supports Fast Face Unlock feature, this option will come via OTA update very soon. It doesn’t have NFC and wireless charging option.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a decent smartphone as an entry-level device. In terms of, Xiaomi budget devices this one could play a major role in the Indian market. The base model of 3GB/32GB variant will be available at Rs. 10,999 only which is a great deal in terms of latest processor, vibrant display, bigger battery, decent camera, and latest stock Android version. This device will definitely compete with other budget devices mainly for Xiaomi and Huawei. Whereas the joint business collaboration with Flipkart and Asus will bring some more discounts, cash-back, and available options to capture more customers. Flipkart already giving No-Cost EMI option and Complete Mobile Protection Package at Rs. 49 for this device.
Pricing and Availability
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 3GB/32GB model price will be Rs. 10,999 only and the 4GB/64GB variant priced at Rs. 12,999 which is also a good deal for the Indian consumers. There will be another 6GB/64GB variant available at Rs. 14,999 with a 16MP and a 5MP of the dual rear camera along with a 16MP of front camera. All the three models are exceptionally well in specifications and pricing.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 will go on sale from 3rd May 2018 exclusively via Flipkart in India. There only two color variants will be available such as Deep Sea Black and Grey.