The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, despite its classic Asus name, is a smartphone like nothing else that the company has made so far. It’s biggest change is its departure from ZenUI, the company’s traditional user interface. Instead, you get a light near-stock interface, meant to offer you the better performance. This phone has the potential to be one that offers one of the most value-for-money deals.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 pricing starts at Rs 10,999 for the 3GB RAM / 32GB internal storage variant, going up to Rs 12,999 for the 4GB RAM / 64GB storage option, with the phone available exclusively on Flipkart. It’s designed to squarely take on the successful and highly-rated Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. The phone doesn’t have any defining feature that sets it apart from other phones in the same price range, but no other phone offers the same features for Rs 10,999.
The latest software update also enables face unlock on the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. It isn’t the fastest among devices that allow you to unlock your smartphone just by looking at it, but the functionality works well enough. The phone unlocks fairly quickly, but there is a definite visible time gap between waking the phone and it going onto the home screen. There is also a fingerprint sensor at the rear which can be used when the face unlock doesn’t come through, as is usually the case in low-light conditions.
The display is certainly one of the biggest plus points of the ZenFone Max Pro M1. It’s sharp, adequately bright even under direct sunlight and is just wonderful to watch videos on or play games. The 5.99-inch IPS LCD does not shift much color when viewed at different angles and there are also no visible signs of back-light bleeding either. On paper, Asus says the display has a pixel density of 403 PPI but in my experience, it’s just as sharp as any other good LCD display that there is in the market. Reading long articles is not painful on the eyes either.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 supports a dual-camera setup at the rear, with a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor. The front camera is an 8-megapixel shooter with full-HD video recording capability, with the rear camera capable of shooting 4K video. The dual-camera setup uses the second camera to enable depth-effect for portrait mode shots. The camera is decent enough in good conditions, and the portrait mode works well enough when you’re taking pictures of people.
The depth effect isn’t perfect, but I don’t think I’ve come across a single phone that actually gets it perfect, let alone a device that is sold at Rs 10,999. In regular light, you get pictures that are accurate enough in terms of colors and details, and fairly sharp as well. Low-light images aren’t the best, with pictures losing quality in the absence of proper lighting.
Gaming is a breeze no matter the game that you play. The best part is, that you don’t run out of battery when you’re binge gaming the whole night. The 5000 mAh battery really does last for the longest time and doesn’t take too long to recharge either. The mind-blowing thing is, the battery dropped just 20% after 2 hours of PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG).
The Rs 10,999 variant we had for review, there is just no beating Asus in terms of overall value. You get a great 18:9 display, great gaming performance, a breezy no-frills software experience and a two-day battery life. In the end, the choice is quite simple, if you are looking for a Redmi Note 5 Pro alternative for whatever reason, the ZenFone Pro Max M1 definitely does come recommended. If you still want a phone with the best looks under Rs 15,000, the Honor 9 Lite is still your pick. If you’re looking for a good performer and a phone with long-lasting battery, the Pro Max M1 is the one to go for under Rs 15,000.