ASUS has been making headway with the ROG Phone and a series of new gaming laptops, but they are also catering to a midrange market with the release of the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro. I had the opportunity to take it out on a quick run, so read on for a summary of my thoughts on this smartphone.
What’s in the Box?
When you purchase a brand new ASUS Zenfone Max Pro, the package includes a cord, charger, and earphones. It also comes with a clear bumper case and a pin for ejecting the sim card tray. Though this might be easily overlooked, I find it endearing that most ASUS phone packaging comes with extra replacement buds for the earphones. Small yet considerate details like this can really set a brand apart from the others.
Design & Construction
The Max Pro is encased in a sleek aluminum body and a front glass panel. It currently comes in two color variants: the Meteor Silver and Deep Sea Black, both of which have a certain elegance to it. It doesn’t have a notch like most phones that came out this year, but carries advanced security features seen in its competitors. The sim card tray can be accessed on the left, while the right side holds the volume control and power buttons. The Max Pro still uses the common USB 2.0 Micro-B port for charging and connectivity, plus a standard 3.5mm earphone jack.
At the back, it has the ASUS logo below a fingerprint sensor and a modest dual rear camera. It’s a little bit heavy, but the size is just right and can easily be slipped in and out of your pants pocket. The back panel’s finish is smudge-proof and the phone is comfortable to hold even without the bumper case. Its overall design resonates simplicity.
Display & Multimedia
The Zenfone Max Pro sports a 5.99-inch LCD Capacitive Touchscreen. Though it didn’t aim for a higher display area because of the lack of a notch, the Max Pro compensates for having crystal clear display, with its pixel density at 404ppi. The screen can produce sharp images and text and has an aspect ratio of 18:9.
The Max Pro has a great speaker which is perfect for watching videos and playing music. It retains clear sound quality even when you turn the volume up. The only downside is that the speaker is placed at the bottom, and it might be a little annoying to keep avoiding covering it while playing.
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro has a 13MP+5MP dual rear camera and an 8MP front camera for taking selfies. In the local camera app, there are a few useful shooting modes you can play around with. There are no manual adjustments for shutter speed and focus, but the autofocus is pretty fast and can easily adapt according to the subject you choose. When set on auto mode, the Max Pro can correct color setting well. It cancels out the warm lighting to make your subject’s true colors pop and can still take good pictures with minimal noise even in low light conditions. As for outdoor settings, you just have to be careful in choosing a spot for the camera to focus on, as it tends to overexpose the picture when the autofocus sets itself on a brightly-lit subject.
For a fully manual shooting mode, you might need to install a separate app for it as the local camera app only has a limited number of features.
Check out these images taken using the ZenFone Max Pro :
The Zenfone Max Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 636 chipset coupled with an Adreno 509 GPU. It comes in a 3GB RAM + 32GB Storage and a 4GB/6GB RAM + 64GB Storage variant, but the unit we have on hand is the former. We tested a few games on it to gauge its performance, and it seems that it can still handle graphics-heavy games but with a noticeable difficulty on the phone’s part. For example, Identity V, a multiplayer game that often has downloadable patches, takes some time to set a match even when connected to a stable network. The same also goes for Fallout Shelter, which usually has a long waiting time if you have a large vault. The Max Pro didn’t load game assets as quick as the previous phones I’ve tested, but once loaded, there were no lags during the game even when all the graphics settings are set on high. After a while, the Max Pro does tend to heat up but even when you play for another hour or two, the 5,000mAh battery still has enough juice to last you the whole day.
When used for games with lower graphics requirements, such as Mobile Legends and SAS4, the Max Pro performed excellently. Given the size of its RAM and the type of processor it has, these limits are understandable. There are also other snags that I’ve noticed, such as the unreliability of the face and fingerprint recognition. Compared to other phones with the same features, the Zenfone Max Pro’s doesn’t work as good as I expected it to. Changes in the lighting hinder the face recognition easily, and when using the fingerprint sensor, it takes me numerous tries to unlock the phone.
All in all, the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro is one that you can rely on. It can deliver a great overall performance given its specs and can handle casual mobile gaming and multitasking. One of the key features I loved about this phone is the amazing battery life. This phone can keep you entertained for hours on end and accompany you throughout the day, with still enough charge left to let you stay connected with friends by the time you get home. For its price of Php 9,995, it’s definitely a good deal.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 Specs
|OS||Android 8.1 (Oreo)|
|Memory and Storage||3GB RAM + 32GB Storage, 4GB / 6GB RAM + 64GB Storage|
|Rear Camera||13MP + 5MP|
|Display||5.99 inches, 1080 x 2160 pixels, 404 ppi|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope, ambient light sensor|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 5,000 mAh battery|
|Networks||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|Colors||Meteor Silver, Deep Sea Black|