Asus had stirred up the Indian smartphone market in 2018 when it introduced the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 with very good hardware and stock Android at a surprisingly affordable price of Rs 10,999. And now the company has come out with its successor, the Zenfone Max Pro M2. It is a bit more expensive at a starting price of Rs 12,999, but it does bring a lot to the smartphone table. Should you consider investing in it? Well, here are a few pointers:
- The Zenfone Max Pro M2 definitely looks very sleek. It has got a glass front and back and is designed to attract attention – you will love the way light reflects off it. Of course, that also means that it will pick up scratches and smudges but there is a transparent plastic case in the box to deal with that. It does not look like a Rs 12,999 phone but something far more expensive. Before you ask, it is not dust or water resistant.
- The hardware is very good for the price too. You get a 6.26 inch full HD+ display with good visibility and good colour and contrast handling, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor (one of the most powerful at this price point), and RAM options of 3 GB, 4 GB and 6 GB. Storage is at 32 GB and 64 GB and is expandable. And well connectivity options include 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The phone is pretty good at handling most routine tasks and will also play most games without too many problems. Just do not expect super fast loading times and super speed all the time.
- The phone comes with very good dual cameras on the real – a 12 megapixel main camera with f/1.8 aperture, and a 5 megapixel secondary camera for depth sensing. There is also a 13 megapixel front-facing camera for selfies. By and large, the rear cameras are very good in normal daylight conditions and particularly for close-ups (landscape and wide shots lose a little bit of detail), although we would not rate them in the same class as the Mi A2 and the Redmi Note 6 Pro. The selfie camera is good for vanity snaps, but we would again not put in the best of class. Overall, the cameras are good enough but in our opinion cannot be the main reason for buying the device.
- Which of course brings us to the main reason for wanting to invest in the Zenfone Max Pro M2, right alongside that processor – the battery. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with a massive 5000 mAh battery – amazing when you consider how sleek and light the phone is. It does not have fast charging so will take some time to charge, but once charged, the Max Pro M2 will easily last you through close to three days on a single charge, if used carefully enough. Even heavy usage will see you get through two days.
- Finally, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with Stock Android – meaning plain Android without any additional software. That is good, if you are the type that likes to install their own software and apps on the phone. And not so good, if you are more of the kind that just likes a lot of features on their device right out of the box. Relax, you will have stuff like Google Maps and Gmail on it anyway. The Android version is 8.1, which is a little old at the time of writing, but Asus assures us it will be updated to Android 9 (Pie) shortly and the company has an excellent record of delivering updates.
So should you be buying the Zenfone Max Pro M2?
We would say that if looks and battery life matter, it is an excellent choice. It is also perhaps the most able phone in terms of gaming at its price point (along with the Mi A2). The slightly older version of Android, the absence of a feature-rich UI and cameras that are good rather than exceptional are the minuses. Go ahead, make your choice – the phone is available at Rs 12,999 for 3 GB/ 32 GB, Rs 14,999 for 4 GB / 64 GB and Rs 16,999 for 6 GB/ 64 GB at the time of writing.
Traveller’s Tip: Go for the 4 GB or 6 GB RAM versions of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 only if you are into mobile gaming or use multiple applications at the same time on your phone. If all you are seeking is a smartphone for mostly routine use – web browsing, social networks, mail and messaging – the base 3 GB RAM model should do nicely.