ASUS has announced their latest budget smartphone below the Rs 15,000 price segment in India, the Zenfone Max Pro M1. ASUS has not had any launches in India in the first quarter of 2018 and this is one of the major announcements for the company in 2018. The Zenfone Max Pro M1 has some unique features and it makes a global debut in India. The device packs good hardware and will compete with Redmi Note 5 Pro in the sub 15k price segment in India. We have been using the device for over 4 days now and here are our first impressions.
Specifications of ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1:
- 5.99 inch Full HD+ display
- 2.5D glass and 18:9 aspect ratio
- Snapdragon 636 Octa Core processor
- 3/4/6GB RAM
- 32/64GB Storage
- 13/5MP Rear camera, 8MP Front camera
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 5000mAh Battery
In the design department, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 looks quite good but there isn’t a vast change from previous Zenfones we have seen. With curved edges and rounded corners, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is quite a good device to hold and operate. The device is finished in metal and feels solid in terms of build quality. We got the black variant of the device and it looks good. It has a flat rear panel without any projection for camera unit. At the bottom panel, you get the speaker unit, 3.5mm audio jack and also the micro USB charging slot. The right side has the power and volume keys while the SIM tray is on the left side. The SIM slot is a triple slot which means it has a dedicated SD card slot. The rear panel has dual camera, ASUS branding and LED flash included. Overall, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 looks good in the design and build department.
The phone packs a 5.99 inch Full HD+ resolution display with the latest 18:9 aspect ratio and does not include the notch. The display has good brightness levels and touch response is good. It has a 2.5D curved glass without any Gorilla Glass protection. The color reproduction also looks good.
On the software side, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box and it does not come with the typical Zen UI. While the device is not under Android One Platform, ASUS has provided pure stock experience without any bloatware and this is overall good move from ASUS. The camera app is from Snapdragon although the company is working to improve the performance. The company is also promising two major updates for the device. The device is powered by Snapdragon 636 Octa core processor with either 3GB or 4GB RAM. A 6GB variant will launch at a later stage with different set of cameras. The performance of the device is smooth and there was no lag or issues and the gaming experience is also good.
In the camera department, it comes with a 13MP rear camera with f/2.2 aperture and a secondary 5MP camera for depth sensing and a front facing 8MP camera. The camera samples in daylight conditions looked good while the low light and selfie performance needs some improvements. ASUS has released multiple updates to improve the performance before the official launch. Here are some samples.
Another highlight of the phone is the 5000mAh capacity battery which can easily last for two days on moderate usage and you can also use the device as a power bank to charge other smartphones using OTG cable. Overall, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a good package and the price is excellent. The device starts at Rs 10,999 for the base 3GB variant and Rs 12,999 for the 4GB variant.
With the Zenfone Max Pro M1, ASUS has a real winner and a good competitor to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. We will be coming with the review soon, so stay tuned for that.