ASUS have decided to launch both ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) alongside ASUS Zenfone 5 today in a single event. Though most people out there will be more excited about the Zenfone 5, but there are also a huge amount of people craving for the best mid-range contender of the year – ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1). We have spend great amount of time reviewing and here’s our honest opinion on why this is the most powerful smartphone for its price.

Display

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) is sized at 5.5-inches but comes with a massive 5.99″ Full View display. It is based on IPS and packed with Full HD+ resolution of 2160×1080.  Of course, most Full View devices do come with a screen ratio of 18:9. We are pretty used to how good an IPS display is, thanks to some flagship phones. The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) has a pretty good display quality and the contrast ratio is 1500:1. This means that during under direct sunlight, the visibility will be good. We were fine with having the auto-brightness turned on since it managed to adapt to situations accurately. Nevertheless, even during low-light situations – the accuracy of adjusting brightness is surely impressive. Overall watching videos/multimedia experience was pretty good since this device gets an all around perfect hardware.

Fun Fact! Did you know that you can watch 2 seasons of Game of Thrones with a single full charge on your ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1)?


Design

No doubt on ASUS’s capability on how well they can design. The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) comes with premium metal body design. The front is full glass while the rest of them are metal. I do wonder how they can end up designing this phone with such perfection even with that huge battery capacity and only weighs 180g! This is stunning with a lot of attention and time spent just to come up with this result. Holding it also feels comfortable and not too huge despite its 5.5-inch size.  Of course I have started  using the phone with provided TPU casing which is pretty good quality indeed. Fingerprint scanner is snappy and fast while the placement is rather perfect for me. Rest assured the workmanship is good 2.5D Arc glass finishing blends nicely with the metal body.

Fun fact! The fingerprint reader unlocks your device as fast as 0.3 seconds!


Performance & Storage

Under the hood, there’s Qualcomm’s  64-bit Snapdragon 636 Octa core processor while the graphics are powered by Adreno 509. Do take note that this a flagship grade processor with 14nm CPU process which makes its performance grade as one of the best in mobile class. Having said that, this device comes with 3GB of RAM paired with 32GB (System takes up 7.4GB) of onboard storage which is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB). I have been currently addicted to Dragon Nest Mobile and been playing it off and on during my free time. Other than that, only social media and messaging applications been used all day long. No doubt the gaming performance is really good having a future proof processor. I am pretty sure the 4GB variant of this phone would be an overkill and perhaps would be the best/most value for money smartphone in the market. There was no lags ever experienced during my usage, thanks to the Pure Android experience which gives up a buttery smooth device packed with latest Android 8.1 Oreo. Don’t forget that the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) will be eligible for extremely fast software updates from Google.

Fun Fact! Did you know that you can also unlock your ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) via Face Unlock and it is really fast!


Software

Speaking more of the software experience, minimal bloatware from ASUS were injected. Those noticeable would be the Calculator, Sound Recorder, FM Radio and MyASUS applications. I find it to be practical and those would be surely useful rather than downloading third party applications. As for the value added feature that I personally love and always use on ASUS device would be ZenMotion. Yes, it is included on this device and you can make use of all the motion&gesture to make your life easier. Common features that I use will be the double tap to wake and sleep the screen as well as drawing gestures to quick start an application.  Everything else is pure stock Android, including the messaging and dialer applications.However, for the camera application – you have the Snapdragon Camera instead of Google Camera application. The interface is easy to use and the icons are large. There are 12 modes to play with including the AUTO mode. Other than that, you have some 9 filters to play with which are preset and beautification feature which automatically enhances in 3 stages. Of course you can manually overwrite and set the beautification levels accordingly.

Fun Fact! Did you know that the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) is the first phone to come with Snapdragon Camera preloaded?


Camera

The camera comes with dual camera setup which is set at 13MP+5MP. The 5MP sensor is the one which capture the depth and provides “bokeh” effect. While on the front, there’s a 8MP sensor which takes decent looking selfies. All of them come with f2.0 aperture as well as single LED flash on the front and the back. I would say the camera is pretty impressive and snappy, having said the Snapdragon Camera is stable. The video recording could go up to 4k video. ASUS really utilized everything that the processor could support without putting the capability to waste.

Fun Fact! The main camera comes with PDAF (phase detection auto focus) and together with Snapdragon Camera software, photo taking is a breeze.


Sound

Most phones out there which retails for such a low price does not come with good audio quality. The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) comes with 5 Magnet speaker which will be significantly louder than other speakers by 41%. With the addition of 2nd Gen NXP Smart Amplifier, the quality enhances and the moment you plug in the 3.55mm jack to your earphones/car entertainment – the audio experience is truly impressive. This is something that I could not prove to you until you experience it by yourself. Perhaps you should head over to the nearest ASUS authorized dealer and try it by yourself! Remember to bring your earphones along.

Fun Fact! The NXP Smart Amplifier provides louder sound, deeper bass, better quality and longer life of Amplifiers compared to an ordinary smartphone with/without an amplifier.


Network & SIM card

I am a person who do not use more than a SIM card, so in this case having a triple slot card tray does not make a huge deal for me. But then, most of people out there do have two SIM cards and they are usually in trouble or dilemma where they have to sacrifice one slot for the inclusion of micro SD card. ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) comes with triple card slots (Nano SIM+Nano SIM+Micro SD card). Both the SIM slots support 4G LTE and they’re dual standby. I am using my Digi SIM and the network quality is beyond excellent. It is very stable and even the cellular data seems to be not fluctuating like how it used to be on my previous daily driver. Call quality is good with no negative feedback that I usually hear from the other end not able to hear clearly and distortions.

Fun Fact! Both SIM card slots support 4G LTE network band. But only one SIM card can connect to 4G LTE service at a time.


Battery

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) comes with a 5000mAh non-removable fast charging battery in a really compact body arguably the most compact 5000mAh smartphone ever till date!. Some of you might be wondering how good will it be like to have that huge amount of capacity and how long will it last? Well, for me and based on my slightly above average usage – the battery life could easily go more than a day and a half. If I do not play any games, the battery could even go up to 3/4 days upon your usage pattern. This is crazy stats and made possible by ASUS with their combo choice of Snapdragon 636, 5000mAh battery and Pure Android. I had 13% of battery capacity left with 7.5 hours of Screen On Time. The charging time from 0% to 100% takes roughly around 2 hours and 45 minutes. Some of my media friends have claimed that they played Mobile Legends up to 11 hours non-stop  without their Zenfone Max Pro (M1) dying. I could easily play long hours of games without looking for a charger. I could still go back and sleep without charging and wake up the next day with some decent amount of juice left!So gamers out there, what more do you need?

Fun Fact! Did you know that ASUS Zenfone Max is the World’s first smartphone with 5000mAh battery back in 2015? It will show as “rapidly charging” when fast charging is activated on the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1)


Conclusion

A clear cut of my review would be these two statements- the most powerful smartphone for its price and the most compact 5000mAh smartphone. Basically this is a smartphone which gamers would cherish and it would be a dream come true. Fantastic screen, great design language which makes it easy to grip, perfect processor for lag-free gaming, great choice of stock Android for stability and last but not least a fantastic amount of battery capacity. Even though I don’t play games most of the time, having a smartphone which keeps the charger and powerbank away makes me feel really happy and keeps my bag/pocket lighter(no need to carry powerbank already).

Pricing and Availability

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro is priced at RM699 and will be available exclusively on LAZADA for just RM599 every Tuesdays!(Only for the month of June, it will be RM649 from July onwards). Two colors will be made available, Meteor Silver and Deepsea Black. You can also opt to purchase by walking in to nearby authorized dealers near you. Do ensure that you get the official 1 Year ASUS Malaysia warranty instead of the 1 Year shop warranty.

You can also opt for the 4GB RAM model for RM849 while the 6GB model is priced at RM999.

Get yours now directly via LAZADA – http://bit.ly/LZCPage1

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro (M1) Review - Highly recommended smartphone of the year.
Great battery life all rounder.Performance is flawlessStock Android makes the phone buttery smoothDesign is really good despite large battery capacityPrice of this smartphone is the best part of all.
Camera could have been slightly better but due to the pricing, there is not much room for complaints.
9Overall Score
Display8.5
Design9
Performance9
Camera8.5
Battery10
Reader Rating 3 Votes
9.3