When ASUS launched ZenFones in India, the devices gained quick popularity among the budget savvy buyers. These devices delivered excellent set of specifications (for that time) at a very competitive price. Since then, the ZenFones have seen several ups and downs in popularity and have faced tough competition from brands like Xiaomi.
On 23rd April, 2018, ASUS launched ZenFone Max Pro (M1). While this series of smartphones once again brings an excellent set of specifications at a competitive price, these latest ZenFones are a marked shift from previous ZenFones. So far, all the ZenFones came loaded with ZenUI and several ASUS apps like Quick Memo, Mobile Manager. For the first time, ASUS has launched a ZenFone with pure Android experience.
The ZenUI is loaded with numerous features and customization options. It is an excellent launcher. I like it a lot, actually. But many users prefer a pure Android experience without any bloatware. ASUS must have considered this while giving up ZenUI and all its apps. It is a big change. I have always enjoyed ZenUI and ASUS apps like Quick Memo and Mobile Manager. So, I was a little sad to see them gone. But I guess, it is all for ensuring better speed and efficiency.
Besides this, here are the other highlights of ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1)
ZenFone Max Pro (M1) series is quite impressive considering the hardware specifications it carries for a very competitive price. Being a Max device, battery power is its specialty. Max Pro (M1) is powered by 5000mAh battery. As per ASUS, this battery can charge from 0% to 100% in two hours. The smartphone has energy-efficient Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 636 Mobile Platform, with Adreno™ 509 graphics. As of now, it is available 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB RAM/ROM variants. But soon, it will also be available in 6GB/64GB variant. Max Pro (M1) has a 15.2 cms (5.99) FHD+ Full View display with 450cd/m2 brightness, 1500:1 contrast ratio and an 85% NTSC color gamut. The phone has 18:9 aspect ration. It is a dual-SIM phone. The phone comes with 3 card slots, two for the SIM cards and one for the microSD card.
Being a pure Android phone with good processing power and RAM/ROM combination, it should provide swift and stable performance. The pure Android software should also help in ensuring the speed and efficiency.
ZenFone Max Pro (M1) comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. ASUS announced at the launch event that the company intends to upgrade the smartphone upto the next two versions of Android. Till now, because of the heavy ZenUI skin and numerous pre-loaded ZenUI apps, ASUS has struggled in delivering software upgrades to ZenFones. However, as Max Pro (M1) has stock Android, that should not be a problem any more.
The ZenFone Max Pro (M1) is equipped with dual rear camera system. One rear camera has 13MP sensor with f/2.2 wide-aperture lens. The secondary rear camera is 5MP dedicated depth-sensing camera which helps in producing better bokeh effects. The device shoots video at up to 4K UHD resolution.
The front camera is 8MP and has soft-light LED flash and beautification features.
The soon to be launched 6GB/64GB version Max Pro (M1) will have 16MP + 5MP dual rear cameras. and 16MP front camera.
One of the highlights of ZenFone Max Pro (M1) is its audio system. The smartphone is equipped with a five-magnet speaker and an NXP smart amplifier. ASUS claims the device is capable of delivering 41% louder sound, 14% better low-frequency response and 12% less distortion.
ZenFone Max Pro (M1) comes with a free accessory called Max Box. It is a portable amplifier. When the phone stands in it, the volume can increase up to 2X louder.
The ZenFone Max Pro (M1) has 15.2 cms (5.99) display with 18:0 aspect ratio. It has All-metal body with front 2.5D-curved glass and measures 159 x 76 x 8.46mm. It weighs 180g. Max Pro (M1) is available in Deepsea Black and Meteor Silver colours. The phone is lightweight and feels sturdy in hand. However, the back panel attracts a lot of fingerprint smudges.
Max Pro (M1) Availability and Price:
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1) is priced at Rs.10,999 for the 3GB / 32GB, Rs. 12,999 for the 4GB / 64GB variant. These two variants will be available from May 3, 2018 exclusively on Flipkart.
As mentioned earlier, a third variant of Max Pro (M1) will be launched later. This will have 6GB RAM / 64 GB ROM and 16MP + 5MP dual rear cameras. The front camera will be 16MP. This version will be priced at INR 14,999.
Max Pro (M1) has been launched with several introductory offers. These include Flipkart’s new ‘Complete Mobile Protection’ at the price of only Rs. 49 (otherwise costing Rs. 999). Also, Flipkart is offering extra Rs. 1000 off over regular exchange of models. There are also several introductory offers from Vodafone.
Overall, ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1) sounds like an excellent smartphone option in its price segment. With good specifications and the stock Android experience, the device should perform well and deliver quick performance. Its 5000 mAh battery is it’s biggest highlight. On top of this, the dual rear camera and the enhanced audio experienced should please the users.
ASUS the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) Specifications
|Design||All-metal body with front 2.5D-curved glass|
|Dimensions | Weight||159 x 76 x 8.46mm | 180g|
|Display||15.2 cms (5.99) Full View FHD+ (2160 x 1080) IPS display
18:9 aspect ratio | 450nits brightness | 1500:1 contract ratio
85% NTSC | 5-point capacitive touch panel
|CPU / GPU||Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 636 Mobile Platform with 14nm, 64-bit quad-core processor
(Snapdragon™ 636 performance is 1.54x better than Snapdragon™ 625)
Qualcomm® Adreno™ 509 GPU
|3GB / 4GB LPDDR4X RAM
32GB / 64GB storage
|Dual Camera System||Main camera: 13MP f/2.2 aperture with secondary camera for bokeh effect
Front camera: 8MP f/2.2 aperture
|Wireless||802.11b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi
DC-HSPA+ (DL/UL): 42/5.76Mbps
|Connectivity||Bluetooth® 4.2 with aptX support | Micro-USB|
|Security features||Rear fingerprint security sensor with 5-finger, 360° recognition, 0.3s unlock
Face Unlock for added convenience and security
|SIM card and SD slot||Triple slots with dual SIM, dual 4G + 4G standby
Slot 1: Nano SIM (2G / 3G / 4G) | Slot 2: Nano SIM (2G / 3G / 4G)
Slot 3: MicroSD card (up to 2TB)
|GPS||GPS | A-GPS | GLONASS | BDS|
|OS||AndroidTM Oreo TM 8.1|
|Battery||High-capacity 5000mAh battery|
|Audio||NXP Smart amplifier to lower distortion and enhance higher volume
MaxBox for louder sound