Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review – Camera, Gaming, Benchmarks – Worth Your Money?
Asus has released a new FOTA update, for the Zenfone Max Pro M2 which brings following improvements:
- Enables the Digital Well Being – This is probably one of the biggest features which were missing on the Asus devices after the Pie update. Thank goodness the company has added the support for the essential feature to track the smartphone usage in the latest update.
- Improved the earpiece volume for better call clarity.
- Upgrade to the Google Security patch for June 2019.
- Optimized the Dark Mode performance.
- Improved the unlocking experience when using the pattern unlock.
- Optimized the screen auto-brightness feature, which really needed a fix.
Update 28/Feb/2019 – Added the Hindi Review Video of Zenfone Max Pro M2, scroll below to see it.
Asus is doing good in the market, if not great. Things are looking positive for the brand, and the new affordable pricing strategy is paying off.
The newly launched Max Lite L1 and Max M1 are also decent phones for the price.
Now the company has launched the successor of Zenfone Max Pro M1 – the Max Pro M2.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is available in 3 different versions on Flipkart:
- Max Pro M2 – 3 GB Ram and 32 GB storage – Price Rs. 12,999
- Max Pro M2 – 4 GB Ram and 64 GB storage – Price Rs. 14,999
- Max Pro M2 – 6 GB Ram and 64 GB storage – Price Rs. 16,999
I have the 4 GB Ram version for almost 2 weeks now and have been able to do thorough testing of the device to give some valuable insights.
Key Highlights of Zenfone Max Pro M2
- Stunning Design and Looks
- Fast Performance (SD 660)
- Near Stock Android Experience
- Massive 5000 mAH capacity Battery
Video Review Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 (ZB631KL) – Display & Design
In comparison to the Zenfone Max Pro M1 (read review) the new Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with several new updates.
The most noticeable upgrade is the new design and a notch display.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with a notch display which houses a single camera, proximity sensor, and earpiece.
The phone comes with a 6.26-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio with 2240*1080 pixels screen resolution.
The display quality is decent, colors are accurate and the maximum and minimum brightness is adequate.
In the outdoor conditions, I wish it could push brightness a bit higher, but for most people, it will be okay.
One of the most important additions to the Max Pro M2 is the presence of latest Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for display protection. It’s a rarity in the mid-range phones.
Notably, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 didn’t come with the Gorilla Glass protection, and Asus has listened to the feedback and provided the best in class protection.
Also, the build quality is impressive and eye-catching. The phone comes with a poly-plastic back cover with a glossy finish.
It is available in titanium grey and blue color versions – I have the blue version which looks quite stunning.
It’s a fingerprint magnet but at the same time is less slippery than the glass back covers.
Most modern phones like the Oppo F9 Pro or the Realme 2 Pro come with a similar cover.
There is a Fingerprint scanner present at the back and it even comes with the face unlock feature.
Both the fingerprint reader and the Face unlock work as intended but are not as fast as seen on some of Oppo or Xiaomi phones.
Lastly, it is not very thick measures 8.5 mm and weighs 175 grams.
The second big update is the presence of Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor with a clock speed of 1.95 GHz and the Adreno 512 GPU.
Notably, the processor is slightly underclocked from the 2.2 GHz maximum clock speed to 1.95 GHz to likely reduce thermal throttling and avoid heating.
However, it is much faster in comparison to the Snapdragon 636 processor and offers superb performance in games such as PUBG and the Asphalt 9.
I have played both the games on the device on the high settings and it works well, with fewer frame drops.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 scores – 126546 on the Antutu Benchmark. The score is better than the Zenfone Max Pro M1 (SD 636) – 114138. However, it is slightly lower than the Realme 2 Pro score of 132,000.
The Single Core Score is 1448 while the Max Pro M2 scores 5404 on the multi-core test.
Earlier, it was rumored that the Max Pro M2 might come with triple rear cameras, but the phone actually has dual rear cameras.
The dual rear cameras are also improved in comparison to the predecessor and come with 12 Megapixel (Sony IMX486,) + 5 Megapixel lens with f/1.8 aperture.
At the front, there is a 13-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture with EIS support.
The rear camera can record videos upto 4k resolution and has support for EIS upto 1080P videos.
The camera is better than the Max Pro M1 matches the Realme 2 Pro and in some cases is even better.
So, here are some of the Images I have shot using the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2.
Rear Camera Image Samples
Front Camera Image Samples
Overall, the rear camera is decent when you have good light and in outdoor conditions. It seems to struggle in low light scenarios.
At times there are some overexposure issues in some of the photos shot from the front and rear camera.
The noise is too much in low light and also the camera drops the shutter speed more than it is required to shoot handheld.
The result is a blurry image because it takes a bit to capture the image.
It will be better if Asus can increase the shutter speed a little bit in low light scenarios to improve real-world handheld images.
Otherwise with longer exposure on Auto-mode images can become slightly blurry. Overall the cameras are decent and enjoyed capturing images with it.
I have used the Zenfone 5Z previously which comes with a modern camera app, that is also missing on the Max Pro M2.
The front camera is much better in comparison to Max Pro M1 and can click sharp images. However, there is no portrait mode for the front camera.
OS And Other Features
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with the Android Oreo 8.1. Asus has already rolled the Pie update on their flagship device, but the Max Pro M2 is yet to get it.
The software on the new Zenfone is closer to the stock Android. However, it still comes with the custom Zen UI version.
There are hardly any pre-installed Apps other than the Google Apps. Something I like about these new Asus phones.
There is no bloatware, Ads or annoying Apps.
Another thing missing is the Asus Audio Manager, found on the Zenfone 5Z, which I would have liked on this phone.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with the WideVine L1 support and the device is capable of playing Full HD videos on popular streaming services.
Most people ignore sound quality when reviewing, not me, never. Good sound quality makes a good phone better.
Max Pro M2 doesn’t have a dedicated DAC but has an AMP to improve the sound from the bottom speaker.
The bottom speaker is loud and clear and you can easily listen to calls or songs on it.
There is also support for APTx (Qualcomm) for improving the sound of your Bluetooth headphones.
The phone boasts of a 3.5 mm headphone jack, in spite of a massive battery.
The headphone output is the same as most other mobiles. I liked the output on Oppo F9 Pro, Zenfone 5Z and even on the Realme 2 Pro a bit more.
Lastly, there is a massive 5000 mAH capacity battery that can easily make it an ideal choice for gamers and people looking for extended battery performance.
The phone comes with a fast charger (not super fast). It takes 3 hours to charge this mammoth battery but it can easily last 1.5 to 2 days giving a screen on time of 7-8 hours.
Battery life is superb.
The phone comes with Dual Sim and Dual Volte support. There is a dedicated micro-sd card for adding a memory card without compromising the slim slot.
I used the phone with the JIO sim and overall the call quality was decent on my unit.
Even the data connectivity on cellular or 2.4 GHz WIFI network works as intended. I was not able to connect it to my 5 GHz network as the phone was not showing the network SSID.
All right, no worries here.
The Max Pro M2 works great and is a fantastic phone. The performance is good, nice display, the software is smooth and near-stock, and the battery life is excellent.
Cameras are also an upgrade but come with few quirks.
It is a poly-plastic phone, not as strong as some of the metallic counterparts, but who uses a phone without a cover. And in case you do, be extra cautious.
Also, would have liked a better camera App, 5 GHz WIFI support, faster low light imaging and presence of USB Type C port.
The battery takes about 3 hours to charge but I think it is acceptable since it is a very large battery.
Overall it is great value for money phone and satisfying purchase.
Also, you may be glad to know that Asus can soon launch the Asus Max Pro M3 in India.