Testing the #BatteryKing – ZenFone Max Pro M1 Unboxing and Review

I have been using the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 for over a month now as my daily driver. And here is what I think about the #BatteryKing.

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Unboxing

First let’s take a look at what’s included in the box with the Max Pro M1. I’ve made an unboxing video which you can watch below.

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Review

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 is one of ASUS’ newer models, not to be confused with the ZenFone Max Plus M1 and the ZenFone Max M1. I’ve been using it as my daily driver for the past month. I even brought it with me during my trip to Malaysia and Singapore. So here is my review on the device based on my day to day use with it.

Design and Build Quality

First let’s talk about its design. At first glance, it looks really sleek and premium despite its budget-friendly price tag. The aluminum body really gives a sturdy feel to it.

ZenFone Max Pro front ZenFone Max Pro back
ZenFone Max Pro top ZenFone Max Pro side ZenFone Max Pro bottom

The Max Pro M1 has 5.99-inch display without making the device too big to hold on the hand thanks to its less bezel design. The phone is comfortable to hold, and buttons feel tactile. It is available in Deepsea Black, and Meteor Silver (which is what we have here).

Performance

The device seems to run on pure Android UI, instead of the usual ZenUI. Which makes it easier to customize and navigate the settings. The UI was snappy and I only experienced minimal lag, only during heavy loads. Although I’ve never used it to play games, but I did edit photos using Lightroom Mobile and Snapseed with it, as well as edit videos. It didn’t seem to be lacking in processing performance. Below are benchmark results of the device.

ZenFone Max Pro M1 Antutu ZenFone Max Pro M1 GeekBench ZenFone Max Pro M1 PC Mark

Antutu 114664
GeekBench 1329 (Single-Core)
4853 (Multi-Core)
PC Mark 6016 (Work 2.0)

 

Camera

The main rear cameras are pretty decent. It has a 13+5MP dual camera configuration designed to take beautiful bokeh shots (the 4/64 variant has a 16+5MP rear camera). The depth of field doesn’t look tacky as what most phones do. Despite being called the Max Pro, it didn’t have a Pro or Manual Mode, which is a bit of a deal breaker for me. But I didn’t really mind since I was using it as a secondary shoot (my DSLR being the primary).

The front camera is good, but not really that great. It is probably one of the device’s weak points. Both front and rear cameras also don’t do well in low light conditions and produce a bit of noise (more so in the front cam). I also get some camera error from time to time, but can be fixed just by relaunching the camera app. Though I wish they would fix that on future updates. Below are some sample photos I took with the device.

ZenFone Max Pro M1 1 ZenFone Max Pro M1 2 ZenFone Max Pro M1 3
ZenFone Max Pro M1 4 ZenFone Max Pro M1 5 ZenFone Max Pro M1 6 ZenFone Max Pro M1 7

Audio and Call Quality

Audio quality are pretty good. The speakers are pretty loud with the music still clear. Call quality are quite good too.

Battery Life

The Max series of ZenFones are known for their battery life. Besides having a big battery, the Max Pro M1’s processor actually helps prolong the battery life of the device. During my trip, I had mobile data on and mobile tethering as well. It was able to last for almost two days. And in normal daily use, I find myself charging the device after 2 to 3 days.

Features

Aside from its long battery life, the device also features a Fingerprint Scanner and Face Unlock. The Face Unlock is honestly unreliable. It can detect your face on great lighting conditions, but mostly it just doesn’t recognize your face at all. Which I find myself relying on the Fingerprint Scanner more. The problem though is the back finish of the device tends to get smudgy, that goes for the Fingerprint Scanner as well. And it can’t scan my fingerprint if it’s smudgy, so I keep on cleaning it every now and then.

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Specifications

Dimensions 159 x 76 x 8.45 mm
Weight 180 g
CPU Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 636
GPU Adreno™ 509
RAM 3 GB/ 4 GB
Storage 32 GB/ 64 GB (microSD up to 2 TB)
Display 5.99-inch Full HD+, 2160 by 1080, 18:9
Rear Camera 3/32 variant:
13MP, f/2.2
5 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor4/64 variant:
16MP, f/2.2
5MP, f/2.4, depth sensor
Front Camera 8MP, f/2.2
Battery 5000 mAh
OS Android™ 8.1 Oreo™
Price Php 9,995/ Php 13,995

The Verdict

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 is not a flagship phone, but a budget-friendly phone. But despite its shortcomings, it is actually a pretty great device based on price to performance. It may not be the first choice for mobile photography enthusiast due to its lack of Manual Camera function. But it is a pretty decent daily driver with lots of juice to spare. And with its long battery life, I would definitely recommend this #BatteryKing.

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 is available in 3/32 variant at Lazada and is priced at Php 9,995. The 4/64 is priced at Php 13,995 and is available at ASUS concept stores, kiosks, and retailers nationwide.

 

 

 

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The Good
  • Sleek design
  • Premium build feel
  • Great price to performance
  • Decent rear camera
  • long battery life
  • Budget-friendly price tag
The Bad
  • Front camera not so good
  • Poor low light camera performance
  • Unreliable Face Unlock
  • No Manual Camera Mode
4 Great

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