Zenfone Max M2 Review – The Makings of a Powerhouse King

The Zenfone Max M2 was released not long ago and is one of ASUS’ recommended phones, the #PowerhouseKings. This is my full review of the smartphone.

The #PowerhouseKings compose of the ROG Phone, Zenfone Max Pro M2, and the Zenfone Max M2. The latter being the most budget friendly of the three. I’ve been using it as a daily driver for about a week now, and here are my thoughts.

What’s Inside the Box

Design and Build Quality

The Max M2 have the same design language as the Max M1. The back looks like plastic and it does seem light, but it is very solid to hold in the hand.

The display is good and bright, but the colors are not that vivid. I would have also preferred if it was full HD, but I can understand considering its low price point. There is very noticeable notch. Personally, I’m not a fan of notches, but I don’t mind them that much most of the time.

Performance and Gaming

I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the Max M2. It doesn’t really feel like a budget phone. It is a step up from the Max M1, rocking a Snapdragon 632.

To be honest, I haven’t had the time to fully test it’s gaming capabilities yet. I only played a couple sessions of Asphalt. It did ran smoothly with the phone, which leads me to believe that it would smoothly run most games.

Benchmark Results below:

  • AnTuTu – 104045
  • PCMark (Work 2.0) – 5931
  • 3DMark (Sling Shot) – 932
  • Geekbench 4 – 1252 (Single-Core), 4761 (Multi-Core)

Camera

Though it performed well, it does fall short with its cameras. This reminds me every time I use it that this is a budget phone. It actually shoots pretty well on perfect lighting. But it suffers on anything less than that. I often get blurry shots on low light situations. The colors of the photos doesn’t seem to pop. Although I think that it’s just because of the screen. The front-facing camera is just the same, if not a bit worse, than the rear-facing camera.

It has a Pro Mode for shooting photos manually. Although there a lot of basic features that are skipped. I couldn’t find a grid (which I personally use when taking photos). Aside from Auto and Pro, it only has three other modes, HDR, Sport, and Night.

Some sample shots below:

Audio Quality

Audio on the Max M2 is pretty good. It doesn’t get super loud, but it’s loud enough for you to enjoy. The quality of the speaker is pretty good also, but it needs more bass (just my preference).
The included headset is not that good though. You would be better off using one of your favorite earphones/headphones.

Battery Life

Battery life is what you’d expect at something from the Zenfone Max line. It has 4,000 mAh capacity, providing power to the phone for about two days. I am a power user, I drain batteries of phones a lot. And as same as my experience with others on the Zenfone Max line, I had no problem using the phone throughout the day. I even still had about 20-30% of battery life after a full days’ worth of testing it.

Features

Like most of the Zenfone line in its generation, the Max M2 has a fingerprint sensor at the back. It has about the same unlock speed as the others, so they’re not skimping on the feature for their budget phones.

Zenfone Max M2 Specifications

Dimensions158 x 76 x 7.7 mm
Weight160 g
CPUQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 632
GPUAdreno™ 506
RAM3 GB
Storage32 GB (up to 2 TB microSD)
Display6.3-inch HD+ IPS display, 1520 x 720, 19:9 aspect ratio
Rear Camera13MP , f/1.8, phase-detection autofocus
2MP, depth sensing
LED Flash
Front Camera8MP. f/2.0
Softlight LED Flash
Battery4,000 mAh
OSStock Android™ 8.1 Oreo™
ColorMidnight Black, Space Blue
PricePhp 8,995
Zenfone Max M2
Zenfone Max M2

The Verdict

With a low price tag, the Zenfone Max M2 is definitely a budget phone. But it does have more than enough power than what its price suggests. It performs well for its price. And it has a huge battery capacity to keep you powered all day. But it does fell short on the camera side. But then again this is a budget phone.

Would I recommend the Max M2? If you are a mobile photography enthusiast, this is not the phone for you. But if you are a casual shooter, likes to play mobile games a lot, and has a very limited budget, then yes, the Max M2 is a decent option.



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The Good
  • Bang for the Buck
  • Big Battery
  • Good for Gaming
The Bad
  • Camera not that great
3.5 Good

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