ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 was launched in April 2018. This is the first ZenFone that delivers the pure Android experience. It’s available in 3GB/32GB, 4GB/64GB RAM/ROM variants and the newer variant of 6GB/64GB. I’ve already reviewed Max Pro M1 3GB/32GB variant. Let’s check out the latest and the most powerful 6GB/64GB Max Pro (M1).
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6GB/64GB) Review
Good specifications and bloat-free, pure Android experience enables this device to deliver swift performance. It is equipped with Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 636 Mobile Platform, 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage which is expandable to 2TB using microSD card. Being a Max device, a big 5000mAh battery is one of its highlights. It has 6 inch FHD Full View display. Max Pro M1 is an LTE Dual SIM smartphone with 3 separate card slots to accommodate two SIM cards, as well as the microSD card. It is an Android Oreo device which comes with the assurance of getting at least two Android version updates. As it comes with pure Android without any skin added to it, delivering quick updates to it shouldn’t be a problem for ASUS.
I used the device for about 15 days and I never experienced a lag in it. Heavy games loaded smoothly and multi-tasking was a breeze. Its scrolling, flipping through screens etc. feels very smooth. And the speed of Fingerprint and Face Unlock is superb.
ZenFone Max Pro M1 has three cameras. At the back, we have a dual-camera setup (16MP/5MP). The secondary rear camera helps in better depth-sensing and bokeh effects. The camera features include Beauty mode, colour effects, and modes like Auto, HDR, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Flowers, Night etc. There’s no manual mode. And there’s no gesture or voice command feature for easier camera operation.
When I tried the camera, I found the photo quality much improved from previous ZenFones. Of course, ZenFones always capture good amount of light in photos, so the photos are bright. Photos of ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6GB/64GB) are no different in that aspect. The outdoor daylight shots especially are crisp, bright, and vibrant. However, maybe because of the auto tuning of the Auto mode, the colours of flowers and leaves appeared more vibrant than they actually were. That resulted in prettier pictures, but not the natural ones.
At the front too, we have a 16MP camera. The selfies came out looking bright and clear. The Beauty Mode works excellently in adding subtle beauty touches to the selfies, without making them look unnatural.
There is a camera shortcut available on the lockscreen. But other than that, there is no quick way to launch the camera. And as I mentioned earlier, no gesture or voice command. Also, the device got a bit warm when I clicked photos on it for about half an hour. Some noise appeared in photos at maximum zoom, especially in low light.
This smartphone has very decent hardware specifications ensuring swift and stable performance. But the one area where it pleased me most is its multimedia experience. The display is big and bright and a delight to watch videos on. Its Night Light feature can help in making the viewing comfortable for eyes by diminishing the blue light.
What makes the multimedia experience even better is the clarity of the audio. Max Pro M1 is equipped with a five-magnet speaker and an NXP smart amplifier. As per ASUS, it can deliver 41% louder sound, 14% better low-frequency response and 12% less distortion.
I must say, whatever ASUS has done with the audio system of this phone, it works! When I watched movies on Max Pro M1 (6GB version), I actually wished my own smartphone had such an audio! The sound is loud, crisp, and has excellent clarity.
ZenFone Max Pro M1 also comes with a free accessory called the MaxBox. It is a simple, portable and light-weight tool that can enhance the volume of the audio. You just put the MaxBox on a flat and stable surface and insert the smartphone in its slot. And the sound gets amplified. MaxBox is a non-electric accessory so no wires or batteries are needed to use it.
Talking about audio, ZenFone Max Pro M1 has has an FM Radio app with recording feature.
A ZenFone Max device means a long lasting battery. Max Pro M1 is powered by a 5000 mAh battery. In my experience, it lasted for whole day with heavy usage. With moderate usage, it lasted more than two full days.
Having a big battery, the phone takes a long time to get charged. Charging using the power adaptor provided in the box is quicker, but nothing like charging for hours in minutes as some other brands are now claiming.
Before Max Pro, a heavily featured ZenUI used to be one of the highlights of ZenFone. Earlier ZenFone devices have numerous customization, utility, and optimization features. But in Max Pro M1, ASUS has added very little to the basic Android features. Even apps like Gallery are missing. Users must install a third-party Gallery app or use Google Photos. This adds to the efficiency of devices, but ZenFone fans may miss several features of the ZenUI and ZenUI apps.
However, the ZenMotion feature is still present and users can take advantage of several simple gestures to operate the phone. These include double tap to lock/unlock the screen, customizable gestures for quick launch of apps. These gesture commands can be setup in Settings -> System -> Gestures.
Fingerprint and Face Unlock:
This smartphone comes with the Fingerprint sensor unlock and Face Unlock feature. In my experience, both work well and quickly. I did have trouble a couple of times with the 360 degree fingerprint sensing. But the good thing is that the Fingerprint sensor can unlock a sleeping device, without the need of pressing Power or Home key first.
ZenFone Max Pro M1 focuses on simplicity, instead of fancy flashiness. This shows in its appearance too. It feels durable and sturdy. Thanks to curved edges, it has a very slim profile. But it cannot boast of being a stylish smartphone. The Full View display leaves no scope for any styling feature in the front. It’s almost all screen on the front. The Back, Home and Recent Apps key are on the screen, not under it. The 2.5 curved display is the only stylish thing on its front. At the back too, things are a bit too plain. The cameras are nestled in a corner. The fingerprint sensor is round and not flashy. The back panel has a matte feel. Its Grey colour option may look better, but the Black colour looks very simple, although refined.
If simplicity is your thing, this device will please you. But if you enjoy flashing your style, you may not like it.
Overall, ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6GB/64GB) is a very capable device. It handles heavy games and multitasking efficiently. The bloat-free, pure Android experience helps in its speed. However, while aiming for simplicity and purity of Android, ASUS might have made the device a bit too simple. It has very limited customization options. It lacks in basic features like making folders in the App Drawer. In fact, you can’t even choose whether you want apps sorted alphabetically, or in order of installation. Even the feature of taking a quick screenshot by long-pressing the Recent Apps key has been removed. To take a screenshot in Max Pro M1, you need to press the Volume Low and Power keys simultaneously.
However, other than this utter simplicity, the device has much to offer to the user. A good set of specifications, a decent price (Rs. 19,999.00), excellent battery backup, good cameras, its 3 card slots, and the free accessory MaxBox are some of its good things. But I’d say again, what I liked best about it is its excellent audio output. It was a delight to watch movies and Netflix shows on this phone.
Check out ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M1) on Amazon.in