Reviewed: ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1

What’s worse than you dying in-game? You having to time out because of a critically low battery level just when the action’s getting heated. Asus puts an end to this with the ZenFone Max Pro M1.

Design: 4.5/5

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 is a simple-looking phone and perfect the way it is. It carries buttons and ports on the sides of the phone, right where you’d usually find them, and while it has a metal body, the handset is surprisingly light yet feels sturdy in the hand. Meanwhile, its rounded corners give the phone a premium air. It’s not just cosmetic, either, as it enhances grip to lessen the occurrence of slips which could prove painful for the phone’s hardware.

When looking at the ZenFone Max Pro M1, it’s hard to miss its gorgeous display. For a phone that sells for a little under PHP 10,000, this handset’s fitted with a Full HD+ Full View display that just begs you to want to binge-watch and game whenever possible. Its 18:9 aspect ratio lets in as much detail as games or other media content would allow, and melds impeccably with the phone’s teeny bezels creating a seamless visual affair.

Hardware: 5/5

Up front, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is already a great phone but it is under the hood that the handset will give competitors a run for their money. Looking beyond its design aspects reveals a phone that’s tailored for power users. Coming in strong with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, Qualcomm Adreno 509, and 3 GB RAM, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is a great daily driver. On top of these, you also have a massive 5000 mAh battery capacity giving you hours of battery life, with enough power to last ‘til the end of the day.

User Experience: 4/5

Having had the ZenFone Max Pro M1 as a daily driver for over two weeks, I was impressed by its ease of use. With the knowledge of its specifications, I wasted no time on menial tasks, rather, I went straight for what it is marketed for: playing games. I started the battle royale game PUBG mobile almost right away and wasn’t disappointed. Its generous screen and brightness helped in seeing opponents easily. At moderate settings, graphics don’t look any less than when set higher. In-game details remain sharp, and acquiring chicken dinner finishes somehow became less challenging-disclaimer: getting this phone doesn’t guarantee chicken dinners. Wanting this phone to stretch further, I ran Antutu 3D tests on it and though it stutters a bit, it still scored higher than other phones-a clear testament to this phone’s firepower.

As a ZenFone, the handset sports capable dual main cameras, a 13 MP and 5 MP configuration for our review unit, perfect for shutterbugs. It is complemented by a native camera app packed with features and modes you can tinker with, all of which improve photo quality or allow you to refashion the images to your liking. Meanwhile, its 8 MP front camera produces mediocre images: softened facial features and dull backgrounds, as well as a tad slow response. I wish it was better, though but you can’t have it all.

Value: 5/5

The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 is undoubtedly a value-for-money offering heavy users should consider. Its 5000 mAh battery alone could blow the competition out of the water and with its processing power, capable rear cameras, and smooth vanilla Android user interface, the ZenFone becomes a smartphone worthy of recognition—and your hard-earned buck.

Bottomline:

Generous battery capacity and processing firepower. I rest my case.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE July 2018 Issue.

Reviewed by Mia Carisse Barrientos

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