Review ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2): The smartphone with a gargantuan battery
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is an Android smartphone that promises a very long battery life, as well as excellent performance, at a reasonable price that is not going to put a lot of pressure on your budget. Does it deliver on its promise? Is it worth your money? Read this review, and see what you get from the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2), and whether it is worth buying on Black Friday or during the Christmas shopping season:
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2): Who is it good for?
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is an excellent choice for people who want:
- A smartphone with a very long battery life
- A mid-range smartphone for everyday use
- A smartphone with a large screen
Pros and cons
Here are the good things about the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2):
- Massive 5000 mAh battery that can easily last for two days of regular usage
- The screen is large, has a high resolution, good details and color reproduction
- Offers decent computing performance for most apps
- It is a good looking smartphone
- It comes with the stock Android user interface and doesn't bundle useless apps
- It has received the update to Android 9 Pie
There are also some downsides to consider:
- Playing games on it is not going to be a great experience
- The cameras are not able to deliver great-looking photos or videos
- It doesn't offer support for fast charging
The gargantuan battery of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) makes it appealing to those who don't want to charge their smartphones daily. The chipset performance, RAM, and storage space are more than enough if you want a smartphone on which you can run regular tasks well. If you are not a gamer who wants to run demanding games, or a photographer who wants a smartphone with a great camera, ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) delivers everything you need, at a fair price.
Unboxing the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2)
The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) arrives in a beautiful box that's made of matte black cardboard. The front side of the package showcases only the name of the smartphone, without any details about the product.
If you want to see more details about your new acquisition, turn the box upside down: on its back, you can check the smartphone's hardware specifications, factory name, IMEI, and other similar information. Inside the box, you find the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) smartphone and its bundled accessories: a USB power adapter together with a detachable micro-USB cable, a pair of earphones, a SIM ejector pin, a clear soft bumper, the user guide, and the warranty card.
Unboxing the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) smartphone is a pleasant experience. We appreciate the fact that, besides the smartphone and its essential accessories, it also comes with a pair of earphones and a bumper.
Design and build quality
The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is a smartphone that draws your attention with its glossy and reflective appearance. On the front, the large 6.3-inch screen has fairly narrow bezels at the top and on its sides, and a slightly larger one at the bottom. When you look at the smartphone, you notice that the notch is smaller than the average. That's possible because the phone's ear speaker is not found inside the notch, but above it.
The back of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is also an attention seeker, made of gleaming glass that showcases the smartphone's case color. This smartphone is available in two different color variations: Cosmic Titanium and Midnight Blue. As you can see in the pictures, the model that we tested was Midnight Blue.
The back of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is also the place where the camera system and the fingerprint reader are found. The dual camera and its LED flash are positioned towards the top-left corner of the smartphone, while the round fingerprint sensor is centered, to be easily reached with both your left and right hand.
On the right edge of the smartphone, you find the power button and the volume rocker, while on the left side, there's the tray for the SIM and microSD cards. Although I use my left hand to hold my smartphone, I found the side buttons to be fairly easy to reach. However, my fingers are longer than average. For those of you with shorter fingers, reaching the volume rocker might be a challenge.
On the bottom edge of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2), there are all the usual things. From left to right, you get a 3.5 mm audio jack for earphones, the main microphone, a micro-USB port for charging and data transfers (we would have preferred a USB Type-C port), and the loudspeaker.
Although the frame of this smartphone is made of plastic materials, it looks good, and the glossy glass on its back makes it stand out. We like the fact that the screen bezels are narrow and that the notch is smaller than the average. However, we would have preferred a USB Type-C port instead of micro-USB, and we would have liked it if the volume rocker was easier to reach with one hand.
The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) features a large 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels. This means that you get a higher than average pixel density of approximately 403 ppi. To protect its screen against scratches and occasional drops, the smartphone uses Gorilla Glass 6.
The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) draws its computing power from a Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 chipset built on the 14-nanometer manufacturing process and uses an octa-core processor with four cores running at 2.2 GHz the other four running at 1.8 GHz. The graphics are handled by an Adreno 512 graphics chip, which, according to Wikipedia, supports the following APIs: Vulkan 1.0, OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, OpenGL 3.3, and Direct3D 11.
In terms of storage and RAM, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is available in several different configurations: with 32, 64, or 128 GB of internal storage space and with 3, 4 or 6 GB of RAM. Furthermore, you can also expand the storage space using a microSD card of up to 2 TB.
The smartphone supports GSM, HSPA, and LTE, and can fit two nano-SIM cards. It's a Dual SIM device, using a Dual Standby implementation. A good thing about the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is that it has three separate slots: two for SIM cards and another one for the micro-SD card.
As for its autonomy, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) comes with a huge non-removable Li-Po battery with a capacity of 5000 mAh. That's impressive, but, unfortunately, the phone doesn't support fast charging. In other words, the battery should last you for a long time between charges (about two days), but charging its battery also takes a long time (about two and a half hours).
On its back, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) has two cameras: one with a 12-megapixel sensor and f/1.8 aperture, and another one with a 5-megapixel sensor and f/2.4 aperture. The camera system has phase-detection autofocus (PDAF), an LED flash for low-light photography, and a depth sensor. On the front, you get a 13-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture and LED flash.
The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) has a micro-USB port (unfortunately not USB Type-C), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and single-band 2.4 GHz wireless with support for the 802.11 b/g/n standards. As for built-in sensors, you get face recognition (using the front camera), a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, GPS, accelerometer, proximity, and compass sensors.
Regarding size and weight, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) is a large and heavy smartphone. It's 6.22 inches long, 2.97 inches wide, 0.33 inches thick (157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5 mm), and it weighs 6.17 ounces (175 grams).
For more details about this smartphone's hardware specifications and features, visit its official webpage: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) Tech Specs.
Check the next page to find out more about the smartphone experience offered by the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2), its cameras, bundled apps, and performance in benchmarks.