Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1) Review: The Redmi Note 5/ Note 5 Pro alternative. -

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1) Review: The Redmi Note 5/ Note 5 Pro alternative.

ASUS was at ther peak in 2016, when their Transformer Book, an affordable 2-in-1 Laptop and the Zenfone line up were a success. They also made some cool Android Tablets too. But then in 2017, they kinda fell out of track and lost their mojo. 

Will 2018 be any different for them? Well, perhaps yes.

After losing their place in the Indian Smartphone market to the other Chinese manufactures like Xiaomi and Huawei, Asus is trying to hit back hard with the aggressively priced Zenfone Max Pro, which will go against Xiaomi's Note 5 Lineup and Huawei's Honor 9 Lite.


Asus has gone with the 18:9 Aspect ratio like others but the design isn’t any different than that of other manufacturers. It looks a lot like its primary competition, the Xiaomi’s Note 5 series but loses to the stunning Honor 9 Lite.

However, the design is minimalistic which grabs attention to its gorgeous display, which even beats that of the Redmi Note 5 series.

The design is quite ergonomic with rounded corners and 2.5D curved display which makes it easier to hold and the body is surprisingly thin for a phone housing a massive 5,000 mAh battery.

The rear has a polished metal matte finish which holds up against grease and smudges quite well. The vertically dual-camera sits flushed to the body without any bump and the fingerprint scanner is in its ideal place which is very easy to reach. There are also color-matched Polycarbonate Antennae lines.

You also get Triple slots for Dual-sim and MicroSD expansion.

Dimensions: Height:159 mm
Width:76 mm
Thickness:8.61 mm
Weight:180 g

The speaker is located at the bottom-left of the phone with microphone, 3.5mm jack and an outdated micro-USB port (just like in the Xiaomi Note 5/5 Pro, its very disappointing to see in 2018 in place of a USB-C port ). On the right side, there’s the power and volume rocker. The triple slot for Micro SD and Dual-SIM is at the left.


The Zenfone Max Pro sports a dual-camera setup of 13 MP + 5MP (depth sensing camera) at the rear, which means you do get the bokeh/depth of field effect for portraits and background-blurred shots.
The front shooter gets a 8MP sensor with softlight flash which helps in pretty selfies in low-light condition without overpowering the shots with the flash.

The Daylight shots are somewhat oversaturated and the colours aren’t that accurate. The low-light performance is meh and are a bit noisy (in fairness, its nothing out of the ordinary for a phone of this budget).

Compared to the camera of the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the details aren’t that crisp and the colours are a bit dull. However, the rear camera can shoot 4K Video unlike the Redmi Note 5/5 Pro (which has weirdly software locked this feature) .

Like most reviewer of this device, I too shall bitch about its Clustered Camera UI, as it does takes a bit getting used to with tons of settings and options.

The camera aspect is the part where the Zenfone Max Pro certainly lags behind its rivals.


The Zenfone Max Pro boasts a 5.99” Full-HD (2160 x 1080) IPS display with 18:9 Aspect Ratio. The display is more vibrant than that of its primary rival the Xiaomi Note 5/5 Pro.
The panel gets bright enough to be read comfortably under bright sunlight and color reproductions are quiet accurate too. 
The panel has pretty good contrast ratio (of Up to 1500:1).
Overall a decent display for its price with the only downside being no Scratch Protection like Gorilla glass or Dragontrail glass.


The Zenfone Max Pro (M1) packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC which is about 50% faster than its predecessor, the 625 SoC, owing to its 8 Kryo cores.

It slides through any task thrown at it with ease and performs impeccably in even heavy-graphics games. The temperature even stayed under a comfortable 40°C after gaming for 48 minutes.
Drifting through the Android and multitasking is smooth AF due to Asus’s decision to go pure Android Oreo 8.1 instead of their ZenUI skin.

The phone has two variants : 3GB RAM/32 GB Storage and 4GB RAM/64 GB Storage. 


The battery performance is where the Zenfone Max Pro anhillates its competition, owing to its massive 5,000 mAh battery, which even after an entire day of heavy usage, leaves 37% of its battery. (The battery performance may even go up with upcoming updates.)

Charging is pretty fast too, as it comes bundled with a standard fast charge Output(10W) which charges the device from 0-100% within 3 Hours.


The card-board make-shift speaker amplifier that comes in the box.

Overall a very good budget phone which is extremely value for money. Recommended to buy.

Buy it from here.

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