ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: The New Battery King!

I posted my first impressions of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 last month when it was still using a software version that wasn’t final at that time. The final software was already installed and tested during the holidays. Is it still a good phone to buy? Find out by reading my review.

ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 REVIEW SPECS:

OS:Stock Android 8.1 Oreo
Processor:2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
Octa-core Processor | Adreno 512
Display: 6.3-inch Full HD+ 2280 x 1080 IPS Display
Wireless Connections:LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, A-GPS, GLONASS
Memory:64 GB Internal Storage expandable with a Micro SD Card, 4/6 GB RAM
Connectors:Micro USB 2.0
Cameras:12 Megapixels with f/1.8 Sony IMX486, AI + 5 Megapixels (Main Cameras), 13 Megapixels f/2.0 (Front)
SIM Card Slots:2x Nano SIM Cards required
Battery:5,000 mAh
SRP:6GB/64GB = P14,995.00
4GB/64GB = P12,995.00

THE LOOKS AND FEEL: ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 REVIEW

After a month of usage, I still admire the looks of my ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2. It’s not too flashy like the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 or the Huawei Nova 3i, but it can still get enough attention from other people.

During last month’s product launch, an executive of ASUS Headquarters demonstrated the durability of the Max Pro M2 by dropping it on the floor. He explained that the phone’s display is coated with Corning Gorilla Glass 6, which is damage and drop-resistant. I take care of my phones as much as possible, but of course there are days that I can be too clumsy. That clumsiness happened one day when I accidentally dropped the Max Pro M2 on our toilet’s floor. I was a bit worried at first, but upon seeing that the phone’s screen is still intact, I let out a sigh of relief. It happened again a day later, and still the phone’s display has no trace of any cracks or hairline scratches.

So don’t let the shiny good looks of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 fool you. It’s also tough enough to withstand accidental falls.

THE DISPLAY: ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 REVIEW

The display size of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is measured at 6.3″ with Full HD+ resolution on an IPS panel. Colors are good enough and viewable from different angles. There is a notch on top of the screen but you will not notice it when the phone goes full screen on videos and games. If you want to remove the notch similar to the ASUS Zenfone 5, unfortunately there’s no option for it since it’s on stock Android. And by the way, it’s 2019 so get used to the notch already!

The Max Pro M2’s screen is one of the toughest among all other phones, thanks to the aforementioned Gorilla Glass 6 coating. Along with the ROG Phone, they are the first phones to be applied with Gorilla Glass 6.

THE PERFORMANCE: ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 REVIEW

The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is currently one of the fastest phones in ASUS’ lineup. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 which clocks at 2.2Ghz which is faster than the Zenfone 5’s Snapdragon 636 with a speed of 1.8Ghz.

Antutu Benchmark Score
Geekbench 4 Scores

Scores are slightly lower than the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018, one of the nearest competitors in terms of pricing.

The Max Pro M2 operation is smooth and worked very well with all its usual tasks. Its 6GB of RAM, one of the cheapest phones in the market to have a generous amount of memory, is more than enough to juggle all my open apps. I’m also happy to report that its face recognition is working most of the time. I had problems with this feature in previous Max versions.

Just like its predecessor, the Max Pro M2 with its fast processor and incredible battery life is being pushed as a gaming phone. I played the usual games like Asphalt 9: Legends at the highest settings and gameplay was still flawless. PUBG Mobile was set to HD Graphics and High Frame rate and game was mostly smooth sailing. There’s a little bit of heat but it’s very much tolerable that I was still able to play another game with the same settings.

I mentioned earlier that the phone uses stock Android OS, meaning there are no customizations by ASUS like ZenUI or even their own apps. That ensures the phone is free from unwanted bloatware. However, we have yet to receive the Android 9.0 Pie update. Apparently, updates are not automatic like the Pixel phones but at least they won’t take long like the other phones that needed to be customized for their own UI.

THE CAMERA: ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 REVIEW

The Zenfone Max Pro M2’s dual cameras are composed of 12 Megapixels with Sony IMX486 sensor and A.I. and 5 Megapixels. The new software update includes the A.I. function and it does work most of the time. It accurately sets the proper camera settings based on the subject. Majority of the photos I took were pretty good.

Here are the sample photos I took:

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THE BATTERY LIFE: ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 REVIEW

Geekbench 4 Battery Score

ASUS set the trend of supplying their Max lineup with big battery capacities. I was impressed with their first Max phone, reviewed three years ago. It was my backup phone during my first COMPUTEX trip in Taipei back in 2016 where the phone lasted even longer with LTE on all the time.

The Max Pro M2 still comes with a 5,000 mAh battery capacity similar to the original Max. In the Geekbench 4 Battery Score posted above, it got the highest marks compared to all the other phones I’ve tested in the mid-range segment.

This is the shortest battery life I’ve recorded during my evaluation period. The Max Pro M2 reached lunch time on the second day with 15% left.

The longest I had reached night time on the second day. Both of these usages involve gaming, YouTube streaming, and other usual phone activities. The battery life is indeed impressive and it deserves to be called the new Battery King!

The common complaint I’ve heard is the slow charging. ASUS did not equip their Max Pro M2s with fast chargers, which frustrates several users. My suggestion is to use fast chargers with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 feature. I’m able to charge my unit for around 2 hours.

DR’S CONCLUSION

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 continues the legacy started by the Zenfone Max as it provides the same impressive battery life. There are a lot of phones in the mid-range segment to choose from, and if you want an all-around phone that has the longest battery life, just pick the Zenfone Max Pro M2.

PROS

  • New, Shiny Design
  • Slim form factor with a big battery capacity
  • Stock Android
  • 5,000 mAh battery

CONS

  • Android updates are not immediate
  • Slow charger

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