Last June, I passed on the chance to review the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 due to fatigue and other issues. What I realized weeks after its launch was the positive impact it had on consumers. The Max Pro M1 was a success thanks to its features and friendly price it got a lot of users raving about it. As we are already nearing the tail end of 2018, ASUS wants to have another crack at the Max line with the release of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2. I already got the review unit weeks ago but couldn’t post a full review yet since the software updates we installed on the phone were not yet final. For the meantime, let me post my ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 first impressions until we receive the final software update.
ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 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|
|SRP:||6GB/64GB = P14,995.00
4GB/64GB = P12,995.00
ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 UNBOXING
The Zenfone Max Pro M2’s retail package includes the phone, USB cable, USB Charger, headphones, Silicon Case, SIM ejector pin, and some manuals. I only posted these three items since they’re the only ones included in my package.
ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 FIRST IMPRESSIONS: HARDWARE
I wasn’t interested in the Max Pro M2 when I saw it the first time. Probably because I was busy doing other stuff then. That changed until I was given an evaluation unit. I haven’t opened mine yet but when I saw an ASUS Representative holding one, I was stunned by its looks. It doesn’t look like any other ZenFone Max I’ve held in the past. It looked like a new ZenFone 5. The chassis of the Max Pro M2 was made of clear acrylic which I initially thought was made of metal. It may not have a two-tone color but it’s shiny, and it’s an alternative to the hues offered by the Huawei Nova 3i.
What I also like about the phone is its curved back. The phone is comfortable to hold and it’s not slippery at all. However, the phone is prone to fingerprints so I had to always wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
The screen is bigger than the M1 and now has a notch like the ZenFone 5. However, its screen is more durable than the ZenFone 5 thanks to Corning Gorilla Glass 6. According to ASUS and Corning execs, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is the second phone to use Gorilla Glass 6 after the ROG Phone.
The IPS display provides nice colors as expected. With its big battery life, you can watch local and streaming videos as much as you want.
The Antutu Benchmark score is within the range of the average score by other phones with Snapdragon 660 processors. This is slightly better than the Snapdragon 636 processor used by the ZenFone 5. Not sure if I have to do another benchmark again once I receive the final software update, but I will post other benchmark scores for comparison.
With regards to storage and memory, the 64GB/6GB variant I’m using is just enough for my usage though I reckon even the 4GB RAM would suffice.
I tested a couple of games with the Max Pro M2. PUBG Mobile’s settings were set to HD Graphics and High frame rate and gameplay was smooth so far. I only played one game, but I will be playing more games definitely and see how it goes (and hopefully get a Chicken Dinner again which I haven’t had in months.)
ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 FIRST IMPRESSIONS: SOFTWARE
Another reason why I became interested in the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 is the stock Android OS. I was tempted to get a Google Pixel 3 so I can experience owning a Stock Android phone (last time I played with a stock Android phone was the Google Nexus 6.) Navigating the phone is smooth and the simple Oreo UI is good enough for me to use. Also, I don’t have to dread updating bloatware since they aren’t present in the phone. I know there are other Google apps that I don’t bother to use but they aren’t much of a nuisance compared to the usual bloatware phones have pre-installed.
I am still unsure whether we will get Android 9 Pie immediately once it gets released. That I’ll have to check.
ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 FIRST IMPRESSIONS: CAMERA
These are the sample photos taken with the Zenfone Max 2 Pro’s camera. Take note that I am not using the final software yet. I’ll be taking more photos once I have the final software installed.
ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M2 FIRST IMPRESSIONS: BATTERY LIFE
I expected the 5,000 mAh battery capacity to last really long. So far with my usage, I’m able to end the day with 60% left. Sometimes even more when my usage wasn’t heavy. That means, the phone was able to last until the 2nd day on a single charge. What I’ll do next time is what I usually do with the previous Max – LTE always on.
The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 6GB/64GB variant will be available starting on December 15 at all ASUS and ZenFone stores and kiosks nationwide for the price of P14,995. The 4GB/64GB variant will be sold for P12,995 and is now on pre-order at Lazada and Shopee.