In 2018, Asus launched some of the highest grossing phones. Whether it is the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 or the Asus ZenFone 5Z, both the phones saw significant success in the Indian market. As such, it is needless to say that Asus wanted to finish the year with a bang. Asus on Tuesday launched the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 along with the Asus ZenFone Max M2, the successors to two of its previous debuts. The two phones retain much from their predecessors whether it is the big battery or the impressive specifications. We had the opportunity of testing both the phones ahead of the launch, so read ahead to know what the first impressions of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 are like.
Asus has definitely not ignored the aesthetics of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 in its bid to stick to the budget segment pricing. Even with that, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 comes with a glass front and plastic back, encased over a metal frame. Not only that, but the phone comes with the Corning Gorilla Glass 6, which is the latest protective glass from Corning. Since the phone features a glass-like (it's actually plastic) back, it is bound to be a little slippery and act as a fingerprint magnet. To counter that, Asus is also shipping a silicone case along with the phone which also extends an easy grip for the users. In comparison, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes only with a metal back.
On the other hand, the Asus ZenFone Max M2 comes with a metallic back this time around instead of a metallic finish back which was the case with the Asus ZenFone Max M1.
Display - Up a ‘Notch’
Asus has now decided to come out of the sidelines and join the notch bandwagon this time around. The Taiwanese manufacturer has used notched displays for both the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 and the Asus ZenFone Max M2. Although a lot of people might not like the notch, it sure does help the phone in attaining a larger screen to body ratio. Speaking of the display, both the phones come with 6.26-inch panels, with a 19:9 aspect ratio.
The only difference between the two phones when it comes to display is in terms of the resolution. While the ZenFone Max M2 features an HD+ display that renders a resolution of 1520×720 pixels, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 features a better Full HD+ display with a resolution of 2280x1080pixels. Another subtle difference between the two phones is between the size of the notches. The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 comes with a smaller notch, whereas the ZenFone Max M2 sports a bigger notch housing the earpiece in addition to the sensors.
Increased Processing Prowess
When it comes to performance, we see the Asus ZenFone Max M2 upgrade from the previous Snapdragon 430 SoC to Snapdragon 632 SoC this time around. On the other hand, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 now comes with a Snapdragon 660 processor, as compared to the Snapdragon 636 which we get to see on the predecessor. This device offers faster CPU, faster LTE, better AI features and camera performance among many others. This chipset also supports fast charging and better Wi-Fi connectivity.
The two phones also get a revamp in terms of imaging quality as well. Firstly, the Asus ZenFone Max M2 now comes with a dual rear camera setup in contrast to the single rear sensor which it used to sport earlier. The dual rear setup includes a 13MP f/1.8 aperture lens paired with a 2MP depth sensor for portrait mode. The new setup also extends support for 4K video recording. On the front, for selfies, the phone features an 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture and an LED flash.
On to the ZenFone Max Pro M2, the phone sports a dual rear camera setup comprising of a 12MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture, and a 5MP secondary sensor for depth of field shots. The camera setup also comes with EIS support along with 4K video recording capabilities. On the front, we get to see a 13MP selfie snapper with f/2.0 aperture paired with an LED flash.
With the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, we saw the brand going down the stock Android path for its phone. This time also, Asus is shipping the ZenFone Max Pro M2 with the stock Android version 8.1 Oreo. However, the thing to note is that this phone does not come with an Android One certification like other stock Android phones available in the price range. There are also some third-party apps installed which include Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Although Asus has promised Android 9 Pie update for this phone, it is slated to be pushed to the users sometime in January.
The big selling point of the Asus phones in the past have been the massive battery. This time also, Asus has not ignored the factor and as such the ZenFone Max M2 comes with a 4000mAh battery whereas the Max Pro M2 comes with a 5000mAh battery. However, even with that, these two phones face the competition from some of the offerings like Redmi Note 6 Pro, Mi A2, Realme Pro 2 and Honor 8X. While the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 might have become a hit in the market, a lot of phones have debuted between then and now, and it is entirely possible that these two new Asus phones might see a more significant resistance from brands like Xiaomi.
But Asus has nailed the pricing of the Max Pro M2 as the base 3GB+32GB variant is priced at Rs 9,999. With this, the Max Pro M2 is the cheapest phone with Snapdragon 660 SoC. If looks are your thing, you should consider the Max Pro M2. Stay tuned for our full reviews of both the phones dropping in a week's time.