Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 Review: Long Lasting Mobile Gaming Machine

Written by Chad

September 4, 2018

The new Zenfone Max Pro M1 boasts of a large battery capacity for longer usage, but does it live up to its name?

Asus is also making its name on the smartphone scene, with more recent releases of its Zenfone models, it’s now catered to certain audiences. But recently they released the Zenfone Max Pro M1 that is aimed as a mid-range smartphone for gamers. Let’s see if the Max Pro M1 can definitely be crowned as the Battery King.

Before we begin, here are the specs for the Zenfone Max Pro M1:

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform with 14nm, 64-bit Octa-core Processor
  • GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 509
  • Memory: LPDDR4X 3GB
  • Storage: eMCP 5.1 32GB
  • MicroSD card: Supports up to 2TB
  • Operating System: Pure Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Display: 6-inch Full HD+ (2160 by 1080) 18:9 Full View IPS display
  • Cameras:
  • Rear: 13MP
  • Second Rear: 5MP
  • Front: 8MP Video Recording:
  • 4K UHD video recording for main rear camera
  • 1080p FHD video recording at 30 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Speaker: 5-magnet loudspeaker
  • Battery: 5000mAh capacity with fast charging
  • Dimensions: 76mm x 159mm x 8.45mm
  • Weight: 180 grams
  • Color Variants: Meteor Silver, Deepsea Black

As for the design of the Zenfone Max Pro M1, it doesn’t have that flashy look, rather it features a simple curvy design that gives it rather a clean look, and its aluminum body also makes it feel sturdy and would last from bumps during your travels. Weighing at 180 grams, it feels a bit heavier than the other new model phones, but still at a bearable weight that won’t make you feel uncomfortable when wielding for a prolonged time. The Max Pro M1 features two color variants; the Meteor Silver and Deepsea Black. It can hold two SIM cards and a MicroSD card in a single tray that is accessible on the left side of the phone, volume and power buttons are situated at the ride side. Though the Max Pro M1 still uses a Micro-USB port for data transfer and charging, it still has the 3.5mm audio jack retained but located at the bottom portion of the body along with the speakers and the Micro-USB port.

The 6 inch IPS display features a full HD resolution (at 2160 x 1080) that can produce up to 16 million colors and 404ppi pixel density giving a much vibrant look on the images and videos , it also has at around 75% of screen to body ratio. The almost full screen experience compliments to its simple body design, making it appealing to play games and watch videos. The speakers are located below the phone, another common issue with smartphone designs where it has a tendency to be covered by a user’s palms when playing, causing the audio to be muffled.

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The 13MP rear camera manages to produce some decent quality photos, while the sensor may take some time to focus on the subject, it still can makes the job done when it does work. Taking photos during daylight or in bright areas showed great results for image quality, however the camera struggles a bit in low-light scenes. It also has a depth effect feature that can take shots with depth of field effect, though it has some its hits and misses in certain cases like the depth of field has little or no effect. Recording videos has several options, including a 4K UHD option for that ultra-detailed video quality along with 30 frames per second framerate.

In terms of performance, the Max Pro M1 fairs well when running apps. The Snapdragon 636 processor can handle pretty well for a mid-range phone. Launching apps does not take up too much time to load the entire software and the 3GB RAM helps in handling loads of apps running on the phone, though it was just a shy away of having 4GB RAM instead (ASUS released a 4GB variant a few weeks later after the initial release of the Max Pro) to maximize the performance. In terms of additional apps, the Max Pro does not have much of any bloatware that aren’t actually useful, giving it more space for more important stuff that is of course, games.

As for gaming, we tested it with select popular games from different genres. Games like Grand Chase Dimensional Chaser and Fate/Grand Order play very smooth as the 2D sprites can run pretty well with the Adreno 509 chip, some high demanding titles such as PUBG Mobile and Honkai 3rd Impact may require some tweaking on the graphics options by lower some parameters, and it can perform well with some minor framerate drops in certain populated scenes. Highly competitive games like Vainglory has no issue of any performance drop, even during clashes. The phone’s temperature does not go up really high when running heavy visual games, and some of the older titles have little signs of temperature rising up, so playing for excessive hours wouldn’t cause the phone to overheat.

And of course, it’s time to talk about the battery. The Max Pro M1 boasts of a 5000mAh capacity that gives it the Battery King as its moniker. Promising long lasting battery life for everyday use, the Max Pro does deliver in terms of battery life. When just using mainly for social media browsing, it can last more than a day before draining its battery. As for gaming sessions, it can last really long with games like PUBG Mobile and other mobile RPGs for longer grinding sessions. And for charging, the Max Pro features fast charging capabilities that lets users charge the phone to max capacity in just an hour.

For a mid-range phone at its price range, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 fairs well to provide solid performance and a long last battery. Aimed directly to mobile gamers, it offers a great combination of gaming performance with a powerful battery that lets players enjoy longer gaming sessions. The camera may be a turn-off to some who are looking for a great alternative for photography, but it can still produce decent shots when handled properly. The overall look may seem simple, but its solid build makes up for it. Priced at PhP 9,995, the Max Pro M1 is indeed the Battery King and a great choice for gamers who don’t want to spend big just to enjoy their games at longer periods.

  • 3GB + 32GB; 13MP + 5MP camera is available at Lazada for PHP 9,995.00
  • 4GB + 64GB; 16MP + 5MP camera is available in-store nationwide for PHP 13,995.00
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