Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Gaming Powerhouse right at the palm of your hand

Gaming performance meets insane battery life on this one.

Last year ASUS powered through the smartphone market as they release a plethora of devices that boasts flagship-performance paired with high-battery capacity, without totally wrecking the consumer wallet, a pairing that seemed pretty distant many other smartphone brands through their new ZenFone Max line. Months after, they followed up on the hype by releasing what maybe the new mid-range powerhouse today with the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2, a 6.3 inch device powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and a 5,000mAh Battery Life, which, after toying around with it for a couple of days, did deliver flagship level performance at a price of a mid-range device.

Key Specifications

Note: Listed below are the actual specifications of our review device.

OS Android Oreo 8.1.0
Processor Octacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 1.95 Ghz
(4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260)
Graphics Adreno 512
RAM 6 GB
Storage 64 GB Expandable using microSD
Camera (Rear) 12MP + 5MP Dual Camera
Camera (Front) 13MP
Display Resolution FHD 2280 by 10800 px, 19:9 Aspect Ratio IPS LCD
6.3″ Full Notch with 90% Screen Ratio
Connectivity Dual Nano Sim
2.4 Ghz WiFi
Bluetooth 5.0
Battery Capacity 5000 mAh

Build & Aesthetics

Classy, and sassy, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 stands at approximately 6.3 inches, with a glossy reflective finish on its backside bordered by soft slopes connecting the whole backpiece to its wide IPS LCD. A fingerprint scanner sits right above the ASUS logo at the middle, and to its left are the 2 Rear Cameras with the flash LED situated below. In contrast to common smartphone designs both the power button and the volume rockers are on one side, while the audio and USB ports sit at the bottom. Perhaps one of the best things about the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is that the 90:10 Screen to Notch ratio makes the notch almost non-noticeable especially during gaming which means more screen real estate, not just for gaming but also for other tasks such as watching videos.

Software and UI

UI isn’t the strongest point in the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 as everything feels cluttered in the app drawer with the apps being arranged via First letter on default rather than the usual stock apps-latest downloaded setting that most smartphone models utilize. Surprisingly, there are no annoying bloatwares, although the device does come preinstalled with essential Google Applications (and comes with a free 100GB Google Drive expansion for a year!). Security features include your standard Smartphone security options, a face recognition option and Fingerprint recognition (did we say that it comes with a Fingerprint Scanner?) in case that you wanna go the extra mile in protecting your device. Also, one nifty feature is the split screen option which allows you to run 2 apps at the same time if you’re pretty okay with sacrificing app screen real estate that is.

Performance Benchmarks

With its Octacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, playing around the device is a blast with quick response time even to heavy loads, partly also thanks to its 6GB of RAM capacity. PC Mark’s Work 1.0 performance score sits at 6592 while Work 2.0 records a score of 5876. Geekbench on the other hand, gives a Single Core score of 1470 while Multi-Core performance nets 5565. In terms of Graphics performance, 3D Mark’s Sling Shot test nets a score of 1866 while Sling Shot Extreme records a score of 1240 on its OpenGL test. As for AnTuTu, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 scores 125096 surpassing the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 (118397) and the Nokia 6.1 Plus (109000) with both smartphones having the same price as the ZenFone Max Pro M2.

Even so, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 falls a bit behind other devices that utilize the Octacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Configuration such as the Vivo V9 Pro (129,190), Realme 2 Pro (140000), and the Xiaomi Mi A2 (134292) this could largely be due to the ZenFone Max Pro M2’s base clock speed of 1.9Ghz, while the rest of the mentioned smartphones that also use the same configuration running at 2-2.2 Ghz.

Note: All of the AnTuTu scores from the mentioned devices are available publicly via Kimovil.

Gaming

The area where the ZenFone Max Pro M2 truly shines, playing popular games at maxed out settings is absolutely no problem for the device as it is able to smoothly run popular titles, Mobile Legends and PUBG Mobile with virtually zero performance issues. In contrast to our previous method with the Realme C1 review, which involved running a screen recorder and a game at the same time, we opted to do an “over the shoulder” recording setup for a more visually accurate representation of the ZenFone Max Pro M2’s performance. For this device we utilized 3 games, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PUBG Mobile and MU ORIGIN 2, with 3 games showing varying levels of using CPU and GPU resource usage to render effects, load up models, and flash effects.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang – Gameplay Recording

 

PUBG Mobile – Gameplay Recording

 

MU Origin 2 – Gameplay Recording

Camera Quality

The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 dual camera is able to take good to nearly great photos with its 12MP + 5MP dual lens tech achieving near perfect color accuracy under adequate lighting. Images are sharp and there is a good amount of subject detail visible on the photos taken on its main camera.

Low light shots show an obvious difference though as images are bound to have visible noise in them making images feel blurry, with most of the detail and color accuracy being lost in the process.

In terms of its Front or the “Selfie” camera, the same level of quality can be expected, both in adequate and low light conditions, in terms of color accuracy and focus on detail. It can be noted though, that while the Camera itself may not be the strongest feature of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2, the overall quality is surprisingly above par, and proves to be more than decent enough for both who love to play around with smartphone photography, and just plainly taking good photos for Social Media.

 

Battery

5000 mAh battery life proved to be very worthy of testing and the ZenFone Max Pro M2 did not disappoint as our average usage, which includes a mix of browsing, video and audio streaming, multitasking (viewing emails, responding to social media on applications) and gaming, had the device running for 13 hours. Charging can be quite a wait as it could run from 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours especially when filling up a drained battery.

Overall Verdict.

With its solid build and great hardware performance, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 can really rival the flagship devices of other Android Smartphone brands of today at the price of a mid-range device. Despite still having its low points, just like any other device, the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 still remains a top choice especially for those who wish to work hard and game harder. With that we give the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 a glorious Gold award.

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