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ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Review

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ASUS Zenfone Max M1

The ASUS ZenFone Max M1 is one of the newest smartphones that were announced by the Taiwanese company this 2018, and now, we have already tested it for a few weeks. We will now leave you our final analysis, if the phone is the most ambitious model in the “Max” series, both in specifications, and in design & price (under ~P10,000).

Asus ZenFone Max M1 specs:

  • 5.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD display (720 x 1440) 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor
  • Adreno 505 graphics
  • Android 8.0 Oreo with ZenUI 5.0
  • 32GB internal memory
  • 3GB RAM
  • 13 megapixel (f/2.0 aperture) + 8 megapixel, PDAF, dual LED flash
  • 8 megapixel front camera with f/2.2 aperture
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, USB Type C
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • Price: P8,995

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

As a smartphone that features battery capabilities, the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 has a distinct design, but keeping with the current smartphone design trends, in contrast to previous smartphones with great battery capacity that have lacked attractive designs.

The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 uses plastic material and carries a 5.5-inch screen but can be fit with a standard 5.2-inch smartphone body because the screen is made with an aspect ratio of 18:9. Hence, the device is very comfortable to hold in the hand, and it’s not too big.

Turning to the back, we have the dual cameras and LED flash that are arranged vertically, with the position of the fingerprint scanner at the upper center. At the front, we have the aforementioned 5.5-inch in 18:9 body, the selfie camera, and a couple of sensors. At the left, we have the dual-SIM and microSD card slots, plus the primary microphone, while on the right lies the two volume buttons and the power button.

Going to the bottom edge, there’s a micro-USB port and the speaker. Lastly, at the top is the lone 3.5 mm headphone jack.

DISPLAY

The 5.5-inch screen comes with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels or HD + in terms of size plus resolution, which is enough for a good mobile gaming experience that is very comfortable in the hand.

A user of the ASUS ZenFone Max M1 will be delighted with the screen resolution. Even though the phone is using the HD+ panel, its brightness level as well as the contrast are decent in overall usage. It allows the screen to look great in intense daylight on the screen.

The screen doesn’t easily get dirt, and offers great viewing angles, a detail that we’ve not seen in other smartphones with high asking price.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus M1 uses the ZenUI 5.0 based on Android 8.0 “Oreo” with the inclusion of some Google Apps and pre-installed ASUS applications.

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For example, the Power Master app that helps the user to monitor battery consumption and battery saving management. In addition, apps like Selfie Master that has the capabilities of beautifying the face of the user.

The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 has a specification in the middle class or which by the company is called the mainstream segment. The device comes with the 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. It can be added by a microSD card up to 256GB.

Luckily, the use of microSD card will not take the place of the second SIM card slot. So, this phone has three slots that separates the dual-SIM slot and microSD. For many people, this is very effective for users who like to download games and movies with huge memory capacity.

It uses the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430-octa-core processor with a clock spped of 1.4GHz in a 64-bit architecture. Based on our tests conducted using benchmark applications, the resulting score is good enough.

CAMERA

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 brings a double cameras on the back, with a mix of 13 megapixel + 8 megapixel, accompanied by a single-LED flash. The front camera is an 8 megapixels with f/2.2 aperture that shoots at 1080p.

The dual camera provides the “bokeh” features that make you not minder using a smartphone that good in battery life. Based on our experience, the quality of the front camera is very convincing in outdoor conditions.

The image quality at the back is considerably nice with good amount of sharpness and colors though it is less strong and so is the contrast. In indoor conditions with sufficient lighting, the resulting photos are quite decent and satisfying for us.

Sample Photos:

CONNECTIVITY

Regarding the frequencies covered by the ZenFone Max M1 (ZB555KL):

2G – 850/900/1800/1900 MHz;

3G – 850/900/1900/2100 MHz; and

4G – LTE band 1 (2100), 3 (1800), 5 (850), 7 (2600), 8 (900) , 18 (800), 19 (800), 26 (850), 28 (700), 38 (2600), 41 (2500).

Other connectivity features include the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, and FM Radio.

BATTERY

The battery of this smartphone has a capacity of 4,000 mAh battery that can be fully charged in just 2 hours, maybe not the fastest charging among other smartphones but with such capacity, the charging time is quite fast.

We tested the battery life using can last up to two days of moderate usage.

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No wonder that ASUS is dare to claim that this device can be used to play games for many hours.

With the energy control options of the battery and the optimization of the ZenUI, we can manage the battery life, just in case we need to spend more time on using it, with specific modes depending on the battery level.

VERDICT

The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 is an exciting proposition in the mid-range smartphone segment, below ~P10,000. It has quite a few positive points to buy it without hesitation, showing us that ASUS is on the right track. The smartphone has also been equipped with dual cameras that makes this device not left behind in terms of trends, such as the camera aspect, though more in the battery life.

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