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Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2: autonomy at the top and small compromises | Review



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Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2: autonomy at the top and small compromises | Review


Scary autonomy and excellent performance at an affordable price: these are Asus’ promises for its new one Zenfone Max Pro M2. After more than a month of testing we are ready to give our opinion on this smartphone, which pleasantly surprised us.

HARDWARE

Holding the Zenfone Max Pro M2 you immediately realize the great work of Asus in terms of optimization: despite the huge battery weight and thickness are contained. The grip is not the best and the phone is quite slippery, using the included cover makes things much better. Build quality is undoubtedly good, even if the rear is in plastic not from that “premium” feeling we have become accustomed to handling other phones.

On the front we find the display with the inevitable notch which contains the front camera with flash, the ear capsule and the brightness and proximity sensor. On the back we have the dual rear cameras and the fingerprint sensor that works well and is fast. In the lower part we find (unfortunately) the door micro-USBthe mono speaker, the microphone for calls and incredibly a 3.5mm jack.

At the top we only have the second microphone for background noise suppression. On the left side we have the door for SIM and Micro-SD while on the right side we have the power button and the volume rocker. Noteworthy is the door that can simultaneously accommodate 2 sims and a micro-SD.

SPECIFICATIONS

Device
Dimensions 157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5 mm
Weight 175 g
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Display
Guy IPS LCD
Dimension 6.26 ″ (~ 82.0% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 2280 pixels, 19: 9 ratio (~ 403 ppi)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Platform
OS Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Chipset Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 (14 nm)
CPU Octa-core (4 × 2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4 × 1.8 GHz Kryo 260)
GPU Adreno 512
Memory
SD microSD up to 512 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal 64 GB, 4/6 GB RAM or 32 GB, 3 GB RAM
Rear Camera
Dual 12 MP, f / 1.8, 1 / 2.9 ″, 1.25μm, PDAF
5 MP, f / 2.4, 1.12µm, depth sensor
Video 2160p @ 30fps, 1080p @ 30 / 60fps, gyro-EIS
Front Camera
Single 13MP, f / 2.0, 1.12µm
Video 1080p @ 30fps
Drums
5000 mAh
Charging Fast battery charging 5V / 2A 10W

PACKAGING

In the sales package, in addition of course to the smartphone, we find the 5V / 2A power supply (no fast charging), a USB – Micro-USB cable, the pin to remove the door for Sim and Micro-SD, a silicone cover and a pair of in-ear headphones with microphone. In this range and at this price it is difficult to ask for more. The earphones are from good workmanship and return a balanced sound.

DISPLAY

On board the smartphone we find a 6.3-inch IPS LCD unit with Full HD + resolution (2280 × 1080 pixels). Without infamy and without praise it is a good panel, the brightness is high and is well readable in most situations. The colors are well calibrated and the blacks are surprising, although they are not at the same level as an AMOLED, they are deep and pleasant.

The notch is not the most voluminous even if together with the pronounced lower edge it is not really “invisible”, but nothing serious given the band in which we find ourselves. The unit is protected by Gorilla Glass 6 which demonstrated excellent scratch resistance during our test.

AUDIO

While there is nothing to say about the ear capsule as it does its job well, we should applaud ASUS for the 5-magnet speaker: the volume is high and the quality is above average despite not being stereo and the low frequencies are practically only hinted at.

Good output from the 3.5 mm jack output, thanks also to the integrated amplifier.

CAMERAS

The rear photographic compartment consists of two sensors, the protagonist is a Sony IMX 486 from 12 Megapixel accompanied by a secondary 5 megapixel sensor used only for depth recognition. The focal aperture is f / 1.8 and the pixel size is 1.25µm. The shots generally are very good, in terms of sharpness and colors, the software and the sensor work well. The performance drops significantly, however, when we are in low light conditions, the shots often appear mixed and overexposed.

Like any self-respecting phone released in recent times, there is a “artificial intelligence”Which manages to identify various scenes and chooses the best settings for us: on this device it cannot be deactivated so we cannot know if it brings actual improvements or not.

In the video department the Zenfone Max Pro M2 suffers the lack of an optical stabilizer: the maximum recording resolution is UHD but in this case the electronic stabilizer will also be disabled. Videos shot in Full-HD (30fps) are good but nothing sensational.

Nothing to say about the front camera which does its job without particular criticalities: it is a 12 megapixel sensor with f / 2.0 aperture accompanied by a Flash LED. Also in this case the performance drops in case of low light, but the Flash comes in handy.

PERFORMANCE

The Snapdragon 660 combined with 6GB of RAM make this Zenfone Max Pro M2 a terminal very fast and reliable: You can also play heavier games by reducing the graphics settings. I have never had blocks or uncertainties and at the level of multitasking you can not really say anything. Obviously it can’t handle the most recent games with maximum graphics settings, but reducing the latter we will have more than acceptable performance.

Now we come to the main feature of this smartphone: the huge 5000 mAh battery. Combined with the not exactly energy-intensive processor, it allows us to reach quietly 2 days of heavy use. There is no type of fast recharge and it will take about 4 hours to recharge it completely: not bad given the great autonomy.

For the reception chapter, the smartphone does not shine either with regard to the cellular network or with regard to Wi-Fi but we are far from something disastrous.

SYSTEM

On the smartphone we find installed Android 8.1 Oreo, with the security patches stuck in January 2019. Pie is expected to arrive shortly and is only currently available as a beta. Asus has cut the customizations to the bone by simply installing a calculator, a voice recorder, an app to listen to FM radio and a custom camera app.

This is not an Android One but as an experience it comes very close. Also noteworthy is the support for app content such as Netflix in high definition as it features DRM Widevine level 1.

CONCLUSIONS

The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is the ideal smartphone for those looking for excellent autonomy in a medium-range with a lot of substance: in terms of thickness with this battery it has no rivals. There are compromises, the most annoying (in our opinion) is the presence of a micro-USB port.

The price at which it is proposed is € 299perhaps slightly too high but not entirely unjustified given the quality of the product.

PRO

AGAINST