ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 Review

by - Monday, April 15, 2019

The first thing I look for in a phone is how it can keep up with my daily multimedia demands. Next is its longevity because I often rely on my handset (whenever I’m bored or avoiding awkward convos, LOL). Different phones in the market offer one or the other, but not with the new ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2. This latest unit from the brand's renowned "Battery King" line champions both battery and performance.

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The ZenFone Max Pro M2

Unboxing the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2

Inside the box are the M2 unit, User Guide manual, Micro-USB cable, USB power adapter, and Ejector pin. Not pictured are the ASUS earphone with microphone and the clear bumper case.

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The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 Unboxed

First Impressions

One word, classy. The Midnight Blue finish, thin bezel, and crisp screen resolution shouted sophistication.

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Familiar with the term "phablet"? That's how I would categorize the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 size. It has a good grip but its size may not get everyone’s nod of approval. Even if I have big hands, there were times that I need both of them for support whenever I play, watch, or text. 

This is also the first time I've used a unit with the infamous notch. After a few uses, I wasn't bothered by it as much because of the phone’s screen-to-body ratio. 

Design, Size, and Display

A big phone only means one thing - a great mobile viewing experience! I already imagine binging my fave Netflix series with M2's 6.3-inch, high contrast display. I’m also a big fan of the phone’s high-resolution display. Because of this, I noticed how mindful I became with smaller details in photos or videos viewed on the phone.

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Trying the ZenFone Max Pro M2's split screen and viewing experience
Added to the things I love about this phone is its 88% screen-to-body ratio! I get to maximize any movies' widescreen format because of this. I also get a bigger game perspective and comfortable split screen space. The screen size makes the phone extra hardworking, IMO.

This can be a blessing and a curse though. While its big screen size is a huge deal because of its benefits, bringing it on a daily basis can be an issue.

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 ZenFone Max Pro M2's Midnight Blue finish
The M2's glossy finish is premium-looking but also a smudge magnet. ASUS already took this into consideration that's why there's a bumper case included in the box.

The Snapdragon 660 SoC powers the M2 making it response fast to phone commands stat. This phone won me over because of the lag-free jumping from one app to another. I prefer playing Parking Mania 2 on this phone now rather than on my iPhone! 😂

Audio

I made sure to try out the M2’s loudspeaker because this is also one of my most used phone features. I’m quite surprised with its 5-magnet speaker because I only hear minimal distortion as I put the volume up. I had to keep the phone volume up to 80-85% only to keep the sound at bay. It’s also a surprise that the phone didn’t heat up after putting the music on the loudspeaker for an hour or two.

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 ZenFone Max Pro M2's 3.5mm jack, micro-USB port, and speaker 

Camera

I’m impressed with the camera’s sharp output on well-lit subjects. Kudos to M2's dual rear camera that captures high resolution, realistic photos. I'm also thrilled to see that the light sources don't burst on low-light photos. Some noise is still present in dimmer photos though.

Selfie taken using the ZenFone Max Pro M2's front camera
Selfie with the ZenFone Max Pro M2 | Backlight setup
Zenfone Max Pro M2's Rear Camera | Lowlight setup
I’m almost always in point-and-shoot mode whenever I take photos using a phone camera. While the M2 is fast in taking photos, it’s a tad hard to keep the focus in my desired area. I found the camera focus recalibrating on its own after I take photos (with the focus locked in my desired area). I also miss the exposure slider in the camera app because I tinker around the brightness before I shoot.

I also had fun playing with the portrait mode because the depth of field (bokeh) has a slider. As for the result, this feature can be a hit or miss because it doesn’t 100% identify and capture the subject. In one of my attempts, the M2 wasn’t able to detect the depth of my glasses and earrings.

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Zenfone Max Pro M2's Rear Camera | Portrait Mode
Zenfone Max Pro M2's Front Camera | Portrait Mode

Verdict

Available for PhP 14,995 for the 6GB/64GB variant and PhP 12,995 for the 4GB/64GB, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 makes a nice entertainment partner. Its size may come as both a pro and con but its performance and resolution makes up for it. 

Click here to see the full specifications of the last ZenFone Max unit. What do you think about this new phone? Let me know your thoughts! 😊

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