Asus brings Zenfone Max Pro (M1) to India, with Snapdragon 636 chipset, FullView 5.99 inch full HD screen + aspect ratio 18: 9, and 5,000 mAh battery.

Zenfone Max Pro is mixed to meet the needs of “mobile gamers”, offering a more optimal gaming experience. Through the following Zenfone Max Pro (M1) Asus review, I will try to express what advantages and disadvantages it has. 

Asus still maintains a conservative design on the Zenfone Max Pro, i.e. full bezel with no notch. It’s just that the screen has adopted a new 18: 9 aspect ratio like today’s modern smartphones, complete with a curved glass 2.5D layer that is slightly curved on the edge of the glass.

LOOK AND FEEL

Body Zenfone Max Pro is composed of aluminum, with dimensions of 159 x 76 x 8.5 mm, and weighs 180 grams. Honestly, his body is quite thick and impressed so strong, can be understood because it has embedded 5000 mAh battery. Thanks to all four rounded corners, making the Zenfone Max Pro feels ergonomic in the palm of the hand. Especially in the landscape position while playing the game.

The layout of the buttons is standard only, the power button and volume are on the right. Then on the left, there is access to open two SIM card slots and a dedicated microSD slot. Then, at the bottom of the embedded 3.5mm audio jack, micro USB port, loudspeaker, and microphone. Switching backward, there is a vertical, rear-mounted vertical camera that is easily accessible to the index finger.

DISPLAY

Zenfone Max Pro screen that spans 5.99 inches wide has been buffered full HD resolution + 1080 × 2160 pixels with a pixel density of 402 PPI. Thanks to the 18: 9 aspect ratio, you get a wider view of about 12 percent when playing games than a 16: 9 smartphone.

Field screen and the additional view is certainly quite profitable, especially when playing battle royale that relies on eye foresight.

Playing games is also more comfortable because FullView display is also capable of very bright up to 450 nits. Support contrast ratio 1500: 1 provides a clearer viewing angle toward the screen.

UI AND CAMERA

Surprisingly enough, Asus took off the feature-rich ZenUI interface. In contrast, Zenfone Max Pro uses a stock version of Oreo with security patches in April 2018.

The only thing that makes a disappointment on the Zenfone Max Pro is the camera. Before heading to the result, let’s start with the camera interface. Asus does not rely on Pixel Master camera applications but using Snapdragon camera. I think it’s easier to use, we can choose effects and change shooting mode quickly, from the automatic start, HDR, portrait, landscape, sports, flowers, backlight, candlelight, sunset, night, beach, and snow.

The camera app is a little confusing, with controls that weren’t well laid out at all. For example, the flash settings are in a menu and it takes three taps to turn it on or off. There’s also no way to know what state it’s in unless you open the menu to check. There’s a “depth mode” toggle rather than a separate portrait mode, so you might also not always realize when it’s enabled. It also takes three taps to get into video mode and begin recording.

Two excellent features of the Zenfone Max Pro are a portrait mode for taking photos with bokeh effects, the subject is sharp and the background blurred to make the subject stand out. Then, the beauty mode comes with a live beautification feature that instantly beautifies your photos.

The result? In outdoor conditions with ideal light, exposure and color look good, HDR mode is also able to increase the dynamic range so as to capture the detail better.

Unfortunately, the photo quality dropped dramatically in indoor and lowlight, the colors are rather pale and the detail loss is quite significant, as well as the slowing autofocus performance. At night, details get a little fuzzy and it takes much longer to lock focus, but post editing images could look good. For video recording, Zenfone Max Pro can record up to 4K format.

Photos in Bokeh mode were not the best but sharpness and colors popped nicely, surprisingly.

VERDICT

Xiaomi killer – very clear that Zenfone Max Pro is shown to fight Xiaomi Redmi Note 5. They both offer high specification smartphone with competitive price.

Zenfone Max Pro is like a “console engine” capable of running games optimally for a long time with the great 5000 mAH battery, perfect for mobile gamers. But with a note, do not expect more on the ability of the camera in low light.

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