Asus launched the Zenfone Max Pro M2, a powerful successor to its Zenfone Max Pro M1, in India and few other markets yesterday. The smartphone was launched simultaneously in India as well and it is the first device where Asus seems to have got both the price and name of the device right. The Zenfone Max Pro M2, which goes on first sale on December 18 at 12PM, is once again exclusive to Flipkart.
To recall, Asus made a re-entry into the Indian smartphone market with the launch of Zenfone Max Pro M1 early this year. The smartphone was designed in collaboration with Flipkart and was aimed squarely at Xiaomi’s offering in the sub-Rs 15,000 price segment. With the Zenfone Max Pro M2, Asus aims to challenge the Redmi Note 6 Pro from Xiaomi, Realme 2 Pro from Realme and Honor 8C in the Indian market.
Design and Display
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is not a huge redesign over its predecessor in a significant way. However, it brings new design changes like a notched display that consumers have started looking for on their smartphones. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 now features a 6.26-inch Full HD+ display with a notch that is not as wide as its competitors. The notch hides the front camera and other sensors and allows for a taller 19:9 aspect ratio. The Zenfone Max Pro M1, in comparison, came with a 5.99-inch display with a big chin and forehead and 18:9 aspect ratio.
In terms of design, Asus claims that the Zenfone Max Pro M2 now has Corning Gorilla Glass 6 at the front as well as rear. The finish on the back makes for a striking look when compared to its rival Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro and predecessor Zenfone Max Pro M1, which has a metal back. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 clearly wins in display and design and will alone be a reason to upgrade from last year’s model.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is now officially one of the cheapest phone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC. The Zenfone Max Pro M1 held that crown for Snapdragon 636 and Asus is clearly taking the fight to its rivals by using a more powerful processor. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 uses a Snapdragon 660 SoC, a 14nm chipset with eight Kyro cores and Adreno 512 GPU.
The chipset has been found to be much faster than Snapdragon 636 found on Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Redmi Note 6 Pro. It also comes in three storage variants of 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage. There is a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and support for WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC and 4G LTE. The Zenfone Max Pro M2, like its predecessor, also packs a large 5,000mAh battery and Asus claims it will last for two full days. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 still runs Android 8.1 Oreo but its near stock experience means Android 9 Pie update will arrive soon.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 also brings big updates to its predecessor in the camera department. It features a combination of 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel dual rear camera setup with the primary sensor having wider f/1.8 aperture and phase detection autofocus. The secondary sensor with its narrower f/2.4 aperture mainly aids in capturing depth. We will need to see how it fares against Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro but it is definitely an update over two different setups seen on last year’s model. For selfies, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 features a 13-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture, HDR support and 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second.
Watch: Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro Hands-On
Asus has priced the Zenfone Max Pro M2 at Rs 12,999 for the base variant with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. The model with 4GB RAM is priced at Rs 14,999 while the 6GB RAM variant will set you back by Rs 16,999. The pricing seems identical to that of its predecessor and is competitive especially considering the Snapdragon 660 chip under the hood and large 5,000mAh battery.