comscore Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: A value for money proposition
Review

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review: A value for money proposition

The Zenfone Max M2 is an affordable smartphone with stock Android and dual rear cameras. But can it compete with the other popular smartphones in its price range?

asus zenfone max m2

Asus Zenfone Max M2 4 5
BGR Rating :
4/5

Asus had a successful 2018 with popular smartphones like the Zenfone Max Pro M1 and the Zenfone 5Z. The recently launched Zenfone Max Pro M2 has also raised the bar for mid-range smartphones, and with the Zenfone Max M2, Asus is looking to repeat the same. Launched just two months after the Zenfone Max M1, the successor brings in key upgrades to the table. Also Read - Flipkart Mobiles Bonanza sale: Discount on Realme C12, Poco X3, Moto G 5G, more

Also Read - Realme X7, Realme X7 Pro will be available on Flipkart

It is offered in two variants 3GB RAM with 32GB storage for Rs 9,999, and 4GB RAM with 64GB storage for Rs 11,999. They can be purchased exclusively via Flipkart. At its price point, the smartphone will closely compete with the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro, Realme 2, Moto G6 Play, and Honor 7C to name a few. With the upgrades that the Max M2 brings, is it worth buying? Let s find out. Also Read - Flipkart, Amazon sale: Discounts on mobile phones, Smart TVs and more

Watch: Asus Zenfone 5Z First Look

Display and design

The Zenfone Max M1 featured an 18:9 HD+ display with thick bezels on the top and bottom. With the Max M2, Asus has sliced some of those bezels to offer more screen real estate. You now get a 6.26-inch HD+ 19:9 display. There is a wide notch at the top that houses a front camera, LED flash, earpiece and sensors. The company has fitted an IPS LCD panel which is quite good when it comes to brightness and color reproduction, especially at its price point.

The frame is made from thick plastic, and the back features a metal plate with smooth metallic finish. On the top left, you have vertically placed dual camera modules, and an LED flash. A circular fingerprint scanner sits at the center in the top half, followed by Asus branding. Overall, it comes with a good design, nothing new or out of ordinary, but sticking to the basics.

Stock Android OS

One of the strong points of recent Asus smartphones is that they run stock Android OS, and the Zenfone Max M2 is no different. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo with October security patch, and is due to get Android 9 Pie update sometime next year. Asus has installed three apps that include Sound Recorder, FM Radio and Calculator, and three third-party apps that include Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Unfortunately, you cannot uninstall them.

Overall, the software experience is good and clutter free. There are nifty additions such as the ambient display that wakes screen when you get notifications. Asus has also added ZenMotion that lets you double tap the screen to turn off and wake up the display.

There are, however, a couple of things you would miss on stock Android. In case of custom skins, you get features like dual messenger for WhatsApp, Telegram and more. But the same isn t available here. Thankfully, there are apps such as Parallel Space, App Cloner, Multiple Accounts among others that let you have that feature.

Performance and battery life

The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 632 SoC, which is a big upgrade over the Snapdragon 430 on the Zenfone Max M1. Made on 14nm process and featuring a Kryo 250 octa-core CPU, it offers over 40 percent improvement over Snapdragon 626, and some more over Snapdragon 430. Asus made a good choice going for a capable processor, unlike other OEMs that go for a less powerful chipset.

I had the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage variant for review, and the performance difference was visible. I did not come across any lag when using the smartphone during the day to day usage. With a few Chrome tabs open, switching between apps like Facebook and Twitter was effortless. Even gaming performance was decent. I played casual titles like Monument Valley 2 and Alto s Odyssey and they ran fine. Even Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG were playable at low graphics settings. The rendering wasn t sharp, but you can play them without any issues.

Battery life on the Max M2 is good too. The 4,000mAh battery takes about two hours to fully charge with the 10W adapter bundled in the box, and with normal usage, the battery lasts close to a day and a half. If you have more heavy usage, it will still let you sail through a working day, and be left with some juice at night.

Cameras

Now, while I had no complaints about the design, software and performance, I am disappointed with the camera performance. Daylight shots are decent, and good enough to share on social media channels. But most photos lack details, the dynamic range is iffy at times. And in low-light, it struggles even further, right from taking a couple of seconds to lock focus, to saving photos in camera roll, Asus needs to fine tune the software to take advantage of the chipset s capabilities.

IMG_20181220_120117

IMG_20181220_180833

IMG_20181220_120055

Most times, the night shots came out blurry, and when I did get some right, they looked smudgy. The primary 13-megapixel sensor has f/1.8 aperture, but it doesn t do justice to photos. The secondary 2-megapixel sensor doesn t work too well. The portrait mode makes the background dark at times. The 8-megapixel selfie snapper on the front is good outdoors, but starts losing quality indoors. It does offer AI portrait mode, and it does a decent job outdoors. The camera also supports 4K video recording, but let s not be too ambitious.

Verdict: Should you buy the Zenfone Max M2?

The Zenfone Max M2 brings strong competition in the affordable segment by offering stock Android, smooth performance and long battery life. However, if you are looking for a smartphone with a dependable camera in under Rs 10,000 price range, you may be a bit disappointed. Taking the camera out of the equation, the Zenfone Max M2 is a good value for money proposition.

If you can extend your budget by Rs 3,000, you can go for Realme 2 Pro or Zenfone Max Pro M2, both of which are good devices. Otherwise, if you want stock Android, premium looking glass design and decent cameras, the Nokia 5.1 Plus is worth looking at. And if you don t mind MIUI interface, the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro is not a bad option either.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: December 25, 2018 12:19 PM IST


You Might be Interested

Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro

9999

Android 8.1 Oreo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core SoC
12MP + 5MP
Realme 2

9499

Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC
12MP + 2MP
Asus Zenfone Max M2

7499

Android 8.1 Oreo
Snapdragon 632 octa-core
Dual - 13MP + 2MP
Asus Zenfone Max M1

5999

Android 8.0 Oreo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
13MP with LED flash

new arrivals in india

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

46,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

11,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Oppo Find X2
Oppo Find X2

64,990

Motorola One Fusion Plus
Motorola One Fusion Plus

17,499

Samsung Galaxy A31
Samsung Galaxy A31

20,999

Samsung Galaxy M01
Samsung Galaxy M01

8,999

Samsung Galaxy M11
Samsung Galaxy M11

10,999

Infinix Hot 9 Pro
Infinix Hot 9 Pro

9,999

LG Velvet
LG Velvet

Price Not Available

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

Price Not Available

Apple iPhone SE 2020
Apple iPhone SE 2020

42,500

Honor 30 Pro
Honor 30 Pro

Price Not Available

Honor 30
Honor 30

Price Not Available

OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

44,999

OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus 8 Pro

54,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

13,999

Best Sellers