Asus unveiled two new smartphones, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 and the Zenfone Max M2, in India today. They claim that these two new offerings were designed keeping in mind user feedback on previous phones, particularly the Zenfone 5Z and the Zenfone Max Pro M1.
According to the company, the Max Pro M2 and the Max M2 are “set to be the best in the segment” when they launch on Flipkart on December 18th and December 20th respectively. But that’s too early to say as the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Redmi Note 6 Pro offer a great overall value already.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2
The Max Pro M2 aims to bring flagship-level design and performance to a mid-range smartphone. It has a 6.26-inch full-HD+ display with a notch on top, protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 6, usually seen only in flagship phones. The Gorilla Glass 6 renders the phone both scratch- and drop-resistant.
The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 1.95GHz octa-core chipset, along with an Adreno 512 GPU. The combination of the two is said to ensure high performance, power efficiency, AI capabilities, and powerful graphics. The phone runs a stock Android UI, with only 3 pre-loaded apps- Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. The company also announced a partnership with Google, which gives users of this smartphone 100GB of free Google Drive storage.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 features a dual rear camera setup, with one 12MP Sony IMX486 sensor, and a second 5MP Dedicated depth Sensor with EIS support, LED flash, and AI scene detection. The Sony IMX486 camera features an f1.8 aperture, which should aid low-light photography.
There is an f/2.0 13MP selfie camera with a LED flash for selfies. It can shoot videos up to 1080p, and will soon receive EIS functionality that is claimed to reduce shakes in selfie videos.
The device packs a 5000mAh battery; Asus claims that makes for more than two days of battery life in normal usage conditions. Here’s a better way to measure: that’s 16.3 hours of non-stop Netflix (and nothing else).
The Max Pro M2 boasts a 5-magnet loudspeaker, and the audio is said to be custom-tuned for Indian music habits and tastes. It comes with a rear mounted fingerprint sensor.
The phone will run Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, with Android Pie updates slated for January 2019. It comes with triple SIM slots: 2 Nano SIM DSDS (4G VoLTE+4G VoLTE) and Dedicated MicroSD (Support up to 2TB). Connectivity options include Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth V5.0, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, and QZSS.
There will be three variant of the Max Pro M2 to choose from: 3GB/32GB, 4GB/64GB, and 6GB/64GB. The phone will be available in Blue and Titanium colours.
Asus Zenfone Max M2
Introduced as the ‘power-packed performer’, the Zenfone Max M2 comes in a 7.7mm metal body, with a 6.26-inch HD+ (1520 x 720px) display; on the front, its display features a notch which has an LED flash, camera, earpiece, notification LED, and Ambient light and Proximity sensors.
The ZenFone Max M2 is powered by the 14nm Snapdragon 632 chipset with up to 4GB of RAM; this is the first time this processor has been used in any ZenFone. The Snapdragon 632 paired with Adreno 506 GPU is claimed to deliver up to 40% higher CPU performance and 10% higher graphics performance, as compared to the previous Snapdragon 626 Mobile Platform. The device also packs a 4000mAh battery; in Netflix terms, that’s just over 13 hours.
The dual-camera system in ZenFone Max M2 has a 13MP f/1.8 wide-aperture main camera. It can shoot 4K videos, and EIS is also integrated for better stability. The second rear ‘bokeh’ camera has a 2MP dedicated depth sensor. It also features AI scene detection which automatically recognises 13 types of scene or subject, and optimises photo settings for each shot.
The ZenFone Max M2 on the front has a f/2.0 8MP camera along with a LED Flash. It can shoot videos up to 1080p, and will soon receive EIS functionality that will enable shake-free selfie-videos. Portrait and Beauty modes are also enabled.
Like the Max Pro M2, the Max M2 audio system is also supported by a 5-magnet speaker and NXP SmartAmp capabilities. It also gets the fingerprint sensor and face unlock. ZenFone Max M2 features a triple-slot tray, combining dual 4G VoLTE SIM slots (Dual SIM/Dual standby) with a microSD card slot that allows storage expansion up to 2TB.
Pricing and offers
For the Zenfone Max Pro M2, the 3GB/32GB variant will be priced at Rs 12,999; the 4GB/64GB variant at Rs 14,999; and the 6GB/64GB variant at Rs 16,999.
The 3GB/32GB variant of the Zenfone Max M2 will cost Rs 9,999, and the 4GB/64GB variant will cost Rs 11,999.
Both phones will be subject to discounts on select bank cards on their respective launch days. See Flipkart for more details. There is also a no-cost EMI payment option for 3 and 6 months on both phones, starting from Rs 1667/month for the Max M2, and from Rs 2167/month for the Max Pro M2. There is also a complete mobile protection plan worth Rs 599, which will be available for Rs 99 on launch day only.