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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB601KL) - Everything You Need To Know!

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 – Everything You Need To Know!

Here is everything you need to know about the new ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphone – price, availability and specifications! Also find out how it stacks against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, and why we think ASUS has a real blockbuster in the Max Pro M1!

Updated @ 2018-07-23 : Updated the article, including the newly-released 4GB RAM model with 64 GB of storage.

Updated @ 2018-05-28 : Added a new ZB601KL vs. ZB602KL section, a new LTE + WiFi Capabilities section, updated specifications, and its incredible price!

Updated @ 2018-05-18 : Added the tech briefing and colour option videos.

Originally posted @ 2018-04-24

Don’t forget to catch our ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) In-Depth Review!

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Series

The ASUS ZenFone Max is the popular series of smartphones ASUS has even produced, and for very good reasons. They offer mid-range smartphones with good performance and an incredible battery life.

They practically hold within their slim frames a power bank. In fact, they are all capable of acting as a power bank to recharge other smartphones and portable devices! Hence, the Max moniker.

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Checkis the latest ZenFone Max model to be released by ASUS. It follows up on the success of the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL) we saw just a few months ago, and directly challenges the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

Despite its very similar name, the ZenFone Max Pro is a very different beast from the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL). It is, in fact, a leap ahead in features and performance, powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, with up to 6 GB of RAM and a dual-lens camera

According to ASUS, the Snapdragon 636 is over 2.7X faster than the Snapdragon 430 used in the ZenFone 4 Max Pro (Price Check), and over 1.5X faster than the Snapdragon 625 used in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check).

It also comes with a larger 6″ IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio allows ASUS to fit a bigger display in the form factor of a traditional 5.5″ smartphone.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check also comes with a dual-lens rear camera, with a main camera with a 13 MP sensor, and a depth camera with an 5 MP sensor. This set-up allows for better depth perception, allowing the Max Pro M1 to deliver better bokeh effects.

The eponymous feature is, of course, its large 5,000 mAh battery. That is the battery capacity of most power banks, giving you up to 35 days of 4G standby and 42 hours of 3G talk time! It also allows you to play games for up to 12 hours, or watch up to 20 hours of YouTube videos.

Isn’t the ZenFone Max Pro M1 impressive? Especially when you realise ASUS fit all that into a smartphone that is only 180 g in weight!

 

ZB601KL vs. ZB602KL

There is some confusion about the model numbers. When the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 first launched in India, it had the model number ZB601KL. Subsequently, ASUS started shipping the ZenFone Max Pro M1 as the ZB602KL in other countries. So what’s the difference?

We checked with ASUS, and they confirmed that ZB601KL is an India-specific model, while ZB602KL is the model that ship worldwide. Here are the differences, as far as we can ascertain.

  • The main camera on the global model has f/2.0 lens, while the main camera on the Indian model has f/2.2 lens.
  • The global model supports faster 4G LTE speeds – up to LTE Cat13 DL (400 Mbps) and LTE Cat5 UL (75 Mbps). The Indian model only supports LTE Cat4 – 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL.
  • The global model may ship with earphones and/or a soft TPU bumper case, but the Indian model comes with a free ASUS Max-Box passive audio amplifier.

The other specifications of the ZB601KL and the ZB602KL are the same.

 

LTE + WiFi Capabilities

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 whose X12 LTE modem is capable of :

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  • LTE Cat12 downlink speeds of up to 600 Mbps
  • LTE Cat13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) capability

However, ASUS has chosen to implement a limited set of those capabilities :

  • Indian ZB601KL model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version A model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version B model : LTE Cat13 400 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • All Max Pro M1 models : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) only

Next Page > Colour Options, Specification Comparison, Price + Availability

 

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Colour Options

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes in two colour options – Deepsea Black and Titanium Grey. Let’s take a quick look at both colour options.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1  vs. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Here is a specification comparison of the two ZenFone Max Pro M1 models against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB601KL)Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Display6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
5.99" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 83% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Processor8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo cores (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPU
Memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4X memory
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB
microSD card (shared with SIM2)
Front Camera8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash13 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens and LED flash
Rear CameraDual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.0 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.2 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 12 MP Samsung sensor with f/1.9 lens
- 5 MP Samsung depth sensor with f/2.0 lens
Connectivity4G Version A
- LTE Cat4 DL : 150 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
4G Version B
- LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps

WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat12 600 Mbps DL, LTE Cat13 150 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Hybrid SIM tray
Fingerprint SensorRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted
GPSGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
Audio5-magnet speaker5-magnet speaker
Battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
75.4 mm wide
158.6 mm tall
8.05 mm thick
Weight180 g180 g181 g
Available ColoursDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyBlack, Gold, Lake Blue
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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price + Availability Updated!

Sales of the ZB601KL model are limited to India, with the following prices :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB / 32 GB) : Rp 2,299,000 / ~RM 647 / ~US$ 166
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB / 64 GB) : Rp 2,799,000 / ~RM 788 / ~US$ 202
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB / 64 GB) : Rp 3,299,000 / ~RM 929 / ~US$ 238

The ZB602KL model, on the other hand, are being sold in Malaysia and other countries at the following price points :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB + 64 GB) : RM 999 / ~US$ 251
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 849 / ~US$ 213
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) : RM 699 / ~US$ 176

If you are in the US, here are some purchase links :

Unfortunately, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is not yet available in the US. Only higher-end models like the ASUS ZenFone 5.

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) In-Depth Review

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) takes on the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, with better features and a much lower price. Let’s take a look, and find out if ASUS truly has a Xiaomi-killing blockbuster on their hands!

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Series

The ASUS ZenFone Max is the most popular series of smartphones ASUS has even produced, and for very good reasons. They are mid-range smartphones with good performance and an incredible battery life.

They practically hold within their slim frames a veritable power bank. In fact, they are all capable of functioning as actual power banks, recharging other smartphones and portable devices! Hence, the Max moniker.

 

ZB601KL vs. ZB602KL

There is some confusion about the model numbers. When the ZenFone Max Pro M1 first launched in India, it had the model number ZB601KL. Subsequently, ASUS started shipping the ZenFone Max Pro M1 as the ZB602KL in other countries. So what’s the difference?

We checked with ASUS, and they confirmed that ZB601KL is an India-specific model, while ZB602KL is the model that ships worldwide. Here are the differences, as far as we can ascertain.

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  • The main camera on the global model has f/2.0 lens, while the main camera on the Indian model has f/2.2 lens.
  • The global model supports faster 4G LTE speeds – up to LTE Cat13 DL (400 Mbps) and LTE Cat5 UL (75 Mbps). The Indian model only supports LTE Cat4 – 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL.
  • The global model may ship with earphones and/or a soft TPU bumper case, but the Indian model comes with a free ASUS Max-Box passive audio amplifier instead.

The other specifications of the ZB601KL and the ZB602KL are the same.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1  vs. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Here is a specification comparison of the two ZenFone Max Pro M1 models against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB601KL)Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Display6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
5.99" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 83% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Processor8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo cores (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPU
Memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4X memory
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB
microSD card (shared with SIM2)
Front Camera8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash13 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens and LED flash
Rear CameraDual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.0 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.2 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 12 MP Samsung sensor with f/1.9 lens
- 5 MP Samsung depth sensor with f/2.0 lens
Connectivity4G Version A
- LTE Cat4 DL : 150 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
4G Version B
- LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps

WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat12 600 Mbps DL, LTE Cat13 150 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Hybrid SIM tray
Fingerprint SensorRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted
GPSGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
Audio5-magnet speaker5-magnet speaker
Battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
75.4 mm wide
158.6 mm tall
8.05 mm thick
Weight180 g180 g181 g
Available ColoursDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyBlack, Gold, Lake Blue

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Unboxing, Colour Options + Preview

 

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Unboxing The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) (Price Check) comes in a blue and grey box. This is a generic ZB601KL box, so check the label on the bottom for the actual model (ZB602KL), and specifications, including the colour of the device inside (Deepsea Black).

The complete ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) (Price Check) kit for Malaysia will consist of the following items :

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  • One ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) smartphone
  • One ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 soft TPU bumper case
  • One set of ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 User Guide + Warranty Information
  • One set of ASUS earphones + spare earbuds
  • One 10 W ASUS USB charger + micro-USB cable
  • One SIM tray ejector pin

Note that the TPU bumper case and earphones are optional freebies that may not be available in other countries / regions. In India, the ZB601KL lacks both bumper case and earphones, but comes with the ASUS Max-Box passive audio amplifier instead.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Colour Options

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) comes in two colour options – Deepsea Black and Titanium Grey. Let’s take a quick look at both colour options.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) Up Close!

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is the latest ZenFone Max model to be released by ASUS. It follows up on the success of the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL) we saw just a few months ago, and directly challenges the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

Despite its very similar name, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is a very different beast from the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL). It is, in fact, a leap ahead in features and performance, powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, with up to 6 GB of RAM and a dual-lens camera.

According to ASUS, the Snapdragon 636 is over 2.7X faster than the Snapdragon 430 used in the ZenFone 4 Max Pro (Price Check), and over 1.5X faster than the Snapdragon 625 used in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check).

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) also comes with a larger 6″ IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio allows ASUS to fit a bigger display in the form factor of a traditional 5.5″ smartphone.

Let’s take a closer look!

Next Page > Cameras, Security, Triple Slot Tray, WiFi + LTE

 

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The Cameras

For a smartphone of such modest pricing, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price Check) boasts a rather impressive set of front and rear cameras.

The front camera has an 8 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens. And for the first time, it is supported by a soft light LED flash. This gives it a markedly better low-light performance, compared to its predecessors.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) also comes with a dual-lens rear camera. It consists of an image camera with a 13 MP sensor and f/2.0 lens, and a depth camera with an 5 MP sensor and f/2.4 lens.

This dual-lens setup will not increase the details of the image like the Huawei P20 Pro, or offer Live Focus or Dual Capture capabilities like the Samsung Galaxy S9. Instead, it offers better depth perception, allowing the ZenFone Max Pro M1 to differentiate the subject from the background, for more realistic and accurate software bokeh effects.

 

Fingerprint Sensor + Face Unlock

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) has a Goodie FP fingerprint sensor built into the back. It is a fast and accurate sensor that takes 15 finger presses to register a fingerprint, and less than a second to identify it.

Its rear location allows you to quickly unlock the smartphone with your fingerprint, but prevents it from being unlocked while it is in a car mount. This is where its Face Unlock feature comes in handy.

uses the front camera and facial recognition algorithms to authenticate your identity, so it will work even with the ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price Check) mounted on your car’s dashboard.

 

Triple Slot Tray

While the Honor 10 (Price Check) did away with the microSD card slot, and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 opted for a hybrid SIM slot, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price Check) comes with a triple slot tray.

The triple slot tray allows you to use two nano SIM cards simultaneously with a microSD card. This gives the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) a distinct advantage over the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

 

LTE + WiFi Capabilities

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 whose X12 LTE modem is capable of :

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  • LTE Cat12 downlink speeds of up to 600 Mbps
  • LTE Cat13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) capability

However, ASUS has chosen to implement a limited set of those capabilities :

  • Indian ZB601KL model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version A model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version B model : LTE Cat13 400 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • All Max Pro M1 models : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) only

Next Page > Flash Charge Battery, Initial Setup, Ergonomics, Available Storage

 

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5,000 mAh Battery with Flash Charge

Its eponymous feature is, of course, its large 5,000 mAh battery. That is the battery capacity of many power banks, giving you up to 35 days of 4G standby and 42 hours of 3G talk time! According to ASUS, it will allow you to play games for up to 12 hours, or watch up to 20 hours of YouTube videos.

Now, packing a large battery is nothing special. But we applaud ASUS for fitting such a large battery into a smartphone that is only 8.5 mm thick and 180 g in weight!

If that’s not enough, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) supports Flash Charge, which allows you to quickly recharge its large battery in less than 3 hours, with a 10 W charger.

 

Setting Up The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)

Setting up the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is easy, and takes no more than 10 minutes if you are setting it up as a new device. The Goodix FX fingerprint sensor was fast and accurate, so it was a breeze to setup.

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Ergonomics

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is not a small device by any means. It is actually slightly larger than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check). For its size and its large battery, it is surprisingly light at just 180 g.

The 6″ IPS display is very nice, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels450 nits of maximum brightness, and a wide 85% NTSC colour gamut. The non-standard 18:9 aspect ratio, while useful in giving you more screen space, will result in some pillarboxing for movies.

 

Available Storage

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) comes with 32 GB of internal flash storage, of which 22.6 GB is available for use. If this is not enough, you can upgrade it with a microSD card (up to 2 TB).

For techies, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 uses the slower eMMC 5.1 flash memory, instead of the faster UFS type. Officially, the memory is packaged together with the eMMC storage in a compact embedded Multi-Chip Package (eMCP).

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

ASUS did not reveal the source and model of the 13 MP and 5 MP sensors used in their dual camera system, but they’re most likely from Omnivision. The photos have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4160 x 3120 pixels and an average file size of between 3 MB and 4 MB.

Here are 12 high-resolution samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

Despite its humble price point, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) supports 4K video recording. Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be a time-limit for 4K video recording, and there is even an option for 4K recording using the new DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) standard!

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

It is obvious that there is no optical image stabilisation, but there is some electronic image stabilisation. The audio recording was surprisingly good, with a wider range than we have seen in smartphones in the same price range.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The 4K resolution is amazing, and there is excellent control of the highlights. You can see right into the Padini Concept Store, even read the price boards.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

The electronic image stabilisation did a decent job of removing the worst shakes as we walked down the street market. Certainly not as good as smartphones with optical image stabilisation, but better than nothing. We also noticed some wind noise in this recording.

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

The resolution and control is quite amazing. The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) quickly adapted to the change in brightness. We could make out the details in both bright and dark areas. Very good!

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the ZenFone Max Pro M1’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
7106 6118 5618 5197
Web Browsing 7295 5815 5357 5035
Video Editing 5159 4898 5265 4433
Writing 6752 5722 4673 5607
Photo Editing 12910 10041 7560 7238
Data Manipulation 5524 5240 5616 4183
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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 is really fast at work applications, beating even flagship smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check). Only the Kirin 970-powered Honor 10 (Price Check) was faster.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the ZenFone Max Pro M1’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10
Battery Life 14 hours 12 mins 12 hours 19 mins 9 hours 6 mins 8 hours 56 mins
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The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) truly has a phenomenal battery life. Its 5,000 mAh battery allowed it to beat the Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 (Price Check) by almost 2 hours (15%), and both the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) and Honor 10 (Price Check) by a whopping 5 hours (57%)!

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Battery Recharging Performance

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) comes with a 10W fast charger. Take a look at how fast it recharged its 5,000 mAh battery.

It took the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This confirms ASUS’ claim that it can fully recharge its battery in 3 hours, and gives it a battery life : recharging ratio of 5.7:1.

Next Page > Gaming Performance, Our Verdict + Award

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the ZenFone Max Pro M1’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Gaming Score 39588 30560 19752 14684
Graphics 45577 34801 20707 15201
Physics 27116 21423 17008 13121
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 206.2 fps 113.5 fps 134.4 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 119.5 fps 74.6 fps 43.8 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 68.0 fps 54.0 fps 41.7 fps
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Price Check Review
Price Check

The Qualcomm Adreno 509 GPU is reasonably fast in games, but certainly does not offer flagship-class gaming performance.

 

Our Verdict

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is a very impressive smartphone.

Like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, it is a mid-range smartphone based on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 platform, with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of flash storage. They both also have very similar 6″ Full HD+ displays and rear-mounted fingerprint sensors. But that is where the similarities end.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) was obviously designed to be a Redmi Note 5 killer. It basically offers almost everything the Redmi Note 5 offers and then some – triple slot tray, a 5-magnet speaker, and a larger 5,000 mAh battery – all in the same form factor and weight!

If that does not impress you, perhaps its price will. Xiaomi priced their Redmi Note 5 (3 GB + 32 GB) at RM 799 / ~US$ 205. ASUS offers the ZenFone Max Pro M1 at just RM 699 / ~US$ 179! Believe it or not, the arguably superior ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is 12.5% cheaper than its competitor!

Now, the Redmi Note 5 boasts Samsung sensors for their dual-lens camera, but the Omnivision sensors in the ZenFone Max Pro M1 proved to be surprisingly capable. They delivered really good photographic and video recording performance. Even the audio recording was better than what we would expect at this price point.

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The Redmi Note 5 comes with a rather large 4,000 mAh battery, but it’s no match for the ZenFone Max Pro M1‘s 5,000 mAh battery, which delivered an impressive battery life of over 14 hours!

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is no doubt chunkier than the Redmi Note 5, but somehow it is actually 1 gram lighter! How on earth did ASUS stuff a 20% larger battery into the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and yet kept the weight so low?

We really love the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check). It offers a fantastic combination of good performance, great display, excellent camera and amazing battery life, at an incredible price point. It is literally a steal!

For these reasons, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 deserves our Editor’s Choice Award! Great work, ASUS!

 

Price + Availability

Here is the official announcement on the Malaysian price and offers for the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphones.

Here’s a summary of the recommended retail prices :

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  • ASUS ZenFone 5 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 1,299 / ~US$ 326
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB + 64 GB) : RM 999 / ~US$ 251
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 849 / ~US$ 213
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) : RM 699 / ~US$ 176

Here’s a summary of the offers :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) Lazada Pre-Order (2 and 3 June) : RM 799 / ~US$ 221
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) Lazada Flash Sales (3, 10, 17, 24, 31 July) : RM 599 / ~US$ 151

If you are in the US, here are some purchase links :

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ASUS ZenFone Max Offers 38 Days Of Standby Time!

ASUS today officially announced the availability of the ASUS ZenFone Max (ZC550KL) smartphone. Touting a 38-day standby time thanks to its massive 5,000 mAh battery, the ZenFone Max can even double as a power bank, charging your other mobile devices on-the-go! Take a look at its key features…

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Key Features

5000mAh battery holds charge for 38 days

ZenFone Max’s sleek frame secretes a monster battery — a 5000mAh cell custom-crafted from lithium-polymer to pack the maximum energy into the minimum space!

 

Your go-everywhere power bank

Long-lasting 5000mAh battery that smarts charge other devices! Just connect your gadget to turn ZenFone Max into an instant power bank for juicing up on the go!

 

13MP clarity with ultra-fast laser auto-focus

PixelMaster camera with f/2.0-aperture lens that captures stunning, hi-resolution photos with zero shutter lag. The ultra-fast laser auto-focus feature greatly reduces blurring and enhances image stabilization, and industry-leading Low Light mode employs pixel-merging technology to capture up to 400% brighter photos at night or in low-light scenes – without flash!

 

Look sharp, travel smooth

Surrounded by a striking metal-effect bezel that’s as stylish to behold as it is smooth to touch, so you’ll look sharp as it slips smoothly into your pocket or purse.

With the look and feel of embossed leather, ZenFone Max is finished to be as beautiful as it is powerful!

 

[adrotate banner=”4″]Maximum productivity and multimedia entertainment

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, ample power for your daily tasks and activities. Featuring LTE Category 4 for download speeds up to 150Mbps!

 

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 – Stunningly strong, gorilla strong

Offers twice (2x) drop-damage resistance of its predecessor, a 2.5x increase in retained strength and 85% less likely to break in daily use — making it stronger than ever before!

 

A simpler, smarter, more personalized ZenUI experience

Enjoy the freedom, connection, and expression of ASUS ZenUI, the sublime interface that makes everything easier, safer and more enjoyable than never before.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Specifications

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Max (ZC550KL)
PlatformAndroid 5.0 Lollipop with ASUS ZenUI
Color OptionsBlack / White
Dimensions77.5 x 156 x 10.55 ~ mm (WxDxH)
Weight202 g (with battery)
CPUQualcomm MSM8916 QuadCore 1.2GHz
GPUAdreno 306
Memory2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage16GB eMMC Flash
5GB free lifetime ASUS WebStorage
Memory SlotMicroSD card (up to 64 GB)
ConnectivityWLAN 802.11 b/g/n
Micro USB (support OTG)
Bluetooth V4.0+EDR +A2DP
Dual Micro SIM card
SIM1 Support2G/3G/4G
SIM2 Support2G/3G
Dual SIM Dual Stand By
Wi-Fi direct
Network StandardsWCDMA/TD-SCDMA/FDD-LTE
Dual SIM Dual Stand By
SIM1 Support2G/3G/4G
SIM2 Support2G/3G
NavigationGPS, GLONASS, AGPS & BDS
Display5.5inches, HD 1280x720,IPS
Scratch Resistant Corning® Glass with anti-fingerprint coating, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4, Supports GloveTouch input, 450nits brightness, ASUS TrueVivid Full Screen Lamination technology, 178˚ viewing angle
Battery5000 mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable)
Standby Time914 hours
Talk Time37.63 hours
CameraFront Camera
- 5 Mega-Pixel
- f/2.0 Aperture
- Zero Shutter Lag
- Back Light (HDR) mode with ASUS PixelEnhancing Technology
- Low Light mode
- Real Time Beautification
- Night mode
- Selfie mode
- HDR mode

Rear Camera
- 13 Mega-Pixel
- 0.03 second laser auto-focus
- LED Flash
- f/2.0 Aperture
- dual-color Real Tone flash
- Zero Shutter Lag
- Back Light (HDR) mode
- Low Light mode
- Manual Mode for DSLR-like camera settings
- Real Time Beautification
- Night mode
- Depth of field
- Selfie mode
- Panorama mode
- Rear 0.03 second laser auto-focus
SensorsAccelerator / E-Compass / Proximity / Ambient Light Sensor / Hall Sensor
AccessoriesAdapter Type + Plug
USB sync Cable
3.5mm Wired Headset with Mic
OTG Cable

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Price & Availability

The ASUS ZenFone Max is priced at RM 899 (~US$ 209), and available with immediate effect from ASUS dealers and online stores. Check out the following prices :