While ZenFone Max M2 Pro attempts to raise the bar for a mid-range phone, the younger sibling tends to instigate a segment of its own. The new smartphone closely competes, against the likes of Realme 2, Honor 7C, Redmi 6 Pro, to name a few. Does the ZenFone Max M2 have what it takes to be a well budget phone? Let`s find out!
The design of ZenFone Max M2 is very sleek and sturdy. Though the frame is made from thick plastic, the phone looks great with matt finish on the back. The camera module protrudes enough to expose itself to some scratches while a circular fingerprint sits at the center of the device, followed by Asus branding. Considering the device packs a massive 4000mAh battery and weighs just 160gm it is quite impressive. Asus really nailed the design department with the ZenFone Max M2.
Coming to the display, it boasts of a massive 6.26-inch display just like the Max M2 Pro. However, it comes at a resolution of 720p (1520 x 720 pixels) is a big let down. The brightness M2 can exhibit is a tad bit more than what M2 pro`s display can give out. Max M2 also follows the notch design, making room for some real-estate to squeeze the pending notifications.
The M1 was launched with an age-old Snapdragon 430, but Asus stepped it up to Snapdragon 632 which was a major upgrade in terms of performance. Multitasking was a breeze, the phone didn`t stutter despite the several intensive apps running in the background. The phone managed to play the casual titles like Monument Valley 2, Asphalt 9 and PUBG at decent framerate with low graphics settings. The near stock UI gels quite well with the strong punchy processor it packs, giving it an overall balanced performance.
The camera is not the strong forte of the ZenFone Max M2, essentially it just full fills the purpose of having a shooter on a back. Images came out disappointing with photos lacking the depth and colors we were looking for. Day shots were decent enough for social media, while night shots were a disaster in itself. The real issue lies in the software which couldn`t take advantage of the dual camera setup of a 13Mp+2Mp sensor on the back. The camera supports 4K but still suffers from the same software issues, as the video came out shaky and lost focus at times. Front facing 8Mp camera was good under sufficient ambient light, but software tends to darken the background in portrait mode every time.
The crux of the matter lies in the massive battery M2 packs, the 4000mAh battery manages to give about a day and a half worth of average use age. Owing to the missing fast charging support, it takes 2hrs to completely charge the device with the bundled 10W charger in the box.
The level of effortless everyday use age that Zenfone Max M2 brings to the table is quite justified with its price tag of 10k. Offering stock Android, smooth performance and long battery life plays well to exhibit its stand. However, if you are in for the camera performance, M2 might disappoint you.
If MIUI blends well with your liking Redmi 6 Pro might be a well-balanced proposition at the same price-point.