ASUS ZenFone Max M2: Great at its price point but could have been better

ASUS has been really going all out in their smartphone business trying to give bigger manufacturers a better fight, especially in the entry-level segment. Once again, ASUS releases a budget-friendly priced ZenFone, the ZenFone Max M2, which is a base version of what was released last December.

After going on a massive launching spree last year, ASUS has decided to give us another variant of the ZenFone Max  which was launched December of last year.

Design

The ZenFone Max M2 is similar to the Pro variant except for the glossy back. This one has an aluminum design with a matte finish which gives us a rather premium and stylish feel. Unlike the previous versions of the ZenFone Max, ASUS has decided to follow the notch trend on their 6.3-inch IPS display with rather slim bezels. On the notch is where you would find the LED flash, LED notification light, speaker, and the 8 MP camera.

While on the left side, we have the sim card tray for the dual-nano SIM card and micro SD. On the other is where we find the standard volume and power buttons.

At the top part is where we find the 3.5mm headphone jack and their noise-cancellation microphone. While at the bottom is the microUSB port, main microphone, and the loudspeaker.

Flipping the device on its rear, we find the camera is equipped with their dual Omnivision 13MP + 2MP camera, LED flash, and the circular fingerprint scanner.

Camera

The ZenFone Max M2 is equipped with a 13MP primary shooter with f/1.8 aperture and a 2MP depth-sensing camera. The details captured by the ZenFone Max M2 is quite satisfactory under good lighting. It is capable of capturing decent color accuracy with a well-balance exposure. Suprisingly, the phone excels under low-light conditions and has given us decent night shots. The selfie camera does not really bring much to the table but captures decent photos as well. The Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) on the rear helps in lessening blur for those with shaky hands compensating for device shakes. Another plus point here is that the rear camera is capable of capturing 4K resolution but seems rather unnecessary.

 

 

SPECS

ASUS Zenfone Max M2

SCREEN 6.3-inch HD+ IPS LCD Display (720 x 1520 Pixels, 267 ppi) with 19:9 Aspect Ratio, 2.5D Arc Glass, Rounded Corners and Notch
OS Android 8.1 Oreo
CHIPSET Qualcomm Snapdragon 632
CPU Octa Core CPU: 1.8GHz Quad Core Kyro 250 Gold + 1.8GHz Quad Core Kryo 250 Silver
GPU Adreno 506
RAM 3 GB
REAR CAMERA Dual Cameras: 13 MP Main Camera + 2 MP Depth Sensor with Autofocus and LED Flash
FRONT CAMERA 8 Megapixels with LED Flash
STORAGE 32GB
EXPANSION Expandable up to 512GB via microSD
SIM CARD Dual SIM (Nano-SIM)
NETWORKS 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, 2G EDGE & GPRS Networks
WI-FI Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
NFC No
BLUETOOTH Bluetooth 4.2
GPS A-GPS
USB OTG Yes
USB PORT MicroUSB 2.0
SOUND 3.5mm Audio Jack (NXP Smart Amp)
FM RADIO Yes
BIOMETRICS Face Recognition & Fingerprint Sensor
SENSORS Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor and Accelerometer
BATTERY 4000 mAh Li-ion Battery (Non-removable) with 5V/2A Charging
MATERIAL Metal
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
DIMENSIONS 158.4 x 76.3 x 7.7 mm
WEIGHT 160 g
COLORS Black and Gold
LAUNCH DATE January 2019
PRICE 8,995.00
BUY ONLINE ASUS Zenfone Max M2 on Lazada!

Performance

As expected from ASUS, they did not hold back on the processor upgrade with the ZenFone Max M2. We can wholeheartedly say that the smartphone has undergone a significant upgrade compared to its predecessor. With Qualcomm Snapdragon’s Octacore processor, the ASUS ZenFone Max M2 is build on a 14nm processing speed. Considering that the price of high-end phones are growing to 128GB storage and 6-8GB RAM as a standard, one thing we really look forward to is that smartphone brands boost the entry level to a minimum of 4GB with 64GB as games are starting to become more demanding on smartphones.

The ASUS ZenFone Max M2 came with an almost standard battery capacity for this smartphone. As expected, it lasted a full day with around 20% battery life remaining towards the end of our day. The usual heavy usage consisted of Netflix streams and the usual gaming and social media browsing. One of the things we wished for was that ASUS adds a fast/quick charging support as waiting for 2 hours is quite lengthy and could still be shortened with this function.

 

Conclusion

For the price of 8,995.00 in the Philippines, there is nothing much you could ask for in a phone at this price range but as stated above, we expected more than just a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage from the ASUS ZenFone Max M2. The addition of the 4K video shooter may be a plus at a mid-range or higher market, but shooting with a lower tier camera, we feel as though ASUS could have focused this on other features. The ASUS ZenFone Max series has always been a contender for gaming and performance rather than camera but it can definitely compete at this price range. Despite our expectations, the ASUS ZenFone Max M2 is still worth buying for your everyday dealings and gaming.

 

TipsGeeks Worth Buying Award

Pros

 

  • Minimalist design
  • Large screen size
  • Qualcomm SD 632
  • 4000mAh
  • Dedicated microSD slot

Cons

  • 4K with sub-par camera
  • HD+ resolution
  • 3GB RAM/32GB Storage

 

Post Author: Christian

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