The Max M1 and Max Pro M1 gained the hearts of its consumers because of the features the devices have for its price. Their main selling point is an all-day 5,000 mAh battery that’s geared for gaming. This allowed the brand to establish and strengthen its name in the smartphone industry. Asus even went all the way to produce the ROG Phone, a gaming smartphone that ticked the right boxes. With the smartphone market getting more competitive especially in the budget segment, Asus updates the Max lineup for 2019. Both the Max M2 and Max M2 are manifestations that Asus continues to improve their smartphone line. The Zenfone Max M2 is the successor of the popular M1, with hardware updates and added features, not to mention this phone joined the notch trend. Are the updates worthy of competing in the budget segment? Read on in this B2G Review
A Closer Look
The Zenfone Max M2 has the signature Zenfone packaging as seen on its bigger brothers. Its black packaging makes it feel like a premium smartphone even though its aimed for the entry-level market.
The package contains the Zenfone M2, a USB cable, power adapter, sim ejector tool and a pair of earphones. Warranty card and manuals are also included.
Physically, it is very similar to its bigger brother, the Max Pro M2 except for the glossy finish found on the latter. It has an aluminum unibody with a matte finish which is common for a phone in this price segment. As mentioned earlier the Max M2 has a notch that houses the front facing camera, LED flash, Speaker and notification LED.
The Max M2 has a 6.3” IPS display with a 1520x720p resolution and a 19:9 aspect ratio. It has thin side bezels and a fairly large chin.
Moving to the sides you have the volume rocker and power button on the upper right part. While the left side only houses the dual-nano SIM card and microSD tray.
At the bottom are the micro-USB port and a hole for speaker instead of the standard speaker drill found in every other phone. The 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the top, in case you’re worrying 😉
Moving to the back you have a dual rear camera setup with 13MP for the main camera and 2MP depth sensor. The flash is separated from the camera housing. The fingerprint sensor is found slightly above the center of the smartphone for convenient accessibility. Its matte blue finish makes it feel like a premium smartphone and sets it apart from conventional glossy and black designs.
Display wise, it’s disappointing that the M2 doesn’t have a 1080p resolution to take advantage of the 6.3” 19:9 aspect ratio. However, its 720p display also means that it’ll consume less battery compared to having a 1080p display, this allows the phone to maximize its large 4,000 mAh battery.
The rear cameras shoot pretty well thanks to the App’s flexibility. The same couldn’t be said in low light photos as this is one of the weakest points of the Max M2. Some shots can pass as “okay” but most of the time the Max M2 ends up capturing grainy pictures
The Selfie Camera offers the same range of options with its rear cameras but its low light photos suffer a much more loss in quality than the rear cameras.
Benchmark and Gaming Performance
Benchmarks scores from apps such as Antutu, 3DMark, Geekbench, and PCMark are fairly decent on what you would expect on a Php 10,000 smartphone. It does have a significant boost in raw performance over the Max M1 thanks to its Snapdragon 632 processor over the M1’s Snapdragon 430.
Games such as Mobile Legends, PUBG Mobile, ROS and Free Fire are smooth on the Max M2. The Snapdragon 632 + 3GB Ram is able to run most games at medium settings with consistent frames which is ideal for heavy gaming sessions.
Performance. ASUS manages to improve every aspect of the Max M1 while maintaining the same price point. The Max M2’s 4,000mAh battery and its Snapdragon 632 processor makes it a compelling all-day gaming device.
Build Quality. The design refresh of the Max M2 isn’t just for aesthetics but for its build quality as well thanks to its Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Coming from the Max M1, the Max M2 feels more premium and solid in terms of overall construction.
Functionality. Improvements done on the Max M2 is mostly on performance, particularly in the gaming department. The Snapdragon 632 makes it a heavy contender for gaming and daily use. The camera, however, is only decent for shots with good lighting conditions. Taking photos in low light or at night is the phone’s weakest point.
Bundle. ASUS continues to strengthen its Zenfone lineup by providing extra features without jacking up the price as we’ve seen with the transition from the M1 to the M2. It’s a phone that is able to have above average features that makes it stand out among the rest.
Value. The Zenfone Max M2 continues the legacy of its older brother, the M1 in providing an almost no-compromise value smartphone. Its 4,000 mAh battery paired with an updated processor for 2019 makes it a powerful
ASUS’ execution with the Zenfone Max M2 is the most value-driven move we’ve seen on a smartphone so far. It lives to its name by giving you more than a day’s worth of power without the necessary sacrifice on performance. Whether it be gaming or just extensive media consumption, the Zenfone Max M2 delivers the perfect deal thanks to its updated Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, stock Android experience, refreshed design and its 4,000mAh battery.
We give the Zenfone Max M2 our Best Value Award!
Where to buy: Poundit.com