The latest addition to Asus’ Max series of phones dubbed the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is coming to Malaysia to dominate the lucrative midrange phone market and it comes with quite a few features up its metal-shod chassis to make it a reality. We took the opportunity to get an initial hands-on with a production sample ahead of its official launch this coming 31 May and the phone looks extremely promising indeed.
Historically, the Zenfone Max series has always been known for phenomenal battery life and the Max Pro M1 is no different as it comes with a whopping 5,000mAh battery that’s equivalent in size to more compact power banks in the market. To wit, Asus has claimed that the battery offers 2-days of non-stop use and a good dozen hours of gaming or about 20 hours of Netflix streaming before it needs a charge.
Even better, it has the capability to reverse charge, allowing you to power other devices in a pinch if needs must. Strangely, it’s still powered by a microUSB port but according to Asus, it’s to cater for the midrange demographic who already have a boatload of such cables and who aren’t particularly keen to switch over.
Where the Zenfone Max Pro M1 lays claim to being one of the most powerful phones in its admittedly challenger festooned class is on account of the rest of the hardware it comes with. For starters, it comes with a 6-inch FHD+ fullview display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and an impressive contrast ratio of 1500:11 crammed into a body typically reserved for use in 5.5-inch phones.
Of particular note to Android aficionados is that the phone will run stock Android Oreo 8.0 out of the box without overlays or anything else to mar the experience. This addresses the usual conundrum of bloatware in their phones in one fell swoop. Under the hood, the phone has a Snapdragon 636 processor and will also have a triple SIM card, allowing you to use two SIM cards simultaneously as well as a microSD card.
In terms of RAM, storage and camera, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 has not one but a whopping three different configurations set at different price points. The highest end variant will have 6GB RAM, 64GB of storage and will feature a dual-camera array with a primary 16-MP f/2.2 camera that uses an Omnivision 16880 sensor with PDAF and a 5P Largan lens paired with a secondary 5-MP sensor for depth details.
Slightly lower down the totem pole are two configurations, both of which have a 13-MP f/2.2 camera paired with a secondary 5-MP camera for depth details. One variant will have 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage while the entry level variant will have 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage.
Asus was keen to impress that both camera systems would be extremely capable in their own right and released test shots of what the 13-MP variant was capable of from a production sample. Before the phone reaches retail in Malaysia, they still have time to tweak the software and offer additional optimisation and thus better results for the camera.
Regardless of storage or camera type, the Asus Max Pro M1 will come in one of two colours – black or silver.
There’s no word on how much the phone in any of its configurations will cost though all will be revealed this coming 31 May 2018 where it will be officially launched in Malaysia along with the Asus Zenfone 5. Stay tuned for more details.