amazon Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 reviews
New design, good impression
The biggest highlight of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is probably the newly changed design. Goodbye metal material, both the frame and the back of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 are made of plastic. However, the new design of Asus feels more seamless and sleek than the previous generation. The machine has no antenna band at the edges such as “elder” or other metal frame machines. The plastic back surface feels sleek like the glass material and the plastic frame is also covered with a glossy paint uniformly with the color of the back, which looks more seamless.
The thickness of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is similar to the predecessor version, 8.5mm but lighter (170g versus 180g) thanks to the back side turning to plastic material. As a user who appreciates battery life, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 for me will be much less attractive if Asus sacrifices a 5,000 mAh battery to make it thinner. The grip of the device is quite good even though the back of the machine is curved 3D, the details of the connection between the body, the border and the back are also well done.
However, the transparent plastic back of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is not without weaknesses. The machine has a lot of sweat and fingerprints, and plastic is easier to scratch than glass or metal, so pay special attention if there’s a habit of putting the key in your pocket. Asus has included a plastic case, users can consider using it to preserve the beauty of their device.
Left, the details on the back of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 are not too different from the previous generation. We still have a dual camera cluster placed vertically in the upper left corner, except that the LED flash is placed in the cluster just below the two lenses. In the center of the upper half is a one-touch fingerprint sensor that works quite quickly, and below is the Asus logo.
Physical buttons, speaker slots, sim slots, … of Zenfone Max Pro M2 are identical to Max Pro M1. Unfortunately, Asus has not yet equipped the USB Type-C port instead of the old micro USB. Sim tray of the device is still the type that supports 2 sim and independent microSD cards as we have seen on the Max Pro M1. It also does not support water / dust resistance, a common sacrifice for products in the mid-range segment.
Overall, it can be said that the new design of Zenfone Max Pro M2 is one of the brightest upgrade points compared to its predecessor. Using plastic materials, but Asus still create a high-end feeling for the product, the details are completed well, and the biggest weakness is easy to scratch and stick fingerprints can completely be overcome by the back cover that the company included.
Screen and sound improved
On the front, we have a rabbit ears screen – a new addition to the Zenfone Max Pro M1. Screen size has been raised to 6.26 inch Asus Full HD resolution (1080×2280 pixels), but thanks to the 19: 9 ratio, the body is still “slender”. Machine edges, especially the “chin” part of the Zenfone Max Pro M2, are still quite thick. However, if compared to the old generation, the screen border of the device was significantly thinner. The ratio of screen area / body of Max Pro M2 is about 83% compared to 76.2% of Max Pro M1.
The rabbit ears section of Zenfone Max Pro M2 is quite small in size, just enough room for selfie camera, flash, sensor and notification LED, while the speaker is put on the middle of the screen with the frame. Although it is clearly impossible to compare the neatness with the recent “water drop” design of “mole”, this size is still acceptable. In addition, Asus does not allow users to “hide” this rabbit ears, but this is not so important because the color of the LCD screen can not do this job as well as AMOLED.
Notably, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is the only smartphone in this segment with Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass 6 screen. According to the manufacturer, Gorilla Glass 6 still has a scratch-resistant ability similar to Glass 5 but better against crashes and bumps. When used in practice, you probably won’t notice the difference, but this is still a remarkable point for Asus.
The maximum brightness of the device is enough to be comfortable in the home, but when the sun is strong, it will be difficult to see. The display quality of the screen is quite good: neutral colors and wide viewing angles. In the default color mode, the color temperature shows a slight blue reclining, but it allows users to customize the color temperature bar as desired in the display settings.
The loudspeaker of Zenfone Max Pro M2 has quite a large volume, perhaps even bigger than the Max Pro M1. The sound of the loudspeaker is not cracked, broken when pushing the volume to the highest level. Sound quality is not as rich as on high-priced products, but it is enough for basic needs such as watching Facebook videos or playing lightly games.
Software and performance still have shortcomings
At the launch of its smartphone duo, Asus called the Zenfone Max Pro M2 the “gaming 2.0 Monster”, with the aim of emphasizing that this is a real upgrade to the Zenfone Max Pro M1. So, I can say I put a lot of expectations on the performance of this smartphone.
Zenfone Max Pro M2 is equipped with SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE (Artificial Intelligence Engine) optimized for AI processing tasks, Adreno 512 GPU with two options of 3 / 4GB RAM, 32 / 64GB internal memory. However, the maximum clock rate of the Snapdragon 660 chip on the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is only 1.9GHz, not 2.2GHz (for 4 high-performance Kryo 260 cores) as on other Snapdragon 660 phones. Not surprisingly, the Zenfone Max Pro M2’s performance is slightly lower than its competitors in the segment in Antutu benchmark tests (overall performance), GeekBench (CPU performance) and GFX Bench (performance). Graphics feature of GPU).
However, luckily about the actual gaming performance, Zenfone Max Pro M2 is not much different from other Snapdragon 660 smartphones that BiaReview recently rated as Samsung Galaxy A9 2018, Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite and Xiaomi Mi A2 . Games like Dead Trigger 2 cannot make this phone difficult, the average FPS is always in the range of 55-60 with high frame stability.
With poorly optimized games like PUBG Mobile, it still plays smoothly at 30FPS even at the highest configuration setting allowed. However, due to the use of plastic materials, the radiator is worse, long-term gaming can affect performance due to overheating.
In terms of software, Zenfone Max Pro M2 still adheres to the original Android interface, instead of ZenUI like other brands of the company. Practically used, the machine operates smoothly, the claw effects, transitions almost have no jerky, lag phenomenon. However, it is quite unfortunate that the device still only runs Android 8.1.0 Oreo version instead of Android 9 Pie. Asus said it will update the latest Android version early next year.
There is a rather confusing decision of Asus, though using the original Android but Zenfone Max Pro M2 is still “come with” with Facebook, Messenger and Instagram applications. They are all installed as system apps, which cannot be removed, making the original Android experience that Asus wants to bring to be incomplete.
Besides, although there is a big screen, but the Zenfone Max Pro M2 does not have gesture navigation, users have to manipulate three virtual keys at the bottom of the screen, so using one hand is quite difficult. In addition, “gaming monsters 2.0” still does not integrate Game Genie application with many support features, most importantly blocking notifications, and not running ZenUI so Zenfone Max Pro M2 does not have photography software PixelMaster.
Besides the fingerprint unlock option, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 also features a face unlock feature. The device is pretty fast, but like smartphones that don’t have a dedicated 3D face recognition system, this feature can be easily fooled.
Another point to note is that the Zenfone Max Pro M2 still does not support the 5GHz Wi-Fi band, only using the 2.4GHz band and no NFC, the deficiencies exist since the Max Pro M1. These are not too big shortcomings, but those who regularly use them will probably need to consider.
The strength of battery is still maintained and promoted
Battery life is never something that users have to worry about with the Zenfone Max Pro M1, and with this successor version, that strength continues to be maintained and promoted. The 5,000 mAh battery pack with the near-original Android-like software is compact for a long time of use, during the experience like the main machine with average usage, about 2 days I had to charge the battery once.
In the standard review of VnReview, Zenfone Max Pro M2 always shows very well, superior to other smartphones in the same segment. Specifically, the movie player is continuously 16 hours 4 minutes, playing games continuously for 7 hours 51 minutes and surfing the web continuously for 10 hours.
The device is still only a 5V / 2A charger, and unfortunately, it doesn’t support fast charging to cut costs despite the Snapdragon 660 chip. The device is fully charged after 3 hours and 10 minutes, not too slow if the battery capacity is up to 5,000 mAh.
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Camera has improved but not much
Regardless of the product of the segment, the camera is still something that manufacturers need to pay attention to if they want to target younger users. It may not need to be too glittery, but it must definitely meet the most basic needs. That’s the way Asus has done with the Zenfone Max Pro M1, and now continues to apply to the M2, but this time it has made certain improvements.
The camera interface of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 has slight changes in the placement of the buttons and the design. However, the installation interface still looks very boring, old and unreasonable. Basic changes such as increasing or decreasing brightness, ISO or video recording mode still take a few steps to access.
In terms of configuration, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 still has dual camera clusters on the back, but the main camera sensor has been upgraded to Sony’s IMX486, with 13MP resolution, f / 1.8 aperture and 1.25μm pixel size . Compared to the aperture of f / 2.2 and the pixel size of 1.12µm of the Max Pro M1, in theory, we can expect the Zenfone Max Pro M2 to provide better low-light shots and higher detail than predecessor generation. The Max Pro M2’s secondary camera is only responsible for depth measurement for bokeh images, and it is no different from the previous generation: 5MP resolution, f / 2.4 aperture and 1.12µm pixel size.
The speed of focusing and shooting speed of Zenfone Max Pro M2 in normal shooting conditions is quite fast. When switching to the mode to remove the font or HDR, because the machine processes images always after shooting, the retention time is still quite long, but faster than the Max Pro M1. Missing focus or failing to save images when shooting frequently is still possible, but the frequency has also decreased.
Photos taken in favorable lighting conditions have good quality, good detail and color in the direction of honesty, less flattering. However, when taking close-up shots of the flowers, they can see their colors blurred and deviated from reality. HDR mode improves the light band, but sometimes it will produce images that look like they apply a filter, which looks quite “magic”.
Under poor lighting conditions, thanks to a larger aperture and pixel size, photos of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 had certain improvements. The noise phenomenon has been reduced, the detail is better.
Zenfone Max Pro M2 captures fonts quite well, is less likely to get into the subject, but sometimes gets the wrong focus, especially if shooting in poor lighting conditions. Users can adjust the level of font deletion before taking a shot, but when shooting is completed, it will not be editable. In addition, because the speed of processing and saving photos is still quite slow, the experience of removing fonts is not really impressive.
Asus has also upgraded the selfie camera on Zenfone Max Pro M2. We have a single camera with 13MP resolution, f / 2.0 aperture, a pixel size of 1.12 µm, and a bright LED flash. However, the image quality is still only average, pale color, the slowest shutter speed is when shooting in low light and it is unclear for what reason, Asus removed the feature of taking selfie to remove fonts on Zenfone Max Pro M2. This is a pretty confusing cut, when the Max Pro M1 still has a selfie mode to remove fake fonts, and this type of shooting is still loved by young people.
During the product launch, Asus introduced the Zenfone Max Pro M2 with “AI powered dual camera”, but I did not see the AI mode inside the shooting interface, it is unclear whether it will integrate in the updates. upcoming software or they are available and are automatically activated. If so, I hope the company will update this feature, because even though it has been upgraded to camera hardware, I am not satisfied; If not, I hope it will be completed soon and given to users.
Summary: a true upgrade
It can be said that the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 converges almost every element to become a reliable mid-range device, a true upgrade of the elder Max Pro M1. With strong performance, enough for everyday tasks and even heavy gaming, and durable battery life, there’s a new, more modern design, the users of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 have much wider, and the price under $300 also makes it easier to reach the majority.
However, like all other smartphones on the market, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 has strengths and points that could have been better. The camera of the device, though upgraded with hardware, is still difficult to compare with other smartphones in the same price range, and the software experience still has many incomplete points. However, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 still marks the remarkable efforts of Asus to overcome the weaknesses of the Max Pro line and continue to follow this trend.
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