If you consider the ol’ Zenfone days, Asus was leading the pack when it came to affordable devices. Things changed, however, when Xiaomi entered the market along with Asus trying to pitch Zenfone series as premium devices. Asus has now gone back to basics with the new Zenfone Max Pro M1.
The new Zenfone goes for the affordable price tag but at the same time gives hardware and software that, on paper, looks better than the competition. The biggest change in the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is the exclusion of ZenUI that has been a standard feature for all these years. The phone now adopts a stock Android UI running the latest Oreo update and hopefully will help in the future to roll out updates faster.
As far as hardware goes, the phone is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 636 processor along with 2GB, 3GB and 4GB RAM and storage options of 32GB, 64GB, depending on the variant. The phone has a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display along with a 5000mAh battery, dedicated microSD card slot, NXP smart amp and a 5-magnet speaker. Asus is also bundling a cardboard box dubbed Max Box that allows placing the device for improved loudspeaker audio. However, you cannot use the Max Box as a kickstand as it only allows the phone to be docked vertically.
On the camera front, the Zenfone has a dual-camera setup at the back with 13MP as the main sensor and 5MP acting as the secondary sensor to click bokeh-style portraits. The phone also supports 4K video recording and there’s an 8MP front-facing camera with LED flash.
The 3/32GB and 4/64GB variants will go on sale from May 3 on Flipkart for Rs. 10,999 and Rs. 12,999 respectively while the 6/64GB variant with 16MP+5MP rear and 16MP front camera will be available at a later date for Rs. 14,999.