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ASUS Zenfone Max M1 hands-on: the new Battery King?

by | May 8, 2018 | Uncategorized

ASUS’ new budget offering, the Zenfone Max M1, is now available. Poised as the next “Battery King” with its hefty 4,000mAh battery, the sub-P9,000 phone sure brings promise to the table. But does it live to the hype?

We’ve been given some face time with the phone itself, used it for a couple of days, and rounded up our hands-on first impressions of the phones.

Familiar design, beefed functions

Let’s get this out of the way: the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 looks a lot like an iPhone. While that’s true, ASUS ticks all the right boxes, chief among them the 18:9 screen and the placement of the fingerprint sensor at the back.

ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Philippines: Hands-on, first impressions

The phone’s internals is more impressive. For starters, it comes with Android 8.0 out of the box. It comes in a 3GB RAM/36GB Expandable Storage combo that assures a mostly smooth Android experience. As a complementary add-on, ASUS also throws in a free 100GB Google Drive Storage.

The Zenfone Max M1 also ships with an Adreno 509 GPU, which should be enough for a lot of games, including PUBG, which is surprisingly playable at Low Resolution.

Check out the specs below.

Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo
Display 5.5-inch Full HD+ (2160 x 1080) IPS

18:9 aspect ratio

2.5D arc glass panel

Bluelight filter

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 430

64-bit octa-core CPU (8 x Kryo 260 cores)

Adreno 509 GPU

14nm FinFET technology

Storage 32 GB

Supports microSD card up to 2TB

Support Apps to SD card

Google Drive: 100GB free space (1 year)

Front Camera 13MP Camera, F2.2 aperture 85˚ wide-viewing angle

LED flash

Fix Focus

Rear Camera Dual Cameras (8MP Camera, F2.0 aperture / 13MP Camera)

120˚ wide-viewing angle

Auto Focus

0.03-second laser auto-focus

LED flash

Instant cameras switching

Battery 4000mAh Lithium (non-removable)
Dimensions 147.3 x 70.9 x 8.7 mm
Weight 150 g
Colors Metallic finish: Galaxy Black/Sunlight Gold/Ruby Red

Suspect hardware choices

ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Philippines: Hands-on, first impressions ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Philippines: Hands-on, first impressions

For a “battery king”, the decision to go with a micro USB is odd. There’s so much they can do with a USB type-C, chiefly support for fast-charging. I guess the point is to not charge your phone all that much. Outside of that, I’ve no qualms.

The cameras aren’t the best, but they’re fun to use

ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Philippines: Hands-on, first impressions

The cameras in front and at the back of the Zenfone Max M1 both don’t produce the best photos, but the experience of taking them is amusing. There’s a wide shot feature for the rear 13MP/8MP cameras, which gives the users the ability to switch between a standard and a wide lens. There are also beautification options, which, for the most part, does it job and not practically blur the subject’s face like others do.

Is it really the new “battery king”?

ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Philippines: Hands-on, first impressions

We think ASUS is still a few ways away from earning that title. But with what they’ve put on the table with the Zenfone Max M1, I’d say ASUS has gone far. Especially with that price point—the Zenfone Max M1 retails for Php 8,995—4,000mAh is ample enough to almost everyone you’ll encounter. It won’t last you 41 days standby time as advertised, but it will easily last you two or even three days of mild to lightly intensive use.

About The Author

Armando Dela Cruz

Friendly neighborhood nerdboy, at your service. Follow me on Twitter: @armanddc.

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