Introduction

Another member of Asus’ Zenfone Max line-up arrived in the Philippines last month, the Asus Zenfone Max M1. As Asus seems to do every year, it is offering a series of phones, from mid-range to high-end smartphone, which all have a specific strength or two. It is also clear that Asus wanted to compete with Xiaomi on providing great phone without breaking the bank. With Asus Zenfone Max M1, it is not just about being the “Battery King” smartphone but also providing a dual camera with solid capability and range. All of this comes with a competitive price tag – Php 8,995.

Key Features:

Price

Battery

Ram/Storage

CPU

Screen

Camera

 

Php 8,995

4,000 mah

3gb Ram/32gb Storage

Qualcomm Snapdragon 425/430 CPU

5.5-inch HD+ IPS Display

Dual 13MP + 8MP 120-degree wide-angle rear camera, 13MP Front Camera

What you get in the box


Open up and you will see a welcome message, that’s also where you can see the manuals, warranty card and the sim ejector. Lifting it up, you will see the gorgeous Zenfone Max M1. Open up further and you will find USB to Micro USB cable, Travel Adapter and an earphone. Btw, you can check our unboxing and initial impression here!

 

Design

Design-wise, the Zenfone Max M1 shares plenty of features with other latest Zenfone smartphone, which makes for a premium smartphone. The M1’s bodywork has a premium metallic finish. The front of the device is home to a 5.5-inch HD+ IPS display with 1440 x 720 resolution; 16:10 aspect ratio. At the back, you will find the dual camera at the upper left together with the LED flash. You will also see the fingerprint sensor at the center which is super-fast and very reliable throughout a week of our testing.

The left-hand edge is home to a nano-SIM tray (which can accept two SIMs + a micro SD card) and a microphone while on the opposite side you can find the power button and volume rocker. On the bottom there’s a micro USB port, a single speaker and a microphone. Unfortunately, it does not include a type C port but for the price itself, it is acceptable. Along the top edge, you will only find a 3.5mm headphone jack.

While there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the way the Zenfone Max M1 looks, it is really a solid-constructed device that doesn’t feel bulky in the hand.

Screen

Zenfone M1 features a 5.5-inch HD+ IPS display with 1440 x 720 resolution; 16:10 aspect ratio. Its screen is reasonably good, but not that bright when you’re using the phone outdoor. Despite some cons, the resolution is more than adequate for a screen of this size and viewing angles are actually good.

Performance

Powered by a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 with Adreno 505 GPU and a 3gb of ram, Zenfone Max M1 can deliver a good performance for its price. During our review period while doing some tasks it performs fine; browsing Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, playing  some casual games. We just noticed some hiccups when doing some heavy tasks although for its price don’t expect a lot.

Camera

Zenfone Max M1 packs in a dual camera at the back. A 13 MP + 8MP 120-degree wide-angle rear cameras. On the front, there’s also a 13MP camera capable of capturing a portrait mode photo like that on the fruit phone. It also has a softlight LED flash for decent selfies in low light conditions.
There are a lot of options you can play around on the camera app. You can also enable the wide angle feature and more. We tried to put it on a camera test. It performs really well on daylight conditions but sadly it failed to provide us a good photo on lowlight conditions. If you consider the price tag of this device, it is acceptable.

Daylight


Low Light

Verdict

Going by the specifications of Zenfone Max M1, it ticked all the boxes to make it competitive on other smartphones with this price range. For a phone that is priced at only Php 8,995, it is really a great smartphone in terms of overall value. You get an almost bezel less 5.5-inch HD+ IPS display screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio, great battery life (Obviously, that’s why it is called “Battery King”). The only area where it does fall short of great is the camera performance on low light conditions. For the price tag of Zenfone Max M1, you can’t go wrong with this device. REALLY

 

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