Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review: Our Complete Review – Smartphones


Introduction
    The Asus Zenfone Pro Max M2 has a heavy responsibility on his shoulders. Its predecessor, the Pro M1, had the advantage of being sold at an attractive price and enjoying a HUGE autonomy. Will he be worthy of his grandfather? Our test is here to answer this question.
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2
Technical sheet
        Model
                                    Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2
                    
            OS version
                                            
                            Android 8.1
                Interface
                                            
                            Android Stock
                Screen size
                                            
                            6.3 inches
                Definition
                                            
                            2280 x 1080 pixels
                Pixel density
                                            
                            400 dpi
                SoC
                                            
                            Snapdragon 660 to 2.2GHz
                Processor (CPU)
                                            
                            ARMv8
                Graphics Chip (GPU)
                                            
                            Adreno 512
                RAM memory
                                            
                            4GB
                Internal memory (flash)
                                            
                            64 GB
                MicroSD
                                            
                            Yes
                Camera (backpack)
                                            
                            1:12 megapixel sensor, 2 megapixel sensor
                Camera (front)
                                            
                            13 megapixels
                Video recording
                                            
                            1080p
                Wireless
                                            
                            Yes
                Bluetooth
                                            
                            5.0 + A2DP + LE
                networks
                                            
                            LTE, HSPA, GSM
                Supported bands
                                            
                            2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7)
                SIM
                                            
                            2x nano SIM
                NFC
                                            
                            Yes
                Ports (Inputs / Outputs)
                                            
                            microUSB
                Geolocation
                                            
                            Yes
                Drums
                                            
                            5000 mAh
                Dimensions
                                            
                            157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5 mm
                Weight
                                            
                            170 grams
                Colors
                                            
                            Black
                Price
                                            
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†299 ‚ā¨
                
                                    
                        Product sheet
                                            
                                This test model was loaned to us by Asus.
Design
"Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2". It's a bit long as a name, is not it? Personally, I almost found it unnecessarily complex. In contrast, the simplicity of the design of this smartphone is quite striking. There is indeed not much to say about his look.
The terms "sober" and "no frills" come up quite regularly in our tests when we have to describe this kind of device that has not benefited from a huge aesthetic inspiration during their design. Well, they will be renegotiated here without scruple. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 offers a good grip with curved edges just right so as not to be sharp.
                  
In frontage, the contour of the screen is quite wide, especially at the level of the chin. Without claiming incredible borderless, we could hope that the screen is a little less recessed in this way. Too bad, it's not so bad either. Let's focus for a moment on the notch in the middle of the forehead. This one adopts the same format as the notch of the iPhone, but in less broad. We still think that a water droplet format would not have been a refusal at the beginning of 2019, which sees the trapezoidal notches gradually abandoned.
On the back, the glass surface is very homogeneous, except for the double vertical camera, at the top left, and at the round and centered fingerprint reader. Small disappointment on the lower edge of the Zenfone Max Pro M2: the micro-USB port cruelly reminds that in 2019 not everyone is still USB-C. There is however a jack.

Nothing special about the buttons on the right for volume and unlocking while the left side houses the dual drawer nano SIM and microSD.
Screen
The IPS LCD screen of the phone offers a large diagonal of 6.3 inches with a definition Full HD + (2280 x 1080 pixels). In everyday use, I did not observe any inconvenience. The slab is even rather pleasant to watch despite blue tones a little too present. But this detail can be adjusted without much harm from the display settings. Note that the option is called "Color of the". A little bug more fun than disturbing.
Even under the almost overwhelming sun that marked the end of February, I never had a hard time distinguishing what was on the screen. However, the ambient light sensor seemed to lack a bit of responsiveness and it needed a few extra fractions of a second to adapt to very bright environments. At least enough for the latency to be noticed. Conversely, in indoor spaces, the screen is quick to drop its brightness a little too zealous and it becomes a little complicated to see what is displayed.
So I ended up turning off the automatic brightness.

Under our probe, the slab Zenfone Max Pro M2 is doing with the honors. The contrast of 1347: 1 is satisfactory as is the maximum brightness evaluated at 500 cd / m². The color temperature is 8000K, confirming the impression of a blue a little too present at the expense of red.
Software
The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo at the time of marketing. Do not panic that said, Asus has promised an update OTA from the beginning of March to Android 9.0 Pie. Here, we are entitled to a very refined version of the Google OS. We find ourselves there clearly and quickly.
The Zenfone Max Pro M2, however, does not belong to the Android One label for two reasons. The first is that there are two pre-installed third-party applications: Facebook and Instagram. These are deactivatable, but not removable. Pity. The second reason is more positive: the presence of an option to calibrate the color temperature on the screen prevents the interface of the smartphone to be considered in this way. In the latter case, we welcome the initiative of Asus, because it is a feature often regretted on the really basic versions of Android.
Note, however, that the screen calibration now exists on Android One under 9.0 Pie. In other words, once updated, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 will be excluded from the Android One program only because of Facebook and Instagram.

The interface is doing its job perfectly, but it pissed me on one point in particular: the status bar. On the left side, we are used to seeing the number of third-party application notifications to be limited to a small handle because of the notch.
On the right side, however, we were entitled to expect a larger number of icons. But here, beside the time and the battery level, only a pictogram can be displayed. You can not see at a glance that you are in vibrate mode and that Bluetooth is enabled.
You can try not to display the battery percentage (by default it is not displayed), but the space thus gained is never filled. It is not Asus that must be blamed here, but Google has not thought better this detail.
Frustrating status bar
Finally, note that the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is compatible with the NFC for wireless payments – Google Pay, we are waiting for you! The internal and expandable storage space is 64 GB. As for the management of DRM, good news: the smartphone benefits from Widevine L1 and should not be a problem to display HD videos on SVoD platforms.
Photo
Two photo sensors are on the back of the Zenfone Max Pro M2: the 12 megapixel main sensor with a lens that opens at f / 1.8 is supported by a second 5 megapixel sensor that simply helps to better manage the depth of the camera. field.
The photo performance of the phone is rather honorable, but the copy is not perfect. In good conditions, the colors transcribed in the images respect the reality quite well and the clichés benefit from a very correct level of detail. Let's not forget the fast autofocus. So we can make beautiful pictures with the Zenfone Max Pro M2.
                      
Unfortunately, the camera is easily damaged by strong dynamics. The most striking is obviously the poorly managed contrast between the sky and everything below. In normal mode, the phone very often has to sacrifice the details of the clouds to be able to focus properly on the scene. On the two pictures below for example, I have hardly changed the focus to find myself in a case with a sky overexposed to the extreme and in the other, a street plunged in too much darkness.
                  
To overcome this concern, the HDR mode is a good solution and manages to preserve more elements in the image. Software processing is significantly longer, but it is often worth it. The two images below taken at the end of the day demonstrate quite well the usefulness of this option.
                  
At night, the noise becomes very present and the clich√©s give off a feeling of blur a little too marked. The main weakness of the phone in these conditions comes from strong light sources (street lights, signs …). This is the main weakness of this globally convincing smartphone.

In the slightly darker interior spaces, it should also be noted that the double sensor forces a lot of light capture for more or less good results. It is also very difficult to see that the plant below was not well lit.
                  
Regarding the Portrait mode, it is very convincing, both indoors and outdoors. The outline of the face is well drawn and the person photographed is perfectly cut off from the background. The only complaint I really have to make to this option is quite anecdotal: the icon that allows access to it is not very clear and I took a long time to understand that it corresponded to Portrait mode.

For selfies, the 13-megapixel front sensor also suffers from a concern for dynamics and is easily put in difficulty by the decorations too bright. But all in all, and except for a few fuzzy misfires, the details of the face are well transcribed.
                  
Portrait mode does not benefit from the possibility of adjusting the level of blur. We feel that the bokeh effect is artificially generated, but the functionality remains interesting.
                  
In video, the phone can shoot up to 4K UHD.
performances
With a convincing Snapdragon 660 and 4GB of RAM, the Zenfone Max PRo M2 provides the power that is expected of him: it runs without much trouble the vast majority of applications. Even with multiple apps open at the same time, you can switch from one to another without problems.
On Arena of Valor, you can easily shoot at 60 frames per second without falling framerate. The finding is not the same on PUBG Mobile where the phone is doing a little more painstakingly. If you do not encounter any particular discomfort during a game, the nervous changes of the camera when you go to any side aboard a 4 √ó 4 can have some detrimental effects on fluidity. Proven saccades are not unacceptable and remain quite infrequent.
Asus Zenfone Pro Max M2Asus Zenfone Pro Max M1Honor 8XSamsung Galaxy A7 2018
SoCSnapdragon 660Snapdragon 636Kirin 710Exynos 7885
AnTuTu 7.x126 422113 658139 437123 200
On my PUBG Mobile games, the graphics were set at the middle level. Going beyond unnecessarily puts the Zenfone Max Pro M2 in difficulty, which is not expected in this respect anyway. It should be noted that the device pushed to the end can quickly heat, but it never reaches high temperatures.
So we are on a solid smartphone performance level, although it is not really his favorite field. The benchmark on AnTuTu shows that the product of Asus is doing better than the Galaxy A7 2018 launched 50 euros more expensive, but worse than the Honor 8X, launched 50 euros cheaper.
Autonomy
On this phone, Asus relies again on a battery of 5000 mAh. Promising on paper, the latter does not disappoint at all in use. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is an invincible beast to Wolverine – the claws in less. Like the hero of the X-Men, time does not seem to have a hold on his vigor.
For example, during a 40-minute game on PUGB Mobile, the battery lost only 4% of its charge. On long YouTube sessions of over an hour, only a handful of percentages were consumed. Same on web browsing or instant messaging services. Taking a picture consumes a bit more, however, but never burns reserves. Finally, the behavior of the device in standby is very good.

During our ViSer custom test protocol, the smartphone held up for 17 hours and 28 minutes. A rather crazy result that propels him into a comfortable position of champion of the dominant autonomy of the head and shoulders Xiaomi Mi Max 3 yet particularly talented on this ground.
However, this score must be accompanied by important information. ViSer is a protocol that launches a whole bunch of applications to subject the smartphone to various tests. In the case of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, the process did not meet any hitch … or almost. On 124 call attempts, the device hung up 73 times instead of maintaining communication for just under a minute.
These incidents have certainly had an impact on the score of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2. One can possibly imagine that without these hazards, the terminal would have recorded a result just under the 17 hours. This remains very impressive.

To recharge the device, it is necessary to count on a block of 10W. The large capacity of the battery associated with micro-USB connectivity unfortunately does not achieve great speed spikes on the recharge. To go from 8 to 53%, it is necessary to simmer the Zenfone M1 connected to a socket for one hour. Count an extra hour to slowly arrive at 100%.
We will console ourselves by remembering that the tremendous endurance of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 should prevent you from being in desperate search for a plug where to plug it.
Network and connectivity
The phone may have a bit of trouble hooking up Wi-Fi. It's never really that bad, but it took me sometimes to wait a bit too long to connect to a network already registered. Apart from that, I have not encountered any significant problems with Orange 4G in the Paris region. Note, however, that the B28 band (700 MHz) is not supported.
Calls and GPS work very well.
Price and availability
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is available in France at a price of 299 euros.
    
    
        
            
                        Test Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 The verdict
                    
                                                    
                                
                                A sober design, no frills. On a purely aesthetic level, we expected no more, we expected no less. The real concern to report on the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is the presence of micro-USB socket a little dated in 2019. Apart from that, nothing to complain about the good comfort offered here.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                The phone's screen is satisfactory on almost every aspect. The sufficiently marked contrast and the good maximum brightness largely compensate for the colors a bit too bluish displayed by the slab. But this concern is easily adjusted in the settings. Alas, to return to the brightness, the phone tends not to push the level high enough when it is in automatic mode.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                A simple and very intuitive interface as it is offers a sleek Android experience. We will just regret the somewhat questionable management of the notification icons hindered by the notch but it is not Asus who is to blame here. Too bad also that Android Pie is not immediately adventure, but we want to believe the promises of the brand.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                Regarding the photo performance, we salute the good performance of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 when the light conditions are good enough and the Portrait mode of the most beautiful effect. Unfortunately, for night photos, the report is less glowing and the phone has much more trouble providing quality pictures.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                The Snapdragon 660 smartphone never disappoints. It obviously does not reach the peaks of the high-end, but it performs very well tasks that one is entitled to demand from him. At that price, he does the right thing.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a treat in terms of autonomy. Never tired, this smartphone knows perfectly hold on the duration even in quite extensive use. If your main criterion for buying a new smartphone is its endurance, we can advise you with your eyes closed. He is a champion. Too bad the charge is not a little faster.
                            
                                            
                            
                    
                    
                            
                            
                
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 impresses with its autonomy. Untiring, tireless, tireless, invincible … All the adjectives of this ilk are good to describe the longevity of his battery. And we love this smartphone for this superb quality. Beyond that, the product does not really stand out in any particular area, but it still satisfies. At least in the vast majority of cases. Its grip is comfortable, its Android interface pleasant to use despite a frustrating management of the status bar and its overall performance at the level where we expected. It is on the photo part, that we will bring some important nuances: the double sensor is easily disturbed by strong dynamics, especially when immortalized poorly lit scenes. It's a shame when you know that in good conditions, the photos enjoy a good quality and that Portrait mode is really well cared for. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is therefore far from bad in the photo, but it still needs to fill some gaps.
            
                            
                        Good points
                        Monstrous autonomy
                                                            Good performance
                                                            Clean Android
                                                            A very good fashion Portrait
                                                    
                    
                        Negative points
                        Improved photo part on certain points
                                                            Frustrating management of the status bar
                                                            (Micro USB)
                                                    
                
                    
            
    
        
    
                
    

        
                
    
    

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