Vivo Philippines

ASUS has a lot of products here in the country and one of the most popular smartphone series that they have is the Zenfone Max Line. During the ASUS Zenfone 5 Launch, the company has also launched the ASUS Zenfone Max M1. As expected, the smartphone will have a large battery and of course, it will still have an 18:9 Display and also a dual lens rear camera.

Design and Hardware

The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 features a design that is comfortable to the hand. The smartphone is affordable so I didn’t actually expect too much from it but I like what I feel about the smartphone. Yes, it’s plastic but the smartphone feels light and handy to the hand. The curves of the smartphone feel just right too which makes it really ergonomic despite having a large battery capacity.  I actually liked the premium metal finish of the smartphone.

The smartphone still rocks a Micro USB port which is placed below the smartphone while the 3.5mm audio jack is placed at the top of the smartphone. The volume rocker and the power button are nicely placed on the side of the smartphone which can be easily accessed despite using the smartphone in one hand.

The smartphone doesn’t sport any physical or capacitive buttons on the front which made the fingerprint scanner of the smartphone be placed in the pack. It’s very accessible and it can really unlock my smartphone really fast, however, the face unlock of this smartphone is still disappointing because most of the time, the smartphone cannot detect my face and it’s easier to just use the fingerprint scanner of the smartphone.

Display

One of best features of this smartphone is its display. The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 packs an 82% screen-to-body ratio which means that the bezel of the smartphone is thinner than other smartphones without a Full screen or Full View displays. The smartphone packs an 18:9 display aspect too and also a 2.5D glass which adds beauty to the smartphone.

Despite having an 18:9 display aspect ratio, the smartphone does have a smaller 5.5-inch display with HD+ resolution. This is the reason why the smartphone looks sharper than I expected. Also, this made the smartphone quite useful for gaming on landscape and browsing news feed on portrait mode.

The quality of the smartphone is better than I expected. It’s colourful and it’s quite good. Again, it looks sharper than I expected because of its display size.

Software

The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 runs on the latest Android Oreo 8.0 with the latest ZenUI. Since this is a Zenfone Max smartphone, it packs a PowerMaster app that let’s check out the status of the battery of the smartphone and also battery features that are exclusive to ASUS Zenfone Max users. This is a pretty useful app especially if you’re always worried about the battery of the smartphone

Of course, the smartphone does come with some bloatware but it is minimal compared to the previous Zen UI. This is faster, better, and snappier compared to previous Zen UI generations. I actually liked the speed of the smartphone despite having only a Snapdragon 430 processor.

Performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor inside the smartphone is quite old. We’ve seen that chipset before on smartphone that are already more than a year old but despite that, the smartphone is still quite able when it comes to basic apps and games and if you’re planning to play the latest games on this smartphone, well, it can still run most of them but don’t expect a high graphics settings for these games.

We’ve tried playing NBA 2k18 on the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 and it was able to run the game just fine as long as you set the graphics settings of the game to the lowest settings. Same with PUBG Mobile, you can run the game but I highly suggest that you set the graphics settings of the smartphone to the lowest settings.

If you want to know more how the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 performs, check out the Antutu score that we got on this smartphone.

Battery Life

The most exciting feature of the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 is its battery life. The smartphone packs an HD+ display which helps the smartphone to conserve more battery life and then there’s the 4000mAh battery which is pretty big. Despite not having a 4100mAh or 5000mAh battery, I was really happy with the battery life of the smartphone.

I managed to get two days or a day and half of the use at moderate usage and a little bit of gaming. In our PC Mark test, we got a score of 11 hours and 34 minutes which is impressive.

Camera

Despite being a Zenfone Max smartphone that is focused on battery life, ASUS still managed to place a dual rear lens camera on the smartphone. Surprisingly, I actually liked the camera quality of the smartphone compared to the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus M1 that we’ve reviewed before. Some of the selfie shots that I got were pale but most of them were good and the portrait shots on the selfie camera really works on this one.

The rear camera of the smartphone is composed of a 13-megapixel rear main camera along with the 120-degree wide angle lens camera. As expected, the main camera performs just fine but unfortunately, sometimes, the details weren’t that sharp. But overall, I’m still satisfied with the camera performance that I got with the ASUS Zenfone Max M1. Check out the shots that I took using the smartphone:

Verdict

The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 is a solid smartphone from the Taiwanese company. It has a long battery life and the Snapdragon 430 Processor inside it might already be old but it is enough for some games and basic tasks. The power efficiency of the smartphone is really good too as I get a really long battery life with good thermals on this smartphone.

At its price range, there are many choices but if you’re looking for a smartphone with a priority on battery life then the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 should be at the top of your list.

The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 is now available for Php8,995.

ASUS Zenfone Max (M1) Specs

  • 5.5-inch HD+ Display with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 Processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB Internal Storage expandable via MicroSD
  • 13-megapixel + 8MP wide-angle rear camera
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • GPS, A-GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth
  • LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • 4000mAh Battery
  • Android 8 Oreo

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