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ASUS Zenfone Max Plus (M1) Review

The ASUS Zenfone Max Series is known as the smartphone series to have a long battery life and recently, ASUS has launched the new Zenfone Max that’ll arrive in town and it’s the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus (M1). I know, the naming of the smartphone is a little bit confusing but what about the smartphone? What do I think about it? Check it out in our review below.

Design and Hardware

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus (M1) is very much the same with the ASUS Zenfone 4 Max except that the smartphone is taller and more ergonomic because of its display aspect ratio. The smartphone also doesn’t have physical buttons and instead opted for on-screen buttons. It does have a 5.7-inch display but the smartphone doesn’t feel like it’s big because of the ergonomic design.

The smartphone isn’t really that thick despite having a large battery and thanks to its curved back, the smartphone feels comfortable to hold. The smartphone has a really nice metal feel however, I still suggest to use the included jelly came out of the box as the smartphone is a little bit slippery to the hand.

The fingerprint scanner of the smartphone is placed at the back of the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus but if you don’t want to have the hassle of reaching the fingerprint scanner at the back of your smartphone, you can opt for the face unlock however, it’s not as fast as I expected and it can’t recognize my face most of the time. So yeah, I still recommend using the fingerprint scanner however, I believe that ASUS can fix this one over their future software updates soon.

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus still using a Micro USB port and then there’s the 3.5mm audio jack at the top of the smartphone. While the volume rocker and the power button of the smartphone are placed on the same side of the smartphone.

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus also comes with 4G+ so you can have faster LTE speeds and yes, our telcos support it and in my experience with Smart LTE, it was fast and it was pretty good. I was also satisfied with its signal and call receptions.

Most smartphones today are already on a Dual sim, however, most of them sacrifice one of the Sim card trays for the Micro SD card slot. Well, with the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus, you get two sim card trays and then there’s the MicroSD card slot.


The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus features a 5.7-inch display with an 18:9 Display aspect ratio, and with a resolution of FHD+ or 2160×1080. The display of the smartphone is probably its biggest feature aside from the battery as it brings beauty to the smartphone. There are the rounded edges and a Full View Display with thin bezels.

One of the advantages of having this display is that the smartphone has become more comfortable to the hand compared to other smartphones with 16:9 display aspect ratio. Regarding the quality of the display, it’s actually brighter than I expected and sharper than most smartphones in its price range as this one packs an FHD+ display. Overall, the display of the smartphone is actually pretty great.

Software and Performance

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus, as expected, is running on Android 7.1 Nougat with ZenUI 4.5. Its ZenUI is fast, smooth, and better than the previous one. The applications and the elements are almost the same however, I noticed that there were improvements in its performance and it’s smoother than the one on the Zenfone 4 series.

But of course, the smartphone is still filled with bloatware including Selfie Master and Beauty Master which lets you add beautification on different applications and also during live streaming. Pretty cool application if you love doing live streams and also sending stories.

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus also packs PowerMaster app that lets you control the battery settings of the smartphone and also adjust the settings that you want to the smartphone so you can prolong the battery life. And of course, if you’re using the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus as a secondary smartphone, you can actually use this smartphone as a power bank by just using the included USB OTG on the box.power

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus runs on a MediaTek MT6750T chipset along with 4GB of RAM. However, I still prefer having the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor that can be found on the ASUS Zenfone 4 Max that we’ve reviewed earlier.

When it comes to gaming, I notice that the smartphone gets uncomfortably hot while playing games especially when the mobile data is on. The smartphone can play most games including NBA 2k18 and Rules of Survival, it is recommended that you set the games at low settings to have an enjoyable framerate. Actually, I was surprised that the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus was able to run NBA 2k18 on Medium settings, however, I noticed that there frame drops while playing it at higher settings.


The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus features a 16-megapixel rear camera along with 8-megapixel wide-angle camera. Well, I didn’t expect too much from the smartphone’s camera but it was better than the ASUS Zenfone 4 Max in any environments.

I’ve tested the smartphone’s 16-megapixel rear camera and I got better colors and sharper photos, however, you would easily notice that the 8-megapixel wide-angle camera of the smartphone produces inferior photos than the primary rear camera. The wide-angle camera is only ideal when you’re using it for taking group photos or landscapes but the quality? It isn’t really good.

At low light, I’ve noticed that the smartphone performs a little bit better compared to the ASUS Zenfone 4 Max, however, it’s still not as good as I expected. The lowlight shots are soft and I wasn’t really satisfied with it.

Check out the shots that I took using the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus below:


Battery Life

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus features a 4130mAh Battery. It’s smaller than the Zenfone 4 Max but 30mAh more than than the previous Zenfone 4 Max. Here’s the thing, the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus has a different display compared to the ASUS Zenfone 4 Max. The Zenfone Max Plus has a larger display with a higher resolution which means that the smartphone will be consuming more power and then there’s the smaller battery which means that my expectations of the Zenfone Max Plus is a little bit lower compared to the Zenfone 4 Max.

In my usage of the Zenfone Max Plus, I was able to heavily use the smartphone a whole day without charging. If you love playing games, I doubt that the smartphone would last the next day unlike the Zenfone 4 Max. I didn’t look for my power back from day to night however, It isn’t as long as its other Zenfone Max brothers but again, I’ve already expected it since this smartphone has a more consuming display and smaller battery capacity. However, if you’re just into light gaming and light smartphone usage, I’m pretty sure that the smartphone would last for 2 days.

Here’s the PC Mark battery score that I got with 50% brightness.

While the PC Mark benchmark that we got only got that numbers, we’re still impressed with its real-life usage.


The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus doesn’t last as long as the Zenfone 4 Max that I’ve love in our previous review. Yes, the ASUS Zenfone Max Plus does feature a better Full View Display with a better FHD+ resolution however, it does fall short when it comes to Face recognition, a feature that is a first on an ASUS smartphone, and also a shorter battery life than the other Zenfone Max smartphones.

So who is this smartphone for? Well, if you’re looking for a long lasting smartphone with a future-ready Full HD+ Display with 18:9 display aspect ratio then you can look for this one.

The ASUS Zenfone Max Plus is now available for Php11,990.

Jam Ancheta
Jam Ancheta
Jam Ancheta likes to create content about tech. But he also hates tech.


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