Mid-ranged phones are often underestimated as users tend to expect below average to average standards whenever the price is set to a very affordable amount. We’re here to shed some light and share our personal experience in using another mid-ranged phone that can give you more than what you’ve paid for. Equipped with a powerful Snapdragon 636 chipset and backed by 5000 mAh battery, we got to experience firsthand the overall performance of the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro 32GB variant. Note that this is different from the ASUS Zenfone Max M1 that we previously reviewed.
Before we proceed with our ratings for every feature, here’s a quick run-through of the phone’s full specifications:
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
64-bit octa-core CPU (8 x Kryo 260 cores)
Adreno 509 GPU
14nm FinFET (Low Power Plus) power-saving technology
|Wireless Connectivity||WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz with Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth 4.2 (with aptX)
|Display||6-inch Full HD+ (2160 x 1080) Full-View IPS Panel,
450nits maximum brightness
1500:1 contrast ratio
85% NTSC color gamut
83% screen-to-body ratio, 2.5D arc glass panel
|Cameras||Rear||Main rear camera:
Second camera / senor:
5MP Secondary dedicated depth sensing camera for accurate bokeh effects
|Flashes||Rear and front Soft-light LED flashes|
|Video recording (Rear camera)||4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video recording
1080p FHD video recording at 30 / 60fps
720p HD video recording at 30 fps
Still photo shooting while recording video capability
|Audio||NXP smart amplifier
1.7x louder volume with Max-Box (passive amplifier)
|SIM / Memory card support||Triple-tray card Support:
Tray 1: 4G Nano SIM* / Tray 2: 3G Nano SIM* / Tray 3: microSD card up to 256GB
*Only one 4G and another 3G data connection supported simultaneously
|Wired Connectivity||USB 2.0 Micro USB
3.5 mm combo audio jack
|GPS||GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|Construction||Metal body with 2.5D contoured display glass panel|
|Security||Face Unlock, Fingerprint unlock with 5-finger recognition|
|Dimensions||159 x 76 x 8.46 mm / 180 grams|
|Colors||Meteor Silver, Deep Sea Black|
|OS||Pure Android 8.1 Oreo with future upgrade to Android P v9.0|
|PRICE||PHP 9,995.00/PHP 12,995.00|
Look and feel (9/10)
There’s nothing grand about the look of the phone and it’s very simple, unlike the latest releases in the market which take pride in its bold color. However, we do appreciate that it’s not too flashy in its Meteor Silver and Deep Sea Black colors. Compared to similar phones, the Zenfone Max Pro is just a bit bigger and heavier. The phone’s rear has a smooth metallic finish, with a round fingerprint sensor placed in the middle which can be easily accessed. The 6” FDH+ IPS display doesn’t have a notch, but the bezel seems to be thicker than usual.
General Performance (9/10)
User interface reaction speed is fast and smooth. Even while having multiple applications open in the background, it doesn’t have that “lag” feeling. Certainly a plus for this brand.
Gaming Performance (9.5/10)
Asus is well known for their gaming capabilities, and after playing some games in this phone like PUBG and Asphalt 8, both of which requires heavy graphics and memory, we can say that it really delivers good quality game-play. While there are just some very minor lags from time to time, it really doesn’t affect the overall experience that much. The phone also has a good battery life, so you can keep on playing non-stop. More about the battery as you read through this post.
Image quality shot with the dual rear camera is quite decent given the right lighting conditions, although the color range is not that dynamic. The quality starts to become grainier in low-light environments, though. Still, both front and rear cameras can get the job done but the results are just average for a mid-range phone. Just a side note, there is no “pro mode” but you can still adjust some of the settings like ISO, White Balance, and EV. Video quality was surprisingly good.
Note: All photos in this post were not post-processed. All are in its actual colors.
Visuals and Sounds (9/10)
I watched 1080p quality videos, no signs of lag and sudden pauses, just smooth continuous playing. Colors are quite vivid and you can adjust the brightness according to your liking. The sounds are loud and clear, the results are satisfying, considering that it’s a mid-range phone.
The phone could survive a regular day without a need to charge. Throughout the day, we have Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram running simultaneously together with frequent calls and SMS. From time to time, we also play games like PUBG and Asphalt 8; watch Netflix and videos on YouTube. The result: The phone survived and has 55% juice by the end of the day. In terms of charging time, it will take you an average of 2 hours to get you around 80% using the charger provided.
There is a slight delay in unlocking the phone when using either the fingerprint or face recognition sensor, but it’s not really a big deal unless you’re in a hurry to unlock your phone. There are also times wherein the sensor doesn’t recognize the face or fingerprint due to lighting conditions.
For a mid-range phone that can be purchased for only P9,995, this is a phone worth looking into if you’re looking for something that can perform well without spending too much. It holds a lot of worth for the price that you’re paying for. If you feel that 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage memory is not enough for you, they also have a variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage memory that can be bought for P12,995.
Overall, the Zenfone Max Pro is a solid phone with above average gaming capabilities, smooth user interface experience, and a battery that can last you throughout the day. It can live up to its moniker as the “#BatteryKing” of phones within its range. Although it doesn’t take the best photos and despite the minimal flaws in the sensors, the Zenfone Max Pro still delivers when it comes to general performance, gaming, battery, and its value.
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