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How Long Can It Last: ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 Review

Most of the people I know (me included) use their smartphones more than they open a book. Well, who wouldn't? The advancements of technology has reached a point where you can easily get an answer just by looking-up something on the internet, that is, if your internet connection is fast and reliable.

That being said, an entry-level or mid-range smartphone has a battery life that can only last for about 6-hours in heavy usage and around 8 – 9 hours or so in medium usage. So, most of the people who are using Entry or Mid-range smartphones tend to always bring their chargers and, or a large capacity power bank, which is really not a viable option if you are someone who can't cope with a bulge in your pockets, or in my situation – my scrubs.

Most of the people embrace 9 to 5 jobs, but as someone who works in the medical field, we tend to work or be in our workplace for about 10 to 12 hours a day – sometimes more. With that in mind, a smartphone that has a battery life that can last longer than 8 hours, in medium to heavy usage, will be on top of our to-buy list for sure.

Fortunately, just recently, ASUS, one of the leading PC components and smartphone manufacturer, has introduced its latest ZenFone Max entry, the ZenFone Max Pro M1, which is reported to last up to 35-days in idle. Lucky enough, we were able to get our hands on one, so let's get into it and check it out.

Packaging and Content:

The Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes in a sturdy box that has a simplistic theme of blue, silver and white color combination. Inside you'll find the Zenfone Max Pro M1, a Jelly Case (clear), SIM ejector, USB cable, charger, and headset with spare earbuds.

How it looks:

 
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 is available in two colors, the one we got here is Deepsea Black, while the other one is called Meteor Silver.
It's a 6.0 inches smartphone that has a 76% screen-to-body ratio and boasts an IPS LCD display with 1080×2160 resolution. The front, as most of the smartphones out in the  market, features the front camera, earpiece, and front flash. The back, on the other hand, is clad in aluminum that houses the fingerprint scanner and its dual camera with LED flash.
It is not entirely built in aluminum because the upper going to the lower part is made of plastic, due to the fact that this is where the antenna bands are placed. The right hand side is where the lock and volume buttons are. On the other hand side is where the triple slot SIM tray is located, and down the bottom is where you'll find the audio port, speakers and charging port.

Rear and Front Camera:

The cameras are not the strong point of this smartphone. By default, the front and rear has its beautify mode on the highest setting. And as someone who is not a fan of such feature, I really didn't like the images it captured with this feature On. But yes, it can be disabled, and yes, that is what I did.

The front camera features an 8MP sensor that has an f/2.2 aperture coupled with a flash so you can take selfies in low-light or even in dark places. On the other hand, the rear camera features a 13MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture working together with a 5MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture partnered with a LED flash.

Quick shots with the rear camera, sometimes, produce washed colors and rough images. But it's a different story when the auto focus kicks in.

The front camera, on the other hand, with its 5MP sensor is enough for capturing selfies and for video chats. Its f/2.4 aperture is a safe spot, allowing the sensor to take in a considerable amount of light to make selfies bright and clear even in low-light situations.

Additionally, the auto mode has a hard time adjusting to different lighting conditions. But if you're into that A.I powered cameras, there are a handful of those out in the market.

Battery life and charging time:


Now this is where this smartphone excels. As a Nurse, my working hours average from 10 – 12 hours a day, sometimes more. Most of the time, with my previous smartphone, I carry my charger with me because it can't last more than 6 hours of mixed usage. But when I got my hands on the Zenfone Max Pro M1, the need for a charger was out of the picture.
With mixed usage of social media browsing, video streaming and a little gaming when I'm benign or I'm in the nurse station, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 lasts up until I get home. That's about 12 hours of mixed usage with a bit of juice to spare for my music streaming at home.

Charging with its original charger, however, takes a bit of time to get it up to 100% from a totally empty state. It took 3 hours to fully charge the battery, but what is 3 hours of charging time in exchange for an almost 13 hours of mixed usage?

Additionally, the battery economy can further be improved by tweaking the settings or just by tapping the battery saver icon on the drag down menu.

Gaming Performance and Benchmark:

Gaming and stress tests push the hardware of a smartphone. In line with this, these sorts of usage also pushes and drains the battery faster.
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 is equipped with a Snapdragon 636 and Adreno 509 which are wired to a 5000 mAh battery. eSports titles such as Mobile Legends and PUBG Mobile can be set to highest settings without frame drops or stutter. However by default, games such as the once mentioned have their graphics settings set to medium, but you can easily and without a doubt push it to an even higher setting.

The battery can last you more than 6 hours of continuous gaming, but as for me, my eyes can't last more than 6 hours of continuous gaming. Heat from continuous usage becomes noticeable around the fourth hour, however, heat dissipation was remarkably fast all thanks to its aluminum back.

Moving along to Antutu benchmark and stress test, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 garnered a combined score of 113880. It had an average loaded temperature of 53°C that shoots up to 63°C. Dissipating the heat from the stress test was nothing but a walk in the park, it managed to revert to its operating temperature of 43°C in just a couple of minutes.

Speakers and what we think:
Gaming, watching movies, and video streaming have something in common; they all need a good audio output.

The speaker placement of the Max Pro M1 makes it easy to amplify the volume using the right palm or the left when watching movies or gaming, but don't think that just because I said that, the speaker isn't good. Mind you, it can easily give life to a dull 12sqm room through booming music. 

And even at lower volumes, the sounds coming out of the speaker are still audible. However, there are those badly recorded movies or music that requires some sort of sound amplification just to the sounds clearly, and that is when the "palm amplification" steps in.

For the price of 9995 PhP, you'll get a smartphone with a battery life that can last longer than the time you spend in the office. Equipped with the latest innovations in mobile CPU and GPU, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 can, without a doubt, play the latest online and offline games available today.

However, if you're someone who is big on mobile photography, then you might want to look away now. But, if you are of the gaming for hours kind of person or someone who is looking for a smartphone that has a capable CPU and GPU combined with a battery that can last for hours without the need for a charger or power bank, then the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is the best fit for you.

With this, we give the ZenFone Max Pro M1 our "Two Thumbs Up".

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