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Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review


Released in December 2018, the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 brings a couple of new things on the table - new design, AI camera technology, and an upgraded hardware configuration.

And as part of the Max series, the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with a hefty 5000mAh battery just like its predecessor the Max Pro M1.

So, with its new skin and new feature set, will the Zenfone Max Pro M2 be any different from its predecessor and will it be worthy enough to be the successor of the 'Battery King' title and be your next smartphone?

Let's get to know the Zenfone Max Pro M2 in this Noob's guide.

Picking up the essence


Being in the Max line, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is built with a hefty 5000mAh battery. Along with it comes a new design. ASUS made the Max Pro M2 from the ground up with the design essence of the Zenfone 5 in mind.

The Zenfone 5's signature 3D wave design breathes a fresh look to the Max Pro M2, which makes it an elegant looking smartphone that's available at a very affordable price. It also boasts a new curved form, which eliminates the sudden slip issue that we had on its predecessor.

ASUS focused not only on aesthetic updates with this iteration of the Max, but also integrated some nifty features. One remarkable addition to its arsenal is the integration of AI technology in its cameras; another feature we loved about, and seen on, the Zenfone 5.

Blessed with the Fusion of both


As it is, we can easily tag the Zenfone Max Pro M2 as a fusion of the essence of both the Max Pro M1 and Zenfone 5.

Tho a fusion, its internal configuration still stays in line with its family, the Max series. It combines the long lasting 5000 mAh battery with an 8-Core processor under the SnapDragon 660 chipset, 6GB (or 4GB) RAM, and 64GB internal storage.

If the built-in 64GB storage capacity somewhat doesn't fit your storage demands, expansion can always be done through the use of a microSD card that supports up to 128GB capacity. 

Another feature that it shares with the Max Pro M1 is the triple-slot tray, which enables the use of two functional micro SIMs without sacrificing the microSD slot.

It is also the first  Zenfone to be blessed with a Corning Gorilla Glass 6, which is two times better than the previous version.

More than a 9-to-5 companion


Battery endurance is what the Max series is known for, and just like its predecessors, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 can last for a day or two in mix usage.

In our tests, the Max Pro M2's battery performance meets the standards that was set by its predecessor. Its more than a 9-to-5 smartphone with one full charge lasting more than a day in basic usage with mobile data connection enabled. Basic usage is the usage scenario of a working individual, which consists of timed web browsing, gaming, social media updates, and messaging. 

When it comes to battery economy, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 lives to the expectations and standards that its predecessor had set, and is worthy to hold the title of 'Battery King'.

An AI shooter for all occasions


AI technology is being fused into a lot of smartphones nowadays, but most of the AI capable smartphones are available with a higher price tag. As such, same goes for ASUS, their AI technology was only available on their top of the line crop until the birth of Max Pro M2. 

It is one of, if not the first, most affordable AI enabled smartphones out in the market today. The Max Pro M2's AI technology punches its way to its cameras. The AI technology in its cameras automatically dials the settings depending on the scenario that's present at the time. This makes for a much easier shooting, and produces sharp and lively images which were once only possible through manual mode.

Below are images which were taken after the recent update that enabled the AI technology of the Max Pro M2.



Performance tests and results


Our performance tests consist of synthetic benchmarking, which are freely available over at the app store, and our own real-world performance tests, which can easily be re-done by any user.

We always opt for  synthetic benchmarks first to set expectations and give performance numbers for the Max Pro M2 or any device that we are reviewing. On 3D Mark, a benchmark that tests the smartphone's GPU rendering and gaming performance, the Max Pro M2 was able to crunch up a score of 1221 on the OpenGL ES 3.1 API of Sling Shot Extreme, while it scored 1158 on the Vulkan API of the same test.


On the other hand, Antutu benchmark tests the overall performance and stability of the device. In this test, this iteration of the Max scored 129805. Tho, not as high as other smartphones in its price segment, the Max Pro M2 still holds its own on the battery performance and temperature stability. 

During our synthetic benchmarks, its processor, which is of the SDM 660, was able to leash down the temperature to an average of 41* with a high of 42.7*. That on its own is remarkable. After the tests, it was able to pull down the temperature to 38* in just one minute, while its battery level only went down to 95% from a fully charged state after three runs of each tests.

A non-stop gaming device without compromise


As we've mentioned all through out this review, the Max series is known for its hefty battery, and with that trait present all through out its iterations; it is a no-brainer to expect that the new offering will hold on to the standards or show some improvements.

With the Max Pro M2, the battery life during heavy gaming sessions shows an additional 1 -2 hours of juice compared to its predecessor. That's around 7 - 8 hours of gaming. Another notable improvement is its heat dissipation and temperature stabilization. On the previous iteration, we've seen temperature readings shooting past 50*, and that is something bothering when it comes to gaming as higher temperature readings tend to slow down or throttle down performance. Amazingly, on this iteration we've never seen the temperature reading go past 45*, which translates to a much stable performance in gaming and computational work.

Temperature stabilization is also top-notch, as it can go from loaded temperature to idle temperature in just a minute. No battery over-heating issues either, as the Max Pro M2's battery maintained a 36* temperature that only goes up to 40* in loaded scenarios.

Aside from having a near top-shelf performance when it comes to gaming and battery endurance, the Max Pro M2 also ushers in a new network chip that enables it to stay connected to a WiFi channel even in a heavily walled area. We all do know that walls can block signals from our routers, which can dramatically affect the WiFi strength. We've got one video over at our facebook page demonstrating the WiFi strength of the M2.

What we think:


With a lot of smartphones available in the market today, consumers are plagued with the question of whether to pull the trigger on a certain smartphone or look for another option.

A lot of times, we are held back by the price tag of a smartphone, as most of the top performing ones are most of the time heavily priced as well. Now comes the Max Pro M2, which is a fusion of all the things we love and need from a smartphone. That's longer battery life, hardware configuration that can handle heavy usage, standout design, and more importantly - a price tag that is within reach by the masses.

The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is blessed with the fusion of both of ASUS' top-tier and mid-tier offerings. So, if you're looking for a smartphone with flashy design, but does't lack in the performance and battery spectrum, then the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is without a doubt the smartphone worthy of your moola.

The Zenfone Max Pro M2 with 6GB and 64GB of internal storage is available at all ASUS/ZenFone shops & accredited multi-brand partners, and retails at PHP 14, 995. While, the 4GB variant with 64 GB internal storage is exclusively available on Lazada and Shopee at PHP 12, 995.

There are two colors available for the Max Pro M2. There's Midnight Black which is available for 6GB and 4GB variants, and the recently unveiled Cosmic Titanium that's only available for the 6GB variants.

And since the Cosmic Titanium is somewhat new, there's just a handful of stores that have them on-hand at the moment. Below are the stores that carry the Cosmic Titanium variant:


ZenFone Max Pro M2 (Cosmic Titanium Variant)
STORE NAMELOCATION
G-Shack CommunicationNE Pacific Mall Cabanatuan City Nueva Ecija
Asus KioskCyberone SM Baguio
BatangasOutside Mall, Batangas
PalawanOutside Mall, Palawan
Intogadgets Inc.Market Market, Bonifacio Global City Taguig City
Intogadgets Inc.3rd Lvl Dela Rosa Carpark Makati City
Intogadgets Inc.SM Center Velenzuela, MacArthur Highway, Valenzuela, 1441 Metro Manila
Intogadgets Inc.AS-0052, Ayala Station, Ayala Center, Makati, 1224 Metro Manila
Intogadgets Inc.Unit V-361E Virramall Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
Max Store2/F Unit 30 To the Max Store Bridgeway Shop Greenhills Shopping Ctr. San Juan
MobilizerMobilizer Cell 3/F Unit 364 SM San Lazaro F.Huertas cor.Lacson St. Sta Cruz Manila
MobilizerUnit 343 3/F Mobilizer SM Center Valenzuela Mc Arthur Highway Karuhatan Valenzuela City
MobilizerMobilizer Store 3/F, Cyberzone Area, SM City Fairview, Quezon City
Mobilizer3/F, SM City Sta. Mesa, R. Magsaysay Blvd., cor. G. Araneta Ave., Quezon City
Asus KioskSM Olongapo, Magsaysay Drive, cor Gordon Ave, Olongapo, 2200 Zambales
AerophoneRobinson Galleria, Cebu City
AerophoneSM Seaside Cebu
AerophoneAyala Center Cebu
AerophoneSM City Cebu
AerophoneSM Consolacion
AerophoneGaisano Grandmall Basak
AerophoneHypermarket
AerophoneParkmall, Mandaue City
AerophoneGaisano Centro Mandaue
AerophoneGaisano Ormoc
AerophoneSM Iloilo
AerophoneRobinsons Jaro, Iloilo City
AerophoneGaisano Balasan, Iloilo City
AerophoneSM Manila
AerophoneSM San Lazaro
HelloSM San Lazaro
AerophoneSM Megamall
Digital VillageBTC, Banila Cebu City
Digital VillageGaisano Casuntingan, Mandaue City
Digital VillageEmall, Mandaue City
Digital VillageSM City Cebu
Digital VillageParkmall, Mandaue City
Digital VillageSm Seaside Cebu
Top GadgetAyala Cebu City
Celplus MazeAyala Cebu City
CelplusFonshopRobinson's Cebu
CellpodSM City Cebu
CellpodAyala Cebu City

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