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The Zenfone Max M1’s announcement debuts the separation of the Max lineup as a category of its own. As such, it stays true to tradition, with a huge 4,000mAh battery. And while it may not be the most powerful device on paper, it still boasts features that make it such an attractive offer, especially when you consider how much it costs – an 18:9 display, and dual rear cameras.

ProcessorSnapdragon 430 (Octa-Core)
RAM3GB
Storage32GB
Display5.5-inch HD+, 18:9
Rear Camera13MP + 8MP
Front Camera13MP
OSAndroid 8.0 with ZenUI 5.0
Battery4,000mAh
Design and Build Quality

Right off the bat, I’d say this is one beautiful looking device. What I absolutely adore about it is how compact it looks and feels, and that’s despite having a huge battery.

zenfone max m1 reviewUp front, you get a 5.5-inch 18:9 HD+ display, which may not be the most detailed in the world of course, but is still quite fun to look at, thanks to that colorful motif that ZenUI uses. It’s can go very bright, and text looks sharp, until you actually look closely.

zenfone max m1 reviewThe back panel uses a matte finish, and reminds me of the Zenfone 3 Zoom. That of course, makes the phone easier to grip, and given how compact this one is, one-handed operation is simply a joy. The position of the dual cameras have also been changed, and is now similar to that of the Zenfone 5.

zenfone max m1 reviewAll the buttons are on the right side, while the left houses the triple slot tray.

zenfone max m1 reviewThe headphone jack is up top, and at the bottom, you’ll find the speaker grills and a standard microUSB port. I’d love a Type-C port here, but I guess if the mission was to bring down costs, this makes more sense.

Performance

Let’s face it, the Snapdragon 430 has been around for quite some time now, and while it has proven itself over and over again in many other devices, a bump to a Snapdragon 450 would’ve been very welcome, especially when you consider that this is a 2018 device.

In any case, the phone did well as a daily driver. There were no hiccups when using it for day to day tasks such as social media updates, music, YouTube videos, and more.

ASUS Zenfone Max M1 ReviewAs for gaming, you can play PUBG Mobile at the lowest settings, ROS in High Settings, and Real Racing 3 with decent frame rates. It won’t be of course, as smooth as when you’re using a mid-range phone, but i’d say you’ll still be able  to enjoy it. I did notice a slight heat buildup at the back of the device when playing, but not hot enough to cause discomfort.

The Max M1 is also capable of doing Face Recognition, which unfortunately, needs a bit of work as it takes many tries in some instances just so I could unlock the device. Often, i’d resort to fingerprint scanning, which works better, but is slow to respond at times.

Camera

zenfone max m1 reviewzenfone max m1 reviewzenfone max m1 reviewzenfone max m1 reviewzenfone max m1 reviewDespite being a budget device, ASUS was generous enough to give the Max M1 a dual rear camera system. As for quality, well, The detail, sharpness, color, are all decent, but don’t expect too much.

ASUS Zenfone Max M1 ReviewThe second camera at the back can take wide-angle shots, with a slight fish eye effect. That works for me, personally, as it gives my photos a little more zing. But of course, there are some who’d prefer not to have it. In terms of quality, wide-angle shots are not as detailed, but would pass for a social media post.

zenfone max m1 reviewIt’s also capable of applying a depth of field effect, which in my case, worked well for most of the time. Surprisingly, the bokeh effect is quite accurate, and only shows minimal pixelation.

zenfone max m1 reviewAs expected, quality does take a hit in low-light.

Software

The good thing is you get ZenUI 5, which is comparably lighter in resources than the previous version. As such, performance in general is smooth, the UI is snappy, and animations are fluid.

You do get the same useful features, such as Game Genie, which now allows you to record internal audio, and Twin Apps, which creates a second instance of certain social media apps such as Facebook, so you can login to two different accounts.

Splendid is nowhere to be found, so you won’t be able to tune the screen’s color temperature, but at least you get Audio Wizard, so you can adjust the sound quality to your preference.

Battery

zenfone max m1 reviewThe Zenfone Max M1 delivers on its promise of great battery life, and can last you at least a full day of light to moderate usage without having to re-charge. Playing a video on loop at 50% brightness and 80% volume, the phone lasted for an astonishing 14 hours of continuous playback. It’s also equipped with ASUS BoostMaster fast-charging, which allows it to go from 20% to full in just under 2 hours. That means you don’t have to stay near that socket for very long.

Giveaway

ASUS and Gadget Pilipinas Zenfone Max M1 Giveaway

zenfone max m1 review
ASUS Zenfone Max M1 Review
Our Verdict
The ASUS Zenfone Max M1 is a great introduction to the new Max lineup, and offers an impressive list of features for its price. It's works great as a daily driver, thanks to its outstanding battery life, and good performance despite its outdated processor. Of course, it's not the most well-rounded device out there. The camera for instance, is only decent at best. and some features like fingerprint scanning and face unlock are in need of further refinement. That being said, it's still one beautiful device, and I'd say that the value it offers outweighs its flaws. There are of course, other devices close to its price (PhP8,995) that offer better performance, but if longevity is your priority, then you can't go wrong with this one.
Design and Build Quality
Performance
Camera
Software
Battery Life
What's Good
Compact form factor
Decent gaming performance
Great battery life
Has fast-charging
Good price
What's Not
Mediocre camera performance
Outdated processor
Fingerprint scanner is slow to respond at times
Face unlock is very inconsistent
3.9

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Founded in 2009 by Gian Viterbo, Gadget Pilipinas is one of Philippines’ top sources for news, tutorials, reviews and tips about the latest trends in technology, gadgets, games, social and digital media and cyber culture.

1 Comment

  1. Mary Christ D. FERMALINO Reply

    Wonderful and great ASUS ! Hope to win and bless on your excellent gadget!ASUS Zenfone Max M1 # battery king

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