Technophile

The Max Pro M1 gets a little more max

Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan | Updated on: Aug 29, 2018
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Asus’ mid-range phone gets a bigger RAM and better cameras in a new variant

Taiwanese electronics-maker Asus earlier this year introduced its Zenfone Max Pro M1 smartphone, a very capable mid-range offering with almost-stock Android software, a Snapdragon 636 processor with integrated Adreno 506 GPU, and with 3 GB and 4 GB RAM variants.

The company has now brought in a 6 GB RAM variant for the smartphone, which also has an upgraded camera assembly.

Just a refresher: The whopping 5,000 mAh battery, a highlight on the Max Pro M1, remains. As does the tall 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Thinner bezels frame the top and bottom, and there is no notch. We did enjoy gaming and watching videos on the 4 GB RAM variant that we reviewed in May 2018.

Battery life on the 6 GB variant is pretty much the same, thanks to the large size. It lasts over a day easily, even while doing a plethora of things on the smartphone. Thanks to Asus seemingly paying heed to user feedback, the bloatware is still mercifully absent and the near-stock Android (Oreo 8.1) is easy to use and navigate.

Now, coming to what has changed. We were quite happy with the way the 4 GB RAM held up. The 6 GB version allows more memory, which on paper translates to better multi-tasking. We didn’t find a noticeable change in the phone’s performance with the increased RAM size, as multi-tasking, gaming, and leaving apps idle in the background didn’t have any discernible effect.

Further, given that this phone is targeted at mid-range segment patrons, we wonder if the step-up to a 6 GB RAM is really necessary on a phone with this processor. A 4 GB variant would work just fine for any regular user.

Cameras on this variant see an upgrade too. The rear camera has been bumped up to 16 MP + 5 MP, compared to the other variants’ 13 MP + 5 MP. Again, we were quite happy with the cameras on the 4 GB variant. But what the new camera set avoids is over-saturation under well-lit conditions. Pictures clicked feel more natural and the tone isn’t as warm as that on the 3 GB/4 GB RAM variants. Low light photography has also seen some improvement. The new camera has some noise reduction and also captures night shots in some more detail.

The front 16 MP camera is an improvement over the 8 MP shooter on the lower variants. This one also comes with Asus’ beautification bells and whistles, and portrait selfies clicked are ready to share on social media. However, the camera app still is as confusing and the flash controls are still under the settings menu and not on the camera app’s home screen.

Should you upgrade to this one if you already have a Zenfone Max Pro M1? Not really. But it’s definitely worth a look if you are in the market for a mid-ranger.

Price: ₹14,999

What’s new: RAM size and camera

Published on August 29, 2018

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