Asus Zenfone Max M2 Hands-On Review: A Powerhouse King?

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Hands-On Review: A Powerhouse King?

It’s the Base Unit of the M2 Series!

Asus closed out 2018 by releasing the Zenfone Max Pro M2; the newest phone in their line of phones with tons of lasting power, which they have dubbed as the Battery King. A month has gone by since then and they’ve handed us the base version of the device that sports pretty great hardware and 4000mAh battery to help keep them juiced up. Before we check out the phone itself, let’s show you what it comes with if you choose to but it.

What’s in the Box?

The box itself looks identical to its higher specced sans the “Pro” part, of course. Open it up you’ve got a separate cardboard box that includes the usual suspects: a SIM ejector tool, the jelly case, and its documentation. Once you get that out of the way, you’ll find the phone itself and our unit came in Space Blue. On the very bottom is where you’ll find the Wall Charger, micro USB cable, and some earphones.

A Case of Deja Vu?

When the Taiwanese company lent us a unit of the Pro M2, we were pleasantly surprised to see that it got a bit of a visual upgrade and we were expecting great things from the base model when they said they were sending us this unit to check for your guys. Sadly, we were initially disappointed that the baseline model of the M2 didn’t get the same treatment and straight up looks like last year’s Pro M1 model.

Thankfully though, the chassis of this one is made out of metal and we’ve been sorely missing this material choice in this and the upper mid-range bracket as well. It feels a lot slimmer than both the Pro M2 and its predecessor, which shouldn’t be a surprise since it is lighter at 160 grams with just enough heft to make it feel solid in the hand.

Let’s take the obligatory tour around its button and port layout.

On the right side, you’ve got the volume rocker and power button.

You have access to its triple-slotted SIM tray on the left.

The 3.5mm headphone jack up on top.

On the bottom, you’ll find a speaker grill and the micro USB port.

Let’s swing over to the rear where you’ll find a fingerprint scanner that unlocks the phone quickly and easily and tucked on the upper lefthand side of the device is the M2’s dual rear camera. The setup includes a 13-megapixel main shooter at an aperture of f/1.8 and is equipped with PDAF. In tandem with that is a 2-megapixel depth sensor too.

While we’re on the topic of cameras, you’ve got an 8-megapixel selfie shooter at an aperture of f/2.0. Check out a few sample shots we’ve taken with the phone during our initial run with it.

The display on the M2 is the same size as its Pro Bro and measure in at 6.3-inches but has gotten a downgrade in resolution at just HD+.

This was most likely done to make sure that it lasts about the same as its sibling but the sharpness of a Full HD+ display will definitely be missed. It’s not too bad really but you’ll definitely notice if you’re used to viewing content at 1080p.

Under the hood of the Asus Zenfone Max M2 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor that’s paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. The company says that the CPU performance has been improved by 40-percent and the graphics get a 10-percent boost compared to last year’s M1. We’re going to be doing a gaming review up on the YouTube channel very soon, so make sure you’re subbed up if you want to see how it does in that department.

Asus says that the Zenfone Max M2 also has the highest AnTuTu benchmark score in its price bracket but we’ll definitely have to verify that claim. It has been quite snappy with the time we’ve logged on this phone so we hope it’s smooth sailing for the M2 during our review process.

The phone runs on a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, which is always a plus in our books.

Juicing up the phone is a 4000mAh battery. While that’s less than the previous model that Asus released, we’re guessing coupling it with the power-efficient SD632 plus that 720p display should give it a ton of lasting power as well. We’ll run more test to confirm but it should be capable of lasting at least a day and a half or maybe even two days.

The Asus Zenfone Max M2 is priced at Php 8,995 and is available in two color variants: Space Blue and Midnight Black.

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 3GB/4GB RAM
  • 6.3-inch HD+ IPS LCD Display; 720×1520 resolution,
  • 32GB of Expandable Storage up to 2TB
  • 4G, LTE
  • 13-megapixel f/1.8 Main Rear Camera, AI Scene Detection, 4K video recording, EIS, LED Flash
  • 2-megapixel f/2.4 Secondary Rear Camera, Depth Sensor
  • 8-megapixel f/2.0 Front Camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth v5.0
  • Facial Recognition, Fingerprint Scanner, NXP Smart Amplifier
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Stock Android 8.1 Oreo



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