Asus Zenfone Max M2 Review

Along with the Zenfone Max Pro M2 (Review), Asus had also introduced the Zenfone Max M2, the successor of last year’s Zenfone Max M1 with improved specifications. Its a toned-down variant of Max Pro M2 and price starts at ₹9,999 for 3GB/32GB variant. Check out the full review of Asus Zenfone Max M2 (3GB RAM variant) below.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

Design

The Zenfone Max M2 has a unibody design with metal back and also equipped with a fingerprint scanner on the rear side. The phone is well built, slim, light in weight and also not much slippery. The power button and the volume buttons are positioned on the right side of the device while the Triple slot tray is placed on the top left. The fingerprint reader & the power button are placed ergonomically and can be reached easily without moving the grip. The volume rocker is placed above the power button and might need a little stretch.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

A Micro USB port, Loudspeaker, and a primary microphone are placed on the bottom wherein the secondary microphone and the 3.5mm Audio jack is placed on the top. Compared to last year’s Zenfone Max M1, the Max M2 has thinner bezels and comes with a display notch to provide more screen real estate.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

The speaker grill is placed exactly at the center of the display notch along with Led flash on the left and the front camera on the right. A small Notification LED is also housed inside the Speaker grill. The design looks solid but the rear panel of Max M2 is a fingerprint magnet and can easily get dirty.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

Display

It has a 6.26-inch IPS LCD display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and has a resolution of 1527 x 720 (HD+) pixels. The display has a slightly bigger Notch (Compared to Max Pro M2) that houses the front camera, earpiece, a couple of sensors and also a LED Notification light. The display is bright with moderate colors and also provides good outdoor visibility. The Zenfone Max M2 display supports:

  • Ambient display – Wakes up the screen in case of any notifications
  • Adaptive brightness
  • Night light – Filters out the blue light to reduce the eye strain
  • Changeable theme – Light, Dark
  • Smart screen – Extends the screen on time while you are looking at the display and holding the device upright
  • Color adjustments – Warm, Default and Cool (No Color modes)
  • Changeable display sizes – Small, Medium, Large
  • Changeable device theme – Dark, White, Automatic (based on Wallpaper)
  • Blink light – Turn On/Off
  • On-screen navigation buttons
Zenfone Max M2 Review

The adaptive brightness works well in both indoor as well as outdoor. Just like Zenfone Max Pro M2, there is no built-in option in the Zenfone Max M2 to hide the display notch. But you can do it using the 3rd party apps.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

Software

Out of the Box, Max M2 runs on the Stock Android 8.1 Oreo and received the Android 9.0 Pie update on 11th April 2019. It also comes preloaded with a few 3rd party apps such as Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Pay. These apps can not be deleted but disabled to save some internal storage. Apart from these apps, Asus has even preloaded this device with a few customized Asus’ apps such as Customized Camera app, FM Radio, Calculator, and Voice Recorder. Even though it runs on the near Stock Android, it’s not an Android One device like Mi A1, Mi A2, Nokia 3.2, etc. So you may not receive monthly updates, instead, you can expect the update once in two or three months.

To make the phone locking and unlocking experience faster, Asus has also included the Double tap to turn off or Wake up feature on the Zenfone Max M2. This feature is disabled by default and can be turned ON by Navigating to Settings -> System -> Gestures -> Zenmotion. If you are not using this feature frequently, disable it as it consumes more battery.

Battery

The Zenfone Max M2 has a non-removable 4,000mAh battery that supports 10W charging. It took about 2 hours 15 minutes to go from 6% to 100% with the supplied power adapter. In our testing, the fully charged Max M2 manages to last for more than a day with regular usage that includes Social apps, Camera, Frequent web browsing along with a few Voice & video calls. Due to the HD+ plus display you can easily expect more standby time (about 35+ hours) and about 14 hours of screen-on time with regular usage.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

Connectivity

Zenfone Max M2 equipped with a Triple card tray so that you can use two SIM cards and a MicroSD card at the same time. It also supports VoLTE on both SIM slots and enables you to make HD quality voice calls without switching the SIM cards. Just like Max Pro M2, it also misses out the USB Type-C port but, it includes the 3.5mm Audio jack. Also, it doesn’t support 5GHz WiFi band. We have not faced any call quality issues and network drop during our testing. Regular Call quality is decent and VoLTE calls are crystal clear.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

Rear camera

The Asus Zenfone Max M2 comes with a vertically stacked Dual-camera setup on the rear that includes a primary 13MP f/1.8 sensor supported by the 2MP depth sensor. Coming to the camera features, it supports:

  • Auto PRO, HDR, Sports and Night mode
  • Depth effect (Portrait mode) – Adjustable
  • Continuous shot
  • 10 Image filters
  • Face detection
  • 4K video recording at 30 frames per second (Rear)
  • Red-eye reduction, Face deduction, and Anti banding
  • Image stabilization (Front & Rear)
  • Changeable storage location
  • Face detection
  • Beauty mode – Low, Mid, High & Custom
  • Take photos while recording a video

We have tested the camera in various lighting conditions and the camera performance is decent. The Pictures in the daylight came out with good details and colors but, the camera struggles in the low-light. Portrait mode on Max M2 is also impressive as the camera did not struggle much to focus the object even when the object is very near. The rear camera supports 4K video recording and also supports Electronic Image Stabilization. Make a note that, the EIS works only up to Full HD resolution but doesn’t work with the 4K mode.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

Asus has replaced the Stock Google camera app with its own customized camera app that has a very poor User Interface. But, it does its job very well. We can also confirm that the camera app is more responsive and snappy after the Android 9.0 Pie update. Overall, the phone performs well in the good lighting conditions but lags in the low-light and also below-average performance in the edge detection in the portrait mode.

Front camera

The front camera has a downgraded 8MP f/2.0 sensor compared to the 13MP sensor and the Max Pro M2. It supports 3-levels of beautification and also 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second with EIS. The selfies taken are fairly decent in the good lighting conditions but struggles in the Low-light. The beautification does the job well and you can also control the amount of beautification.

Zenfone Max Pro M2 Camera Samples

Zenfone Max M2 Full HD 1080p Video Sample

Zenfone Max M2 4K Video Sample

Performance

Zenfone Max Pro M2 is powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 622 chipset and available in two configurations – 3GB RAM with 32GB Storage and 4GB RAM with 64GB Storage. When it comes to performance, the Snapdragon 622 does its job well but a little slower compared the Snapdragon 660 on the Max Pro M2.

Even though it runs on a bit slower processor, the performance difference will not affect anything in the day to day operations. On top, the Stock Android will make the UI experience faster and more fluid. We tested this phone with popular games such as PUBG, Clash of Clans and the results are pretty good. Didn’t observe any lag with lowest graphical settings. The loudspeaker output is fairly decent and the headphone output is also above average.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

Security

The Zenfone Max M2 comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and supports up to five fingers. The sensor is quick & unlocks the device in less than a second and also gives haptic feedback if it detects the wrong fingerprint. Due to the Stock Android, you can use the fingerprint reader to unlock the device and to authorize Google Play purchases, but not to Unlock the 3rd party apps such as Facebook, Whatsapp, etc. Overall, the fingerprint scanner on the Max M2 is fast and responsive. Furthermore, this device also supports Face Unlock but it is not as secure as the fingerprint reader. Asus has also confirmed that the face data will only be stored on the device and will not be transmitted to the company servers.

Zenfone Max M2 Review

In the Box

The Zenfone Max M2 package consists of a Handset, USB Cable, 10W Power Adapter, Plastic Case, SIM Ejector Pin, and a Manual. Even though the provided free Plastic transparent case Protects your phone, turns yellowish after using it for a couple of days. So its recommended buying any good third-party case for more protection and looks.

Verdict

Compared to Zenfone Max M1, Asus has made a lot of improvements in the Zenfone Max M2. Overall the phone shines in the design, performance, and battery but, lags in the camera department especially in the low lighting conditions. Coming to the Price, Asus is offering a lot of discounts on Max M2 as low as ₹7,999 (Sometimes cashback too) for the base variant. At this price point, there are many options available but Max M2 has a very good battery life and an Amazing standby time. Even with heavy usage, Max M2 easily lasts long a day. So if you are looking for a smartphone with a good battery and Stock Android, Max M2 is a good choice. If you can extend your budget, have a look at Zenfone Max Pro M2 (Review). By spending a few more bucks on Zenfone Max Pro M2, you’ll get a better camera, Full HD display, More battery and also a more premium design.

Pros

  • Unibody design with Metal back
  • Stock Android
  • Selfie flash
  • 4K video recording
  • Decent camera
  • Fast fingerprint reader

Cons

  • No USB Type-C Port
  • No Fast charging
  • Poor camera UI
  • No Slow-motion video
  • Poor low-light performance
  • No display protection such as Gorilla Glass

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Photo Gallery

Asus Zenfone Max M2 Full Specifications

  • 6.26-inch HD+ Display, 1520×720 Pixels, Display Notch
  • 19:9 Aspect Ratio, 2.5D Glass
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Snapdragon 632 Mobile Platform, Octa Core, 64-bit, Adreno 506 GPU
  • 3GB with 32GB Storage, 4GB RAM with 64GB RAM
  • MicroSD up to 2TB
  • Android 9.0 Pie (Update Available)
  • Dual Rear Cameras, (13MP, f/1.8 + 2MP), LED Flash, 4K Video Recording, 0.3 Sec, Phase Autofocus, EIS
  • 8MP Front Camera, f/2.0, LED Flash
  • 4,000mAh non-removable Battery, 5V/2A, 10W Charging
  • Dual Nano SIM, Dedicated MicroSD Slot
  • 2G/3G/4G, Dual 4G, Dual VoLTE, VoWiFi
  • Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi b/g/n (2.4GHz)
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • FM Radio, USB OTG, Dual Microphones
  • 5-magnet Speaker with NXP Smart AMP
  • Micro USB Port, 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Sensors – Accelerator, E-compass, Proximity, Fingerprint, Gyroscope, Ambient Light
  • Dimensions – 158 x 76 x 7.7 mm
  • Weight – 160g
  • Model Number – ZB633KL
  • In the Box – Handset, Charger (5V/2A), Micro USB Cable, SIM Ejector, Manual
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