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The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 launched earlier this June while the toned down version launched earlier on May. Both were claimed by the Taiwanese company as Battery Kings since they carry massive batteries.

The question is, which of these siblings will prove itself as the King in this battle?

SPECSAsus ZenFone Max M1Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1
Display5.5″ HD+ IPS LCD display 1440×720 resolution, 292 ppi5.99″ IPS LCD display, 1080 x 2160, 18:9 ratio, 402 ppi
Dimensions147.3 x 70.9 x 8.7 mm, 150g159 x 76 x 8.5 mm, 180g
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 430Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
CPU/OSOcta-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53, Android 8.0 (Oreo)Octa-core 1.8 GHz Kryo 260, Android 8.1 (Oreo)
GPUAdreno 509Adreno 509
Memory2GB RAM + 16GB/32GB storage,3GB RAM + 32GB storage (expandable via microSD card)3GB RAM + 32GB storage (expandable via microSD card)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, hotspot, B.T. 4.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, microUSB 2.0Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, hotspot, B.T. 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
BatteryNon-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh batteryNon-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery, Fast battery charging 5V/2A 10W
Official Price (Philippines)Php 8,995Php 9,995

 

Design

Both phones share the same design features except that the Asus Zenfone Max M1 is smaller and has antenna lines at the top and bottom. Meanwhile, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is bigger and has different line details. At the rear part, both are built with a vertically aligned dual camera with an LED flash placed underneath the lenses. Aside from that, there’s also a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and the Asus logo at the middle of the back panel.

Moving on to the sides, we can find the volume rockers and power button on the right and the SIM card tray that houses dual SIM cards on the left.

The bottom part of the phone houses the speaker grille, microphone, and the USB 2.0 port charger.

Display

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 sports a 5.5″ IPS LCD display with a screen resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:10. On the other hand, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 comes with a 5.99″IPS LCD display with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9.

Upon using both phones, the Asus Zenfone Max M1 delivered a decent color representation and color vibrancy despite its resolution. However, if you compare it to the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 you’ll immediately notice which is better. You’ll appreciate its screen display during video playback and web browsing because of its vibrancy.

When we took them both outside during broad daylight to test its brightness, it showed that both phones are still viewable on different lighting conditions.

Camera

PhoneRear Camera Front Camera 
Asus ZenFone Max M1Dual: 13 MP (f/2.0) + 8 MP (17mm, no AF), gyro EIS, PDAF, LED flash8 MP (f/2.2, 1.0µm), LED flash
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1Dual: 13 MP (f/2.2, 1.12µm) + 5 MP (f/2.4, 1.12µm), phase detection autofocus, LED flash8 MP (f/2.2, 25mm), gyro EIS

Both handsets sport dual rear cameras. The Asus Zenfone Max M1 has 13 MP + 8 MP lenses whereas the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 houses a 13 MP + 5 MP camera. Both handsets have the same lens for the front-facing camera. Surprisingly, the two are almost the same when it comes to camera specs.

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 delivered a sharper photo compared to the Asus Zenfone Max M1 that had soft and blurred spots. Aside from that, the Max Pro M1’s shot is much brighter than the Max M1.

These shots are the same but with portrait mode. Shooting using the Max M1 was confusing that it took us a couple of shots because the photo didn’t look like it was on a portrait mode. Meanwhile, the bokeh effect in the Max Pro M1 is really noticeable that it really made the subject stand out in the photo. However, it got overexposed which can be seen on the subject’s skin.

Looking at the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 shot, its photo result was crisp and detailed. Take note that this was taken with HDR mode. Meanwhile, the Max M1 image is not that detailed but its photo rendered a more accurate color of the plants which gave it a lively feel.

Still using the HDR mode, these two made highly different results. The Asus Zenfone Max M1 shot came out accurately in terms of colors. On the other hand, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 photo looked like it was post-processed because of the leaves vibrancy. It seems that the latter is consistent with delivering crisp and detailed photos in this mode.

While indoors, we tested how these phones will react to different lighting conditions using HDR mode. The Asus Zenfone Max M1 still had soft and blurred spots despite the mode being used. The lights were also scattered, unlike in the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. The lights around the plant were minimized so that the details won’t be covered.

As compared to the first portrait shot of the Max M1, it improved on this shot. However, it is not as blurred as the Max Pro M1 which again delivered a sharp and crisp photo.

As what we’ve mentioned earlier, the Asus Zenfone Max M1 mostly results in a soft photo. The subject’s skin is not that detailed as what we can see on Max Pro M1’s side. To prove this further, the sweater’s texture is more visible on the Max Pro M1’s side.

On this shot, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 produced a much more pleasing output than the Asus Zenfone Max M1 photo. Its vibrancy gave the photo a lively feel unlike the Max M1.

Audio

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 provided a decent and clear sound. However, when we listened to the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, it gave us a louder sound but was a bit scratchy compared to the Max M1. You can listen to it yourselves and decide on which you prefer more, a clearer or louder sound?

Benchmark

We tested both handsets using the following benchmarking tools and here are the results:

DeviceAnTuTuGeekbench(single core; multi-core)PC Mark
Asus ZenFone Max M158138669; 24833687
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M11131351331; 48535821

Based on the test results, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 got higher scores for obvious reasons. This device has more advanced specs than the Asus Zenfone Max M1 so if you’re into gaming and intensive multitasking, you’ll know which will suit you.

Battery

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 has a battery capacity of 4000 mAh packed with Asus Boost Master whereas the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is larger with a 5000 mAh battery.

With light usage (social media usage & picture taking), the Asus Zenfone Max M1 only lasted for 10hrs and 30mins which is shorter compared to the 2 days of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. The company is claiming that these two are Battery Kings but the Asus Zenfone Max M1 wasn’t able to meet our expectations with battery life.

DeviceBatteryBattery Life (Light Usage)Charging-Time
Asus ZenFone Max M14000 mAh10 hrs 30 mins1hr 38 mins
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M15000 mAhApprox. 48 hrs2hrs 30 mins

User Experience

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 is powered by the Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 with Adreno 505 GPU, coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage. This smartphone runs on Android 8.0 (Oreo) with ZenUI 5.0.

Meanwhile, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 along with an Adreno 509 GPU. It contains 3GB of RAM and an internal storage of 32GB which is expandable via a microSD card. In addition, the smartphone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo.

Going to the security features, unlocking the phone with the fingerprint sensor is decent on both phones. However, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 responded milliseconds faster than the Asus Zenfone Max M1.

Unlocking the phone using facial recognition on the Asus Zenfone Max M1 was quite challenging, it had difficulty reading the user’s face and when it did, its response was not that fast. Furthermore, it was only able to work once. So with this phone, it’s best if you rely on the fingerprint sensor. On the other hand, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 may not be the fastest but its response is decent considering it’s a budget smartphone.

If you like playing games like Counter Terrorist: Strike War, Asphalt 8, and PUBG, the Asus Zenfone Max M1 might not be the phone for you since it won’t give you the best gaming experience. Going back to the benchmark results, it scored less than the Max Pro M1 that’s why this device is not recommended for these type of games. However, it doesn’t mean it didn’t do well at all games. There are light games that this phone can still handle.

Meanwhile, on the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, we did not encounter any major problems while playing these games. Unfortunately, gaming for a couple of hours caused the phone to heat up even in the Asus Zenfone Max M1.

Verdict

The Asus Zenfone Max M1 is priced at PHP 8,995 while the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is priced at Php 9,995.

I can say that there’s a lot of smartphones on the Asus Zenfone Max M1’s price range that can provide a better mobile experience. If you’re on a tight budget and can still wait, it won’t hurt to save another thousand to get a better phone like the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.

Of course, all of these still depends on you. So which do you prefer? Comment your thoughts down below!

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