The ASUS Max Pro has undoubtedly become the company’s mid-range flagship. The Max Pro M1 brought respectable, performance geared mid-range specifications with a battery that just kept going. It was one of the first devices to get an editor’s choice award from techENT this year thanks to its respectable performance, it amazing battery life and more so for its overall value for your money.
Keeping with the momentum of the Max Pro M1, ASUS is continuing to iterate on its winning formula. Bringing the same power packed 5,000mAh battery, the newly announced ASUS Zenfone Max M2 ups the ante with better specifications, AI enabled camera and a massive 35 hours standby and 16 hours active battery usage.
The new ASUS Max Pro M2 ditches the metal build of the M1 in favour of a more premium looking finish. While it may look like a glass back, ASUS has opted for acrylic for its 3D curved Wave design. The new design and build materials give the M2 a more premium feel. However, it could be that the new acrylic backing could scratch easily – stay tuned for our review for more information.
That said, the more premium build is backed by a more capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor clocked at 1.95GHz. The more capable Snapdragon 660 brings 8 Kryo cores with variable speed. This allows better battery efficiency and increased performance – even on benchmarks. In addition, the new Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory. This combination gives the Max Pro M2 some of the best specifications in its price range. Also along for the ride is a triple card slot which allows users to have dual SIM cards as well as extend their device memory by up to 2TB of memory with a micro SD card.
A.I. Enabled Camera without Sacrificing Privacy
The more capable Snapdragon 660 also allows the Zenfone Max Pro M2 to augment its camera with AI (Artificial Intelligence). The M2 comes with a dual camera setup for its main camera consisting of 1/2.9-inch 12-megapixel, f/1.8 sensor with a 77.8 degree viewing angle and 27mm focal length, and a 1.25 micron pixel size. The secondary depth sensor is a 5-megapixel sensor.
The camera’s AI augmentation comes in the form of automatic scene optimisations for up to 13 different types of scenes. This includes portrait photography, food photography, landscapes and much more. ASUS claims that the optimisations of the images and the algorithm do not upload user images to the internet for optimisation. Instead, it does the optimisations and algorithm tweaking locally on the device and uploads the optimisation dataset. Of course, with any big data driven optimisations, the quality of the optmisations get better the more the camera is used.
The rear camera is able to shoot 4K UltraHD video. It can record 1080p Full HD and 720p HD video at 30 frames per second (fps). Both cameras have electronic image stabilization (EIS) for both video and pictures. However, 4K UltraHD video recording isn’t supported. The M2 also has the capability to shoot pictures while recording video.
Aside from the main camera, the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with a 13-megapixel, f/2.0 from facing camera with a 77.2 degree viewing angle and 26.4mm focal length. Both of the cameras come with soft-light LED flashes to help in low light situations or to bring more highlights to your pictures.
3.5mm Headphone Jack Still Included
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is built for entertainment with its large 6.3-inch 1080p Full HD IPS display. The screen is fine tuned for the best possible media experience with 450nits brightness, 1500:1 contrast ration and covers 94% of the NTSC gamut. Perhaps most compelling is the 90% screen coverage. The display of the M2 is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6, the highest level of protection in the market currently. It’s claimed to be able to handle the abuse of 15 drops.
That said, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 isn’t just about the display. The device also ships with an NXP smart amplifier and a 5-magnet speaker. The amplifier intelligently optimises the volume and prevents speaker distortion. ASUS claims that the new M2 has 16% better low-frequency extension and 29% less distortion compared to its predecessor. If that isn’t enough, the M2 retains the 3.5mm headphone jack for easy, painless connectivity with any headphone set on the market. It also has aptX support for Bluetooth audio.
On the connectivity front, the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with single band (2.4GHz only) WiFi a/b/g/n/ac connectivity, dual 4G standby, GPS, aGPS, GLONASS, Beidou and QZSS. It also supports biometric unlocking through face recognition and fingerprint scanning. It comes with a USB 2.0 micro USB-B connector with fast charge support.
Pricing & Availability
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 will be available in Midnight Blue and Cosmic Titanium. It will be launching with stock Android 8.1 (Oreo).
The M2 will cost RM859 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB onboard storage combination or RM999 for the 6GB RAM +64GB combination. It will be available in Malaysia from 18th December 2018.
Official Detailed Specifications
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro (M2) – ZB631KL
Premium 3D-curved glossy design
Front 2.5D-curved Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6
Dimensions / Weight
157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5mm
6.3″ FHD+ (2280 by 1080) 19:9 all-screen IPS display
94% NTSC color gamut
90% screen-to-body ratio
1500:1 contrast ratio
Capacitive touchscreen with 10-point multitouch
CPU / GPU
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 660 Mobile Platform with 14nm FinTET (Low Power Plus)
64-bit Octa-core processor with Qualcomm AI Engine (8 x Kryo 260 cores)
Qualcomm® Adreno™ 512 GPU
LPDDR4X 4GB / 6GB RAM
eMCP 64GB storage
Dual Camera System
Main rear camera: AI Scene Detection with 13 scene types / 12MP Sony® IMX 486 image sensor / f/1.8 aperture / 1.25µm pixel size / 6p lens / 0.03s PDAF/ LED flash / 4K UHD video recording / 3-axis electronic image stabilization
Secondary rear camera: 5MP, depth sensing
Front camera: 13MP / f/2.0 aperture / Softlight LED flash/ 3-axis electronic image stabilization
Supports Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display
DC-HSPA+: UL 5.76 / DL 42 Mbps
LTE: CAT5 UL 75 Mbps / CAT4 DL 150Mbps
Rear fingerprint security sensor with 5-finger recognition
Face Unlock for added convenience and security
SIM card and SD slot
Triple slots with dual SIM, dual 4G + 4G standby
Slot 1: Nano SIM (2G / 3G / 4G)
Slot 2: Nano SIM (2G / 3G / 4G)
Slot 3: MicroSD card (up to 2TB)
VoLTE / VoWiFi support
GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GAL, QZSS
Stock Android™ OreoTM
with coming upgrade to Android 9.0 “Pie” in early 2019
5000mAh capacity with fast charging
Up to 35 days of 4G standby
Up to 45 hours of 3G talk time
Up to 19 hours of YouTube playback
Up to 23 hours of web browsing
Up to 10 hours of gaming
NXP 9874 smart amplifier for louder, deeper and less distorted sound
Retail Price (MYR)
4GB + 64GB = RM 859
6GB + 64GB = RM 999
Also published on Medium.