Maj. February 22, 2019 at 9 h 44 min.

Asus continues to make headway in the smartphone market. After the excellent ROG Phone, its gaming smartphone, the Chinese manufacturer launches the Zenfone Max Pro M2. With its 5000 mAh battery, its main strength is its autonomy. But he has other assets.

Test De Lasus Zenfone Max Pro M2 : Champion of Lautonomy Low Price

2019 will be the year of change for Asus. Known for its excellent PCs, the brand is struggling to make a name for itself in the smartphone market. Yet his products are good, as evidenced by the excellent ROG Phone. But Asus is suffering from an image deficit. For years, the brand has changed its strategy without ever having a clear line. Even we journalists had a hard time keeping up.

Asus is aware of that. In 2019, Asus France has carte blanche to create a newimage for itself, in complete independence, far from the standards imposed by the Chinese bigwigs. The products, ranges, distribution policy and communication will be completely revised.

To start the year off on the right foot, Asus launches the Zenfone Max Pro M2. With models incorporating huge batteries, the Max range has always been a big hit. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 continues the tradition. With its 5000 mAh battery, it promises a record autonomy.

But that’s not his only asset. Asus says he listened to the recommendations of his users. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is more powerful, more elegant and above all more efficient on the photo field, a big weakness of its predecessors. At 300 euros, the smartphone has arguments to make against competitors such as Honor or Xiaomi. Enough to make an impression? Answer in our full test!

Price and release date

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is already available for 299.99 euros at most of the brand’s partner distributors (Amazon, Boulanger, FNAC-Darty, LDLC, Materiel.net), and on the Asus e-Shop. This model will not be offered to operators.


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Zenfone Max Pro M2 Data Sheet


 

Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 Data Sheet

Dimensions

157.9 x 75.5 x 8.5 mm

Weight

175 grams

Screen

IPS 6.3-inch 19:9 format LCD

Colour 94% NTSC

Aspect ratio 90%

Brightness 450 nits

Ratio 1500:1

Definition

Full HD+ (2280 x 1080 pixels)

Photo

Back: Sony IMX486 12 MP (f/1.8) + 5 MP (depth of field) with electronic 3-axis stabilizer

4K recording

Before: 13 MP (f/2.0)

OS

Android 9.0 Pie

Internal Memory

64 GB eMCP

MicroSD

Yes

Connectivity

Wifi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz

WiFi Direct, WiFi Display

Bluetooth 5.0

GPS, AGPS, GLONASS

NFC

Yes

SoC

Snapdragon 660

Adreno 512 graphics card

RAM

6 GB LPDDR4X

Fingerprint sensor / Facial recognition

Yes/Yes

Water resistance

No

Battery

5000 mAh battery

Load Port

microUSB 2.0

Quick refill

No

Wireless Qi Refill

No

Colours

Grey or black

Awards

300€

Elegant glass design

Against all odds, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is not a big smartphone. The announcement of his 5,000 mAh battery might have led us to believe that. Finally, its size is closer to that of a Huawei P Smart 2019. In fact, it shares many similarities with its competitor. Rather compact, it fits perfectly in the hand. Its treated acrylic back gives the impression of holding a glass smartphone. (a first for this range). Slightly rounded, it is certainly dirty (fingerprints), but very elegant. Asus told us that they want to move up-market to be able to compete with their direct competitors. It’s a success.

Test De Lasus Zenfone Max Pro M2 : Champion of Lautonomy Low Price

Note that the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 6protection. This new standard is twice as strong as Gorilla Glass 5. We didn’t do an extreme test, but we lost hands once or twice the smartphone at a height of about one meter. He came out of it unscathed.

At the back, the dual photo sensor and the fingerprint reader are perfectly positioned. The Asus logo positioned in the center does not stain, the whole remains rather minimalist. The on/off and volume buttons are located on the right border. In contrast, Asus has integrated a nanoSIM port. No microSD port to supplement the 64GB storage. There is a microSD port to complement the 64GB of storage. Good news, the 3.5 mm jack port is still part, positioned on the bottom edge, next to the speaker and the micro-USB port (no USB-C).

Test De Lasus Zenfone Max Pro M2 : Champion of Lautonomy Low Price

For the first time in the history of the Max Pro range, Asus has integrated a 19:9 aspect ratio notch display. If it remains inconspicuous, the black borders around the slab are less so. The chin is slightly too thick, like the Huawei P Smart 2019 and iPhone Xr. On a 300 euro smartphone, you can tolerate an average finish, a little less on an 850 euro smartphone.

Overall, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is very successful. Elegant, it meets (at last) the design standards of early 2019. The move upmarket is obvious, and one can only appreciate the effort made by the manufacturer. With this look, Asus’s new kid doesn’t leave us indifferent.

Screen: small notch, large chin

Asus adopts for the first time the 19:9 (notched) format on its Zenfone Max Pro range. The M2 is therefore equipped with a 6.4″ IPS LCD panel with Full HD+ definition (2280 x 1080 pixels). The brand promises a 94% NTSC color space, brightness at 450 cd/m2 and high contrast of 1500:1.

Test De Lasus Zenfone Max Pro M2 : Champion of Lautonomy Low Price

We will not dwell on the numbers, but on the comfort of using the Zenfone Max Pro 2 screen. Like most LCD tiles, colours tend to pull towards blue. No need to panic since it is possible to customize the display in the smartphone settings (more or less hot).

If the contrasts don’t reach the level of an OLED screen, they are excellent for a smartphone at this price. The images are sharp, detailed. To spoil nothing of our pleasure, the screen of the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is bright and resists well to the sun’s rays.

The refractory of the notch will be delighted to learn that it is possible (via a small software pirouette) to cover it with a black bar. This makes the screen appear more symmetrical. While not stunning, the Zenfone Max Pro M2’s screen is nonetheless successful. It will delight multimedia lovers.

Improved performance

Asus said he listened to reviews from Max Pro users. Although the products in this range are durable, they have historically fished by their very average performance. The manufacturer wanted to change things with the Zenfone Max Pro M2. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660processor, the benchmark in this price segment, which is 11 percent more powerful than the previous generation chip. To accompany it, the brand has integrated 6 GB of RAM and an Adreno 512 graphics chip (Asus promises 33% improved graphics performance).

Benchmarks prove it, the Max Pro M2 is not a performance monster. But in this price segment is an excellentsmartphone. On a daily basis, you can feel it immediately. The phone is fluid, fast and responds perfectly to our requests. Multitasking management is flawless thanks to the 6 GB of RAM. For standard or professional use, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 will prove to be very reliable.

Mobile gamers, on the other hand, will have to make some sacrifices. Asus doesn’t make any empty promises and simply announces a smartphone optimized for “light gaming” (understand light gaming performance). You will have to choose between graphic quality or fluidity. Except on the best optimized licenses (quite rare on the Play Store). On PUBG Mobile for example, we advise you not to choose the maximum graphic configuration in order to keep a certain fluidity in the game. Ditto on Fortnite. No reason to cry wolf, these limits in the game are the prerogative of smartphones at this price.

Nevertheless, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is among the best in its class in this field. Slowdowns are very rare, crashes are non-existent (during our test), and the game is fun to play. Asus’ promise is kept.

A pure Android interface

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 comes with Android Oreo Pure Edition. The upgrade to Android Pie will land in February 2019. Our test version has the security update of January 2019.

Asus has chosen a pure version of Android. Some small features (such as screen color management for example) have been added here and there. Asus said he listened to his users’ complaints.

In the past, Asus was pointed out for multiple bloatwares, duplicates and overlaying too heavy on his smartphones. The brand is making a 180-degree turn and is now banking on pure Android. Asus France sums up this choice quite simply: “why redo what others already do very well? ». The others, as you will have understood, are Google and its batch of pre-installed home-made applications.

The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is, unsurprisingly, very easy to use and above all very light. We can only welcome the choice of pure Android even if the OS lacks personality compared to some overlayers (yes, we’re never happy). Simple, efficient, and fast, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 software is the best choice Asus could make on a smartphone at this price.

A crazy autonomy!

The Zenfone Max range has been created to meet the expectations of users who need an enduring smartphone. Historically, Zenfone Max’s have been carrying large batteries. The Max Pro M2 is no exception and retains the huge 5000 mAh battery of its predecessor. However, one wonders how the manufacturer managed to integrate such a battery in such a compact format. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a template similar to an Honor 10 Lite for example (3400 mAh battery).

Unsurprisingly, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a monster of autonomy. It will easily last two and a half days for standard use. For the most connected, count two days. More hardcore users, bet on a day and a half of autonomy. As an example, we received the smartphone on a Friday. We used it from Friday evening 6pm to Sunday evening 10pm with only one refill. A normal user can therefore bet on 2 to 3 refills per week. The best!

We recommend recharging the Zenfone Max Pro M2 overnight. Asus has not built in aquick charge for two reasons. The first is a cost issue. To keep his smartphone at a price of 300 euros, Asus had to make choices. With a 5000 mAh battery and such endurance, the brand felt that rapid recharging was not relevant. Users are recharging their smartphone less often, so the issue of speed is less important. Nevertheless, it still takes almost three hours for the Zenfone Max Pro M2 to fully recharge.

In view of the smartphone’s range, it’s forgiven for not having a quick recharge. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is unquestionably the most enduring smartphone in its class, by far.

An amazing camera

The Zenfone Max have never been great photo tenors. Asus is aware of this and has once again listened to the recommendations of his community. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 incorporates a dual photo sensor consisting of :

  • a 12 megapixel Sony IMX486 main sensor (f/1.8 aperture lens – 1.25µm batteries) with 3-axis electronic stabilization
  • a secondary 5 megapixel sensor for depth of field management

It’s all sprinkled with artificial intelligence capable of detecting 13 different scenes and adapting the settings automatically. We know the music. Please note that our test model is not a final version. Some improvements on stabilization will be made.

To our great surprise, our test version proved to be very convincing in pictures.With good brightness, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is surprisingly accurate. The colours are faithful to reality and the contrasts perfectly mastered. The piqué is also excellent. However, the slow catch and the capricious focus are regrettable. We had to go over it several times to capture some shots. The camera focused on the background.

When the light conditions drop, the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is even more surprising. Asus has done an excellent job of software processing: the colours remain balanced, the grain is discreet and the contrasts are very good. At night, the flash doesn’t burn subjects very much. We are pleasantly surprised by the photo performance of this Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2.

Without flash

With flash

Without flash

With flash

The manufacturer has added a portrait mode which is also successful. The contours are clean and the blurring effect is not coarse. The self-portraits are less pretty, the bokeh being much less balanced.

Portrait

Self-Portrait

Selfie

The 13-megapixel (f/2.0) front sensor with LED flash is excellent in low light even if it’s not incredible in daylight. Overall, the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is an excellent photophone for its price. The manufacturer has made a huge leap forward compared to previous models. It is now able to compete with the best in this segment.

Our opinion on the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 is the little surprise of early 2019. As every year, we were expecting yet another iteration of the brand’s big-drum smartphone. Wrong language! Asus has made a real shift in his strategy. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 is proof of this. Yes, it’s still a monster of autonomy (the very reference), but it’s now performant, its screen is good, its interface light (pure Android) and its camera excellent. All this in a revised design corresponding to the 2019 standards. But then what’s to blame? Nothing at all, except for the lack of a quick charge and USB-C port. Yeah, we’re just chatting. But that’s the fate that befalls excellent smartphones.

We like

  • Its elegant design
  • Its robustness (Corning Gorilla Glass 6)
  • Its luminous screen
  • Its good performance
  • Its pure Android interface
  • Its monstrous autonomy
  • His amazing camera
  • His prize!

We like less

  • The absence of fast recharging
  • Very long charging time
  • No USB-C port

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