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Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GB Review - Best Budget Smartphone?

Indeed, the best in the sub-15K range now!

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Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GB version finally went on sale not once but twice, and there's a positive response all over. As mentioned in my hands-on review, I had a chance to explore the device a week before the sale, and I've shared my experience already. The two biggest differences compared to the 3/4GB variant of Max Pro M1 to the 6GB one is the camera optics and the RAM. Earlier, I shared my initial opinion on how much difference these two make, and now it's time for the complete review.

Unlike my previous reviews, I don't want to get you bored by explaining, design, display, specifications, etc. and I want to get straight to the point. So, let's get started, shall we?

Zenfone Max Pro M1 6GB Review -

When the Max Pro M1 was first announced, Asus fans rejoiced as the brand has finally heard their feedback, and came out with the best phone, but the delay in launching the 6GB variant disappointed many. Now that it went on the sale, yet another disappointment from the fans is the camera UI.

Camera:

Since my earlier review of 4GB variant, I was emphasizing about the Max Pro M1's camera UI which is very naive and doesn't give access to control the exposure levels, or a PRO mode to shot images like a professional. The 6GB variant is no different from it. It just got a better optics, and there isn't a big change in the camera UI expect the real-time control of bokéh. The rest of the modes are quite similar, but as the optics are of high-end i.e., 16MP, the outputs from it are as par as the mid-end flagships.

However, in the auto mode, the colors look a little bit saturated. As highlighted in my hands-on, the reds look little dull, but when the same shot is taken in HDR, the colors look perfect. Ideally, this would be solved, if the camera UI allowed us to control the exposure levels which is absent in the Max Pro M1. So, unless the brand pushes an OTA to enable it, it's quite hard to capture the real colors in auto mode.

More Samples

Again, if the natural lighting conditions met, you could take really great shots even in auto mode too. I did try several other modes to see what difference it makes compared to auto, and in my usage, there isn't much difference.

In low light, the shots are not up to my expectations. There's little noise at the corners as well as next to a light source. I did try the night mode, as well as the candlelight mode, and in my usage, I felt light mode captures better shots.

The portraits look brilliant, and I have no concern about the quality this 16MP+5MP is producing. The edge detection, background blur and foreground focus are quite great. Even here, my only concern is the exposure control 🙁

The selfie camera is truly an asset in the phone. In my previous review of the 4GB variant, I shared my selfie which exhibited correct color exposure. The 6GB variant produced even better shots, thanks to 16MP optics.

Performance:

Coming to the performance of the phone, the 6GB RAM did allow to open multiple applications without reloading. I meant the load time of the applications are quite fast, and it's just like the ones in Zenfone 5z. On the gaming part, I installed the newly-released Asphalt 9: LEGENDS on the phone. It's one of the high-end game available on the market now, and to my surprise, I haven't felt any lag or sluggish playing it. I tried the visual quality higher too, and the response rate was as same as in the normal mode. Besides Asphalt 9, I've also played Real Racing 3 and had observed the same response rate.

There isn't much battery drain nor heating issue as per my testing, however, you might observe the device getting little warmer after 2 hours of continuous play. I'd say it's quite normal to experience it.

Besides gaming, I'm not able to use the maximum potential of 6GB RAM as most of the applications do work pretty fast even on 4GB. So, there isn't much that I say about it here.

Verdict:

For Asus, things are quite different this year. It's evident that they're trying to disrupt the mobile industry with their aggressive pricing, there's one major concern from everyone and it's about meeting the demand. They recently announced that 3/4GB variants of Zenfone Max Pro M1 will be available on Flipkart round the clock, however, users' are more interested in the 6GB variant. The main reason for it is the two major upgrades i.e., better optics and extra RAM.

If you're one among many who's quite interested in a smartphone that comes under 15K and is able to shoot pretty good shots, then I recommend you going with Max Pro M1 6GB. Did I forget to mention that the company is pushing an OTA to enable the camera2 API?

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  • Design
  • Display
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  • Camera
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  • Editor's Rating

If you're one among many who's quite interested in a smartphone that comes under 15K and is able to shoot pretty good shots, then I recommend you going with Max Pro M1 6GB.

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