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ASUS ZenFone Max M1 Unboxing and First Impressions

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The ZenFone Max M1 is the second phone from the expanding M1 line of ASUS in the Philippines. It's the smaller and more affordable brother of the Max Plus M1.
ASUS ZenFone Max M1 Unboxing and First Impressions
Trendy design + big battery on a budget?

Despite its lower price tag than the Max Plus M1, ASUS tried to squeeze as much specs and features inside the ZenFone Max M1.


It has the 18:9 screen aspect ratio, dual camera setup at the back, fingerprint scanner + face unlock combo, and the big 4,000mAh battery capacity.

Moreover, ASUS upgraded its chip to Snapdragon 430 coming from MediaTek's MT6750T chipset. It is the better phone for gaming on paper.

ASUS also included the newer Android 8.0 Oreo OS w/ ZenUI 5.0 skin.

Sounds fun right? Here's our unboxing and first impressions article for the ASUS ZenFone Max M1.


ASUS ZenFone Max M1 (ZB555KL) Specs

Display: 5.5-inch HD+ IPS 1440 x 720 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 293 ppi
CPU: 1.5GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 505
RAM: 3GB
ROM: 32GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/2.0 + 8MP f/2.4 120-degree wide-angle lens w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 13MP f/2.0 w/ portrait mode and softlight LED flash
Battery: 4,000mAh
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo w/ ZenUI 5.0
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint scanner, face unlock
Colors: deepsea black, sunlight gold, ruby red
Dimensions: 147.3 x 70.90 x 8.7 mm
Weight: 150 g
Price: PHP 8,995

Disclaimer: This is just a borrowed unit from ASUS Philippines for our unbiased review.

Unboxing / Accessories

Accessories inside
Accessories inside

As expected, the ZenFone Max M1 arrived with a familiar looking box. Inside, ASUS included everything you'll need right off the bat. It include the 2A USB wall charger, USB to micro USB data and charging cable, in-ear monitors with mic, TPU clear case, SIM ejector tool, and the paper documents.

Build Quality / Design

Good design!
Good design!

The ZenFone Max M1 is a device with decent construction. It has a plastic unibody design with beautiful metallic paint finish. On the top, it has a 2.5D curved screen. ASUS failed to mention if it has Gorilla Glass though.

Decent build, good design!

Since the build of the phone is just average, it is better if you'll put the included screen protector inside the package.
Headphone jack on top
Headphone jack on top
Mic, micro USB port, and speaker below
Mic, micro USB port, and speaker below
Triple slots at left
Triple slots at left
Power button and volume rocker at right
Power button and volume rocker at right

In terms of design, this is a sleek looking device for the price. I personally like its metallic paint finish, good curves all over, and the low profile antenna band design. However, the bottom and top bezels are still a bit thicker than expected.

But, the other thing that we like here is the slimness of the phone. Despite its large 4,000mAh battery that should make the phone thick, it is just 8.7 mm slim!

The dual camera setup at the back doesn't have a large hump too!

All the ports and other buttons are on standard locations and placements. It even has flash in front, the fingerprint scanner is located at the back, 

We also like that this device is not that slippery to hold. It is not that prone to fingerprint smudges as well.

Initial findings

Decent AnTuTu score
Decent AnTuTu score

1. The minimalist approach of ASUS on this device in terms of design is nice. The build is also decent, but don't expect it to be the most durable phone around. The 5.5-inch HD+ screen has good colors and respectable brightness. It even has 10 points of touch.

2. ASUS used the better chipset on the Max M1 compared with the Max Plus M1. We expect it to perform a bit better in gaming. It also has ample 3GB RAM and 32GB expandable storage. It even has a dedicated microSD card slot. ASUS also paired it with huge 4,000mAh battery.

3. It boots with Android 8.0 Oreo OS out of the box! It is neater than the other Zen devices we checked before. Bloats are lesser like the ZenFone 5 as well. It has the ZenUI 5.0 skin on top.

4. The 13MP f/2.0 + 8MP dual camera setup of ASUS is promising. It also has the portrait mode and 120-degree wide-angle lens. It has no pro mode though. The 13MP f/2.0 selfie cam is looking better than what we saw with the more expensive Max Plus M1. It even has a bright type of LED flash in front.

5. As expected, it has LED light for notifications, micro USB port w/ USB OTG and reverse charging function, gyroscope sensor, and speedy fingerprint reader. It is still has the ever important 3.5 mm headphone jack slot on top. However, the face unlock tech is not that accurate. It works, but it is slower than what we are used to.

Related: ASUS ZenFone Max M1: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

For us, this is the most promising affordable ASUS ZenFone yet. It doesn't have the most powerful processor at this price point, but it really tried to do a bit of everything for just PHP 8,995.

Interesting!

Watch out for our full review!
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