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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Unboxing and First Impressions

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We look at the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 that promises the best specs under PHP 10K but with the large 5,000mAh battery you love from the Max series of past!
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Unboxing and First Impressions
5.99-inch FHD+ screen!

The highlight here are the FHD+ display with a Snapdragon 636, Adreno 509, 3GB of RAM with a dual camera set up that is all being powered by a 5,000mAh fast charge compatible battery that ZenFone Max fans wanted back!

Let's check it out!

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) Specs

Display: 5.99-inch FHD+ IPS 2160 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 403 ppi
CPU: 1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 509
RAM: 3GB LPDDR4
ROM: 32GB EMCP expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/2.2 OV16880 sensor + 5MP depth sensor w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0 w/ 85.5-degree wide-angle lens and softlight LED flash
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ fast charging
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 ac, 4G LTE w/ VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2 w/ aptX, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint scanner, face unlock, 5-magnet speaker, NXP Smart Amp, Colors: deepsea black, meteor silver
Dimensions: 159 x 76 x 8.46 mm
Weight: 180 g
Price: PHP 9,995

Disclaimer: This unit was loaned to us ASUS Philippines. This is not a sponsored review.

Unboxing/Accessories

Complete with case!
Complete with case!

ASUS updates the box of their phones with a bright blue, silver and white. It stands out right away especially with the branding.

Inside is the phone, documentation, sim ejector tool, USB Type-A to Type-C cable, power plug, jelly case and earphones.

Build Quality/Design

Updated ASUS Zen design!
Updated ASUS Zen design!

The new ZenFone Max Pro M1 takes a lot of hardware design cues from the ZenFone 3 Zoom that have been polished and updated for 2018. It is mostly made of metal with some small areas painted to look metal for better antenna reception.

Great craftsmanship for the price!

The most noticeable difference from past phones is the vertical position of the dual camera set up at the back. Because of the quality of the curved display and the metal back, we can safely say this is one of the most premium feeling and looking phone for under PHP 10K.

There is a case that is included and it is similar to most cases that come with ASUS phones as of late.
Top with microphone only
Top with microphone only
Headphone jack!!!
Headphone jack!!!
Dual SIM tray with dedicated microSD card slot
Dual SIM tray with dedicated microSD card slot
Volume rocker and power button on the right
Volume rocker and power button on the right

The display is a 5.99-inch FHD+ IPS 2160 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 403 ppi. and is one of the best thing about this phone. It is large and immersive. There is no notch so the sensors, ear piece and selfie camera are on the top bezel. 

The top only has a microphone on it while at the bottom of the phone are the microUSB port, speaker, microphone and 3.5 mm headphone jack. 

At the left is the SIM card tray while the right contains the volume rocker and the power button.

The build, design, and ergonomics of the phone is quite nice for the price.


Initial findings

High scores!
High scores!

1.  The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 is one of the more premium designed mostly metal made phone under PHP 10K. It has a 5.99-inch FHD+ IPS 2160 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 403 ppi that is immersive. At first glance, it is sharp and vibrant.

2. It is powered by a Snapdragon 636 with Adreno 509 and 3GB of RAM. So it isn't a slouch in performance. Even though it is expandable to 256GB, we wish it had more than 32GB built in storage.

The performance is good and combined with the large 5,000 mAh can result to great battery life!

3. It runs on a near stock Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box! This means it is not dragged down by manufacturer's bloatware, bloat features and the like. It does have useful new features like gestures like double tap to wake and sleep the display.

4. The rear camera is a 13MP f/2.2 OV16880 sensor + 5MP depth sensor w/ PDAF and LED flash while the selfie camera is 8MP f/2.0 w/ 85.5-degree wide-angle lens and softlight LED flash. 

The camera UI feels basic and could use some more love from ASUS. It is far from the the Camera app of ZenFone 5.

The images from both the main and selfie cameras are good. We'll have to put them through their paces. We particularly like the wide angle selfie camera. It allows for more creative selfies.

5. The ZenFone Max Pro M1 has face unlock, fingerprint scanner, LED notification, OTG, gyroscope, 3.5 mm headphone jack. It has no stereo speakers. It has a Quick Charge compatible 5,000 mAh battery!

Related: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

This phone is one of the best spec'd and designed for its price! It even has huge 5,000mAh battery and it is running near stock Android. The images from the cameras are good so far. 

We hope it lives up to the hype. 

Stay tuned for our full review out soon!
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