ASUS ZenFone Max M2 Unboxing and First Impressions

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ASUS recently made the ZenFone Max M2 official in the Philippines. The Taiwanese tech firm dubbed it as a powerhouse on a budget.
ASUS ZenFone Max M2 Unboxing and First Impressions
An affordable powerhouse?

To recall, at PHP 8,995, the ZenFone Max M2 is the lower-end brother of the PHP 12,995 Max Pro M2.

But, it is still safe to say that the Max M2 is equipped with pretty capable specs.

It is one one of the first and most affordable with a 14nm Snapdragon 632, the successor of Snapdragon 625 and 626.

In addition, it features a big 6.3-inch HD+ 19:9 notch screen with slim bezels, large 4,000mAh battery, 13MP f/1.8 + 2MP dual cameras, and pure Android 8.1 Oreo OS.

Pretty attractive right? Let's find out!

Unboxing/Accessories

Unboxed!
Unboxed!

Inside the box, you will find the usual 5V/2A USB wall charger, USB-A to micro USB data cable, earphones with mic, SIM ejector tool, clear TPU case, and the paper documents.

Good job ASUS!

Build Quality/Design

Metal backplate
Metal backplate

ASUS ZenFone Max M2 comes with attractive build and design for the price. The backplate is made out of metal, the frame is plastic, and the 2.5D screen is glass.

Metal backplate and good design in front!

The combination of materials used feels quite durable, though the glass in front doesn't have any sort of glass protection.

It would still be best if you will take good care of your phone. Thankfully, there's a FREE case that could protect it against accidental drops.
Mic and 3.5mm headphone jack slot on the top
Mic and 3.5mm headphone jack slot on the top
Mic, micro USB port, speaker below
Mic, micro USB port, speaker below
Triple slot tray at left
Triple slot tray at left
Power button and volume rocker at right
Power button and volume rocker at right

Design is also neat. The matte-like space blue paint finish looks nice for me. It is one of the cheapest with a 19:9 screen. ASUS claimed that it even has 88 percent of screen-to-body ratio.

The top bezel houses the selfie camera, earpiece, sensors, and LED notification. Bottom bezels are a bit thick. So, we do not think that it really has 88 percent of screen-to-body ratio like the Alcatel 5V.

Don't get us wrong, it still has slim bezels overall, especially at this price point.

The handset is also considered as super slim for a handset with big 4,000mAh battery. It measures at 158 x 76 x 7.7 mm.

Behind, you will find the dual-camera setup with flash and the round fingerprint scanner. The dual-cam is slightly protruding though.

On top, there's the 3.5mm headphone slot and a microphone. At the bottom, you will find another mic, micro USB port, and the single speaker. At left, it has a 3-slot tray for two SIM cards and one microSD card. At right, there's a textured power button and volume rocker.

The phone is comfortable to hold with two hands, but it is quite slippery without a case.

Initial findings

1. The ZenFone Max M2 has one of the nicest design and construction for the price. It is nice to see a phone with metal backplate instead of glass-like plastic. The screen is big and bright even if it only has HD+ resolution.

2. It has one of the better specs at this price point. The 1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 632 octa-core processor is speedier than expected and it has a decent Adreno 506 GPU for gaming. Snapdragon 632 will still fall short against the Snapdragon 636 of its ageing cousin, the Max Pro M1.

It has decent RAM and ROM size at 3GB and 32GB, respectively. The battery capacity is big at 4,000mAh. It has 5V/2A fast charging as well.

Like most modern phones, the handset has with 4G LTE connectivity.

3. Max M2 runs with a stock Android 8.1 Oreo OS. It is snappy with smooth animation and transition. It is very neat with no bloats as well. My only concern is the camera app, its UI/look is date in my opinion.

4. The cameras are quite nice on paper. You will a 13MP f/1.8 + 2MP w/ PDAF and LED flash. The 2MP sensor is for the depth or bokeh effect. It has an 8MP selfie camera as well.

So far, I find its primary cameras even better than the Max Pro M2.

5. At the back, there's a fingerprint scanner. It also has a gyroscope sensor. There's an LED notification as well.

Related: ASUS ZenFone Max M2: First Camera Samples

ASUS ZenFone Max M2 (ZB633KL) Specs

Display: 6.3-inch 2.5D curved IPS screen w/ HD+ 1520 x 720 resolution at 267 ppi
CPU: 1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 632 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 506
RAM: 3GB
ROM: 32GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 2TB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/1.8 + 2MP f/2.4 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0 w/ softlight LED flash
Battery: 4,000mAh
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11b/g/n, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio, OTG, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, Colors: midnight black, space blue
Dimensions: 158 x 76 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 160 g
Price: PHP 8,995

As of the moment

ASUS's ZenFone Max M2 has pretty good specs at this price point. For me, the cameras are also better than its higher-end sibling, the Max Pro M2.

However, if you do not need the notch and the bigger screen and better cameras, the older Max Pro M1 is still the more attractive deal.

But, it won't still remove the fact that the ASUS ZenFone Max M2 is a respectable deal so far.

For our review: ASUS ZenFone Max M2 Review - A reliable performer for the price!
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