“Despite a massive battery, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 doesn’t come across as bulky, and feels reasonably light and slim”

ASUS today launched its ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphone in India and the handset’s announcement also marks the inception of company’s strategic partnership with Flipkart, where the ZenFone series smartphones will be sold exclusively by the e-tailer. Some of the highlight features on ASUS’ new handset include a rear-facing dual-camera setup and a massive 5,000mAh battery. We managed to get our hands on the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and decided to bring its unboxing and our first impressions.

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Box contents

The company has not packed additional accessories with the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and the handset comes with a micro-USB cable, wall charger, some documentation, and a regular SIM ejector tool out of the box. In short, nothing out of the ordinary or to drool for.

Design and display

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 sports a 6-inch FHD display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The handset comes with a matte back finish that feels really good in the hand. While the company has reduced the bezels on the left and right sides of the display, the top and bottom bezels are still reasonably thick. That said, due to the narrow frame, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is easy to hold with one hand, but as is the case with most recent flagships, reaching the top corners of the screen can often prove to be a challenge.

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There is no physical home button at the front and the fingerprint scanner is conveniently located in the middle at the back. The dual-camera setup, accompanied by an LED flash, is located at the top left on the rear. The power buttons and the volume rocker are present at the right edge, while the 3.5mm audio jack, a micro-USB port, and loudspeaker grille are present at the bottom. The dedicated dual-SIM card slot is located on the left spine of the smartphone. Despite a massive battery, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 doesn’t come across as a bulky handset and feels reasonably light and slim in he hand.

Hardware

The new smartphone from ASUS is powered by Snapdragon 636 and runs Android 8.1 Oreo-based ZenUI operating system. The handset is available in two RAM/storage configurations, i.e. 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB storage. The company has announced that a 6GB RAM variant will also be launched in the country soon. The storage is expandable up to 2TB via microSD card. The smartphone is also the first offering from the brand that gives a near-stock Android experience. In our time with the Zenfone Max Pro M1, we didn’t face any lag or performance issues. The UI animations were smooth and we managed to open and close the apps without the phone displaying any stutter.

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Cameras

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 packs dual cameras at the back, consisting of 13MP + 5MP sensors in a vertical orientation and accompanied by an LED flash. At the front, there is an 8MP shooter for taking selfies. In our brief usage, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 managed to take some really good pictures, especially with Bokeh effect, even in indoor conditions. Sadly, we didn’t find the front camera on the smartphone to be just as impressive. However, as these are just initial impressions, we would like for you to wait for our full review for the detailed testing and opinion of the camera quality of the phone.

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Early impressions

The pricing for ASUS ZenFone Max Pro starts from Rs 10,999 in India and the handset will be made available for purchase exclusively from Flipkart. In this price range, the new smartphone from ASUS will be competing against the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and its more powerful variant, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. As these are our first impressions of the handset, we will advise you to wait for our detailed review to find out if ASUS is ready to take on Xiaomi with the all-new Max Pro in India.

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