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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 vs ZenFone Max Pro M2: Side-by-side comparison

A good choice for power users?

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In a sea of budget smartphones packed with midrange (and even flagship) features, it’s difficult to choose your GadgetMatch. Luckily, ASUS offers a lot of budget smartphones, and sitting on top are their ZenFone Max Pro M1 and ZenFone Max Pro M2, which were both released in last year.

Ever wonder which one really fits your budget and needs? Let’s take a look at this side-by-side comparison to see which phone is up your alley.

Specifications

To start, this table has a quick overview of their specifications:

ZenFone Max Pro M1
ZenFone Max Pro M2
Display 6-inch LCD (1080 x 2160) 6.3-inch LCD (1080 x 2280)
Processor Snapdragon 636 Snapdragon 660
Graphics Adreno 509 Adreno 512
Memory 3GB/4GB 4GB/6GB
Storage 32GB/64GB 64GB
Rear camera 13MP f/2.2 primary
5MP depth sensor
12MP f/1.8 primary
5MP depth sensor
Front camera 8MP f/2.2 13MP f/2
Battery 5000mAh 5000mAh
Fingerprint Rear-mounted scanner Rear-mounted scanner
OS Android 9 Pie Android 9 Pie

Screen-wise, both phones use an IPS LCD with the Max Pro M2 having a slightly bigger display than its predecessor. While the Max Pro M1 reduced its chin and bezels, the Max Pro M2’s notch allowed for more screen real estate.

Powering the Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 series which enables these budget phones to perform well. To support their processors, the Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 offer up to 4GB and 6GB of memory, respectively, as well as 64GB of internal storage.

For security, both phones have a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner on the back, which makes it easier to unlock the phone. The Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 use Android 8.1 Oreo with a stock interface for a pure Android experience.

Update: Both smartphones already received the Android 9 Pie.

Rear Cameras

Following the trend of dual cameras, both phones sport a 5-megapixel depth sensor on the rear. The Max Pro M1 uses a 13-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/2.2, while the Max Pro M2 uses a 12-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/1.8.

The Max Pro M2 may have a lower megapixel count than the Max Pro M1 for its primary camera, but its bigger aperture makes up for it, since it allows more light to come in and help capture more details even in bad lighting conditions. On the other hand, the Max Pro M1 takes wider shots but sometimes has issues with color accuracy.

Both phones capture adequate photos during the day, with only a little struggle under poor lighting conditions. Check out these samples:

Front Cameras

Selfie time! The Max Pro M1 has an 8-megapixel front camera with an aperture of f/2.2, while the Max Pro M2 has a 13-megapixel front camera with an aperture of f/2. Both phones feature beauty and portrait modes.

To start the comparison, here’s a sample selfie taken using auto mode:

Auto mode: Max Pro M1 on left, Max Pro M2 on right

And here’s another sample selfie taken using auto mode, but in an indoor lighting condition:

Here’s a sample selfie with just beauty mode:

Beauty mode: Max Pro M1 on left, Max Pro M2 on right

Here’s another selfie taken with only portrait mode:

And here’s a combination of beauty and portrait mode:

Beauty and Portrait mode: Max Pro M1 on left, Max Pro M2 on right

As you can see in the images above, the noticeable differences in the Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2’s camera are their focal length and white balance, similar to the samples shown by the rear cameras earlier.

Performance

Carrying the powerful Snapdragon 600 series, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 shine when it comes to performance. Both phones allow you to multitask without much lag when switching from one heavy app to another.

If you’re into gaming, the Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 can handle graphics-intensive titles like Mobile Legends, Free Fire, and Ragnarok Mobile smoothly. Frames drop every now and then, but don’t affect a user’s gameplay.

Battery

While the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 are midrange-level in terms of camera quality and performance, they surely are kings when it comes to endurance with a massive 5000mAh battery.

For power users, both the Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 can last up to eight hours even with constant use of social media, switching between productivity apps, watching HD videos on YouTube and/or Netflix, streaming music, and playing high-quality games. However, the Max Pro M2 drains its battery five to seven percent faster than the Max Pro M1, perhaps because of the faster chipset and wider screen.

Both phones are capable of fast charging when using the bundled charger. It takes less than three hours to fully charge them from a nearly drained battery.

Which one is your GadgetMatch?

If you want a phone that lasts with you throughout the day, the Max Pro M1 is a good choice. It has a massive battery, can handle intensive gaming, and lets you multitask and switch between apps easily. Its 4GB/64GB variant costs PhP 8,995 (roughly US$ 170), and is available in two colors: Deepsea Black and Meteor Silver.

But if you want a sleeker option, the Max Pro M2 is the better choice. It takes nicer photos in terms of color accuracy and details and carries a faster processor for improved performance. Its 4GB/64GB variant costs PhP 12,995 (around US$ 250), which is slightly higher compared to its predecessor. It’s available in Midnight Blue through Shopee and Lazada.

Another option is the Max Pro M2’s 6GB/128GB variant with two colors to choose from: Midnight Blue and Cosmic Titanium. It costs PhP 14,995 (about US$ 290) and you can purchase it at ASUS accredited stores.

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 and Max Pro M2 are powerful phones offered at affordable prices. It all comes down to your preference and what type of user you are, and of course, if it matches the budget you seek. So, which one is your GadgetMatch?


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines.

Best Smartphones

Best Premium Smartphones above $600

March 2020 Edition

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If you’re looking for the very best high-end smartphones available, you’ve come to the right place! Every month, GadgetMatch updates this list with the finest devices money can buy, no matter how much they cost.

Updated monthly, this list takes every newly launched flagship costing more than US$ 600 into consideration, but doesn’t discount the smartphones that continue to make an impact since their launch last year.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (US$ 1399)

All of Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 series belong in this price range. If you’re going to spend north of $600, might as well get the one with maxed-out specs, right? That’s exactly what the Galaxy S20 Ultra — the absolute best that Samsung has to offer right now in this form-factor. The numbers on the hardware are there but Samsung made sure to add key software features to appropriately take advantage of everything it has to offer.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy S20 series

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (US$ 1100)

The Samsung Galaxy Note series continues to set itself apart by being the premier smartphone that comes with a stylus. It doesn’t hurt that the smartphone is also pretty darn good at pretty much any other thing you might think of doing on a smartphone. While it’s not necessarily elite at one thing, it’s pretty darn good at everything.

HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

ASUS ROG Phone 2 (Starts at US$ 500)

Nobody asked but ASUS followed up their gaming smartphone. The ROG Phone 2 maxes out every imaginable spec all while maintaining the design language of its predecessor. While the older accessories work, ASUS still introduced a few new ones. Most notably the Kunai gamepad that makes the gaming phone look almost like a Nintendo Switch.

REVIEW: ROG Phone 2

Google Pixel 4 XL (US$ 899)

Reluctantly adding this to the list due to how it feels like a stepback from the Pixel 3. In reality though, it’s still better than its predecessor, it just didn’t meet most people’s expectations. Google’s computational photography is still second to none and that’s still enough to make this list.

HANDS-ON: Google Pixel 4 XL

iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max (US$ 999)

The iPhone 11 Pro made no leaps in design which is why it somewhat feels underwhelming. It does, however, make up for it with yet another faster than ever processor, and a much-improved camera system. No, Apple didn’t exactly “innovate” but the iPhone is still what you expect it to be — a smartphone who’s hardware and software just works.

UNBOXING: iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max

Photo from @oneplus on Twitter

OnePlus 7T Pro (GBP 699)

The OnePlust 7T Pro didn’t get hyped as much because it was — in the words of many reviewers — only an incremental update from its predecessor. Make no mistake though, this is still a powerhouse of an Android phone is the owner of perhaps the smoothest, fastest Android UI today.

REVIEW: OnePlus 7T Pro

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (US$ 1380)

The Galaxy Z Flip compares directly to the Motorola razr because of the way they fold. But on paper, the Galaxy Z Flip blows the Moto razr out of the water. There have also been plenty of reports that the Galaxy Z Flip has sold out in many markets (but lacking any actual figures). Regardless, this is easily the foldable smartphone that might actually serve well as your main phone.

WATCH: Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto razr

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Best Smartphones

Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones from $400 to $600

March 2020 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best upper-midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 400 to US$ 600.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy A71 (US$ 500)

Awesome screen, awesome camera, long-lasting battery life — that’s the LSS-inducing theme of the Galaxy A71 as it was being teased. Lo and behold, Samsung wasn’t lying. The phone certainly lives up to the hype and while specs-wise there may be cheaper options out there, the package that Samsung has put together is quite enticing.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A71

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite (US$ 449)

Finally. A Galaxy Note sans the gimmicks. The Galaxy Note line has always been a premium offering. And while this isn’t exactly budget, it’s still a lot more affordable than the usual stylus-paired smartphone from Samsung.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Realme X2 Pro (CNY 3299)

The Realme X2 Pro has flagship killer written all over it. Equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ and a 64MP camera sensor along with three other cameras, this phone promises to be a powerhouse with a price tag that doesn’t require sacrificing any of your internal organs.

HANDS-ON: Realme X2 Pro

OnePlus 7T (US$ 599)

When the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro came out, the company wanted to clearly communicate that they’re competing in the premium space. Fast forward to the OnePlus 7T and it looks like they are back to their flagship killing ways offering premium-level specs at a price lower than most top-of-the-line flagships.

UNBOXING & HANDS-ON: OnePlus 7

OPPO Reno2 (EUR 449/ US$ 488)

Yes, the Reno3 is already out there in the wild but we’ve yet to truly put it through the paces. The Reno2 however, we’ve had our hands-on. It’s crazy how close the release dates of these phones are but we can say for sure that this is still a good purchase owing to its now more premium design and dedication to providing better camera performance.

REVIEW: OPPO Reno2

Black Shark 2 [8GB + 128GB] (GBP 449/ US$ 283)

Okay so we’re being very specific here. There is a pro version but that’s that what we’re talking about. There’s also a version of the Black Shark 2 but with 12GB of RAM which exceeds this price point by hair. Which is why we specifically put the 8GB+128GB variant. It’s still a phone with pretty obvious gaming aesthetic. If this appeals to you, it’s a worthwhile purchase.

READ: Black Shark 2

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Best Smartphones

Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400

March 2020 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 200 to US$ 400.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, upper-midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Realme XT (US$ 333)

The Realme XT is our choice for best smartphone with a 64MP camera. This smartphone produces flagship-level photos.

REVIEW: Realme XT

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (US$ 300)

Xiaomi has always been a part of the list and the Mi 9 SE truly deserves its spot. It’s a flagship-grade phone from its design to its specs. It’s dubbed as a “compact flagship” thanks to its smaller-than-usual form factor. If you’re looking for a phone that won’t hurt your pockets both in size and price, check out the Mi 9 SE.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Realme 5 Pro (US$ 232)

A quadruple-camera setup at this price point seems unlikely but Realme made it happen. And it’s not just the setup, the lenses actually take photos with good image quality. That would have been enough to recommend this but it also has a Snapdragon 712 AIE chip with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you’re looking for a great deal, this is it.

HANDS-ON: Realme 5 Pro

 

Pixel 3a (US$399)

The Pixel 3a barely makes this price range by being just a hair under $400. The camera alone easily makes this crème de la crème of this bunch. Add to that the vanilla Android experience and of course being in the priority list of Android updates, this is the Pixel to get for Android purists.

HANDS-ON: Pixel 3a

 

POCO X2 (INR 19,99/ US$ 279)

The future of Pocophone was up in the air for a while, but all of that was finally put to rest when the brand finally released the POCO X2. This isn’t exactly the successor to the POCO F1. In fact, this is just a rebranded Redmi K30 Pro. But it’s still a step in the right direction for a brand that quickly captured everyone’s attention only to go completely silent for over a year.

READ: POCO X2

Samsung Galaxy A51 (US$ 320)

Samsung’s on a roll with their Galaxy A-series. The Galaxy A51 builds on everything that was already great with the Galaxy A50 and A50s and just makes it even better. Much like everything on the Galaxy lineup this year, the Galaxy A51 sports a look that as of posting is still undeniably Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy M31 (INR 15,99/US$ 224)

This battery-powerhouse of a smartphone has never quite made it to more markets, but it has gotten a significant amount of attention thanks to its 6,000mAh battery. Something this long-lasting appears to still be one of the priorities of smartphone buyers.

 

 

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