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.
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|
|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|
|Fingerprint||Rear-mounted scanner||Rear-mounted scanner|
|OS||Android 8.1 Oreo||Android 8.1 Oreo|
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.
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:
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:
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:
Here’s another selfie taken with only portrait mode:
And here’s a combination of beauty and portrait mode:
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.
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.
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.
Mujjo Leather Wallet Case: Learning the art of letting go
Say goodbye to bulky pockets
For years, I’ve been an over-packer. I bring a lot of things I don’t need even during the most simple occasions. Whenever I go to the bank, have a lunch date, meet someone at a cafe, or enjoy a simple night-out with my friends, I always have the urge to bring non-essential essentials and stuff them into a man purse or a small bag.
My issues with over packing stems from my anxiety. What if I drain my battery and can’t book a cab later? Do I need to bring my 20000mAh power bank today? It’s difficult to calm the F train down when my anxiety is caused by my fear of inconvenience.
In reality, I don’t actually need my accessories to accompany me on my errands. What I need is just my smartphone and cards. To train myself from bringing fewer things, I started looking for a leather wallet phone case to carry only my musts.
The phone case that I’ve been looking for
I chanced upon Mujjo’s leather wallet case a few months back, and as a leather lover, I instantly fell in love with it. At that moment, it felt like a godsend to all my worries.
Mujjo’s leather wallet case exudes a classy, premium vibe. Made with authentic leather, it’s guaranteed to age beautifully as part of your life. The case is sleek and doesn’t scream attention — more reason why this accessory was love at first sight for me.
I don’t require a case that attracts more attention than needed. After all, it’s an accessory; it needs to subtly accentuate how stunning I am. Just look at how it matches my leather jacket.
The case fits perfectly on a phone, and its button padding is highly responsive. With its Japanese suede lining on the back, I must say that it’s beautifully crafted.
This case also features a stitched leather pocket on the back that can carry two to three cards. Yes, it can fit your credit card, commuter card, and even an ID (but definitely not your baggage).
Learning the art of letting go
Mujjo’s leather wallet case gives a different kind of pleasure. Its smell oozes with class and style, and there’s a natural high when your fingertips linger on the surface of a vegetable-tanned leather.
More importantly, it’s easy to grip, and it doesn’t slip out from my hands, but you learn to let go of items that you don’t need when you go out. I stopped bringing my bulky, leather wallet and opted for a cashless lifestyle. I didn’t bother bringing a man purse or a small bag to stuff my accessories like my 20000mAh power bank.
To date, the case has helped me believe that less is more. The fear of inconvenience subsides because at the end of the day, I’m an adult capable of making adjustments. If I encounter a problem and only have my smartphone and cards, I’m pretty sure I can always find a way.
Does this case match your lifestyle?
For people who are already living a minimalist lifestyle, Mujjo’s leather wallet case is a suitable accessory. For those who are trying to break the cycle of being an over-packer and learning the art of letting go, a leather wallet case is a good start. This particular case is for the iPhone XR and it comes in Tan, Olive, Black, and Blue for EUR 41.
Mujjo crafts premium leather wallet cases in different colors for other iPhones and the Galaxy S series, as well. They ship worldwide with free shipping for orders above EUR 60. Check their portfolio of cases here.
OPPO Reno 10x Zoom hands-on: Bold and beautiful
Will you spend this much on an OPPO phone?
It seems like only yesterday when OPPO announced things we can expect from a flagship device that they committed to release in the second quarter of the year.
That time has come with the Reno’s arrival.
If you’re a fan, you’d know that Reno is not an existing product line from OPPO. It’s a new series that, according to the Chinese company, is the epitome of their creative vision and will serve as the catalyst for OPPO’s smartphone development for the next 10 years.
New design language
Central to this new series is a fresh design language. From the outside, you can already tell that this is unlike any other OPPO phone we’ve seen before.
At the back, everything is symmetrical, and the cameras do not protrude. Just below them is what OPPO calls the Protective O-dot. It’s a small ceramic bump that’s meant to elevate the phone ever so slightly, and protect the phone from surface marks.
The logo and small text that says “Designed by OPPO” are in an unusual orientation for a smartphone. But that’s because the Reno series is made primarily with photography and mobile entertainment in mind. In case you didn’t notice, the OPPO logo got an update as well.
The Reno comes in three variants: the standard model powered by a Snapdragon 710, the 10x Zoom that sports Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855, and the 5G model which is promised to come to Switzerland in May.
They will come in this beautiful matte finish called Ocean Green, as well as a glossy Jet Black finish.
While they all feature the new look, you can tell the 10x Zoom model apart through its bigger display, battery capacity, and the extra periscopic lens.
In front, you get an unobstructed 6.6-inch AMOLED display, topped with Corning Gorilla Glass 6. It has neither a hole nor a notch. OPPO says they minimized the size of the chin to achieve an even higher 93.1 percent screen-to-body ratio.
Switch to selfie mode and up pops what OPPO calls the Pivot Rising Camera. It rises at a maximum angle of 11 degrees in just 0.8 seconds. OPPO says the phone can survive up to 200,000 drops, as the camera automatically retracts whenever the phone is dropped.
In this pop-up module are the earpiece, front-facing soft light, and the 16MP front-facing camera. There’s also flash at the back.
However, what’s most impressive about the selfie camera isn’t the pop-up mechanism or the 11-degree angle; it’s the way the phone processes extremely backlit selfies. With other smartphones, backgrounds usually turn out overexposed. See how the Reno handles this scenario:
Triple camera threat
The selfie camera is just the tip of the iceberg, however. What you should really be paying attention to are the three cameras at the back: a 48MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultra wide-angle lens, and a 13MP periscopic telephoto lens. Both the primary and telephoto lenses are optically stabilized.
Using a prism, OPPO is able to minimize the thickness of the telephoto lens. The periscope structure of the lens uses 13 percent less space, so the camera module is only 6.76mm thick. Because of this setup, the Reno 10x Zoom can go up to 10x hybrid zoom, just as its name suggests.
Take a look at these sample photos we took around Zurich.
The phone can also zoom in up to 20x, if you really want to get in closer. This is how it looks:
The OPPO Reno 10x zoom also has Ultra Night Mode 2.0. Using a combination of a large sensor, fast aperture, and software magic, you can get better detail in low-light environments, and get rid of random lights that are not artsy enough to look like a lens flare.
The Reno 10x Zoom’s low-light performance is not a surprise though, as OPPO’s midrange R17 Pro was also one of the best low-light cameras we tried last year.
Built to compete
The OPPO Reno 10x Zoom is a flagship device with flagship specs that can rival any top-of-the-line smartphone from 2019: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, up to 8GB RAM, and up to 256GB expandable storage.
OPPO emphasizes great gaming performance on this phone. With HyperBoost 2.0, the phone can avoid lag and touch performance issues.
It also uses three heat dissipation methods, including graphite sheets, copper pipe cooling tech, and thermal conductive grease paste to help control overheating when playing over longer periods of time.
We didn’t get to fully test this yet as our review unit is a Chinese version. But once we get an international unit, our full review will definitely include gaming performance.
The OPPO Reno 10x zoom also has a humongous 4065mAh battery which comes with faster VOOC 3.0 charging technology.
Speaking of faster, the in-display fingerprint scanner on the Reno 10x Zoom is one of the fastest we’ve used lately.
If that’s not your cup of tea, there’s still face unlock. Yep, even if the camera is hidden, it will pop up whenever you want to unlock the phone using face recognition. It also happens so fast you’d barely see the magic happen.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
OPPO’s Reno 10x Zoom definitely has what it takes to go against this year’s premium flagship devices: It’s beautiful, fully beefed up, and has cameras you can rely on. The new ColorOS is also refreshingly clean.
While the Reno 10x Zoom costs less than what most of its competition are sold for, at the end of the day, the decision to buy the phone solely boils down to whether you are actually willing to spend EUR 799 (US$ 895) on a phone from OPPO.
OPPO F11 hands-on: Without the moving parts
No motor, lower price
We already talked about the OPPO F11 Pro, and now we have the OPPO F11. Without the “Pro” moniker, the regular F11 is supposed to sit below its Pro sibling. One would think that the F11 has compromises, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The regular F11 and F11 Pro share a lot in common, so it’s best to read about the Pro model as well. Our F11 Pro hands-on is available for your reading pleasure here.
Without further ado, here’s my hands-on with OPPO‘s new midranger. As always, let’s start with the physique:
It has a 5.3-inch Full HD+ display
The waterdrop notch sits on top
To its right is the power button
The volume keys and card tray are on the left
The micro-USB and 3.5mm jack still live on
The back is glossy yet classy
There’s a dual rear camera system for taking photos
The notch makes an appearance
The notch was a major feature among phones last year, and it’s still present on some newly announced devices. A number of manufacturers tried to kill it with different solutions and one of those ways is implemented on the F11 Pro. The motorized pop-up front camera allowed the F11 Pro to have a full-screen display without any cutout. But, the case of the regular F11 is different.
The major difference between the F11 and F11 Pro is in the front camera and display. Since the F11 is made to be cost-effective, OPPO had to remove the motorized mechanism and opt for a notch. The waterdrop notch design we first saw on last year’s F9 is present on the F11. Still, the absence of a pop-up camera didn’t provide the F11 a water-resistance rating. It would be great to have protection from liquids.
Aside from the notch, the regular F11 has a similar display to the F11 Pro’s. It’s still an LCD panel that measures 6.53 inches diagonally with a tall aspect ratio. Since it’s an LCD, there’s no way to include an in-display fingerprint reader. A good-old capacitive scanner is positioned on the back of the phone.
The overall design of the F11 is almost identical to the F11 Pro’s. Unsuspecting eyes might not be able to tell the small differences at first glance. This means the F11 is also a classy-looking phone, even though it primarily has a plastic body.
As fast as the Pro model
When it comes to specs, the F11 inherits everything the F11 Pro has. The regular F11 is also powered by the Helio P70 processor paired with 6GB of memory. For storage, it has 64GB that can be expanded using a microSD card. Specs-wise, the Pro doesn’t really have an advantage in this department.
The latest Android Pie-based ColorOS 6 is available out of the box, which is nice, but there’s no promised update to Android Q when that gets released later this year. OPPO is known to skip major updates, so we don’t expect it to get Android Q.
Thankfully, the phone runs smoothly and the extra features of ColorOS are much appreciated. OPPO’s customization of Android is not my favorite, but it’s not the worst out there.
Gaming is alright on the F11, although I did run into a couple of issues. For some reason, Asphalt 9: Legends doesn’t play very well even on default settings, plus PUBG: Mobile has to be launched a few times before it loads properly to its home screen. These issues can be easily addressed through an update, so these are not deal breakers.
The phone’s 4020mAh battery is not a slouch either. Additionally, VOOC 3.0 fast charging tech is available and a compatible adapter is included in the phone’s retail box.
Okay cameras with night mode
Again, the F11 is blessed with the same cameras found on the F11 Pro. On the back, the F11 also has a 48-megapixel f/1.8 main shooter accompanied by a 5-megapixel depth sensor for extra features like portrait mode. For selfies, it has a 16-megapixel sensor placed inside the waterdrop notch.
Check out these samples taken using the F11 Pro’s cameras:
Like with other phones with 48-megapixel sensors, the F11 will use all those pixels to create a crispier 12-megapixel photo. The results are generally okay, even in low-light scenarios. The night shot above was taken using the phone’s Night Mode. As for selfies, OPPO is still indeed a selfie expert.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
For those who like to have a new OPPO phone, I would suggest the regular F11 since it’s a better choice than its Pro sibling. How so? The F11 is essentially an F11 Pro without the motorized pop-up mechanism. If you can let go of the modern approach in selfie cameras and are not bothered by a small notch, you’ll get better value with this.
The OPPO F11 is priced at just PhP 15,990 (US$ 310) in the Philippines, which is PhP 3,000 cheaper than the F11 Pro. It’s available in different shades of green and purple.
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