ASUS ZenFone Max Pro 3GB/32GB Unboxing


After being exclusively available through Lazada Philipines since June of this year, ASUS Philippines has just finally made this 3GB RAM / 32GB ROM variant of the ZenFone Max Pro available at select kiosks and concept stores in the Philippines. It bears the same price tag of only Php9,995. So if you have been planning to get this particular version from the latest "Battery King" series of ZenFone Max devices, you may check out the link above to see which one of the nearest stores offers this big battery-equipped smartphone.

Now in case you wonder what the phone looks like straight out of the box in deepsea black colorway and what it comes with in the packaging, here is my quick unboxing post of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1. Thanks to ASUS Philippines for letting us borrow one of the review units for me to try out and let you know what my impressions are going to be.

How to know which version am I buying? 

In case you are not aware, there are currently two variants of this ZenFone Max Pro available in the Philippines. The first one packs 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage and that one is priced at Php13,995. Now how do you know which one you are buying? The answer is on the back of the box. There you can see which color is on the inside as well as the key specs of the phone such as the memory and storage, together with the screen size, and the processor the unit is being powered by.



What are the other differences between the two aside from the RAM and storage? 

It is the rear camera. On the 4GB version, that is equipped with 16MP + 5MP shooters on the back and an 8MP selfie camera on the front. The 3GB variant, which is the one we have here, only has 13MP + 5MP dual rear camera and the same 8MP front facing snapper.

The rest of the specs and features are the same.

Processor and GPU

One of the most interesting features of this ZenFone Max Pro series, apart from its huge Full HD+ notch-less display with 18:9 aspect ratio and humongous 5000mAh battery, is its processor and GPU. Right out of the box it is equipped with an octa-core Snapdragon 636 processor paired with Adreno 509 GPU. You ask why? Well that's because it is the same SoC and GPU found on the more high end ZenFone 5 smartphone which is currently priced at Php17,995. That makes this ZenFone Max Pro, the most powerful Max ever.

What's in the box?

It's a pretty basic packaging in terms of accessories that the phone comes with inside the box for a 2018 mid-range smartphone.


As what you can see in the image above. The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro arrives with a regular USB-to-MicroUSB charging cable, a pair of in-ear earphones with extra two pairs of earbuds in different sizes, and of course the wall charger. This charger, this may look like a typical mid-range ASUS charger, but according to the Taiwanese company, it is equipped with fast charge technology.

That fast charger is a nice addition to the ZenFone Max series since these devices are famous for having huge battery packs, hence Battery King. And most common not-so-sexy concerns of these handsets is the amount of time it takes to fully charge the phone. How fast? ASUS says about 2 hours and 42 min, that's from 0 to 100%. But of course I will test that myself just to double check.

Out of the 5000mAh battery, Asus promises users to provide the following numbers.


And for some reason, I failed to include in the previous image above. But the box comes with a soft silicon case for the unit. It's soft and fits perfectly on the device.


Going back to the device itself. The ZenFone Max Pro's design still looks the same as those of ZenFone 3 Zoom, ZenFone Live, and ZenFone 4, except that the dual rear camera on the Max Pro is vertically aligned. Maybe because they share the same color, I am not sure. But that's my initial impression of its aesthetics upon seeing it for the very first time.

On the left side of the device is where the triple-SIM slot tray is located. Yes you read that right, on this phone, you can use two SIM cards AND a microSD card up to 2TB in size, all at the same time. This is one of the things I like about ASUS, they are still not getting rid of the non-hybrid type of SIM slots. On the other side of the phone are the lock/power  key and the volume rocker. And then down at the bottom are the speaker, mic, 3.5mm audiojack, and the microUSB port. Sadly, still no USB Type-C on a Max. But I guess that is still okay though, as long as it still works and delivers its promise, I am still cool with it.


In addition to the Face Unlock security functionality, Fingerprint Scanner is still present on the back of this device. And speaking of the rear panel, the ZenFone Max Pro's back panel is made of metal. Not aluminum though, but some metallic material. However, the top and bottom chins are made of plastic, though you won't be able to notice the difference immediately. And even if that is the case on this one, the phone still feels pretty solid and sturdy to the hand. Plus its rounded corners and a little bit of heft provide a better grip.


Another interesting thing about the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro is its operating system. Right out of the box it is powered by a pure version of Android 8.1 Oreo. This means, there is no ZenUI interface on top of it or no bloatware which many times affects a phone's overall performance as well as the user experience. It is just pure Android. Perhaps one of the driving forces here why ASUS decided to use a stock version of Android on this device is because it is being targeted at mobile gamers, and as we know most mobile gamers are tech-savvy and very particular in terms of smartphone's specs.

Apart from the Battery King moniker, ASUS is also attaching "Limitless Gaming" tag to this smartphone. Because it is made with budget gamers on the go in mind. Its massive Full HD+ display, Snapdragon 636 and 5000mAh battery with a very affordable price tag, are definitely the only smartphone recipe that mobile gamers love.


This is how the camera interface of the ZenFone Max Pro looks like. It's format is completely different from the previous ZenFones I have tried and used. For example on the camera modes (left), in addition to the usual Auto, HDR, Landscape, Portrait Mode, there are new ones like Sports, Flowers, Candlelight, Beach, and more. These new ones appear to be some sort of preset filters best used for those same scenarios to get the best photo quality. The one in the middle shows the Settings section of the camera, it's kind of weird though to find the Manual Mode controls here instead of having its own option on the left image. And then last but not least are the Live Filters, shown on the right image. There are Mono, Sepia, Negative, Solarize, Neon and more. They look cool on the camera and when being used on subjects before capturing the photo, but I doubt this will be a useful addition to the camera.

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro specs:
  • 6.0-inch Full HD+ Display
  • 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 636 processor 
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card up to 2TB
  • 13MP + 5MP dual rear camera with PDAF and LED flash
  • 8MP front camera
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Dual SIM (non-hybrid)
  • 4G LTE
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Face Recognition
  • Fast Charging
  • Deepsea Black / Meteor Silver 
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Php9,995

As mentioned, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro 3GB/32GB variant is now available outside of Lazada website or at ASUS stores for the same SRP of Php9,995.

Watch out for my review as I will be publishing it in the next few days on this blog. 

UPDATE

The 4GB variant of ZenFone Max Pro is now Php1,000 more affordable, priced at Php12,995. 

And the review is up. Read it here.

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