ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 Hands-on and Initial Impressions


After being officially launched and released in the Philippines in December of last year, ASUS Philippines has finally sent me a review unit of its latest "Battery King" smartphone installment - the ZenFone Max Pro M2. And here are my initial thoughts on it after unboxing this device a couple of days ago. In case you are currently not aware, there are two variants of this model. One with 4GB RAM another with 6GB RAM and both have 64GB internal storage. What I have here is the 6GB RAM version.

I said in my previous post when I first officially had my hands on it back in December when ASUS formally introduced this device to the bloggers and ZenFans in Davao City, that the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is the most beautiful and powerful ZenFone Max ASUS has ever created up to date. Then right now after a couple of months and having my hands on again on this device, my initial impressions remain the same. And for that, I am really excited to use this smartphone for the next couple of weeks and share with you my overall thoughts on this brand new ZenFone Maxx Pro M2. But until then, here is my hands-on and initial impressions of this phone.


If you have been following the ZenFone Max series, you might have already noticed that this latest generation of big-battery smartphone from ASUS has introduced a lot of new things, not just on the outside appearance but also on the inside. One of the most noticeable changes here is the introduction of the notch, which as you may remember, was the top trending smartphone design in 2018. This makes the first Max to sport one.

The front panel which sports 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display is being protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 6, the same glass material found on the ASUS ROG Phone. In fact this is the second ASUS handset to have that Gorilla Glass 6. On the back is also one of those new upgrades that makes this phone stands out not just among the Max series but also among the competition in its price range. There it has a glass-looking design and material, ASUS calls it the 3D Dynamic Optical Finish. It is not glass actually, but a polycarbonate plastic material fashioned to look like glass. It looks and feels nice though, and solid as well. While made of plastic, it does not really feel like one. It is super curvy on the sides which makes it a lot easier to use with one hand, and is not slippery in the hand as well.


As for its cameras, the front has a 13MP selfie shooter that is housed inside the notch together with the LED flash and light notification as well as proximity sensor and earpiece. On the back is the dual camera setup with 12MP as the main shooter equipped with Sony IMX486 sensor and f1.8 aperture for better lowlight photography and then a secondary shooter with 5MP for depth sensing and better bokeh effect. These cameras are also accompanied by an AI Scene Detection feature, yes a first on a Max device, helping the cameras to produce the best possible photo qualities based on the subjects that are being photographed. Another first and exciting part of the camera on this device is the inclusion of Electronic Image Stabilization or EIS, what it does is it helps users to capture photos and videos with almost zero blur and shake.


The ZenFone Max Pro M2 is running on a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo right out of the box. But ASUS Philippines has confirmed that an Android 9 Pie software update for this device will rollout soon.

And then of course, its Max name will not mean anything if it does not have a massive battery pack right inside it. That said, this phone is being powered by a huge 5000mAh battery. And of course being a ZenFone Max device itself, it also sports a Reverse Charging feature meaning it is capable of sharing its power with another smartphone or device via USB OTG similar to a powerbank.


If you were hoping for a USB Type-C on this smartphone, you will not be so happy to know that it still sticks with the usual microUSB port. That type of port also may indicate the lack of fast charge support in this thing, so charging that 5000mAh battery may take a little while. But of course we will be able to confirm that in the review article. Good thing though is that there is still a 3.5mm audiojack here and a speaker that sounds good and loud based on my first test.

Final thoughts... for now.

I was able to test and review the ZenFone Max Pro M1 last year. Based on my experience with that smartphone, I would say that a lot has been changed for the better, introduced and enhanced, and most of all improved with this ZenFone Max Pro M2 model. One of my issues with the M1 was the camera performance, and if I can say anything right now according to my early tests with this M2 during the unboxing, I think it has improved a lot too. But I will find out more as I use this phone in the coming days and weeks.

Not only the overall design of the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is very refreshing to the eyes and hands, especially for someone like me who has used a couple of ZenFone Max devices before, it also feels like the real upgrade from the previous generations that many fans have been waiting for to happen for a time now. The octa-core Snapdragon 660 processor with Adreno 512 GPU and either 4GB or 6GB RAM inside the phone, performance and gaming wise, it looks promising as well. So far I have not encountered any issues with the system's smoothness in terms of navigation, launching and switching apps, everything is just fast if not instantaneous. And its display is much brighter now and color reproduction is more vibrant than I can remember with the M1.

That's all what I can say for now. I will test and continue to use this smartphone in the coming days and will let you know more on my review post. So if you have any questions about this ZenFone Max Pro M2, now is the perfect time to ask me while I still have it in my possession.

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 (ZB631KL) specs:
  • 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD Display
  • 2280 x 1080 resolution
  • 450 nits, 94% Color Gamut, and 88% screen-to-ratio
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor
  • Adreno 512 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card with Dedicate Slot
  • 12MP + 5MP with Sony IMX486 Sensor, F1.8, AI Scene Detection and Depth Sensing for Bokeh Effect, LED flash
  • 13MP frnt camera with f2.0, 5-element lens, and 77-degree wide-angle lens
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Stock version) - Android 9 Pie update coming
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G LTE
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Face Unlock
  • 3.5mm audiojack
  • Reverse Charging
  • Midnight Blue, Cosmic Titanium
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Php14,995
The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage is currently available for Php14,995. A 4GB RAM variant is also available for an even more affordable price of Php12,995. Aside from ZenFone concept stores and authorized retailers nationwide, we can also get this from ASUS Philippines online stores like Lazada and Shopee.

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