Asus ZenFone Max M1 Review: A Decent Budget Android Smartphone For Starters

Asus ZenFone Max M1 Review: A Decent Budget Android Smartphone For Starters

With the ZenFone Lite L1 Asus is targeting the budget price segment in India, at an introductory price tag of Rs. 7,499. At its price point, the phone takes on the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 6 ₹ 9,499 and the Realme 2.

Md. Waquar Haider
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: November 23, 2018, 10:13 AM IST
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Asus ZenFone Max M1 is the phone the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer is betting big on. This follows the ZenFone Max Pro M1 which has gone on to become a bestseller. The ZenFone Max M1 Asus is priced at Rs. 7,499, and at this price point, takes on the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 6 and the Realme 2. How does it stack up in the competition?

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The device is powered by the entry-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, and the Adreno 505 graphics. It has a dedicated microSD card slot and supports dual-SIM connectivity. This comes with 5.45-inch HD+ display with a screen resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio and no 'Notch'. It packs a 4000 mAh battery. It has got a more premium design as compared to ZenFone Lite (L1) with a 2.5D curved glass on the front. Zenfone Lite L1 also has a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel selfie snapper. It packs a 3,000mAh battery. Some of the camera features include live filters, portrait mode, beauty mode and more. Zenfone Max M1 offer face unlock and a rear fingerprint sensor. On the software front, the smartphone run Zen UI 5 based on Android Oreo.

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Design, Display:

In terms of design, the device scores decent marks. It comes with a curved unibody design and metallic-like finish. At the right side of the smartphone, you will find the volume rockers and power button, while the hybrid SIM card slot is positioned on the left side. The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed at the top, while the micro USB port is positioned at the bottom. The rear camera is vertically placed along with the LED Flash. The fingerprint sensor of the smartphone placed at the back of the smartphone with a golden ring around it and Asus logo just below it.

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The Zenfone Max M1 features a 5.45-inch HD+ display with a screen resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels, and an 18:9 aspect ratio. The display delivers good colour output and the viewing angles are decent as well. Whether be it playing games or watching some movies, you will not feel disappointed. The outdoor visibility of the phone is pretty decent as compared to some other smartphones in this price segment. The 2.5D curved glass layered above the display enhances the device’s presence. We found touch response to be sub-par and the screen smudges very easily. I have noticed this problem while swiping right while navigating app interfaces though it is not with any specific app.


The Asus ZenFone Max M1 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera, with f/2.0 aperture, and phase-detection autofocus (PDAF). For selfies, there is an 8-megapixel front-facing shooter at the front that works on f/2.2 aperture. The camera app is responsive and supports features like also has Auto, beauty, Pro, Panorama, Time Lapse, Portrait, and HDR. The camera app in the smartphones is similar to what we saw in the Zenfone Max Pro M1 and all the filters can be accessed with a simple left swipe. Both cameras are okay in the daylight, clicking photos with good contrast, colours and dynamic range for a phone at this price. There is also a software-enabled portrait mode for both the front and rear cameras, however, it lacks in edging out the subjects. Interestingly, the selfie camera performed better as compared to the rear. While, video quality lags behind on exposure, but videos are not as noisy as one would expect at this price range. Overall, the cameras are just good enough for quick casual photos for sharing over social platforms. Don't expect the camera to perform wonders.

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Asus Zenfone Max M1 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor paired with Adreno 505 GPU. The packs 3GB of RAM with 32GB of inbuilt storage, support expandable storage and run on Android 8.0 Oreo-based ZenUI 5.0 out-of-the-box. If you are a first-time smartphone buyer you will not notice any glaring problems. The phone works just fine when it comes to multi-tasking and day-to-day usage. However, the smartphone handles casual games pretty well. There is no annoying bloatware and the interface is as light as it can be. It gives the phone more bandwidth to focus on processing other heavy-duty tasks. Asus Zenfone Max M1 also has a Face Unlock feature which allows you to unlock the phone with your face unlocks the phone every time. The smartphone also comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, the performance of the fingerprint scanner is quite disappointing and most of the times it refuses to unlock the phone at once.

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Much like its contemporaries, the phone comes with a 3,000 mAh battery. The battery is casual for normal performance and may require one charge a day. However, with heavy apps, it may require more goes. When you are using the phone for basic tasks like Facebook, WhatsApp, checking emails and more, the phone comfortably lasts a day with some power left.


After launching the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, AsusZenfone Max M1 manages to impress us with their overall package. It isn't the best device for gaming, and the camera still needs software updates to improve performance. But the Asus Zenfone Max M1 is an impressive budget smartphone, with decent specifications and good overall performance at an affordable price point. It is facing tough competition from the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 6A and the Realme C1, which are very appealing propositions anyway.

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