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Asus Zenfone Max M1 Review: The Pint-Sized Battery King

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Zenfone Max M1!

Asus kicked off 2018 strong with the introduction of the Asus Zenfone Max Plus M1; a device that first used the “Battery King” moniker and the first phone in the Taiwanese brand’s lineup to sport an 18:9 display. While all the hullabaloo surrounding the brand is centered around the Zenfone 5 family, another member of the Max lineup kinda went under the radar — the Asus Zenfone Max M1. Is this pocketable Max device worth considering? That’s what we’re here to help you find out.

Asus Zenfone Max M1 Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Adreno 505 GPU
  • 5.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD display (1440×720 resolution), 292 ppi
  • 32GB of expandable storage (up to 2TB via microSD card)
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G, LTE
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/2.0 aperture + 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with 120-degree FoV
  • 13-megapixel front camera, f/2.2 aperture
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Facial Unlock
  • 4000mAh battery with Asus BoostMaster
  • Android Oreo 8.0 with ZenUI 5.0

Design Is Up to Snuff, Build Stays the Same

While the Max Plus M1 had something new to offer for the Max line up and Asus’ mobile division at the time, it’s design still greatly resembled phones from the past year. This isn’t the case for the smaller Max M1, which uniformly fits into the rest of the releases from Asus. It’s got a unibody build with vertically stacked dual cameras on the rear along with the fingerprint scanner just above the company’s logo. It would be a shoe-in for a “Zenfone 5 Mini” if it weren’t for the lack of the signature concentric circles and the choice of materials that makes up the device.

As mentioned earlier, you’ve got a unibody build to help with the phone’s durability but it is mostly made up of polycarbonate plastic. It’s been giving a metallic finish to make it appear like it’s got an aluminum chassis but its weight and feel definitely give it away. While we would have liked to see a metal bod on the Max M1, it is still well-built and our review unit survived a few tumbles here and there. Sorry, Asus.

Good Display for Better Battery Life

While a taller aspect ratio was once reserved for mid-range offerings, it has trickled down to the sub-10k price point. In the case of this phone, you’ve got a 5.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD panel with an acceptable amount of bezel on all sides. While we all crave for Full HD+ resolution on our devices, Asus has specifically created the Max line to have a ton of lasting power and this display really helps out in that end. Picture quality isn’t that bad either once you accept that you won’t go past 720p. Colors come out great and viewing angles are very forgiving too.

As far as audio goes, we’ve definitely heard louder from a device in this price bracket but the speaker on the bottom gets the job done; though we do recommend using headphones if you’re going to be watching vids while commuting to and from work so you actually hear the content your watching.

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Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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