A Fitting Bookend to 2018

Asus kicked off 2018 by introducing us to the newest member of their Max lineup of smartphones, which also debuted its new naming convention for the series—the Zenfone Max Pro M1. The big-batteried device from the Taiwanese company offered a lot of value and was actually one of the favorite devices in the Sub-10k price bracket. Now that we’re in the tail end of the year and a couple days away from Christmas, we found it fitting that Asus would bookend 2018 with the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2. What exactly does this new device have to offer? Let’s give it a quick go around to show you guys what’s what with their new Battery King.

They’ve Changed Its Look Completely

When the M1 was launched here in the Philippines, we were a little underwhelmed with the overall design of the device. Not that it looked bad but there was nothing new about the device; aside, of course, for the 18:9 display. It was something we’ve seen from the Taiwanese company with past releases but we did appreciate the fact that the phone was still made out of metal.

The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, on the other hand, has gotten quite the visual upgrade and is now in-line with what we’re seeing in most devices out in the market. It’s available in two color options (Midnight Blue and Cosmic Titanium) that have a glossy finish with what the company is calling a “wave” pattern that seems more like ripples on a pond to me. The phone attracts fingerprints like crazy so it’s good to know that retail units will come with a case and you’re definitely going to want to slap that on from that get-go to avoid having to wipe up those smears and smudges plus protect it too.

Gone is the metal build from the M1 that’s now replaced by a clear acrylic back panel and what feels like a polycarbonate frame. Aside from the visual upgrade, this also allows the company to claim that the Max Pro M2 is the lightest smartphone on the planet with a 5000mAh battery. There’s still a bit of heft to the device but it certainly feels like it has lost a bit of weight. It handles really nicely with gentle curves to making easy to hold too.

Time for the tour around the device to check out its button and port layout.

You’ve got the power button on the right side along with the volume rocker.

Access to the triple-slotted SIM tray in on the left.

No In-Display Fingerprint Scanner here. Just your good, ol’ fashioned physical one on the back on the phone.

On the bottom, you’ll find the speaker grille, headphone jack, and—we can already feel you guys cringing—a micro USB port. Yup. It’s a bit of a bummer that type-C still hasn’t made its way onto all devices, which means topping up the Zenfone Max M2 is going to take a while but more on that later.