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ASUS has done the impossible by introducing the unique ZenFone Max (M1) to a huge number of fans of Chinese budget devices.

The new ZenFone Max (M2) is ready not only to continue, but also to build on the success of its predecessor, becoming the best budget smartphones of official retail.

Natural continuation of a successful model


Another metal hit?

Each generation of ZenFone Max are heroes of their time. The first was successful, but the second raises the bar even higher.

ASUS developers have adopted the main tactics of competitors: a proven Qualcommautonomy, large screen and good multimedia capabilities.

And while competitors are riveting compact “grandmother phones”, ASUS has turned out to be a full-fledged phablet for content consumption with full “minced meat” for a penny.

Very relevant (especially in retail) class. ZenFone Max (M1) has already confirmed this, becoming one of the most popular smartphones in Russia. His change is even more interesting.

First vs second: how ZenFone Max has changed


Dual camera that works

So, get acquainted: ASUS ZenFone Max (M2). The first glance is enough to understand: we have the same ASUS.

Smartphones are very similar, and not only to each other. Designers used the traditional design today without major deviations.

However, the first M1 model offered a traditional “frame” design, and the latest novelty, due to the requirements of the time, received a long screen with a cutout. “a la” iPhone X.


The buttons are made of plastic, which is good.

The M2 body is made of metal with plastic inserts under the antennas. Monolithic, strong and looks one hundred percent. In addition, anodized aluminum is durable and pleasant to the touch.

Thanks to the elimination of the main drawback of ZenFone Max (M1), the novelty bypassed all competitors at once – M2 has no competitors in metal.

A new chip with a triple slot for a pair of SIM cards and a flash drive (up to 256 GB) has been preserved. And this is an important plus, like a mini-jack.

Engineers have also improved the operation of the fingerprint scanner: it works like a clock, no worse than flagships.

In the hand, the younger ZenFone sits like a glove, allowing you to control yourself with one hand. And this is despite the dimensions corresponding to the screen!

What is the most important thing in a smartphone? Display!


The picture is not budget

Speaking of the display. An interesting case: ASUS had to install a matrix with a resolution HD+ (1520×720). And turn it into an advantage.

Strange resolution – a consequence of the elongated to 19:9 aspect ratio used, so that the “eyebrow” does not interfere in normal unoptimized applications.

When diagonal 6.3 inches The pixel density is not good. But to see them, you have to try hard.


The cut does not spoil

Even at half maximum brightness in 452 cd/m2 (white color) and contrast 900:1 the screen looks great: no pixels, no plumes, no color artifacts.

By the way, the brightness of black is only 0.5 cd/m2, almost AMOLED. But the gamma and color reproduction still correspond to IPS: warm, pleasant, not annoying.


No distortion at an angle

So the screen does not give out the position of ZenFone Max (M2) in the company’s lineup. On the contrary, if we take into account that competitors do not use Gorilla glass with 2.5D edges.

Cheap and cheerful: how to make a successful state employee?


Behind a simple design hides a complex filling

There are noticeably more options for using the updated ZenFone Max (M2) than its predecessor: the developers equipped the M2 with a single-chip platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 632.

Unlike the previous Snap 435, this option, although it belongs to the budget, with HD resolution can do almost anything.

Actually, nothing surprising – the platform has proven itself to be an excellent balance of performance and energy efficiency in a variety of budget devices.

The owner will be able to play and drive heavy programs. And without charging will not remain.


At maximum brightness, the display looks like AMOLED

Some problems may occur in 3D shooters due to insufficient performance of the video accelerator. However, judging from practical testing, all of them will be solved degraded graphics quality.

Yes, and 3 GB of memory is enough. A disadvantage could be called a small 32/64 GB drive, but everything is solved by a separate microSD slot as part of a triple tray.

Feel free to choose the minimum configuration, since ASUS does not force you to pay for something else for the sake of RAM.

“Clean” Android – the guarantor of good work


The board uses regular Android

The same transparency for the user applies to the operating system. Reviews were taken into account, which is good.

In ZenFone Max (M2), the developers prudently refused any intervention: no launchers, no additional software, no special utilities.

Only pure Android 8.1 and the promise of upgrading to the “ninth” Q.


Only the services of the Russian search giant are preinstalled

Here it is, the main guarantee of high stability and performance. No lags or any other problems.

The firmware works like iOS on a top-end iPhone: lightning fast and surprisingly stable, digesting even controversial test situations.

A week without charging? Real with ZenFone Max (M2)


Charging is done via microUSB

The use of an optimized “clean” system, a proven legacy chipset, and the logical minimization of features on the ZenFone Max (M2) serve the same purpose.

Like the impressive battery in 4000 mAh, all this for the sake of frenzied autonomy. The device keeps idle 2 weeks!

Enabling wireless interfaces does not change the situation. While the smartphone is “sleeping”, the battery life is practically not reduced.


Autonomy in simple scenarios seems incredible

With such sleep mode, it is not surprising that in active use, the battery is enough for 2 days.

In simple scenarios, the result is: video playback – 9 hours, 3D games – 6 hours. And this is with maximum brightness!

The result may not seem supernatural against the background of top-end gadgets with AMOLED screens, but budget employees with IPS panels are not capable of this out of the box.

Everything except ASUS ZenFone Max (M2) ZB633KL. It’s a pity there is no fast charging: you will have to be content with the charger 5V/2A and charge for a couple of hours.

Is it really a photo budget worker who could?


Headphone jack. What a nice rarity!

With the multimedia capabilities of ZenFone, everything is also quite good:

  • speaker alone, but loud and clear;
  • high-quality microphone with noise reduction;
  • the sound in the headphones is at the level of much more expensive devices.


Hints allow you to use the camera at 100%

The cameras are just as fun. Of course, you should not expect miracles from a budget device, but ZenFone Max (M2) shoots better than competitors.

Main uses a pair of 13 MP + 2 MP and lenses with f/1.8 aperture at 26mm focal length. Capable of shooting 4K.


Surprisingly, macro photos come out great. Great rarity

Frontal equipped with a single lens with a matrix on 8 MP and f/2.0.

The advanced camera application, modified by the company’s specialists, helps a lot. In the native application, all functions are at hand, there is a powerful manual mode.

So shooting can be successful even in poor lighting and macro scenarios.

Balance of price and necessary


Guess the price?

Based on the results of a week of testing, the new ASUS works as well as any higher-end Android smartphone. If you reduce a few requirements for photography, of course.

Great device. Stable and modest, for all occasions.

For their 10,990 rubles. ASUS ZenFone Max (M2) turns out to be one of the best budget smartphones around.

But more importantly, for such a price you can’t find a metal “Rostest” phablet. Only plastic, only hardcore. Although some people like it more.

Main advantages


ASUS was able to make a hit

one. metal body became an unattainable luxury for state employees in 2019. But not from ASUS.

2. A huge battery and the right processor allow you to achieve record autonomy. Isn’t this what we’ve been waiting for so long?

3. Large and high quality screen does not fade in the sunyielding to the flagship panels only from a distance of 20 centimeters.

four. A full set of interfaces, including dual-band Wi-Fi, does not limit the user at all. A rare case for a smartphone for the “top ten”.

5. “Pure” Android A fresh modification not only guarantees data security, but also directly speeds up the hardware by eliminating unnecessary elements.

Main disadvantages


Very good smartphone

one. The oleophobic display coating of the tested instance works Not perfectalthough stains are easily removed.

2. The platform pulls games, but for many 3D hits, you will need to lower the graphics settings to medium.





1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars (25 votes, overall rating: 4.40 out of 5)
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