• Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • System on Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB, expandable with microSD
  • Display: 5.5-inch 720 x 1,280 IPS
  • Camera: 16MP (rear), 16MP (front)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 + A2DP + LE, 802.11n, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Dimensions: 154 x 76.9 x 8.9 mm
  • Weight: 181g
  • Pros:
  • Great battery life
  • Wide-angle cameras
  • Cons:
  • Performance
  • Benchmark Results
  • Antutu: 44,038 points
  • PCMark for Android: 3,665 points
  • 3DMark Slingshot Extreme: 297 points

Double Shutter

While the company kept a tight lip during COMPUTEX 2017, the veil was lifted from the latest ASUS ZenFone 4 series. It also maintained the same number of SKUs, some which were admittedly less useful than others. The ZenFone Max series used to be the former, but what about the recently launched ZenFone 4 Max Pro?

It sports the same curved edges and antenna lines on the back as before. The outer body consists of metal at the back in bronze colour, while the white coloured front has a piece of glass covering it. This means that the smartphone’s build quality is surprisingly premium for a device that’s priced at the lower-midrange.

Although similar to its predecessor, the ZenFone 4 Max Pro has enough differences to stand out, one of which is the improved cameras. With this, it now has a dual-lens camera with LED flash at the back that’s at the top-left corner instead of the middle. The front also has a similar setup and both have a pixel count of 16-megapixels. ASUS also went with the capacitive buttons on the bottom bezel, with the fingerprint sensor integrated into the Home button. Besides that, you have the regular volume and power buttons on the right, dual-SIM plus micro SD card tray on the left, micro USB port at the bottom, and the audio jack on the top.

As expected, the ZenFone 4 Max Pro is more of a lower-midrange device in terms of specs. It’s enough for regular use, even some light entertainment like watching Twitch or YouTube, but trying to load too many apps or even games on it and it’ll lag. It could even crash or hang in extreme cases, which is normal for phones at this performance range.

Its screen is average as well, with enough contrast and brightness for viewing videos. On the other hand, the audio is completely unspectacular. However, it has a battery that can last up to two days, while also allowing you to charge another device.

The cameras are clearly the major plus points to the device. Its rear camera system comes with a 120-degree wide-angle camera to ensure you can capture a larger landscape view, which is really nice to have for great for travellers who need a device for casual photography. In the same way, its front cameras also comes with a 140-degree wide-angle lens with a soft LED light for more polished selfies, or the occasional panoramic selfie/wefie shots.

CHIP CONCLUDE: A smartphone with great value, mostly from its long battery life and cameras.

(previously published in issue October 2017)

ASUS ZenFone 4 Max Pro