• Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • System on Chip: Mediatek MT6750T
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB, expandable with microSD
  • Display: 5.65-inch 720 x 1440 IPS
  • Camera: 16+8MP (dual rear), 16MP (front)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 + A2DP + LE, 802.11n, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Dimensions: 152.6 x 73 x 8.8 mm
  • Weight: 160g
  • Pros:
  • Battery life
  • Cameras
  • Cons:
  • Build quality

Lasting Value

For a few years now, ASUS has one of the most bang-for-buck option when it comes to midrange smartphones – the ZenFone Max series. Recognising this, the brand has decided to rebrand this series as the Max Plus series, with the M1 the first model now in our hands for review.

Once again, the Max Plus M1 sees the familiar curved back and tapered edges that we expect from ZenFones. From edge to edge, it’s a device that measures almost 6.75 inches, which sounds massive. But with the now popular 18:9 aspect ratio means that it doesn’t feel wide when held, while containing a large 5.7-inch display that’s great for games and videos. The body itself is metallic, but it’s quite thin and there’s some flex to its aluminium body, so having a silicone case included to protect it was a good addition.

Despite the slight negative in build quality, the device itself is decked out with plenty of positives in features. Not only does it have a fingerprint sensor at the back, it also has two rear cameras (rare in this price range). Besides that, its SIM tray supports two SIM cards and a SD card.

Powered by MediaTek’s MT6750T chipset, the Max Plus M1 does well enough for basic tasks and HD multimedia. During our time with it, we didn’t experience unexpected app crashes or programmes hanging, unless we tried to run too many apps and the device runs out of RAM. It’s more than serviceable for the average Joe, but it’s no powerhouse, so don’t expect to play high-end 3D games on it without noticeable lag.

Besides its large screen for videos, the other obvious feature of this smartphone are its cameras. On the Max Plus M1 is a dual-rear camera setup consisting of a 16 and 8-megapixel camera, as well as a front shooter that’s also has 16 megapixels. The rear 16-megapixel camera is complemented by the 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, allowing the user to capture images with a 120° angle. In addition, the user also gets to take pictures in four different aspect ratios, which can be useful for those who are active on social media.

Of course, it’s not a Max series smartphone without good battery life. In fact, the M1 has a large 4,130 mAh battery, making it possible for you to use it for more than a day without needing to charge. ASUS has also retained the reverse charging feature, which is great if you carry multiple devices and don’t always have a convenient way to charge them.

CHIP CONCLUDE: While the build quality is a bit suspect, the features it provides makes it one of the best choices you can get at that pricing.asus-zenfone-max-plus-600x500

(previously published in issue February)