ASUS recently sent over one of its newest phones, the ZenFone Max Pro (M1), for us to play around with. Here’s a quick unboxing ahead of our full review of the device.

The royal blue and silver-gray box that the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) comes in means to impress; and it does. Embossed on the top panel in shiny silver foil are the phone’s moniker along with the brand’s famous “We Love Photo” tagline. At the bottom are listed the model’s key features, product identification barcodes, and the obligatory multi-language disclaimers.

Sliding off the cover reveals three compartments where the phone and its accompanying accessories reside. At the topmost section is a box containing the SIM tray push pin and a protective silicone back cover. The bottom compartment stores the AC adapter, a USB-to-micro-USB charging/data cable, and a pair of earphones that come with a few replacement earbuds. Nestled between these sections is the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) in a protective plastic sheath.

The overall design of the ZenFone Max Pro (M1) could be described as conventional. The front is dominated by edge-to-edge glass that curves slightly to meet the rounded metal framing. The phone doesn’t sport the newer notched display format; therefore, component placements are where we’ve grown accustomed to—front camera and flash left and right of the earpiece at the top front, power button and volume rocker on the left side, SIM tray on the right and charging and earphone ports at the bottom of the frame. At the upper third of the rear is a fingerprint sensor. Slightly higher to its left are the lenses of the dual camera and their associated flash unit. The phone comes in what ASUS calls Meteor Silver (it is also available in Deepsea Black).

Despite sporting a big screen and a high capacity battery, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 isn’t considerably larger nor heavier than smartphones with smaller batteries. In fact, at 180 grams, it is quite lighter than most phones with smaller physical dimensions.

Looking at the phone’s specifications suggests a very powerful device. It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, which features a 64-bit octa-core processor and an Adreno 509 GPU utilizing 14nm FinFET power-saving technology. The ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes with 3GB LPDDR4 memory and 32GB EMCP storage out of the box. Expansion is up to 256GB is supported through a dedicated SD slot that sits beside the two nano SIM cards (one 4G and one 3G) in the pull out tray.

Display is a 5.99-inch Full View IPS panel (2,160 x 1,080 resolution), 450 nits maximum brightness, and 85 percent NTSC color gamut. The main rear cameras are 13-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel shooter with f/2.4 aperture. The front camera has an 8-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture.

The Zenfone Max Pro M1 is fitted with a 5,000mAh battery which is claimed to provide up to 12 hours of gaming, 28 hours of web browsing, or 35 days of 4G standby. Fast charging (0-100%), as specified, will take a mere two hours and 42 minutes.

The phone runs on pure Android 8.1 Oreo with a future upgrade to Android P. We’ll have more for you once we release our full review in the coming weeks.

About The Author


A technology hobbyist since the late 80s. Was in consumer electronics business until the late 1990s then switched to 100% PC-centric activities (hardware/software, web management, desktop publishing, etc.) Enjoys comedy and renovation and home design TV, tech and gadget shows and motorsports (particularly F1). Enjoys eating as much as cooking.