The Asus ZenFone Max Plus M1 is a budget smartphone sporting a premium flagship cellphone’s skin. It’s a sleek metal chassis and curved 2.5D glass over a screen that fills most of the phone’s front side. With no CDMA support, it sadly can not link to Sprint or Verizon, but it will do the job for just about anyone else, as it is compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile and any other carriers using GSM networks.
For an unlocked version with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, Asus is charging $229, which puts it well into the low-cost grade of smartphones, in which it can compete with Motorola’s Moto G5S Plus, the forthcoming Moto G6 and others in our listing of the best cheap phones.
Asus ZenFone Max Plus M1 Design
From the get-go, the ZenFone Max Plus M1 comes across as a more superior device than its price would suggest. It has the elegant construct of a flagship smartphone. The rear is a smooth aluminum, with shiny antenna bands shining at the top and underside. The power button and volume rocker on the ideal side are also metal. Dual-cameras grace the trunk, and a fingerprint scanner is located on its the middle, similar to the Google Pixel 2.
The front of the telephone is largely full of the display, which measures 5.7 inches in a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 and accounts to get an 80 percent screen-to-body ratio. If the ZenFone Max Plus M1 had managed to go truly bezelless, it would be easy to confuse to get a top-tier phone.
Regrettably, that display is not OLED, so the picture isn’t necessarily as good as it might be, especially while watching videos that don’t fill the 18:9 aspect ratio, as the black bars on either side of the image let a small light bleed through. Video can stretch to fit the display, but in our opinion, the extending seems much worse than the black bars.
It feels nice in the hand as well, though that smoothness includes the probability of dropping the apparatus, especially while wearing gloves. The now-antiquated micro USB port in the bottom and perhaps the small image sensors are the only visual signals that this isn’t a more premium apparatus.
Still, there are more advantages to the design than negatives. A dual-SIM card slot features support for several network links, along with the tray also contains a microSD card slot for up to 256GB of additional storage.
The ZenFone Max Plus M1 stays lean, measuring 152.6 x 73 x 8.8mm and weighing 160 g. It’s quite pocket-friendly, unless it will become warm during use, but we’ll get into that shortly.
It’s somewhat disappointing that no ingress protection rating is offered on this telephone. Discussing more to its durability, we all noticed creaking while giving it a bit of bend, and Asus doesn’t say anything about the screen power, therefore the practical structure of this mobile is a bit suspicious, even if the aesthetic arrangement is beautiful.
Features and performance
Asus appears to be somewhat shifty about disclosing the MediaTek chipset powering the ZenFone Max Plus M1. MediaTek doesn’t have the standing that Qualcomm has the Snapdragon chipset powering so many smartphones.
From the phone’s settings, the CPU details simply state, 1.5GHz,” and also on the tech specs page for your device, Asus just lists,”Octa-core Processor.” However, the ZenFone Max Plus M1 is powered by an 8-core MediaTek MT6750T chip with 4 cores at 1.5GHz and 4 cores at 1.0GHz. This was paired with 3GB in the model we tested. The device runs Android 7.0 Nougat using Asus’s ZenUI, which is generally fine, though perhaps a tad too cutesy for a few and pre-loaded using a couple more apps than is necessary.
We had been pleased with the fluidity of the majority of software, since we had anticipated greater performance tradeoffs to balance the nice design and monitor. Doing one thing at one time is much more or less perfectly smooth. Switching between multiple programs quickly does see the telephone stumble somewhat, but never to the point of becoming dreadful.
Gaming performance isn’t stunning, but that is to be expected at this time. Booting up PUBG Mobile, the match automatically picked the smallest settings, and even then there have been some hiccups during gameplay. Nevertheless, we managed to play through a complete game and land second place with 13 kills. Not bad if we say . The ZenFone Max Plus M1 can hold back to the quality aspect of functionality, but it will not slow you down horribly.