The ZenFone Max M2 is the latest mid-range Android smartphone from ASUS. It is the successor to last year’s Max M1 and the younger sibling of this year’s Max M2 Pro, which we already took a look at in a separate review.
The Max M2 follows more or less in the footsteps of its predecessor. It’s a simple, no-nonsense device that is designed to focus on a handful of key things, such as performance, camera, and battery life, rather than something extravagant. Well, as extravagant as one can be in this price range.
Even the software is just stock Android, something also found on its predecessor. This makes it just easy to pick up and start using instead of having to get used to any weird idiosyncrasies of a custom software layer on top of Android.
ASUS ZenFone Max M2 key specs
Body: 2.5D curved glass front, plastic sides, metal back
Display: 6.26-inch, 1520×720 resolution (269PPI), IPS LCD, notched
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 (4x 1.8GHz Kryo 250 Gold + 1.8GHz Kryo 250 Silver, Adreno 506)
Memory: 32GB/64GB eMCP, 3GB/4GB LPDDR3X
Software: Android 8.1.0 Oreo
Rear camera: 13MP f1.8, 2MP depth sensor, 4K 30 video, LED flash
Front camera: 8MP f2.0, 1080p 30 video, LED flash
Battery: 4000mAh, 10W charging
Connectivity: Dual SIM, 4G VoLTE, 802.11n single-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/GLONASS, microUSB, headphone jack
Misc: Fingerprint sensor, face recognition, FM radio
Compared to last year’s model, we do see some regressions in terms of specifications. The display is now just HD instead of Full HD, the processor is a bit slower, and the battery is 20% smaller. In a way then, the Max M2 Pro is more like the successor to the Max M1, while the Max M2 is more of a scaled down version for a lower price bracket.
This is a bit disappointing, as the Max M2 is not cheaper than last year’s M1, which is still on sale. This leaves one to wonder why even bother with the M2 then. That is the question we will try to answer today.
Disclaimer: You might notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn’t include some of our usual tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written far away from our office and test lab. Still, we think we’ve captured the essence of the phone in the same precise, informative and detailed way that’s become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!