Yesterday, ASUS India announced the global launch of its newest Android smartphone – the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 – at an event in India. The launch was perhaps one of the most significant product launches that ASUS has made in recent times. The Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a budget segment handset that has been custom built to tackle the domination that Xiaomi currently has this segment in India. With the Zenfone Max Pro, ASUS aims to lure consumers away from both the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Zenfone Max Pro M1 and compare it against both the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Let us find out if the Redmi Note series of 2018 has finally found an able competitor in the Zenfone Max Pro M1.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi Note 5 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Price in India
Let us start off things by talking about the most important aspect of these handsets – the price. As most of you might be already aware. Xiaomi is known to price its products aggressively in India and take the competition head-on. They have been so good with this strategy over the past three years, they have been able to become the number one smartphone player in India – ahead of Samsung. With the Zenfone Max Pro M1, ASUS, it seems is attempting to do exactly what Xiaomi was doing to its rivals – outprice the competition to oblivion. Let us check out the prices of these three handsets to find out why
The Zenfone Max Pro M1 will be offered in three versions once the handset is launched, a base 3GB RAM + 32GB version priced at Rs. 10,999, a more expensive 4GB RAM + 64GB version for Rs.12,999 and a top of the line 6GB RAM + 64GB version for Rs. 14,999. The third version will also feature an upgraded camera.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes in two versions – a base 4GB RAM + 64GB version for Rs. 13,999 and a pricier 6GB RAM + 64GB version for Rs. 16,999.
As for the Redmi Note 5, this handset comes in two versions; an entry-level 3GB RAM version with 32GB of storage for Rs.9,999 and a pricier 4GB RAM + 64GB version for Rs.11,999.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi Note 5 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Design, Display
All the three handsets that we are talking about today feature a metal body. In fact, the display resolution of these three handsets is also identical. All three phones boast of a 1080 x 2160 pixel, 18:9 aspect ratio display which is an IPS LCD panel. The display size of these three handsets are also identical, and measure 5.99-inches across. Thanks to the tall-boy design of all three handsets, they look identical when you look at them from the front. You can, however, spot the differences when you turn the phones over.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi Note 5 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Specifications, Hardware
Let us now talk specs. Both the Xiaomi phones until now offered the best possible specifications for as little money as possible. Has the Zenfone Max Pro M1 been able to one-up Xiaomi in this department? Let’s see.
All three versions of the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, which is one of the most powerful mid-range CPU’s that Qualcomm currently makes. The Zenfone Max Pro comes in three versions in the following combinations
- 3GB RAM + 32GB
- 4GB RAM + 64GB
- 6GB RAM + 64GB
The camera department on the Zenfone Max Pro M1 consists of a dual camera setup at the rear. The 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM versions get a 13-megapixel + 8-megapixel setup at the rear while the 6GB RAM version will get a 16-megapixel + 8-megapixel setup when launched. At the front, the Zenfone Max Po M1 will use an 8-megapixel selfie camera. The handset can record 4K videos at 30fps and 1080p and 720p videos also at 30fps. All the three versions are dual SIM ready. The Max Pro also gets a dedicated microSD card slot for additional memory.
As for the Redmi Note 5 Pro, this handset is also powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC and comes in two versions – a base 4GB RAM + 64GB version and a pricier 6GB RAM + 64GB version. The Redmi Note 5 Pro also gets a dual camera setup at the rear. This setup uses 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel cameras at the rear and a 20-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calls. This handset can record full-HD 1080p videos at 30fps. The ability to record 4K videos should come soon via a software update.
Moving on to the Redmi Note 5, this handset succeeds last year’s Redmi Note 4 and uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC from 2017. The Redmi Note 5 Pro comes in two versions; an entry-level 3GB RAM + 32GB version and a 4GB RAM + 64GB version. The camera department on the Redmi Note 5 is handled by a single 12-megapixel camera at the rear and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Redmi Note 5 can capture 4K videos at 30fps as well.
Both the Redmi Note 5 twins come with a hybrid SIM card slot and for the same reason, you will not be able to use two SIM cards and a microSD at the same time.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi Note 5 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: OS Updates, Software
The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 is the first handset from ASUS to run stock Android. The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo right out of the box. ASUS has also promised that they will issue regular updates to the handset and that it would also be updated to two subsequent versions of Android – Android P and Android Q.
Both the Redmi Note twins run Android 7 Nougat with MIUI 9 – Xiaomi’s custom Android UI. Even though both the handsets are on an older version of Android, MIUI 9 des incorporate a large number of Android 8 features.
ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Redmi Note 5 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: Conclusion, Verdict
There is no doubt over the fact that the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a serious challenger to both the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro. ASUS has intelligently positioned the Max Pro M1 between the Note twins. Specs wise, it is on par with the Redmi Note 5 Pro thanks to its Snapdragon 636 SoC. In terms of pricing, however, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 competes with the lower spec’d Redmi Note 5. On paper, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 ticks all the right boxes. It seems that a worth Redmi Note 5 competitor that many of us have been waiting for is finally here. If you wish to learn more about the Zenfone Max Pro M1, read our first impressions article here. We will also post our detailed full review of the phone in the next few days. The Zenfone Max Pro M1 is slated to go on sale starting May 3, 2018. The 6GB RAM version should arrive a few weeks later.