Hands on Asus Zenfone Max (M1) and Asus Zenfone 5 Lite

The new Asus Zenfone Max  M1 is built in the newly mainstream 18:9 form factor


The Zenfone Max M1’s metal chassis is part of what makes it look so good for a $229 device. It sports a 2,160-by-1,080, tall-and-narrow 5.7-inch display, and feels cool and metallic in the hand.

We can’t say if those are the real deal or not, but Asus went to great lengths to mimic a metallic feel and those trendy-shaped antenna strips help build that impression.

The 5.5″ screen at the front is 18:9 in aspect ratio but comes with 720p resolution. The colors are duller than the rest of the Zenfones.

Snapdragon 430 and a 13MP selfie cam, others will get the Snapdragon 425-power version with 8MP selfie cam. Go figure!

The dual-camera setup at the back stays the same across all models. It’s a 13MP main cam with f/2.0 lens and an 8MP wide-angle sensor for panoramic pictures. LED flash is available, PDAF and EIS for the 1080p videos.

The Zenfone Max (M1) seems like a very thoughtful device, fits well in hand and has a promising battery autonomy with that 4,000 mAh cell inside. It’s already available for purchase for $229 in the USA and we expect about €220 for Europe. Deepsea Black, Sunlight Gold, Ruby Red are the colors you get to choose from.

Body: Front glass, aluminum body;

Screen: 5.5-inch, 16:9, 720p IPS LCD

Rear Camera: Main 13MP, f/2.0 lens, PDAF; Secondary wide-angle 8MP camera, 12mm lens; EIS; 1080p video; LED flash

Front Camera: 8MP or 13MP f/2.0 lens;

Chipset (var.1): Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53, Adreno 308

Chipset (var.2): Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53, Adreno 505

Memory: 2/3GB RAM, 16/32GB, microSD

OS: Android 8.0 Oreo + ZenUI 5.0

Battery: 4000mAh

Connectivity: Optional dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/GLONASS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC, FM radio, microUSB

Misc: Fingerprint reader

The Zenfone 5 Lite might have been the less impressive sibling of the Zenfone 5 series, but originality is what it makes it as interesting.

The Lite model comes with a 6″ screen with 18:9 aspect and 1080p resolution. The screen-to-body ratio is 80.3% which is an excellent score for a Lite model. Our first impression with the screen is equally impressive as the flagship model – high brightness, sharp, great contrast, and wide viewing angles.

Asus has put two selfie cameras and a LED flash in there – a 20MP main selfie shooter with Sony IMX376 sensor, and a secondary 8MP wide-angle cam with 120-degree FOV.

The Zenfone 5 Lite is also a glass-sandwich phone with an aluminum frame. The 2.5D-shaped front and rear glass pieces are pretty much the same, sans the different caveats. There is another dual-camera on the back – centered above the fingerprint scanner. Its main sensor is a 16MP one behind f/2.2 lens, while the wide-angle one is the same as the one at the front. There is another single LED flash here.

Body: Dual 2.5D glass, aluminum frame;

Screen: 6.0-inch, 18:9, 1080p IPS LCD

Rear Camera: Main 16MP, f/2.2 lens, PDAF; Secondary 8MP wide-angle camera, 12mm lens; EIS; LED flash

Front Camera: Main 20MP, f/2.0 lens; Secondary wide-angle camera, 12mm lens; EIS; LED flash

Chipset (var.1): Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53, Adreno 505

Chipset (var.2): Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, octa-core 2.2GHz Cortex-A53, Adreno 508

Memory: 4GB RAM, 32/64GB, microSD

OS: Android 8.0 Oreo + ZenUI 5.0

Battery: 3300mAh

Connectivity: Optional dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/GLONASS, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac (SD630) or Wi-Fi b/g/n (SD430), NFC, FM radio, microUSB

Misc: Fingerprint reader


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