Budget offering with the metal constructed Asus Zenfone Max M2 [hands-on]

Asus has traditionally been a strong showing for mobile during CES, but not so much this year. That’s understandable given how other manufacturers were reluctant to show off anything particularly exciting. However, we did manage to get our hands on one of its latest budget smartphones – the Asus Zenfone Max M2.

Low cost for emerging markets

Due to the phone’s crazy low cost of about $140, the Asus Zenfone Max M2 is being targeted for emerging markets where savings is placed higher on the totem pole than most other things. And that’s probably why we’re not all that amused by its design, which is ordinary as they come with its cheapish metal chassis. Even though it’s metal, it doesn’t necessarily exude the kind of substance we find in other all-metal phones. In fact, it tends to have a somewhat more fragile feel to it.

Meager specs, but it’s a pretty sizable screen

Naturally, the phone’s cost is indicative of its specs, which consists of a Snapdragon 632 processor, rear dual-cameras, 4000 mAh battery, rear planted fingerprint sensor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage with expansion. From what we were able to see in our hands-on time, the Snapdragon 632 is effective enough for basic tasks, but don’t expect to be playing graphics intensive games on it. The 6.3-inch IPS LCD display is pretty sizable (notch included), but the weak viewing angles and heavy distortion doesn’t make it the most pleasing to the eye.

Not for everyone

If you’re looking for a temporary backup smartphone, the Asus Zenfone Max M2 should suffice as an option because of its low cost. However, it’s not something that’s going to appeal to the masses – that’s certainly true. Instead, those in emerging markets will undoubtedly find its package suitable for basic needs. You’re not going to be spending a fortune, which is great given how it’ll present users with the most basic functions of a smartphone, but with that, you’ll probably have to be patient with its performance.

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ZenFone Max (M2)
  • Display 6.3 inches
    1520 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Dual camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 632
    4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie


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